Is the tap water clean?

Mike has written about the inherent discomfort that is associated with traveling before. One question is, “Is the tap water clean?”–clean enough to wash with, clean enough to drink, or at least clean enough to brush our teeth with.

In Langkawi, when staying at the Bon Ton Temple Tree Resort, it stated explicitly in their introductory handout that the tap water was drinkable. When we moved to AB Motel in Pantai Cenang, Mike noticed that the water was brownish while attempting to wash clothes. This seemed to wax and wane. We decided to brush our teeth using bought drinking water.

We carried the habit with us to Georgetown, but since we don’t have an ensuite bathroom, it’s more difficult to go back when we forget to bring the water bottle. Today, I chanced it. For one thing, the Oriental Hostel is a family run business instead of some 50 room motel; it does appear cleaner, even if the roof leaks in the hallway. For another thing, Isn’t risk of digestive issues part of backpacking?