Saturday, August 18, 2012

Penang After So Long

The last time I went to Penang was 7 years ago for my best high school friend's wedding. Again, another wedding brought us to Penang so we seized the opportunity to extend our weekend stay to a little longer and invited the whole family along.

We rented a condo for 3 nights in Tanjung Tokong which turned out to be the most strategic location for our activities as the wedding was held in Straits Quay, we also ended up going to the National Park (yes, Penang has one of the tiniest National Parks in this region), Penang Hill, Kek Lok Si Temple, nearby malls where we met our old friends and a spot of shopping at good ol' Gama.

My dad has always taken us on tours whenever we travelled since we were young so going to all these touristy places for my nephews was nothing unusual. In fact, it was the first time for us to visit the National Park and for KS visiting Penang Hill.

So while I was hoping for a makan-non-stop trip, it turned out to be more of a touristy trip. Not that I minded but I missed out on my laksa in Lorong Selamat which I had 7 years ago. But oh, we still ate and ate! We found this corner coffee shop at Pulau Tikus (which isn't an island but an area along Jalan Burmah) which had fantastic char kuey tiow, java mee, wantan mee and appam. One of the mornings I actually had the ckt, java mee and appam all in one sitting. Yums...

Anyway, I forgot to bring my SD card so I couldn't take much photos. Had to borrow from KS so he couldn't take photos after that. So I don't have any photos of the National Park and anyway, we were supposed to go there to walk on the suspension bridge but it was closed due to some rat virus found along the river near it. We walked a short way along the beach and saw, well, the beach. 

We initially told KS there wasn't much to do up in Penang Hill and I went along merely to accompany my family. But we were pleasantly surprised when we did a short walk and discovered lovely Tudor houses along the way and felt like we were in another country altogether! We ended up rushing for time and not even seeing other parts of Penang Hill so at least there's a reason to go back there again next time. Here are some shots from our Penang Hill trip:

Beneath the train tracks
Huge millipede. Wanted to touch it to make it curl up but was told one can get pretty itchy after that.
I don't know if they're mating but thought this looked pretty painful.
Found this HUGE spider!
Another angle of the spider to show the colourful underside of it. Beautiful!
I never knew there were so many lovely Tudor styled houses on Penang Hill! Well, this wasn't very Tudor-ish but didn't manage to get a nice shot of the others.

We were supposed to cover Penang Hill and Kek Lok Si temple in the same afternoon but since Penang Hill took up a bit more time than we expected, we went to the temple the next day instead. The ascending pathway which has shops after shops usually crammed with people was eerily empty. Perhaps being a weekday, there was hardly anyone there. Some shops didn't even open but I guess since they ALL were selling the same things, it didn't really matter.

Empty streets going up Kek Lok Si temple. I remembered it to be a bustling place but now... But this was on a Tuesday so maybe the weekends are busier.

Actually, I really wonder why they all sell the same things. If it's some gaudy sarong material made into a dress, at least 5 shops would be selling the exact same item. And they've been selling the same things for decades. Well, I guess since they're obviously surviving, there must be a market there for such items.

All in all, we had a good time visiting Penang again. Next time, there will be laksa at Lorong Selamat.


Life On Planet Mum said...

Where is your write up on Taman Negara...want some pictures? That was a special time indeed. Thanks for organizing it.

jo said...

i don't have any pics on the national park. send to me lah if you have.