Cruising the Island

Penang Travel Blog

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The Batik process in progress
I've not been too adventurous so far whilst in Penang so I decided to get out there and do a bit of proper touring around the island. Yesterday I was roped into being an 'official' photographer for my cousin's school cross country race in the Botanical Gardens. We got there at 8.30am and it was already 30+ degrees and very very humid. I don't know how the kids ran in that heat and a couple were struggling by the end. None the less, it was a good morning and I got some good pics for them to use in school.

Today I called on Mr Kong, the crazy taxi driver, and asked him to take me on a trip around the island. We set off up the coast, but unfortunately the views weren't that good as it was raining. Our first stop was at a small factory where I saw the art of batik being carried out.
A crazy man riding a motorbike along the rickety old jetty
The batik technique is where they take melted wax and apply it to cloth before dipping it in dye. It is used on a variety of products including pictures, dresses and hand fans. I didn't think I needed to buy anything though as I bought a picture in Thailand and I don't think a dress or a hand fan would really suit me!

Our next stop was a little fishing village called Teluk Bahang. It is a very quiet place and has two jetties that stretch out into the water. The old one is a bit rickety to say the least, but that didn't stop someone driving along it on a motorbike at around 30mph! I didn't even want to walk on it, let alone get on a bike! From there we moved onto the Fruit Farm. They grow all sorts of fruits in this place and I was taken on a tour of some of the more unusual ones. A couple of my favourites were the Acerola fruit which is about the size of a cherry but has 32 times the amount of vitamin C that you'd find in a normal orange - great if you've got a cold.
The Acerola fruit - 32 times the vitamin C found in an orange
The Miracle fruit is my dream fruit. It makes everything you eat taste sweet for two hours afterwards. I tested it and it works! There is one other fruit that Malaysia is well known for - the Durian. It is a bit bigger than a pineapple and is covered in thorns. It has quite a nice taste, but smells like it's come out of someone's toilet! As a result, it is banned from many hotels and restaurants as it puts people off their food!

On our way to Balik Pulau we paused near a very picturesque waterfall. Because it has been raining a lot today there was a lot of water flowing so some of the snaps I grabbed came out quite well. Balik Pulau is one of the other main towns on the island, but still only has about 30,000 people living in it.
One of the many waterfalls in Penang
Mr Kong bought me a traditional Malay lunch which was based on chicken and rice with an interesting sauce - very tasty indeed. I'm not used to taxi drivers buying me lunch when they take me on a journey, but I guess it's a bit different out here in Malaysia.

I've eaten so much this last week and not done much exercise so I think I'm getting a bit unfit. I think a nice dip in the pool will help that so that's where I'm heading. I will write again once I reach Australia next week.

Mr Mark
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The Batik process in progress
The Batik process in progress
A crazy man riding a motorbike alo…
A crazy man riding a motorbike al…
The Acerola fruit - 32 times the v…
The Acerola fruit - 32 times the …
One of the many waterfalls in Pena…
One of the many waterfalls in Pen…
One of the fishing boats preparing…
One of the fishing boats preparin…
storm clouds spreading down over t…
storm clouds spreading down over …
No idea what this flower is called…
No idea what this flower is calle…
Penang
photo by: Aurora78