Day 8 in Penang

Penang Travel Blog

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I like the fact that Georgetown has a free shuttle that takes people around touristy sites. I wil definitely avail of this. First off, I need to get breakfast. Will update this later.

5:30pm update:

For breakfast, I just walked one block from my hotel, and viola I found some hawker stalls! I had some Chinese keow seow? (I have to confirm the sp on this), basically it's flat noodles with shrimp and spices on it (very yummy!), a cup of kopi (see, now I drink coffee only when I travel), and a kaya toast. Kaya I think it's the latik (sweet sauce) from coconut. That was for RM7.50, about almost US$2.50.

After breakfast: I went back to the hotel, checked out from the RM58 room, to a single bed RM28.00. See, I didn't know they have this type of room. It has centralized a/c. My room last night, the expensive one, has its own a/c and it was blazing cold that at some point I had to turn it off! It has its own bathroom, queen-sized bed and a TV with only 1 channel that was showing a scary movie! Not something I'd like to do on my vacation.

At the free bus shuttle station: I started asking this guy at the station if this is the right stop, and he said something incomprehensible to me. A Moslem lady was also waiting for the MPP bus, she joined in the conversation and the next thing I know, she was willing to take me around touristy sites in Penang! I said "Seriously? Aren't you going somewhere? Don't you have anything to do today?"

She said not to worry about her, she's retired, and she just wants to take a break from cooking for her kids, and just want to walk around. Hmmn. Well, she sounds like a nice lady, and with caution I thought, what do I get to lose? Our first stop was actually right there, Ft Cornwalls, across the bus stop!

Amina, that's her name, she mentioned she has never been to the Fort after living in Penang for 30 years! Oh wow, so we gotta go! I was busy taking pictures of the entrance and the next thing she said, "I already paid for your entrance fee". It's like 'oh no, you don't have to do this. How much did you pay?" She refused the payment and we proceeded on touring the Fort.

Fort Cornwalls was built when Captain Francis Light first landed on Penang. This ancient sentinel of George Town stands guard over the island's cape. We saw a prison cell, a few cannons facing Malacca Strait, a little Catholic church, plus a few sites that I forgot.

We talked a lot, I learned that she worked for the Malaysian govt for 30 years, and she's only 50 something years old. She's been retired since 1996, in her 40s!

Then we also walked by the Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower, a 60 ft tower built in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. Each foot represents a year in Queen's reign.

We keep walking and she thought we would take a ferry to Butterworth, and not get off the ferry. I thought that was refreshing. From the brochure, Penang Ferry started operations in 1920, making it the oldest ferry service in Malaysia. These iconic ferries ply between the Sebang Perai mainland and Penang Island, carrying both passengers and vehicles. It's just like WA State ferries, except the Malaysian ferries are colorful!

As we said goodbye, she showed me the buses to the airport from the ferry terminal. We parted at Comptar Station, and where I had my lunch of shrimp beehon and mixed fruit and melon kachang. Pics to be posted sometime as soon as I get my mac plugged in again.

Then I went to visit 3 Asian temples. Bus 101 took me to the first one which was something not in my plan. I will tell you its name once I see it from my photos :)

The 2nd temple I visited was Wat Chayamangkalaram - very impressive! It's a Thai buddhist temple built in 1845 on land granted by Queen Victoria as a gesture of goodwill to Thailand. That must be nice to be presented with a temple, I would be flattered myself if someone offered me a temple :) But I guess you have to really special.
This temple has one of the largest reclining buddha statues in the world. Spectacular to behold, the statue is completely gold-plated and measures 33 meters in length.

Across the street (which I really thankful for so I don't have to walk or take a bus!), is the Burmese temple. This is also along Lorong Burma. It's always the favored venue for the Songkoran festivities - Thailand's traditional festivities. Buddhist monks were there too, and I chatted with them about meditation. The temple also features a Bodhi tree, wishing pong, a 200 yr old well, and a pagoda.

I was afraid I will miss the last trip for the free shuttle in Comptar so I called it a day.

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I woke up at 430am today, mainly because I went to bed early. Today, I plan to fly to KL, but flights look full until 1800. I will check again. Also, 2 of my lodging plans have failed, which means I need to find a room for myself. I looked at rooms last night, and it was very dismal, a lot of them are booked on Saturday nights.

Perhaps I should stay one more day in Penang? I dont' know, but I would end up one day only in KL. Is one day enough? I don't think so. Since I have 6 hours to kill, maybe I'll bus to see that CHinese temple outside town, or bus to the beach - Batu Ferenghi. It is supossed to be the Cancun of Penang. We'll see, will update later.
17,130 km (10,644 miles) traveled
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photo by: Aurora78