Penang, Again (Part Three)

The only important item on our agenda on our final (well, kind of) day in Penang included heading over to the embassy again at 2 pm, so we spent the morning snapping photos in a temple on Love Lane and the Protestant Cemetery before somewhat inadvertently ending up at the National Park we’d heard so much about from various sources.

So at this national park, or Teman Negara Pulau Pinang, one of the main draws is a “monkey beach” all the way at the end of the trek. Alas, we didn’t have time to go quite that far, but we did see a few monkeys so I’m satisfied. It was nice to spend some time in nature after our big urban experience.

fishing village/station in the middle of the water?

there 'e is!

heyyy, another one!

gorgeous mosque between george town and batu ferringhi

When we got back to town we went to a vegetarian restaurant Mister Jim kept telling us about (a huge cheap buffet that we enjoyed. I wish I could provide helpful information like a name or directions but it would sound something like, “Ehhhh… I think it started with an ‘E’? And you turn right at the street after the stoplight on the street you turn left on at the end of Jalan Chulia.” And that just wouldn’t be of any use at all.) and then moseyed around town. I got a pretty white dress for 20RM (200B; $6.70).

Then we went back to Jim’s in order to be shipped out to the embassy. We’d asked him to book us spots on the 4 pm bus back to Hat Yai and he said he would. We got our passports back (my new visa is on the very last page that states, “For Endorsements and Allowances Only.” Should I be concerned?), and were back with an hour and a half to spare, during which we had a beer. At five to 4 Jim came to announce that something was wrong with our bus (overbooked? stopped by police?) and we’d instead have to take the one at 5 the next morning. There wasn’t much we could do so we accepted that 20RM room we’d turned down our first night (bringing our tally of different guesthouses to three in as many nights) and proceeded to blow the 200RM we had left on pizza (this time from the nearby Ecco Café— very authentic, very delicious), egg burgers, french fries, and of course, more beer. Damn you overbooked bus! Damn you!

at jim's, in my new white dress.

the decor at jim's is very jim-oriented. here are some (censored) quotes. his quotes.

and here's some photos of him: a man of many hats and hairstyles.

jim as we knew him (in my new shades!).

our room at jim's. despite initial fears, no signs of bedbugs have arisen yet. it was hot, but we actually slept alright.

The bus the following morning was more reliable and the trip home was as easy as the trip there. We enjoyed ourselves but I suppose I wouldn’t mind if that was our last trip to Penang. However we will most likely be stopping through Kuala Lumpur on our way back from Bali in March, which I’m looking forward to greatly.


Penang, Again (Part Two)

Here’s where I welcome you to my new blog and then quickly proceed with the storytelling, since it looks like this is becoming a THREE part affair. (Just so many pictures, you know?!)

I believe I left you as we were cruising the urban coast to Batu Ferringhi, the main beach on the island. We went a little further than we’d gone by bus last time, since we had rented a motorbike and such was our prerogative. As we found last time the water was a bit suspect (very murky? gooey spots on the bottom?) but the surroundings were nice and you can never argue with a bit of time laid out on the sand. After spending a bit of time on one spot of the beach we got on the bike and started heading back, pulling over at two more secluded places we’d seen along the way.

staircase to secluded beach #1

another big lizard!

at the third beach.

post-gallivanting beer. hooray tiger!

As I mentioned in the previous post, we had big plans to see a movie at First Avenue’s 8th floor cinema. The movie was Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows and it was playing at 6 pm… just enough time to rush back to our *new* guesthouse (we found a room for 30RM [300B; $10] at the Love Lane Inn), shower up, and move out.

cruising back. this shot got me a honk and a big thumbs up from the occupants of that blue car!

steal beatles shirt from clothesline or take picture of wayne on bike next to beatles shirt on clothesline?... hmmmm

oh yeah, had to change money as well. this was a great place to do it!

I actually quite enjoyed the movie, and it’s always fun to indulge in a cinema experience (though I think the whole thing, popcorn and soda included, ended up being less than $10 between the two of us… Malaysia felt more expensive than Thailand but I guess it’s still not that expensive!). And the icing on the cake of the evening? Popping in at Sakae Sushi for dinner. This place was nuts… each table was decked out with an iPad from which you’d order and simultaneously plates were whizzing about on a conveyor belt to be plucked at your leisure. It was a fun time.

Though stuffed to the gills we even managed to split a cup of gelato from a gelateria in the basement. On our way back to the guesthouse I was joking that we were like real town folk come to the big city because that’s surely how it felt. To be read with a thick Southern twang: “And we went to the top of this real tall buil-dang and we saw a moovie in the thee-ay-ter and we ate this weird fish that wudn’t even friiied up and we ate some aaahce cream. All in all it was a real good time y’all.”