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.
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!
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.