A Different Sort of Island

Trip Start Mar 08, 2010
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Trip End Sep 04, 2010


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Flag of Malaysia  , Pinang,
Monday, May 17, 2010

After the bliss of Pulau Tioman, and the craziness of Shah Alam, Terry and I hopped on a bus headed to the wild northwest of Malaysia. The island of Penang, aka the Pearl of the Orient, is one of the most popular places with tourists in Malaysia. We didnt really know what there was to see there (we never do as we didnt bring a guidebook) but we followed the herd of backpackers headed in that direction. We spent the first night at Old Penang Guesthouse, a remodeled colonial building that was a steal for only 50 MYR a night. We wandered around the area, where most of the backpackers guesthouses are located, and were only mildly impressed. As a World Heritage sight, Penang had promised beauty. The Love Lane area delivered nothing of the sort. 

The next afternoon, our couchsurfing host, Su-Lyn, picked us up and took us around the downtown and little India areas, which must be why Unesco awarded them World Heritage status. Finally we saw the beauty of Penang! Unfortunately, the heat was so awful that we cut our tour short to seek hydration. On a cooler day, you could spend a good amount of time wandering around colonial Georgetown.

We ate at a small restaurant in little india. When we walked in, we were the only two white people there, but soon a huge group of American tourists walked in. It was a school group from Lyon College (which for those who dont know is right around the corner from Harding University, my alma mater). I love how small this world of ours is proving to be!

Had a lovely chat with a group of Juniors on a trip with one of their Malaysian professors.

After lunch Su-Lyn introduced us to Ice Kacang, a dessert combining shaved ice, sweet corn, red beans, tapioca & ice cream. AMAZING. 

We had wandered around enough for the day and spent the rest of the evening chilling with Su-Lyn at her place. 

The next day (Sunday) we had a lay in, then cooked black pepper chicken for lunch as a way to thank Su-Lyn for having us. It was delicious, but you're not surprised, surely? After 10 weeks of eating out, Terry and I have not lost our culinary touch.

That night we met up with two of Su-Lyn's friends to watch the new Robin Hood movie. If I had payed a western movie ticket price, I would have been pissed. Not worth it. For 2 GBP, I can feel ok with myself.

Today we are off to the Cameron Highlands, which promise a relief from the heat, tea and strawberries.

Will it deliver?
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