Lets go fly a kite
Trip Start Jan 02, 2009
19Trip End Jun 21, 2009
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Where I stayed
JB Guest House
After some well earned beach bound relaxation in Langkawi we took a very steady ferry trip (good for the sunburned skin) for the 3 hour journey to Penang. We arrived to the usual glut of touting taxi drivers and since Emma had read the guides so thoroughly so as to be informed that the drivers MUST use their meters then we were prepared to get a reasonably priced cab to our guesthouse. Emma went on the offensive when told by the first tout that he would not use the meter..
The guesthouse, Hutton Lodge next to Georgetown's Chinatown area, was the best value we'd had by far in Malaysia considering how we got our own room, breakfast included and how clean the communal bathrooms and areas were kept. Very impressed. We investigated and tasted the Georgetown area for the duration of our two day stay in Penang, not having time to venture out around the rest of the island. Emma's distrust of the Lonely Planet escalated in Penang, the information on the buses around and out of the city were all wrong! The full day we spent there was mainly taken up by visiting the hill station and the tacky buddhist monument and pagoda "local" to it, about 3 km (LP didn't mention the bus connection that would have helped), so quite a tiring walk in the heat of the day and protecting our already sore and peeling selves. But at least the slog up the hill was done by the funicular railway and it was much cooler at the top. Great views over Georgetown looking down, views of massive spiders on massive webs strung between trees and leccy pylons when looking up!
The following day we took the bus from Penang to Melacca, a 'looooong' 6 hour bus journey down the mainland's east coast
The next day was spent exploring Melacca, which was a Portuguese colony, then Dutch and finally British. While our fellow Europeans built churches and fortified walls we decided to blow them up when we arrived so very little still stands. Melacca has a quaint town city which masks the fact that it is actually quite a large city. We visited a Nonya house museum, they were very rich people, the men were chinese traders and the women were Malay. The house we visited was beautiful all done up in teak and mother of pearl!! In the afternoon we took a Trishaw ride, which turned out to be a bit of a disaster. Our cyclist, Cedric, took us through the streets of Chinatown and on to the traditional Melaccan houses along the river. Very pretty, however unknown to us Cedric has organised a guided tour of the house with the owner, who had lived there all his life
We left the next day for Johur Bahru which I found out later is the crime capital of Malaysia and a bit of a dump!! Hey ho! The bus took 3 hours and got a bus from the station straight to our accomodation, which was on the outskirts but ideal and it was very happily placed next to Matts one true love Domino's Pizza!! Needless to say we had Pizza for dinner that night, there large pizzas are small in Scottish terms but I think it cured Matts craving.
The next day was my Birthday, now closer to 30 than 20!! We set off for the Kite Festival in Pasir Gudang about 40 minutes on a bus from our hostel. It took place on a very windy hill - ideal really!! There were lots of really massive animal shaped kites and Spongebob Square Pants!! We watched them trying to launch a massive lizzard for about an hour and eventually getting it stuck in the floodlights - very amusing and dangerous according to Matt. We spent the entire day there, watching the various competitions and hilarity of them trying to get the lizard down!! At the end of the day they did stunts to music which was very cool and also a little funny when they all got tangled up!!! That night, Matt the romantic that he is made me noodles and boiled eggs for my Birthday dinner - I'm a lucky girl!