I had signed up for two tours here on Penang Island. One was the Penang Hill Tour which was very nice. The second was an island discovery tour where we drove the entire island, stopped at a fishing village and home crafted batik artistry and production. We also stopped at the approach to the longest bridge finished here in 2014 by the Chinese. There are two bridges. The first one was built back in the 1980s by South Korea. Very cool no matter what.
At the fishing village, I got to see an artist and craftsman building a boat with no blueprints or drawings. Only from a vision and memory he had. Very cool. Here is a picture of the boat and the artist. We talked for awhile about how he came about doing this, his inspiration, and materials. I was really impressed with his vision for what the boat should look like and how he envisioned the different states of completion.
This was my favorite stop but the drive around the island was very cool. There is a road that goes around the entire island built by the British and the island is quite the sight to see. The eastern part is very developed. The western part is farmland and green spaces. Very well planned out if you ask me. The driver was very knowledgeable in history and culture and provided a very nice running narrative of the island, cultures, food. Of course food always figures prominently since Penang is probably the most exciting and diverse foodie sight in all of Melaysia. We also compared Malaysia to Singapore a lot and he asked about Cambodia a lot.
We finished the island tour 5 hours later where I started and then I went out and walked a bit. My current mission is to find street art which around George Town is prevelant. I found this latest one which I thought was very cool.
Just to round out the day, I decided basically to have the same thing for dinner as I had for breakfast this morning minus the delicious Chinese coffee. One of my favorite dishes is the seafood Char Koay Teow which is spicy mix of goodness. Today I went to the New Lane Food Court and stalls area which is about 40 stalls or so that open in the evening. I sat at the public seating and had the dinner and a watermelon drink. Then I decided to stop at another stall and get the delicious chicken satay they make. I probably spent about $6.00 for it all if that. Wonderful food! I am getting so spoiled with street food here and finding the cool Nasi Kandar places where you get the best deal. I found one called Line Clear if you are ever here you must try. You start with a choice of white or briyani rice and then chicken, seafood, gravies and the plate is full of stuff. I usually get a freshly squeezed orange juice with it. I went to Line Clear two nights ago. Wonderful!
Now its evening time, weeks have spun by and I finished the two little tours I had set for myself. Now I have the other things to do like ride the ferry over to Penang Mainland and wander there and see a temple. I also will ride the public bus that is free around George Town. Finally I’ve shortlisted 4 museums to see next week to round out my stay.
Its been such a wonderful time here in Malaysia. If you have the chance come and spend a longer time. If you are from the US or perhaps other countries you can get 90 days here with a stamp in the passport and that’s it. I will have spent 81 days here!! Worth every day of wandering and a little bit of traveling here and there by bus and plane. I told the tour guide who also asked how I found his home country how much I had fallen in love with Malaysia and I need to come back. But the truth always has been wherever I go its not a place to settle or stay or do whatever. I like the long visits but living in a place is not the goal. Its the movement and the walking and the seeing of the places and then going back to the home base and see my friends and almost family at the wonderful LaLune Hotel in Phnom Penh and be given those big hugs when I go back.
So many places to see in 2019. Just slowly. Must go slowly. No rush here.