Published: June 20th 2011June 20th 2011
There were a few reasons why I have come back to Penang for the fourth time. Most importantly to get a 60 day visa for Indonesia (visa info below), the food, a few sites I haven't seen, and it is on the way to Langkawi where I will catch up with my good friend Sheikh. And I forgot to mention, I really like the place.
First thing I did was to head to the Indonesian consulate at 10am to hand over the required documents, which were:
Passport, proof of inbound and outbound flights, photocopy of main page and Malaysian entry stamp page of passport, one photo with a red background, and RM170.
It only took me about 30 minutes the first day to get and fill out the visa form, hand it in, and after it is checked they call you up and you pay the money. The visa was ready the next day at 3pm, all I had to do was hand over my receipt and they gave me my passport straight away. Very easy.
Penang is very famous for the quality and variety of its food, and for the 6 days I was
there I made the most of it. I predominantly ate Indian because I am afraid when I am in Indonesia it will be a lot harder to find, and probably more expensive. I had 4 meals at Restoran Kapitan which were all fantastic and great value at a few dollars each. My favourite was the Kashmiri Naan with the sweet mint and salsa sauce. I have included a few pictures with the prices I paid for the total meals, just to make you all jealous.
The first night I was in town I stumbled across a free chinese opera that was being performed in front of one of the temples. They had a stage set up with musicians and the performers were dressed in some beautiful costumes but unfortunately there were only about 15 of us watching. I hung around for about an hour and a half enjoying the show and taking some photos before heading back to my guesthouse. The next day I visited the snake temple because I was curious and found it to be a little disappointing, although I wasn't expecting too much. The small snake exhibit next door I thought was a lot better. They
had a decent range of snakes about and most of them seemed quite active, they also had a few rabbits (food?), a turtle, and some monkeys. On one of the days I went down to the main tourist beach of Batu Ferringhi to have a go on a jetski. Surprisingly it was my first time riding one and I absolutely loved it despite only having 20 minutes to hoon around. Afterwards I spent about an hour watching the Malays parasailing which was quite fun. A lot of people say that Malaysia is a little expensive but I disagree, I spent $50 this day and this is what I spent it on: accommodation in single room, 3 good restaurant meals with drinks, packet of cigarettes, return bus ticket 15km each way, 20 minutes on jetski, good quality baseball cap, and a pair of bad quality sunglasses. Not too bad. I also went to the national park and walked to Monkey beach and back again. Surprisingly I didn't see any monkeys at the beach but I saw quite a few along way as well as a large turtle swimmimg and a couple of different types of eagles. The last thing I did
was to go up to the top of Penang Hill via the newly refurbished funicular railway. It was a decent ride and nice and cool on the top of the hill, but I thought a little overpriced at $10 return.
I caught the 8.30am ferry to Langkawi and met up with a couple of lovely chinese girls, Rachel and Becky along the way. My friend Sheikh picked us up from the airport and after a brief stop at his restaurant we made our way to Cenang to our guesthouses. I stayed at Rainbow Lodge again which is great value and in a nice and quiet location not too far from the beach. That afternoon I had a swim at the beach and played some cricket with some of the local boys.
The next day Rachel, Becky, and I hired a car and drove to a lot of the sites around the island. We took in the oriental village at the base of the cable car before going to the Seven Wells Waterfall and onto a waterfall on the other side of the island where we had a pleasant dip in the cool water. Once we were
dry we drove to my favourite beach on the island where we had a swim and enjoyed the small waves. The rain started so we drove to Tanjung Rhu beach to have something to eat and then walked across a sandbar as far as possible before getting in the car and driving back to Cenang.
While at the beach the following day I ran into Jonas, a German guy staying at my guesthouse, and we decided to have a go at the jetskis. After getting a pretty good deal we had a lot of fun on the water for about 20 minutes before unfortunately having to return them. Another day I hired a motorbike and drove around the island having a look at the Berjaya Resort, Datai golf course, having lunch at Sheikh's restaurant, and riding to the top of Gunung Raya but unfortunately the views were obscured by clouds. On my last full day I took my camera up parasailing, unfortunately the pictures didn't turn out to well but I still enjoyed the ride.
Tomorrow I have to take a long bus journey to the airport near KL where I will catch a plane early wednesday morning
for Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
There are more photos below