So after nearly a week in Siem Reap, Cambodia I headed to Malaysia where I would first visit my friend Yee Chea and her family in Pulau Penang which is an island just off the Northeast coast of Malaysia. I booked my ticket on AirAsia.com as it was the cheapest airline to fly out of Cambodia. If you ever fly out of Cambodia beware though! Every entry and exit requires visitors to pay a $25 fee to leave and enter the country. There is no fee to enter or leave the country by bus (not sure by boat) but there is a visa fee of course which is $25 also. The flight itself cost around $70 and I booked it online while I was in Thailand about a week before perhaps. The flight was quick and getting through immigration in Malaysia was a breeze. I arrived in Kuala Lumpur in the early afternoon and I had to make it to the bus terminal to buy my bus ticket to Penang. I hopped on a bus that took me downtown and dropped me off at the bus station. The ticket from the airport to downtown was around RM50 (Malaysian
Ringgit $15) and around about the RM 100 ($30) for a ticket to Penang. The bus ride itself was about 5 hours and when I arrived at the station my friend Yee Chea met me there and we headed to China town for a quick dinner and after that it was to her family's house where I would be staying for the next couple of nights.
The morning began with having breakfast with Yee Chea and here family at a local eatery in China town. It was quite similar to an experience I also had at a Chinese restaurant in the Chinatown in Atlanta. We had a full day of activities planned for the day. We first visited snake temple which is a local temple where there are many snakes and a reptile farm with many different species. There was a snake show there that we watched also. After that we visited Yee Chea's dad's scooter shop which is their family business. They seem like an extremely nice family! Later we headed the Penang Island botanical garden center which was on the other side of town. It took sometime to get there by car but it
was a really nice site to see! After spending an hour or two there we headed back to the other side of the island but not before stopping and having lunch beside the beach at a local eatery. I got to drink coconut milk out of a coconut, it was interesting but the taste was not so great actually. After that we headed down to an old historical fort where the British set up operations during Malaysia's colonial days. Interesting to see that the British also had influence all the way in SE Asia as well. Then after having our fun with history it was off to a park where we experienced a little bit of recreation. For dinner we headed downtown to a street that had many vendors selling various types of food. The street vendors in SE Asia (nearly every country here) are called hawkens and they actually sell pretty affordable and tasty treats. Many Americans may be concerned with food safety standards but you gotta try it sometime!
The day before we visited a travel agency and planned to take a day trip to a coral reef refuge center and spend the day
there snorkeling and enjoying the beach and reef. Lunch, snorkel gear, and boat transportation to and from the reef was provided and we had to leave around 6AM to be ready to get on the boat at around 7:30. The name of the island is Pulau Payar (Payar Island) and I highly recommend visiting there if you want to experience some great sights such as shark feeding and swimming amongst tropical fish. The cost of the trip was around $100 after conversion and it was well worth it I must say. I admit it was a little intimidating swimming with all those fish, and sharks nearby! The boat trip itself took about 2.5 hours and we spent the late morning swimming and exploring before eating lunch on the platform that was built above the reef. The marine park's name at Pulau Payar is called Langkawi if you want to google or bing it and explore it yourself. It was such a great day to explore the island and ocean. After reaching the main island at around 5PM we headed to Pizza Hut and I bought Yee Chea and her sister dinner for hosting me in their city. The next day
I would leave for Kuala Lumpur so it was bittersweet. 😞
Also I have started a twitter account! If you are not familiar with twitter it is a social networking site that allows you to "follow" people that you add to your follow list. Check out nearly up to the minute/day updates from me that I will send from my computer or cell phone. It is an easy way to see what I am doing. 😊
Here are the links to my other sites below including facebook.
Also the links to my pictures from Thailand are somehow broken so check out the photos from there with the links below.
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