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Published: August 29th 2017
Geo: 5.41721, 100.336
Malaysia is growing on me day by day. The past couple of days have been crazily busy that I haven't had time to update on what's been happening.
I'll start from 3 days ago and mission get to the fruit farm, attempt 2.
Result: success! The wonderful hostel people called the farm who said that I could go to the batik factory and ask the staff to call the fruit farm who would then send a shuttle bus for me. So off I trot and 1.5 hours on a super air-conditioned bus later I arrive at the factory and sure enough 15 minutes after this my shuttle arrives -service! The fruit farm had over 250 species of tropical fruit (who knew there were so many?!) - durian trees, dragon fruit which grow on cacti, pepper apple trees, guava trees, coconut and banana trees, and jack fruit bushes, to give you a small flavor (haha!). The guide was great and told us which health properties each tree has; I can't remember exactly but the message was to 'eat more fruit!'. My favorite part was the fruit buffet at the end of the tour- I ate 3 giant plates of fruit
and had a jackfruit, mango and guava smoothie. Vitamin C craving = satisfied.
After this I was very happy to walk the 8km down the mountain and back to civilisation as it was such a beautiful day and a really pretty road surrounded by trees and birds. However, an Aussie woman I was on the tour with had rented a car and driver and insisted I go with them. Luckily she wasn't a cricket fan and had no idea about the Ashes! On our way down we stopped at a butterfly farm which was basically a giant greenhouse where butterflies fly around you and for some reason kept landing on my leg - it tickles! There were so many species and all were really beautiful. We saw the place where the butterflies hatch from their cocoons (I have no idea what this is called- hatchery?!) and actually saw some new butterflies emerge. They also had a giant iguana, plenty of tarantulas, and giant millipedes which are very creepy. After this we headed to a traditional fishing village where everyone lives on stilted houses in the ocean- very similar to the Chinese clan houses.
That evening there was an 'Armenia streets got
talent!' Event in Georgetown. I popped along, met some Malay-Chinese girls and we found a guy who had a little bench and a saw set up and let you make your own key rings out of wood. 30 minutes later and I had my little wooden creation. After this we got pulled into a Chinese Opera street performance where we became the new tourist attraction (I'm in so many peoples photos now!) and made small candies for the old Chinese people in Georgetown. By this point it was 9pm and we were a little hungry so we met up with some of their friends and walked for 2km in search of the 'best noodle soup in town'. Even so late at night this little street food market, tucked down a residential street, contained the most people I've seen in such a small area. The food was indeed delicious- noodles, spices, prawns, chicken, an egg and some veggies. One of the guys was a graphic designer who had been commissioned by the local government to do some street art. He took us to have a look and it was really cleverly done- I'll post a picture.
The following day (Sunday) I
met up with the guy I met in the spice garden a few days previously. We heard of a place that did great Roti Chanai so we found the stall by the side of a road and indeed it was delicious. There was a piece of roti and a huge bowl of chicken in a spicy sauce. You dip the roti in the sauce/wrap it around the chicken and eat. Georgetown on a Sunday turns into a giant street market. All the shops are closed but the streets are full of food, veggies and clothes, which makes for a very colorful, fun and local atmosphere. After wandering around we decided to take a trip on the ferry to look back at Georgetown and Penang island as a whole. Turns out the ports are also closed on Sundays; we saw a little of the island and a lot of the cargo ships waiting to unload on Monday.
The weather in Georgetown was fantastic- hot, sunny and not that humid. So Sunday afternoon we managed to somehow enter an Infiniti pool in a hotel complex which overlooked the ocean. The pool was wonderfully cold and salt water fed so great to swim
in. After walking for 16km that day and having swum many lengths, I spent the night sitting at the hostel chatting to the staff/ Dutch people who told me about all the problems between the Chinese Malay and Malay people, and Malay people and Singaporeans. Turns out that one group of people has a great mistrust and dislike of the other - somethings never make the news.
Right now I'm in the Cameron Highlands and it's beautiful, if a little cold. To save turning this entry into an essay, I'll write about that tomorrow/tonight.
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