After breakfast this morning at NS Nasi Kandar it was time to get out and have another adventure around Penang on the bike. We ventured towards the Indian Temple near the Botanic Gardens. It’s interesting driving along the roads to see the art linked to Thaipusam. There’s Indian flowers and all different designs many a few metres in diameter. The traffic is so crazy here I wonder what sort of madman braved the traffic to make them. We saw our first accident this morning with a car turning left from the middle lane into a bike going straight in the left lane, luckily they both weren’t going fast and no one was hurt.
We cruised around Georgetown checking out the abandoned houses. It’s amazing the amount of big stately homes, mansions, schools in the Georgian style that have fallen into disrepair and become abandoned. I would love to see them restored to their former glory.
We spent the rest of the morning cruising around Georgetown checking out the local art. Cats were the main theme we were looking for and we found heaps even some not on the map. One stop on the list was a painting of Grandma and Grandson with big happy faces at Chew Jetty. The Clan wharves are home to the Chinese Clans who made their fortune through trade or fishing and have wooden and tin homes built on stilts over the water. As it was low tide the ribs of lots of old wooden boats were visible sticking out of the mudflats and it made me wonder about the boats and the history behind the boats.
We bought a Durian Icecream for me and a frozen Yogurt for Michele. Durian is the King Of Fruit in Asia (Mangosteens are the queen) and they have a unique smell and taste and you either love or hate them there is no in between. I’m a lover of course and Michele just doesn’t get why I love them. Seeing me happily eating my Durian Icecream was too much for Michele and finally her curiosity got the better of her and she just had to try my Durian Icecream. She didn’t enjoy it and continued not to enjoy it for the next few hours every time she burped hahaha
We stopped for lunch at a little Chinese shop on the corner of Labuh Chulia and Labuh Carnarvon. It was so packed we asked an old Chinese couple if we could share their table and they invited us to join them. We started chatting to the old man about motorbikes and he said he used to ride an Ariel motorcycle back in the old days. He told us that we had to be back in Georgetown at Christmas or New Years because at midnight hundreds of motorcycles parade down the Labuh Chulia.
After lunch we decided to check out the Colonial Cemetery on Jalan Sultan Ahmed Shah.The colonial cemetery is the final resting place of many of the early straits colonists who ended their days at Penang including Captain Francis Light the founder of the british colony on Penang in 1786 who died of Malaria in 1794. Its interesting reading the gravestones and the language used to describe the dear departed. The cemetery is divided into two sections Protestant and Catholic and is situated amongst the largest Frangipani trees imaginable covered in ferns which give them a real peaceful feeling. Many of the concrete graves and mausoleums have cracked and degraded due to age and trees but it’s great to see that there has been a recent attempt to repair some of the damage.
This afternoon saw us don our safari gear for a visit to the Prawn Safari Park. Michele had been champing at the bit to try her hand at prawn fishing after we stumbled into the place two days ago by accident. The Prawn Safari Park is two concrete tanks 3 metres by 5 meters filled with water and surrounded by Asian men with poker stares. Everyone watching to see what everyone else is doing in an effort to gain an edge. It’s almost like watching some of the gunfight scenes in a spaghetti western. Fishing is normally about man verses beast but here it’s about fisherman verses fisherman . We hired a rod, bait, bait board, knife and cloth for RM16 per hour and found the worst spot at the tank. I baited the line and set Michele up and after 30 minutes she had had enough fun and handed over the rod. 30 minutes of me chanting “get on my line” I surrendered the rod and decided if I wanted prawns I’d go and buy them.lol If you want to see some footage of the mild fishing action check out our face book page
A ride out past Batu Ferringhi was exhilarating in the traffic. This is one place where you need to be watching all the time. Rough roads, windy roads with blind corners, people pulling out, people cutting you off and bikes passing you on either side. You just have to keep a good line, watch the road, watch the traffic.
We had tea overlooking the beach probably our last one by the sea until Vietnam in 5 weeks. Then a leisurely cruise back to Perigien Gurney for a Mango Milk Sago but alas the stall was closed so we had to settle on Pandan Pancakes and Coconut Pandan Rice flour balls with a palm sugar lump inside, hmm interesting.
That was it for the day tomorrow we are legging it to Thailand.