Back to our best…
Time for a whole load of positivity!
Day 268 – Tuesday 14th February 2017
For the first time in what felt like forever we woke up feeling fresh this morning after getting a decent nights sleep, so had breakfast then picked up a few maps and set off on our way.
The historic city of George Town, an official World Heritage Site, has seven different areas – the Cultural Enclave, Clan Jetties, Waterfront, Leisure Zone, Enterprise Zone, Heritage Traders and Business District. Collectively the areas cover almost 260 hectares of land and include 109 individual points of interest, of which we managed to see about 30 in the space of three hours. At first we tried to plan a route, but got so distracted by side roads and alleyways that we found ourselves aimlessly wandering in the end:
For lunch we stopped at Hai Man Town restaurant, where we had a great view of the Penang Bridge and Selatan Strait (the channel that separates Penang Island from Mainland Peninsular Malaysia), when we realised that we’d both completely forgotten that is was Valentines Day. Who said romance is dead eh?
After eating it didn’t take long for us to work out that one day in George Town alone doesn’t do Penang enough justice, so we headed back to the hostel to extend our stay by an extra night. The decision to hang around meant that we didn’t have to worry about packing away, so we even had time to freshen up before dinner. I genuinely couldn’t tell you the last time I showered twice in a day, how bad is that?
For dinner we considered giving the street food a go but ended up being swayed into Hong Kee Wan Thun Mee where they had Wan Than Mee (BBQ Pork Noodle Soup) as the first thing on their menu. The portion size was huge, and by the time we’d finished eating we were in no fit state to do anything but go to bed. Neither of us had a problem with that though, especially having finally found ourselves back to our winning ways!
Day 269 – Wednesday 15th February 2017
Today we wanted to experience the other half of Penang so took a taxi to the National Park on the opposite side of the island. Really we should have though it through and gone either earlier or later to avoid the hottest part of the day, but instead we arrived at just gone midday. Oh well.
There are two main beaches inside the National Park, Monkey Beach and Turtle Beach, which inhabit monkeys and turtles retrospectively (funny that). We didn’t have time to do both because they were in opposite directions, so chose Turtle Beach, because we’ve seen loads of monkeys already but only one turtle. Also turtles aren’t known for being particularly vicious or stealing from people so it was a no brainer really.
The hike to get there was meant to take an hour and a half but ended up taking us nearly two hours because somewhere along the way we took a wrong turn. We didn’t expect to see much when we arrived because we’d read up on peak seasons and unfortunately come at the wrong time, but the beach was lovely and we found a turtle sanctuary too where we got to spend a while with injured or vulnerable turtles who had been rescued:
We decided not to swim in the sea as there were jellyfish warning signs dotted around, so headed back (the right way this time) to George Town to get ourselves organised ahead of check out in the morning. We buried our heads in books to work out where to go after Penang, then packed everything away and booked ourselves an onwards ticket.
It was our last chance to give street food a try this evening so we walked to Kimberley Street and tried Chow Kueh Teow, a local delicacy consisting of shrimp paste, whole prawns, blood cockles and bean spouts. I’m not usually a fan of anything fishy but it was actually really good, and made a nice change from the chicken or pork which we’ve been having a lot of lately.
We didn’t quite eat ourselves to sleep this time but an early night was always on the cards because we’re on the move again tomorrow. I doubt it’ll be another boring travel day post though – just wait, you’ll see!