Penang – An Island full of Surprises #bestinternship
10 Oct 2014
We continued our journey by bus from Kuala Lumpur and went to the island of Penang. When we arrived, our bus suddenly didn’t drive to the planned stop, but let us dismount at a larger bus terminal. In general it can be said that the local bus drivers are very creative in their choice of stations. It might happen that one dismounts directly in the jungle, in a knee-high puddle or on the highway guardrail. Immediately after getting off the bus a discussion sparked between Lucas and me. I was of the opinion that we should take a taxi to the accommodation just to avoid having to carry our luggage in the heat. Lucas wanted to experience an “adventure” and so we took the rapid bus and then walked through half Georgetown (capital of Penang) in tropical heat and with heavy luggage (which then also primarily Lucas carried) to our accommodation. But the joy was great on our arrival and the anger quickly forgotten as our hostess Mendee made us feel very welcome. After she showed us our very artistic room, we went back to the ground floor and she gave us advices for activities we should not miss while staying in Penang.
Equipped with two bikes, we headed out on the same evening in search of the famous murals of Georgetown. Various paintings adorn the facades of many buildings or are captured on walls that have already aged over the years. The nightly “detective game” was definitely one of the highlights of our trip so far! In the light of the street lamps we drove through the streets of Penang and searched the hidden images. People who already cleaned up their stalls on the roadside, greeted us smiling with a wave. This is without doubt a great part about Penang and Malaysia: the friendliness and honesty of the people (perhaps with the exception of taxi drivers who took us to the cleaners!).
The following day we drove to the National Park of Penang. Already the 45-minute bus ride gave us an insight into the nature, because we went directly through rainforest, but also right on the coast. Yet, what we experienced during our hike was indescribable. There was no real trail to German standard, but we had to climb over huge rocks, fight our way through bushes and jump over massive roots. Although these 2.5 hours (for 3km distance mind you!) were very arduous, they were also beautiful. Everything was green, the sun shone, the sea lashed against the rocks – a poem! We even discovered an iguana warming himself on a long branch in the sun.
But not only the trail itself was special, but also the goal. We came to a beach, which can normally only be reached by boat. Fine sand, the sea and palm trees (and mosquitoes) invited us to relax and cool off in the water.
Unfortunately, we did not only bring positive memories from the National Park. The next day we were both having a stomach upset and stayed in bed. Apparently it was not so smart to eat reheated food from the day before from a small road stand before the hike. Only with difficulty and medicine we managed to drive to the Penang Hill to spend the last night with a grand finale. The photos speak for themselves:
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