Around and Around Penang

The first decision of Wednesday 3 August was to stay for another night in Georgetown. That done, we header up the road for breakfast and then came back and booked our travel to Ko Samui – minibus and then overnight bus and then an early morning ferry. Business sorted, we headed off out for the day – catching a bus from our street to an extraordinary Buddhist temple Kek Lok Si. It extends well up a hillside – it seems like the temple that grew. There is an interesting gauntlet up the path and steps at the bottom through a zillion souvenir stalls. Then various temples and a restaurant. All very peaceful and relaxed. Finally a cablecar ride to the top level and a 36m high bronze statue of the goddess of mercy. On the way up I bought a pouch for my camera and Wyn bought some sunglasses and on the waydown I bought a new top, bringing the total of my tops to two. We also stopped for lunch a the restaurant. The food was good and the air conditioning was great!

We walked on and found a bus stop and a bus to the funicular railway to the top of Penang Hill. Trouble was that the train had just been updated and so had the fares and we realised that we didn’t have enough money on us! Darn. It was another bus trip back to Georgetown and a visit to a bank and a trudge back to our guesthouse. Past a very naught pastry shop. Pastries for tea and an early night – we were exhausted.

Next morning we were up early and packed up and checked out and off back to Penang Hill. The railway is very steep – the track looks exactly like the Denniston Incline. In fact, it would be a great project to install a similar railway up the Denniston Incline (near Westport) to give tourists more to do. It was a very hot day and the views from the top were limited by the haze and smog. Wyn spotted some monkeys off in the trees and later I spotted a tiny bird that didn’t look a lot bigger than a butterfly.

Eventually we headed back to Georgetown and gathered up our belongings and waited for the bus to whisk us north to Thailand.


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