The perimeter of Penang
Penang is a small island, only 285 sq. KM, with a large array of places to see and things to do. Yesterday Mike and I decided to hit the road and cover the perimeter of Penang on a motorbike. Sam from "Sam's (expensive) Bookstore" hooked us up with a motorbike, advising us to buy a map of the island, something we stupidly ignored. Twenty minutes later, after driving around in circles, we stopped back at Sams and bought a map and embarked on our trip.
Again we were lost but this time it was a blessing as we snaked our way through narrow streets lined with street food stalls, wide highways lined with apartment block highrises, through suburbs where the wealthier have homes. Our first stop was the Temple of One thousand Buddhas, aptly named for the 1000 buddhas lining the wall of the Pagoda. The temple has fantastic views over the city and the largest bronze Buddha statue "of its kind" (not sure what that means) in the world. From there we made our way to Penang Hill where a cable car was first placed for the British who prefered to live in the hills to escape the heat of Georgetown. The Botanical Gardens were next in line where we strolled through manicured lawns, came across the largest lizard I've ever seen and terrified ourselves into thinking that a few monkeys playing were about to attack us.
After this we spun the bike up the East Coast where we ate traditional Laksa and spring rolls for lunch, across the North coast lined with white sandy beaches and high rise hotels, through the West coast interior where we stopped at a Tropical fruit farm and ate the sweetest fruit I've ever tasted, to waterfalls, through Orchards, next to dams and on top of mountains. It was beautiful, free, exotic, exciting and invigorating to see the whole island, the diversity of the landscape and the various sites. I wholeheartedly recommend a tour of the island to any prospective visitors.