Our long ferry voyage down the coast of Thailand from Krabi finally ended and we crossed the border into Malaysia between Koh Lipe and Langkawi. One last boat trip brought us into Georgetown, Penang on 26th February. In the planning stages it had seemed so adventurous to travel down through the Andaman Sea by public ferry, but in fact we realised that thousands of intrepid travellers are jumping on boats between the islands every day. Not quite as adventurous as we thought we were!!
On arrival we spent a couple of days staying in Georgetown checking out practical stuff like the main tourist attractions, where to find the best food and how the public transport worked. It felt important to be organised, as a long awaited day was just around the corner – Darcie would be travelling out to meet us to spend a couple of week’s holiday in Malaysia and Singapore.
We did a bit of sightseeing but found it quite difficult as Georgetown was not just hot, but sweltering hot – the hottest place we had been to so far! Between about 11.00 am and 4.00 pm the sun was so intense that we literally ran between any available patches of shade. We managed to do a bit of sightseeing and shopping around town, but two days later it was up with the backpacks again to take the bus along the coast to the resort of Batu Ferrenghi beach and our apartment at the “By The Sea” condo style complex .
THE NEXT DAY DARCIE ARRIVED!!!
What a long time we had waited to get a big hug from our lovely daughter! We went down to the airport to meet her and were so excited to see her eventually emerge from the arrivals hall.
In spite of having travelled for around 20 hours, Darcie didn’t seem too tired and actually managed to get a couple of hours around the pool on her first afternoon. In the evening we just had to to celebrate properly, so we temporarily gave up our frugal, backpacking ways and took her for a meal at the fanciest restaurant in town.
As Georgetown is famous for its eclectic foodie culture, we explored Little India and Chinatown and ate local street food specialties with Danny, who is a historian, artist and food enthusiast.
Another thing the town is well known for is it’s street art so we followed the “trail” around the most well known pieces:-
The next day we got a ride on the funicular which took us up to the viewpoint of Penang Hill for fantastic views over the city and across Penang Strait to the mainland.
Our apartment complex opened right onto the beach and had a lovely pool area which was a good thing as Darcie was able to have some “proper holiday” time relaxing on a sun bed and soaking up some rays!
One day we took a trip into the hills to visit a stunning butterfly park and check out a tropical fruit farm.
We have had difficulties with cyclone, political unrest and pandemic so far on our travels. We didn’t think we would need to add fire to the mix, but in Batu Ferrenghi it was so hot and dry that one day, the bush to the side of our apartments burst into flame. The fire spread incredibly quickly and at one point the flames were about 20 feet high. This picture was taken from our balcony; that’s the other side of our building on the right. We thought the blaze might spread to our apartment building, but the “BytheSea”staff were brilliant – they dragged big fire hoses out from the basement area and managed to get the fire under control long before the Fire Engines eventually turned up from Georgetown.
On our last evening in Penang we met up once again with the Hartshorn family were travelling in the opposite direction up from Singapore, so luckily our paths crossed once again. We had an authentic local Nyonyan meal, and then went to a special “dessert restaurant” where we tried sticky black rice pudding with coconut cream and weird looking cubes of rubbery lemon herb jelly served in sweetened rose water with ice cubes. It was refreshing and actually tasted quite nice!
Our first week with Darcie seems to have gone by incredibly quickly, but at least we still have a few days and some exiting sights and activities to look forward to in Singapore!