Attack of the monkeys
26.02.2010 - 03.03.2010 32 °C
We arrived in Penang after a 3 hour boat ride, which saw some Indian women at the back arguing and a little girl crying. It was quite late in the evening so thought it might be best to get a taxi, however they all decided to up their prices to £10 for what turned out to be a 10 minute walk. We found a guest house quite easily in China town, which included air-con and cable TV (I was happy) for about £7 and headed out to find some food. On our way out we ran into 2 girls who were headed to a temple which was lit up like a Christmas tree. We couldn't resist seeing this and headed into the hills to see what all the fuss was about. It was very spectacular with every building covered head to toe in lights. As you can see it was very Christmassy, and was to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
In Penang there are basically only Chinese and Indians, with a lot of old westerners that seem to stay here for months at a time. God knows what they do all day!!!!! The next day we headed out to see some Chinese temples and mosques, which are recommended in the trusty Lonely Planet. It is very very hot in Malaysia so we ended up soaking with sweat and having viewed all we wanted to we headed to the air conditioned mall woooo. However this was not to shop but to finally upload all our photos. We had so many we had to spend about 5 hours uploading them all, but at least they are safe this time. The following day we decided that we wanted too see what the beaches of Penang had to offer so got a local bus and headed to Monkey beach. We were originally gonna just go to the touristy one but the little old man in our guest house had recommended this one. The bus journey itself took about 45 minutes (I was sure we were on a small island) and when we got there we couldn't see a beach. We discovered that to get to the beach you had to go on a 1 hr 20 trek through the jungle to get there. Great. All we wanted was a quiet lazy day by the beach. To be fair, the walk to begin with was easy enough as it was all paved, however 20 minutes in and we were climbing over trees, and up rocks. Not fun, especially when your wearing flip flops. We saw some monkeys on the way which was cool, but I think we were too tired to care. The walk took ages and when we finally got there......let's just say it wasn't really worth it!!!!! It was ok but definitely couldn't compete with Thailand's beaches. It was a hot day too so we decided to go for a swim. This is where the fun starts. So we are a little way out and the water isn't that clear or clean, as in there were leafs and twigs floating around. First off I felt something nibble my back, I was sure it was just a twig bumping into me, then from no where Anna let's out one of her famous, 'I'm scarred' siren screams and runs out of the water. Well I had no idea what was wrong so followed quickly after. Apparently something had swam through her legs!! The scream was so loud some girl came over to see if we was ok. She told us there were jellyfish in this part and that it was probably that. The girl then suddenly shouted monkeys and pointed at out bags. Low and behold 2 monkeys were trying to get into our bags. I was sure our insurance company wouldn't believe it if we put in a claim about thieving monkeys, so I quickly run with my arms aloft to try scare them off..... It turns out there not really scared of humans, especially a tall lanky one with his hands in the air trying to scare them. The monkey decided to run at me with its teeth showing and claws out, so I quickly ran back to the sea. Luckily I found a stick and eventually got rid of them. Well what a day, and we still had an hour and a half of walking back to the bus to do. On the way back we also ran into some scary looking black monkeys who circled us, and we had to quickly get out of there!!! All fun and games though.
We then spent the next few days just chilling out, making sure we kept our spending to a minimum. This is a big theme of Malaysia as we want to make sure we have enough money for OZ. On one of our last days there was a parade through the middle of our street to celebrate someones birthday. We weren't really sure who's it was but it was funny none the less. The floats were all pretty pathetic but you could see a lot of effort went in!!!
Our next stop is Cameron Highlands!!