Not sure how good your East Asia geography is [I’m not judging geography/directions are not my forte] but here is a map to show where we were. And roughly the distance in hours.
Tokyo to Singapore – 7-8 hours • Singapore to Phuket – 2 hours • Phuket to Penang – 1.5 hours • Penang to Singapore – 45 minutes • Singapore to Tokyo – 7-8 hours
We arrived in Penang (where the wedding was) on Friday evening. We checked into the hotel & were advised by the concierge that we could walk to this local (street vendor) area to get dinner. Well we managed to get a bit lost (I should mention that the concierge prefaced his suggestion of a dinner location with the fact that he was new to Penang & wasn’t really familiar with the place, should have been a red flag) but did stumble across what turned out to be a nice place for dinner. I was less than impressed getting there as the advised route we took consisted of walking down a major four lane road without sidewalks.
We sat on a patio that overlooked a little beach area. We were EXTREMELY amused by the crabs on the beach fighting & digging themselves holes. Really it’s quite impressive to watch.
After dinner I suggested that we get a cab back to the hotel. But since the hotel was close & we didn’t really know the cab culture there we decided to walk. I was CERTAIN that we were going to see a gang of rats (my mind couldn’t help but go there with the open sewers & trash all over the place). Thankfully we didn’t see any rats. However Pete was lapped by a pack of dogs; he was not impressed & shower the second we got back to our room.
On Saturday we spent the morning & early afternoon discovering George Town, the area in Penang we were staying in. It’s a poor place, which I suppose is to be expected of a third world country. But also dirty & while one doesn’t necessarily have to imply the other, in my experience they most often go hand & hand. The thing I don’t understand is why the citizens seem not to care. I mean we saw people just chucking their trash on the ground, in the water, everywhere.
We went to Fort Cornwallis, Little India, & to a few temples. By early afternoon the heat (it was like 100) was getting to us. We headed back to the hotel to nap & then get ready for the wedding (I’ll post a separate entry on the wedding).On Sunday we spent some more time exploring. I’m so upset I didn’t get a picture but Pete & I took one of those cart-type things that are pushed by a bike around the city for a bit. We were dropped off at the jetties (houses on the water) & spent some time walking around there. George Town has an artist like London’s Banksy, only this guy uses props in his art. Don’t you just love the kids on the bike? The bike is actually attached to the wall, part of the art.We didn’t have too much time before we had to head to the airport so we grabbed lunch then headed back to the hotel to catch a cab to the airport.