I have received quite a handful of comments and questions lately regarding my sudden and unexpected visit to Penang over the weekends, and whoah.. never have I known people would actually keep track of where I am going and what I would do. Seems like people do care after all, so yeah, pardon my spontaneity and unpredictability at times, but life is short, we just have to make the best out of it as we can.
KEK LOK SI TEMPLE
The original plan was to travel up to Penang with a group of friends, but due to some odd happenings and unforeseen circumstances, we were unable to freaking get a cheap accomodation since every single budget hotel was fully occupied for that particular weekend. God knows whats happening in Penang at that unusual moment, thus the initial plan of going in a group was cancelled off. The plan was ditched at that instant, and I was making other plans to travel down to Malacca instead.... but Yiaw Wei asked me.. why not go Penang alone, since I could crash at his place for the night if I go by my own self. Therefore... after all the dramas (plus all the other things that happened around me) I decided I should have a weekend away from all this... and just to refresh my mind, take a pause.. relax... and enjoy myself.
INSIDE THE TEMPLE
THE LONG STRETCH
I took the earliest bus I could find down to Penang on Saturday morning, and Yiaw Wei grabbed me off the bus terminal at Sungai Dua. Time we wasted not, and off we went exploring the island of Penang.
The first destination was of course the infamous Kek Lok Si Temple, which was sitting majestically on the hill, overlooking the town of Penang. Unfortunately the temple was under heavy reconstruction/maintenance work, with most of the prominent architectural features and displays being closed down for renovation. Nevertheless, the temple itself was rather magnificent, and the entire place does feel like somewhere outside of Malaysia. One can truly take a moment to appreciate the Chinese ancestry cultures and the on-going practices being passed down through countless generations, spread all over the world, even to this part of Malaysia.
There were plenty of places to walk around the temple, and the view over the city from up there was just amazing. I shall post up the pictures of the city view in another separate entry, so do check back for that !!
Yiaw Wei has some fetish for botanical gardens and anything to do with natural outdoor parks. I have the privilege to tag along and discover the remarkable serenity behind the deep greenery you can almost find everywhere in Penang !!
The entire island is so green, and you can see the protruding hill high up at the middle of the island everywhere you turn to. I am very impressed with the fact that those greens have been preserved and not chopped off for some lame-ass development by our beloved gahmen.
So the next stop was at the Youth Park, and we had a walk around. Goodness gracious, for some reasons, I do believe the greens surrounding the entire place was somewhat very different, and more radiant from the green you find elsewhere. I do not know quite how to describe, but they give you the very soothing and calming effect, even under broad daylight. You do not get this kind of parks much in Malaysia... No wonder the Penang folks flooded the whole park !! It is interesting to see so many people walking around, exercising, enjoying the fresh air, and feasting their eyes on such serene scenery. If this place is anywhere near where I stay, I would have definitely made a few visits in a week !!
Having enough greenery from the Youth Park, we moved on to another green place, the Botanical Garden.
PENANG BOTANICAL GARDEN
The botanical garden itself is of its own class. Walking around the entire place, once again made you forget that you are anywhere near the cold city life, but more leaning towards the nature and feeling really in tuned with the environments. There were some jungle trails that are covered with thick canopy of tall trees, and the air there was just so fresh and even the coolness can kind of tingles your skin.
And I keep asking, why don't we have such nice places in Kuching????? Come on.. reservoir park is damned pathetic in comparison with what Penang is offering, seriously.
I love this picture so much I gotta make a black and white version. It evokes a feeling of... sadness somehow.. not sure if you guys see what I see.
IN THE THREE
The only complaint I had during my visits to those places, like most other times I have countlessly mentioned in this blog, would be the terrible weather. It was cloudy and overcast the whole time, and the milky white/grey sky was just uninteresting to photograph. A pure disaster for landscape photography if you ask me, but it is always hard to spot clear blue sky, anywhere in Malaysia I supposed. Looking on the bright side though, since it was cloudy all the time, walking around was a pleasure, and not having to sweat as much during harsh sunny days meant we could walk the extra mile. So all was good.
This was my virgin visit to Penang, hence do forgive all my 'whoah's every time I do find something worth shouting about. Of course, there are many more to write about, and I shall tell the stories and share the pictures in more entries to come.
Until now, I am still not fully recovered from my bus-lag (yes, there is such thing as bus-lag, especially traveling over 5 hours). Rest, I must tend to now.
More Penang filled entries will be coming up, I promise !!