From Kuala Lumpur, we travelled by bus over the sea to Penang island. The island is actually joined to the mainland by an extremely long bridge. We stayed in George Town in the noisiest, brightest room we have ever had the displeasure of staying in. The walls of the room were so thin you could hear the people in the next room swallow. The room faced the was overhanging the pavement of the main road, and the street light was literally 30cm from the window payne and there were no curtains. We put two thick blankets over the curtain rail, but they had no effect against the halogen bulb of the street light.
Luckily we had only booked for 3 nights accommodation, before heading to our next destination. There are many Chinese people living in Malaysia, and on the 15th of September it was a Chinese holiday called the mid-Autumn festival. We watched the parade of vehicles and people celebrating as it moved down the main road from the comfort of our bedroom above the road. There was a lot of floats and traditional Chinese dancers and dragons, not to mention fire crackers.
We went to visit the botanical gardens one of the days, and while we where there, we followed a hiking trail up the mountain. We were told by other hikers it was only a 15min hike, but after about an hour we finally arrived at the top. There were loads of other local hikers, and we were surprised to find gym equipment at the top. Many locals were now having a workout, lifting weights and using the equipment. There was free coffee and biscuits at the top of the hike that everyone was helping themselves to, so we joined in and had a cup of coffee with them before heading back down.
In Penang we got to meet the ‘buddy bears’ on their global tour. The buddy bears travel around the world promoting peace between countries. The bears were on display for a few days and we went to see the beautiful artwork on each bear, representing each country. Penang also has a huge Indian community, and we found out that we were really close to some awesome Indian restaurants. This is where we discovered a dish called Roti Canai, and Roti Bom. We could not get enough of these delicious meals.
After 3 days in George Town, we made our way to the jetty, where we caught a ferry to Lankawi. The ferry ride lasted for about 3 hours, and when we arrived on Lankawi island, we checked into the Rainbow Inn. The accommodation was close to Cenanag beach, and each room had its own porch with chairs and a hammock to chill in.
We decided to explore Lankawi and went to the Cable Car, which took us to the top of the mountain, and to the Sky Bridge. At the ticket office at the bottom of the cable car, are lots of shops and some rides and attractions for tourists. We went into the Sky Rex simulator, which was an awesome jurassic park themed 3D experience. We saw on the map that there was a waterfall near to the ticket offices, so we walked and found the Seven Wells Waterfall. On the way there, we were walking through the forest and came across a troupe of dusky leaf monkeys which we had never seen before.
While in Lankawi we treated ourselves to two different day tours. One was the island hopping tour, and the other was the Mangrove tour. The island hopping tour started with an Adrenalin boost as our speed boat and the others on the tour all raced each other to the first destination, at high speed on the sea, with the boats flying out of the water over the waves. The first destination was an island with a fresh water lake in the middle known as the lake of the pregnant maiden. Legend has it that if you drink from the water, you will conceive. We arrived and then hiked to the lake, where we swam in the fresh water.
The next destination was to watch the fish eagles feeding. The guides took us to a place where there was literally about 50 eagles that were swarming and catching fish out of the water. The final destination was a deserted island, where we were able to spend some time swimming and relaxing on the post-card perfect beach. Mangrove tour that we did again started on a speedboat, where we went winding through the mangrove swamp in the Kilim Geoforest park. We navigated through the ‘crocodile cave’ rock formation, visited a fish farm, as well as a bat cave.