Saturday, May 12, 2012

Penang: Out of the City

Penang is actually a sizeable island, and the historic city is only a very small section of the total landmass. Parts are quite developed (it's one of the world's leading centers for high tech production, according to B), but the island also has several parks, sleepy fishing villages, and beaches. We didn't have time to go hiking in the national park, but we did make it out of the city center.
The angle is about 45 degrees for most of the way
On our second day there, we took the British-built funicular railway to the highest point on the island, Penang Hill. The railway is incredibly steep, and was built in the 1920s to help the British escape the heat: they used to retire to purpose-built resorts on the hilltop during work breaks. The view from up there is stunningly beautiful.
George Town, and across the water, mainland Malaysia
In addition to old British constructions, the hill has a number of other tourist attractions as well, such as the still-under-construction Owl Museum and places to get your photo taken with a snake. 
Such a cute logo even if it's just a tourist trap
We decided NOT to pose R with an enormous snake
The next day, after a full day in the city visiting museums and restaurants, we traveled to the (also British-built, they were busy!) Botanic Gardens. They are beautiful, if not quite as superb as Singapore's (I am spoiled now). 
The man has an umbrella to protect him from the sun
Badminton is popular in Asia because it's not physically taxing
They were full of locals power walking, playing badminton, and enjoying family outings. We were perhaps the only tourists. Little R had a great time inspecting the vegetation and marching along the pathways.
Looking at the lily pond
Even on a walk, little R draws stares


  1. I snorted when I saw the picture of the baby+snake advertisement. It's pretty absurd!

  2. In the past many wealthy Thai families would send their kids to Penang to learn English. Now they tend to ship their kids off to Australia, America or England instead;-D
    Happy Mother's Day to you and your mom!