Penang Pig Out - 2014
Updated: Jan 4
The fast boat from Koh Lipe to Langkawi pulls up on the beach and a crowd forms. I sit on the flour white sand awaiting the signal to board. The boat is full today in high season, the trip is about 50km on what we hope are calm seas. One last look at overdeveloped yet stunning Lipe and we are off like a bullet. The Thais make it incredibly easy to move about the country, it is one of the easiest places to get from A to B on the planet.
It is a bit rough and a jackass farang decides to stand on one of the front seats- he soon topples over, almost knocks himself out and is injured...he needs to be wheel-chaired away on shore; hope he has insurance!
After a brief interlude dealing with Malay immigration, we have our passports stamped and grab a taxi at the port. We need to cross the length of Langkawi to get to the other port; it is a good sized island and takes over na hour by taxi. We'd spent some time on this island in 1996 when we arrive it was Dawali which is a national holiday in Malaysia; the entire island was booked out and we could not find a room. Another story...
We take a pass on the ferry to Penang as the seas are rough, opting instead for a ferry bus ferry combination Buses are pleasant in Malaysia: normally very efficient, the highways are modern but tend to bypass the cities.
We are excited about our return to Penang as it is one of the great food centres of the world. It takes all day but we finally reach the ferry at Georgetown; the bus depot is conveniently across the street. By the time we cross the strait, it is past sunset. Taxis await in Penang and after the usual haggling we are deposited at the 1926 Heritage Hotel, check in and find our room, which has the odd two beds put together.
We've come to eat and walk out into the tropical night. Next door is a food court, mostly Chinese which is fine by us. Penang food is at the crossroads. of Malaysia's three main cultures: Chinese, Indian and Malay.
We spend the next few days roaming the streets (big changes since we last visited in 1996: lots of heritage buildings torn down, a bunch of new skyscrapers. But the place is still extremely charming.