Cool breezes and warm walks

Trip Start Jan 28, 2013
Trip End Mar 09, 2013

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Flag of Malaysia  , Pinang,
Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Penang Hill is a 30-minute drive from the central bus station in Georgetown, along the city shops, apartment buildings, countryside, town markets, and past a beautiful 1885 Buddhist temple, too.  The Hill, about 2700 feet high, has been a retreat, an escape from Penang's heat, since colonial days.

The bus stopped at the end of at a funicular railway which is the only way to ascend this very steep hill.  A new train was installed in 2011 and the trip takes 10-20 minutes at a top speed of 10 mph.  The old funicular railway required people to get out halfway up and change cars.  I remember the old way from 40 years ago and the bartender at my hotel says he really prefers the old train, too.  Views from the top are incredible, both of Penang, the ocean, and the 1985 bridge to Butterworth on the mainland.  There is a Hindu temple, a mosque, a hotel, restaurants, picnic areas, flowers, plants, walking trails at the top. It was wonderful just to walk around and see families picnicking and enjoying themselves.   The cool breezes were terrific, too.

Took the local bus back to Georgetown which took an hour due to a massive traffic jam.  Got off at the State Museum and Art Center, an interesting set of displays telling about the history of the island, plus a display of the everyday life of each of the major cultural groups.  My major find of the day was a description of how Malaysian kopi (the strong kind with sweetened condensed milk at the bottom) was prepared and made.  I love that coffee and the kopi shops, too!

Walked back to the hotel in the heat of the afternoon, sat in air-conditioning for awhile, and then started off to explore Little India and the Colonial District.  Stopped in at Sam's Batik but most of it was really Indian styles so didn't buy anything.  Haven't found a "touristy area" here in Penang so I'm not sure what, if any crafts, are made locally.
Walked to the local hawker center for dinner and the Satay guy was there tonight.  Ten pieces of chicken satay with peanut sauce plus lime juice to drink is heaven.
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Diane on

Crocus? Are you kidding? They have a lot of snow to push through.
Barb watered your plants on Sat.
Welcome back! Can't wait for the travel show!

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