Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Penang - Part 2. The Hill and Kek Lok Si

7th - 10 Mar 2012

Penang Hill is a short 6 km bus ride out of Georgetown and the top, reachable by funicular. It’s a slow, very steep ride in parts…kind of like my blog writing efforts of late. The track is just under 2 km long and in places the climb is nearly 28 degrees.
The views from just over 820 metres above sea level are quite nice, overlooking the channel between the island and mainland. And it’s COOL up there!
I’d forgot to mention that we’d caught up with our daughter, LJ and her partner, the day before and between the four of us we all guestimated the length of the bridge in the distance. None of came close to the its actual 13.5 km and none of us guessed that the second bridge under construction would be a whopping 24 km when completed, making it the 4th longest bridge in SE Asia.
Apart from the view, there’s not really much to do up there. Look at the Hindu temple and mini Mosque (which was closed), visit the Aviary & Ginger Garden, have a meal at one of the many eateries or go on the nature walk, if that’s your thing.
And there's always being grateful that times have changed and we hadn't made the trip up in one of these.
My ulterior motive for going was to visit the nearby Kek Lok Si temple, whose towering image of bodhisattva Guan Yin, can be seen on the way up to the hill’s base.
My memory might be a bit fuzzy, but I wasn’t alone ‘what the’-ing the bus fare for the quick ride from the hill to the temple, which cost more than it did to journey out from the city. And, no ticket?
Anyway, I did enjoy the architecture and views (perhaps not all of the steps) and again, another short trip in a funicular.
 The bronze image of bodhisattva Guan Yin stands
over 30 metres tall.
Penang regrets, not visiting the spice farm, exploring the island some more, releasing the turtles at Kek Lok Si temple and not sampling ais kacang.
Well, maybe not the latter.

Snap's other blog Chiang Mai Thai


Catherine said... Best Blogger Tips

"Penang regrets, not visiting the spice farm, exploring the island some more, releasing the turtles at Kek Lok Si temple and not sampling ais kacang."

Ok, I'll start with those on my Penang trip (except for the ais kacang :-D

Paul Garrigan said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Snap, I've never been to Penang, but it looks interesting. Would you say that it is much different from Thailand?

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

@Catherine Please free the turtles Cat, my future son in-law (first time in Asia, just arriving in from LOS with a stomach bug) was really upset about the simmering turtle soup, I mean pond.

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

@Paul Garrigan Paul, firstly HI, nice to see you again :)

The only similarities *I* can see between Thailand and Malaysia is the heat and some of the food.

Really, there is no comparison, smile wise. Malaysia is more westernised, more expensive and like my own country...people don't walk around smiling too much...without good reason anyway, lol.

Martyn said... Best Blogger Tips

Snap - That's a bit of a negative statement...'Apart from the view, there’s not really much to do up there. Look at the Hindu temple and mini Mosque'.

The view must be amazing and a temple and a Mosque isn't a bad start. I think it looks quite a good day trip, certainly the kind of thing which would interest me.

Your photos. The old girl (camera) was in fine form on that day. You've got some lovely pictures. I always like to pick a favourite...I think the view over the yellow roof tops is rather nice. The old girl has a few more clicks in her yet.

Nice post and keep them coming.

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

@Martyn I'm sorry if I sounded a bit negative, but the hill is what it is. That and the nearby Kek Lok Si temple, together, do make for a nice day trip.

The old girl is hanging in there and her friend photoshop helps out a little sometimes.

I'm hoping she doesn't give up the ghost before we return to Thailand early next year...yay :)

Martyn said... Best Blogger Tips

Snap - I had to Google Ais Kacang to find out exactly what it was and then I realised I'd eaten it a few times before. It's a popular treat in the rural villages.

Here's a peek under Sticky Wiki's skirt and a little bit about Ais Kacang.

'Ais kacang is a Malaysian dessert which is also common in Singapore and Brunei.Traditionally a special ice machine is used to churn out the shaved ice used in the dessert, originally hand cranked but now more often motorized.
Formerly, it was made of only shaved ice and red beans, though the number and diversity of ingredients has since expanded. Today, ais kacang generally comes in bright colours, and with different fruit cocktails and dressings'.

I've seen the ice shaving machine in action and it's basic but perfect for making the desserts. And they taste very good too.

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

I will probably try Ais kacang one day...when I'm need of a big sugar hit! It really does amaze me how many ingredients they can fit in one bowl.

Those manual ice shaving machines are cute. There's a photo of one down the bottom of this post on Cambodia. It and the owner look like they've been around for a while ;)