Friday, March 15, 2019

Penang and the Dump

A view of Penang from Penang Hill
We have finally made it to Penang! We had hoped to make it here for Thaipusam in late January, then Chinese New Year in early February, but kidney stones and a slew of what-nots decided otherwise.

Penang's garbage dump is our backyard right now
After finally getting our long-awaited last package, we were able to leave Langkawi and make 2 day jumps down the coast. We are anchored at the 'Dump Anchorage' (also called the McDonald's Anchorage, which is definitely better marketing but doesn't change the fact that it's still by the town's garbage dump).


It smells like an ashtray when the wind is blowing our way and the (lightly treated) sewage coming out of the nearby river adds to the aroma, especially at low tide. We are a bit spoiled when it comes to beautiful anchorages, so I can't say this tops the list. And if the brown water were not enough to deter us from taking a dip, there are jellyfish sporting the longest tentacles we have ever seen.

Love the street art here

Protected and shallow, it is far from the worst anchorage though and we are in a convenient spot to explore the Georgetown area of Penang. This area of Penang is a vibrant and scenic metropolis, the likes of which we haven't seen since we visited Australia. It's also a UNESCO World Heritage site, due to its unique history as a trading post throughout the ages.  There are high-rises interspersed with charming historic buildings, McDonald's (lots), Starbucks (plenty), a bike path and wonderful restaurants. We had fantastic (and cheap) dim sum the other day.
Chulia Street has these sculptures that explain local history

There are also irate drivers, motorbikes that muscle you over when you're on those bike paths, open sewers that you have to avoid stepping into at times, and other signs of urban life. The laid back vibe that we are used to has been replaced by busy city folk and pigeons.

We'll stay here for a few days on our way down to Pangkor. Matt has been having fun doing things like fixing our freezer intake that was clogged up with barnacles (after removing barnacles from the same freezer intake just six weeks ago). Also, it seems to have gotten even hotter and more humid than before, which is not helping elevate the mood on board. Besides seeing the sights (in the form of our normal heat-stroke inducing death marches), we're looking forward to the Chulia Street night market so we can try different street food.

The tram to the top of Penang Hill was surprisingly speedy
Pit vipers hanging around at the Snake Temple
A hornbill from back in Langkawi. None of that in Penang--just lots of crows.

This dusky leaf monkey also lives back in Langkawi

1 comment:

  1. Your present anchorage is a far cry from the the lovely ones we had near James Bond’s Island. Even the jelly fish seem a lot worse.


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