Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Malaysia Part Three: The Island of Penang

Penang, also known as the Pearl of the Orient, is a beautiful place. 

Georgetown, the largest city is a blend of Malay, Indian and Chinese cultures, each with their own religion, food and history.   
Outside of the main city the island is home to small beach communities, first class resorts, and a beautiful national park.

During our days in Georgetown we went for walks around Chinatown, Little India, downtown and along the sea.

We continued to eat delicious Indian, Chinese, and Malaysian specialties.
 I even learned to how to make satay :)

And we finally tried durian.   

{Video to come}
Our review: a mix of onion, garlic and creamy fruit.  
Basically: Ewww.
Although it's known as the "king of fruit," durian is so strong and potent that it's not allowed in airports, train stations and many hotels in Southeast Asia.  
We prefer the delicious "queen of fruit" for sure.

A friendly fellow traveler we'd met in Indonesia turned out to be from Malaysia and was kind enough to show us around the city's less touristy markets and coffee shops.

We spent a sweaty day at Penang's National Park where our sweet new friend led us on a hike through the jungle and out to a pretty beach.

There we saw the biggest ants ever and wild monkeys in the trees including this one, eating durian (impressive enough) with only his feet.  It's hard to tell from the picture, but he was a hand-less monkey.

  As we left the area we’d been hiking in we noticed a sign blocking off the path we had just come from.  It stated that that part of the park was closed as it was being investigated for disease.


Don't worry... I'm happy to report that we still seem to be disease-free and loving life in Thailand!

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