Today marks the end of a journey. For over a month now, I’ve been running around the world partying, sunbathing, eating crazy things and meeting even crazier people. So, this is the last post of Malaysia before I update you on life back home.
Don’t worry, it’s just as crazy.
On the last day, we decided to go to the top of Penang Hill. John and Chee had been talking about taking me up there for my entire stay, we were going to walk it but in the end jumped on the train (lazy I know). If you’re a skier, (or snowboarder) you’ll know what I mean when I say the train was a bit like a funicular.
At the top of the hill was the most breathtaking view (even if the weather was rubbish).
A snack stop was needed at the top, so we got Bombay mix with a twist. It was cooked with the beans soft and the crispy bits crunchy, so different to the stuff you get in bags from the pub!
We then had a walk to burn it all off.
In the middle of Penang Hill, we came across a gorgeous little English Cottage…eh?
It had a cockerel weathervane on the roof, a croquet lawn and a little red postbox opposite. I did say this was in the middle of Penang Hill, in Malaysia, right?
When I’d got over the fact that this scene couldn’t be more British, we headed back to the centre of the hill to the temples.
The Monk in the temple gave me a blessing, and opened my ‘third eye’ by placing a white bindi between my eyes on my forehead. Apparently the white colour means I’m single… is it that obvious?!
After that it was time to head back down, blue sky had appeared, so I snapped a few more pictures then down we went.
It was definitely time for food after that, so we hopped over to one of the markets to eat.
Fish, mashed to a pulp with some herbs, spices and tofu thrown in for good measure then wrapped and served in palm leaves. Not my favourite, I’d prefer the fish un-mashed.
Yummy noodles, with sumptuously sticky sauces.
Crispy pancakes with soggy centres (these could rival the Thai pancakes)
Ice Kacang, a mixture of syrupy ice, pulses, sweetcorn and gelatine pieces topped with a scoop of ice cream. Not to my taste to be honest, the flavours are too strange for me, I’ll stick to my watermelon juice!
We grabbed some supplies from a little stall on the way back to the car, as if I wasn’t full enough already…
We grabbed sweet yams (picture above) and handfuls of steamed monkey nuts, and headed off to Straights Quay.
As my last day also happened to coincide with the end of the Moon Cake Festival, there were loads of things going on. At Straights Quay they had competitions, where people had come from all over to participate in the different sections. The first was two groups going up against each other in dragon costumes, someone as the head and someone as the tail. The movement they produced was incredible, so lifelike although it acted more like a dog than a dragon in my opinion (not that I’ve come across a lot of dragons in my time).
Unfortunately our friends in yellow here lost out to some guys in red, although how it was judged I haven’t the foggiest. It was pretty spectacular though, the two guys or ‘the dragon’ were balanced on flower pots on the bottom half guys’ shoulders more than once and they jumped about as though they had been attached in that way since birth.
The dragon dancers were swapped for role play fights, by ridiculously flexible kids bouncing around on a carpeted area.
As the sun came down, we shuffled away as we had previously arranged dinner plans.
We popped over to a neighbours house, for my last taste of Malay food before home. It didn’t disappoint, I was so caught up in the amounts of food placed on the buffet table that I only managed to snap two photos.
We had a type of fondue. A broth was placed in the centre of the table and bowls of food weighed down a separate table, everything from noodles to cows stomach.
I was still so full from lunch I don’t know how I managed to find space, but I did. AND, I tried the cows stomach which was completely different to his fishier friend. The texture was interesting, if you can imagine a piece of meat with thin little meaty hairs on one side and soft on the other, that’s pretty much the best way I can describe it… Ok, so it really doesn’t sound that appealing, but if you’ve tried fish stomach it’s pretty good!
After dinner, we said our thank you’s and made the long journey next door to climb into our beds for some shut eye.
My flight was at 7am the next morning which meant leaving the house at 5am, needless to say I didn’t bother going to bed. Instead, I used the time to pack and make sure I hadn’t lost my passport.
Malaysia was the most incredible experience, even though Penang isn’t the type of place many people my age go. I had two and a half weeks of incredible food, incredible scenery and experiences with the loveliest people. I tried to include all the experiences I had in the blog, however there are a few that didn’t quite make it due to lack of photography. The night market had to be one of them, riding there on the back of John’s motorbike then drinking cold beer whilst browsing through the hundreds of little stalls. I’ve always wanted bike, perhaps something to aim for next year… (sorry Mum and Dad)
Thank you so much to my lovely Godfather John and his wife Chee for looking after me so well, and ensuring that I always had something to do. The experience would have been impossible without you.
Time to go home <3