|Loading on the ferry|
I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now but shame kept getting the better of me. You see, I really did cheat on Penang Island.
Plantar fasciitis had already begun to get the better of me and so…once I got on the Hop-on-hop-off tourist bus I only got off long enough to finally have something to eat. Otherwise, I stayed on the bus not getting off to “see” the tourist attractions. I know…shame on me.
|Another ferry and the view|
But, I have to tell you that this was one of my best days. It started on the ferry to Penang (I was actually staying in Butterworth, thinking Penang would be too busy for me. Not a valid concern) which was 1) incredibly cheap at $.30 for the ride over and free for the ride back 2) a great view of the island from offshore and 3) I love a boat ride.
Next, I met a taxi driver on the ferry and he convinced me to take his cab to the nearest HOHO bus stop – a mistake because the nearest stop is right outside the ferry terminal. However he took me to Fort Cornwalliis, which had just recently been taken off the route (I’m sure he had no idea) and I had a great time walking the interior, getting my picture taken in prison and having the best coffee of my trip yet at a little café inside the fort.
Let me tell you a bit about that coffee. I like my coffee with 3 sugars and 3 creams – sweet and light – so I doctored the cup they brought me but the color did not change – at all. I thought ‘Oh, no!’ but I found the taste was just right – luxuriously rich. Shows what we think we know isn’t always what is.
|The start of the beach leg of HOHO|
So next I was off to the post office to mail my postcards from Hai Long Bay (back in Vietnam) and that took a bit of walking, then trying to find the nearest HOHO bus stop was an exercise in futility as the taxi drivers hate it (it’s recently been inaugurated) and misdirected me each time I asked. I finally had to get a taxi to take me to the nearest stop – which it wasn’t – and then, at last, board the bus. Yay!
From here it was nothing but great. I did both tours – the city (Georgetown) and the beach – in one day. Saw lots of a beautiful city – entirely livable even for Westerners – and a glorious beach route. However, the beaches that are accessible to tourists are small, unless you stay at one of the big hotels – Holiday Inn, etc.
|A beautiful residential section|
I highly recommend this method for at least an overview of the city. If you’re healthy, there are plenty of stops to get off and enjoy.
So – in conclusion – a big thumbs up for Fort Cornwallis (and the coffee), the ferry (whether you need to or not) and the HOHO bus (which cost 45 ringgits for the day – equal to $9.45 – for a 24 hour pass).
|My bes beach shot|
Malaysia continues to make me happy!