Destinasi Bajet, Penang – Day 1
The day was 9th June 2007. First budget destination for the four of us, the plan? There isn’t any except that I wanted to catch the Penang Dragon Boat Race and to not exceed RM300 per person for the trip.
Our journey up north begins at 5:00 AM, way later than the initial plan to get moving by 3:00 AM. The road was smooth and the weather looks good. I guess heading out at this hour proved to worth the trouble beating ourself out of the bed. We reached Simpang Pulai around 6.30 AM, just in time to catch the beautiful sun rise. Of course, I’m the only one that seems to be fascinated with the scene and kept myself busy snapping pictures while the rest take their cigarette break.
We reached Penang by 8.45 AM, earlier comparing to our estimated travel time of around 5 hours. Equipped with a comprehensive Penang Map I bought, and a travel guide printed from the Internet, we starts to manoeuvre around the city looking for suitable place to fill our empty stomach. With absolutely no idea of what we should settle at, we chose a rather old and shabby cafe selling Prawn Mee. The noodle was of average taste, nothing too fancy to shout about.
Our second itinerary in the unplanned journey is Bukit Bendera. The Penang Map I bought proved to be very useful as it provides very accurate and detailed directions to each destination. We found our way towards Bukit Bendera in no time, despite the sometimes indecisive turning – left, right or straight ahead?
Finding a place to park your car was slightly a nightmare for first time visitor. We found ourself stalked by this parking attendant, riding on his motorcycle, directing us to follow him to a back street. My first thought was, “Ok, he’ll find us a proper place to park”. The idea was quickly scratched as it doesn’t make sense to park at some back lane, subject to pay the parking fee and risk your car to unscrupulous driver making their way in and out of the street. We did not follow his direction and decided to park illegally on the road kerb along the main road. Right after we got off, the attendant pointed an empty parking lot as there’s this car that just got out.
Bukit Bendera Train Station
The weather started to get really hot. The ticket station was warmth and humid, filled with people eager to purchase tickets. Moments after we realized that the ticket on sale was for 12:30 PM, we decided to just make our way towards Ali’s Ferringi Guest House as we are suppose to check in by noon.
Check in was a breeze; make the remaining payment for both room and we’re on our way unpacking luggage, getting ourself ready for some beach strolling and finding a place to lunch.
The rest of the day was pretty much spent by the beach, drinking at Ali’s Cafe despite the RM4 per glass Ice Lemon Tea as the sun was too strong to start dipping in the sea. It was 3:00 PM. Noel was the first to jump into the sea, incapable of holding back his “I Love the Beach” attitude, taking his shirt off, heading to the sea like a child who just received his first Playstation (or whatever kids fancy now).
It was not long that we follow pursuit. I was frighten at first, I can’t remember when was the last time I dipped in sea water. The last time I was in Bali, I never went into the sea. Soon, I found myself in the water with Ben, Noel and Derrick. It was fun but at the same time, I’m still afraid of the wave; dragging me further maybe?
The excitement was not long. For a first timer in sea dipping, I was caught with suprise when I felt a stinging sensations on my leg. I started to panic and scracthed my leg for whatever that bite me. My initial thought was red ants, but hell – does red ants live in the sea?
I quickly get out of the water to check on my leg. Derrick was laughing at me, thinking that I’m afraid of the water. It doesn’t took him very long to realized that it was anything but funny. The culprit that bite my leg was a jellyfish and it went up for his leg as well. I never know that there’s jellyfish by the seashore, ain’t they exists only in deep sea? Silly me.
Everyone got out of the water. Ben and Noel claimed that they saw the jellyfish, “It was this big”, trying to make a round circle as huge as 5 inch. I was asked to get back to the room to bath and urinate on the stung area. I found myself felt asleep on my bed right after my shower, only to know that they thought that I fainted in the room – ain’t that a little exaggerating? We go on to spend the rest of the day by the beach with me no longer interested to jump into the water. I’m only looking forward to capture the beautiful sunset by the beach, geared with my camera strapped around my neck.
Sunset at Ferringi Beach
Sunset at Ferringi Beach
We were heading towards Gurney Drive for dinner, the famous stretch that houses many of Penang well known hawker’s food stalls. Unfortunately, it was raining by the time we reached and we were leave with no choice but to find another venue, that’ll be within Gurney Plaza – one of the newer shopping malls. After many trips of walking up and down the mall, we decided to go for the Korean Barbeque on the lower ground floor – eat all you can barbeque that draw us short of RM43 each person, pretty steep a price for dining in Penang I’d say. The food was again, just of alright quality. Everyone was extremely tired on our way back to the guest house. Ben was driving and I manage to take a nap in the car. It’s a good night for Derrick and myself once we reached, hitting our bed straight away while Noel and Ben go on to have a drink by the beach side.
Uncommon magic at 23:50 hour: Witnessed sunrise and capture the moment, bitten by jellyfish during first time sea dipping and waited for sunset to arrive.