Penang Pt 2
We didn’t have much to do on the final day, except pick up our visas at 2pm. We still had the scooter for a few hours, so it made sense to use our time wisely, and explore a little further. We started with a visit to a Chinese temple on Love Lane, and then made our way past Batu Ferringhi to areas unknown. Who would have thought, that we would end up at the Penang National Park. We had heard about it from a friend we ran into the last time we visited Penang. He had said some good things about it, so we were happy to investigate. The entrance was free, which was a little surprising to us. Normally we are paying to get into waterfalls and National parks in Thailand, but not on this occasion. We didn’t have much time, so I think we only walked for a couple of hours. We did see a few monkeys swinging around in trees, but other than that the wildlife was scarce. Like I said earlier, we had limited time, and with beaches like ‘monkey beach’ and ‘turtle bay’ (which we didn’t make it too), I’m sure you could see an abundance of interesting creatures. It’s definitely worth a visit. The park was really clean and well looked after. The trails were wild but not overgrown. You did feel like you were venturing into an untouched oasis. I have always been a fan of walking in nature. I feel it’s a great way to clear your mind, and just be in that moment. You become one with the land and land becomes one with you.
After returning the scooter, we had some lunch at a vegetarian buffet (with about 50 dishes), recommended by Jim. The restaurant was off the beaten path, hidden from all foreign eyes. We were happy to find it, and enjoyed all the different options. We have vegetarian restaurants in Thung Song, but most of the time the food is cold, or there is only one dish to choose from. Other than that on a lucky day, you can get 5 or 6 different dishes, some which are really yummy. We had quick stroll around, and then back to Jims at 2pm to pick up the visa. We had spoken to Jim about booking us a bus back to Hat Yai at 4pm and he had said “no problem”. We picked up our visas without any hiccups. The process took 10 minutes. Not so bad for a visa pickup. I remember waiting at least an hour, maybe even two in Laos. We were back at Jims at 2.30pm and decided to have a beer to kill the time. 4 o’ clock came and Jim appeared out of thin air and said there was a problem with our bus. Something like, “your bus is overbooked”, “the bus has been stopped by the police, you will have to take one at 5am tomorrow”. With the process out of our hands, there was nothing much we could do about it. The last buses left at 4 and it was already ten past. Jim offered us a room for 20 ringit, so we took it. We spent our last evening in Penang, socializing with new friends at Jims place, going for some pizza at Ecco cafe and wandering up and down Chulia St. one last time.