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Sunday, 21 November 2010

Day 210-212: Penang, sunshine and rain

And so your motley crew of mostly-MDT's rolled out of the faux-English country side and onto some Island living. Specifically Penang Island, which lies just off the north-west coast of Malaysia and is easily accessible by a beautiful bridge from the mainland (does this diminish it's status as an island? discuss.)

Penang is very different from the Cameron Highlands in a number of ways but the first one that hit us was the heat; below the benefits of altitude we spend out days running from shop awning to shop awning almost melting into the pavement under the sun. It was great.

It's also much busier and it was a pleasure to explore the bustling pockets of the community. As with many other Asian towns and cities that we have visited, areas were here loosely sorted by origin and income; there was Little India (with all the culinary delights that you might imagine and more), China Town (billowing incense sticks, red lanterns and all), the super-rich (malls the size of villages) and the slightly more skanky (where we were staying.)

There isn't a beach per say - basically all available space has been used in the far more profitable business of building giant ports, which was a bit of a shame but a wander down the tiny strip of rocky coast to see locals fishing was well worth it.

We spent our days trying to stay cool and the nights trying to stay dry and as the rains came down we decided where our adventure would take us next, and it was a little further afield than even we had initially expected...

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