Penang, Malaysia, January 2011

What I did…

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We arrived in Penang late but found a guest house quickly then headed straight out for food at a cheap but tasty local stall.

We rented motorbikes the following day to explore Penang. After being shown around a Hindu temple we went to a ‘Snake Temple’ a hundred meters down the road. There were live snakes in the temple, billed as ‘Temple Vipers’ (Sumatran Viper). After a look around the temple we decided to go the the snake farm next door. With everyone’s memorable crocodile affair they weren’t too keen on another ‘farm’ but we all agreed that this one had to be better. It did not disappoint… 

After seeing a lot of snakes in vivariums (not forgetting the monkey giving Brogan attitude!) we came across a Cobra that only had a moat of water around it, and with an animal that’s a pretty strong swimmer and climber was utterly pointless. It could roam where it wanted! After a few pics the snake disappeared and we were suddenly in front o the largest venomous snake in the world, the King Cobra! This thing was easily 12ft long and could move very quickly. The other Cobra had been removed as the King would of eat it given the chance! After it made its way where ever it wanted and confronting me it was caught by the handler and we held the King and helped to shed its skin! Being a snake geek I was ecstatic and loved every minute. The King was put back and we continued round looking at more exotic and deadly snakes.

We then got to an open cage that had, curled up, a 23ft Python! It was huge! The handler said you could gt in if you wanted and have a photo (see below). I did (the only person there that did), and the worried look on my face is there due to the fact that it flinched back as I went to put my hand on its head! I live to tell the tail though! 

After watching a snake show where the handler kissed the head of another King Cobra we were on our way. Well almost as Marcus and Jase got a flat tyre. Lunch roadside after the mechanic and then we all set off. I say all of us, I mean me and Brogan did and had lost everyone 1KM up the road. After a quick look back and then forward, and then back again we decided to go our own way. We rode through the mountains to the north and circled the island seeing the sights of the most tropical place Ive been to. Penang is what I expected the whole of Asia to be like. Long winding roads lined with palm trees and small houses spread apart and on small stilts. After getting lost a few times we were on our way back to Georgetown where we were staying. 

I hear a whistle and saw the Police were pulling us over! What now?! Turns out they thought they saw me run a red light. I hadn’t (honest), and after a quick telling off we were back on our way.

On the night we were recommended to go to a temple just outside of town. On the approach it looked like we had taken a wrong turn and ended up just outside of Georgetown, in Blackpool. On closer inspection we were still in Malaysia and the lit up temple was stunning. 

Back to town and out to Little India for one of the best Indian meals Ive ever eaten outside of the Nandhra household. The service was terrible as the waiter was clearly racist but the food more than made up for it. We got back to the room and packed up for the journey to Cameron Highlands the next morning.

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