27 August 2006

Trip up north

It was the school holiday again. I was on leave and feeling restless. So I decided to take a trip up north. I decided to go to Cameron Highlands for a photography trip since it's a nice heaven for shutterbugs. To my surprise, none in the family other than my son want to join me since they have they own program. So off we go, me and my son to the north but not to Cameron Highlands. He said that he have not been to Penang for a long time, so a change of plan we are off to Penang instead.

We woke up at 7.00 a.m. on 25 Aug and was on the way with half and hour. The first stop was the Lata Kinjang waterfall at Tapah, the same place I went during my last trip to Taiping in December 2005. I wanted to show my son the magnificent waterfall. Nothing much changed there since my last visit. There were no campers except for bunch of scouts. It was not a surprise because the place was not well kept to attract more people. Walk up to the peak of the waterfall to snap some photos and we were off on out journey to Penang.
We cross the Penang bridge and the first stop was to the snake temple. I was lost in the Bayan Lepas area because the whole place has changed since the last time I was there. There was a long flyover bridge and many new commercial and shophouse buildings. I called my friend Tham Weng Onn and asked him for directions to the temple. The temple has not changed a bit. The same snakes and people there. Only thing new was a snake sanctuary they built net to them where there were many species of snake kept there for exhibition. Managed to snap photo of some albino snakes which is quite unique.

Next stop was to check into the hotel. Since it was the school holidays, all hotels were packed full. My wife managed to get us a room at the 5-star hotel, Hotel Equatorial. I remember the last time, I can easily see the hotel which is on top of Bukit Jambut from the road. With all the new development of the flyover and commercial areas, the hotel view was hidden away. The hotel was a nice hotel but a bit pricey, but what the heck! We got a room where we can see the Penang bridge.
Next stop was to the famous pagoda temple, Kek Lok Si at Ayer Item. Nothing changed there, the same old stores selling souvenirs along the steep steps leading to the temple. Coming down from the temple, we stop over to shop for the famous nutmeg fruit and oil and also the tau sar paih. My son could not remember what a nutmeg taste like or even what it was. Once he smell the nutmeg oil, he loves it!!

We went back to the hotel to freshen up for our next journey to the famous Gurney to savour the hawker food there. We managed to park at Gurney Plaza and walk of the complex to the store. The hawker stores area has been renovated and is a lot more cleaner and hygienic. We had a few dishes from various hawker stores and wow the food was good. Our tummies were full while walking back to the complex to get our car. My son complained that legs were in pain. I wondered why he said that. They whole night he complained about his legs and could no sleep. In the end we found out that the strain from climbing the steep steps at the Kek Lok Si pagoda temple caused the pain of his legs.

The next morning my son said that he did not have a a good night sleep because of the pain of his legs. I decided that It's time to continue our journey back home. We checked out of the hotel early and drove to the ferry terminal to take the ferry across Butterworth. My son could not remember how the ferry looks like and how wonderful the ride was. when he was at the ferry he was amazed and enjoyed the ferry ride.

The next stop was to Taiping and he wanted to go to the zoo. We spend about 2 hours there and took quite a number of photos of the animals that were displayed there.

After Taiping, we were off to Ipoh to taste the famous taugeh chicken rice. We had a heavy and enjoyable lunch. My son suggest that we pack the taugeh back home for the family since, he loves it so much.

We took off from Ipoh and reached home about 5.00 p.m.. Guess what?? My son went up to bed and slept through the night till the next morning..(without taking his dinner and bath) that's 13 hours of sleep to catch up with his sleepless night at Penang. He no longer have any leg pain.

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