Friday, August 12, 2011

What to do in Penang other than eat

With Tracy along we were motivated to hire a taxi for a truncated tour of the island - our plan was the fruit farm, canopy walk, the Kek Lok Si Temple, and assam laksa. At the Penang National Park we learned that the canopy walk was closed. (The canopy walk near KL is also closed. So Tracy will have to return for the complete Malaysian experience.)At least the drive rewarded us with views of Penang's coastline, its highrises, and rural communities.

Our driver stopped at the Tropical Spice Garden, we gave into the opportunity to explore it. We opted to only walk through the gardens. The next time we will take a tour, which seemed to consist of people who are traveling together led by an informed, chatty guide. (We are learning that guides in Malaysia are unusually good). Near the end of our walk we noticed signs with symbols providing information on various plants, e.g., whether they were toxic, a money crop,or had a medicinal use. Doug may include a class at the garden's cooking school during a future trip.

Next we went to the Tropical Fruit Farm because of a blog's recommendation. The tour was a good value we viewed fruit trees and tasted some fruits straight from the source. If we go again I will take notes. After the tour we were treated to a fruit buffet (but no durian) and a smoothies.
Our excellent guide - his 2nd career

Avocado - who knew they grow on trees?
The Fruit Buffet - yes we went for seconds. Dragon fruit on the right
Don't find the right wish? You can find a do-it-yourself ribbon
Our last stop was Kek Loh Si temple, a Buddist temple. It is so vast that I discover many new things with each visit. The one frustration - I wish one could buy a pamphlet explaining Buddhism, the major features of a temple, and its role in Buddhism. I first visited this temple with Rattu from Bhutan. His comment was "same god different face." (On another trip Rattu noted that people who did not remove their shoes were thoughtless and making work for others.)
It's the year of the rabbit!

Inside pagoda containing 10,000 Buddhas

We commemorated our grandson's birthday by buying a roof tile and inscribing it with his name and birth date.

The temple offered an opportunity to state your greatest wish - success in exams, professional achievement, world piece - and tie it on a tree

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