Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Out and About in Malaysia

May 24, 2011--I can’t believe that it is already May 24, and that I haven’t written a blog since May 11.

On Mother’s Day we went up to The Bar Restaurant and were surprised to see that they were offering a Set Meal that included pumpkin soup, a quarter roasted chicken with potato wedges and mixed vegetables, watermelon for dessert, and a fruit drink. We paid a total of 30 RM or $15 USD, and the meal was delicious, plus we were able to enjoy a lovely sunset from our outdoor table.

On Friday, May 13 we decided to take the ferry from Marina Island to Lumut for lunch. We boarded the ferry at 11 a.m. and arrived at Pangkor Island just in time to get on the ferry to Lumut. Before we left, we looked out the window and saw this monitor lizard swimming up to the boat. As we pulled away from the dock, Steve said that he watched the lizard actually running across the water trying to catch a bird. The whole trip took us about 30 minutes. We left the ferry terminal and walked to Jook’s Bar (the yachties call it Duke’s) where we enjoyed a steak sandwich on a baguette roll, French fries, and a cold beer. We had planned to spend the afternoon in Lumut, but it was so hot that we gave up after two hours and returned to the ferry to head back to the boat and the air-conditioning.

On May 20 we decided to go to Penang for our belated anniversary gift. We left the boat and took a taxi into Lumut where we caught the Internasional bus up to Butterworth. It was a three-hour ride that turned into a five-hour ride because the air-conditioner fan belt broke, so we had to wait in Kuala Kangsar for the mechanic to replace the belt. We took advantage of the time to eat some lunch at one of the stalls, and the food was quite good. We had chicken and pineapple in curry sauce over rice.

We arrived in Butterworth and walked from the bus station to the ferry station that was right next door, and we were able to get on the ferry immediately and enjoyed the ride across the channel to Penang. We have sailed in this channel twice on our boat and have had to dodge these ferries both times. In the picture I took on board the ferry a bird flew through the passenger level just as I clicked the shutter.

We arrived in Penang and walked to the taxi stop where we were immediately hussled into a waiting taxi and driven to the Traders Hotel Resort. As this was our anniversary celebration, we decided that a stay in a five-star resort would be nice. The hotel was beautiful, and we were pleased with our room. The pool was lovely, and we spent each afternoon relaxing there and reading our books.

We had seen much of Penang on our way through in November, so we just enjoyed a relaxing weekend. We went back to our favorite restaurant—Restauran Kapitan—each day for lunch because the Indian food there is exceptional. We enjoyed Chicken Tikka Masala, Butter Chicken Curry, and Kabobs with assorted meat on them. They also serve Naan, which is a type of flat bread that is wonderful, and you can order it plain, with butter and garlic, or one of seven other flavors.

One evening we went to the Hawkers Stalls just up the street where we enjoyed roast duck and rice with a cold beer. There were so many stalls offering so many different dishes that it was hard to choose. The area was filled with locals and tourists who were enjoying their evening meals.

On Sunday night we went to the eight-story mall next door and saw the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. It cost us 28 RM or $9 USD, and we got to sit in a “couples” seat. We had arrived a little early so we went into a room where people were sitting on couches watching previews until their movie was scheduled to start. We thought that was a novel idea.

On Monday we took the ferry back over to Butterworth and caught our bus back down to Lumut. We grabbed dinner at Kentucky Fried Chicken and took the taxi back to Marina Island. It was nice to get away for a few days, but it was also nice to return home.

We have a few additional jobs that we need to address on the boat, and we want to finish them during the next two weeks. After that, all the work that we feel needs to be done will be finished, and we can relax a bit.