By Samir and Rachel

After a 5-6 hour bus ride (advertised as 4 hours), we wound up in Penang, Malaysia. We stayed two nights. The first night, after a weird encounter with a taxi driver who dropped us off a street over and then refused to take us to our destination, and a late check-in, we had a great dinner (burgers, fries, sodas) at the Post Café, and then walked to the mall to see The Hunger Games movie, which just released March 23rd in Asia. The movie theater had assigned seating and had “couples” seating in the back (for an extra 2 USD per ticket), which was kinda cool:

Couples seating at the back of the movie theater

The next day, after a satisfying lunch at Passage Thru India (an Indian restaurant), we took a tour of the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion. The mansion is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was fully restored to the tune of several million dollars in the last decade, and is painted blue, using natural indigo flowers. The house is supposedly a stellar example of feng shui so we learned a few things here and there about it that were interesting.

The next day, we took a ferry to Langkawi, which is a collection of about 100 islands, though only three are inhabited. The main island is 60 kilometers across, has its own airport, and contains about 100,000 people. Anuj, a friend from back home who happened to be working in Indonesia, met us in Langkawi, which offered us the opportunity to lounge at the pool at his hotel, see the blue waters on the beach and the sunset.

On Langkawi, they have several mountains. The government built a cable car system that goes up to the peak of the tallest mountain on the western side of the island. There’s a skybridge, and a few observation decks. The Bollywood movie Don 2 had an action scene filmed on one of the observation decks just last year.  The skybridge was really cool looking, with a curved shape that bent around. And the views from the top were gorgeous – we could see a couple of the Thai islands across the water!

where does the ocean end and the sky begin? Taken with our friend Anuj

From there, we went to a wildlife park, where we purchased bird food and fed all manner of bird species.

a male peacock just before its whole body started vibrating and making mating calls when a female peacock passed by

That night, we went to a laid back beach bar, Reggae Bar, that played live reggae music, had a beach fireshow, hookah and reasonably priced drinks!

The next day, Anuj left and we went on an Island hopping tour of three islands. One of them was the Island of the Pregnant Maiden. One of our taxi drivers told us we should go there and swim in the fresh water so we would have good luck having babies! Lol – we told him we were homeless and jobless so no babies for now! There was a freshwater lake in the middle of the island which was a nice break from all the saltwater we have been in 🙂

On another stop, our boat guide threw some dead fish in the water to feed the eagles.

Watching eagles circling overhead:

what an amazing shade of blue

after a swim at Beras Island