Monkey Beach Baby!

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore
Can I help you?

Welcome to Monkey Beach – a pristine park of Penang’s northern National Park! And yes, there are actually monkeys here! For now.

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore Dusty Tree Monkey
Cute guy munching on leaves

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore

It starts off with a nice civilised pathway, but wait until you get slightly deeper.

The trail to Monkey Beach is about a 3km hike across semi-forested areas and short stretches of sandy beach.

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore

And there’s actually signage! Huzzah!

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore

Now before you head in, you’ll most likely be accosted by some of the salespeople at the entrance claiming there is a landslide blocking off the passageway to Monkey Beach after the USM campus. This is a bold-faced lie.

They will also insist you need a boat to access the beach, and will insist you pay a deposit to ensure you have a boat ready to take you wherever you need. You do not need a boat.

But it’s still nice to take a boat ride on the way back after you’re exhausted from all that hiking. However, you can easily get a return trip by boat from Monkey Beach itself, or wherever there is a jetty.

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore

Access to this National Park is also entirely free! That’s right – FREE!

All you need to do is list down your personal details in case you run away with the monkeys and they need some names to put in the news.

Monkey Beach Penang National Park ExploreMonkey Beach Penang National Park ExploreMonkey Beach Penang National Park Explore Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore

Watch out for the little critters!

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore
A little disrepair

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore
Filthy flower flipping me the bird
Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore
Things start to get a bit messy further in

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore
Fancy some jelly?
Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore Hermit Crab
A shy little guy
Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore
Returning to nature

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore Hermit Crab Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore Dusty Tree Monkey

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore
Slightly cheekier type of primate lurking nearby

You’re bound to meet plenty of wildlife in here, as long as you keep your eyes peeled and your wits about you. Just make sure the wildlife doesn’t make off with your sunglasses.

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore
If you see this, you’re almost at Monkey Beach

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore
So lazy they couldn’t even be bothered posing for a picture

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore
I wasp here too!

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore

You can even go for a swim in the relatively clean (but still murky) salt waters of Monkey Beach!

Just watch out for the watercraft and jetskis and banana boats.

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore
Horsey taking a bath
Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore
My poor attempt at underwater photography

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore

The best part is after you spend the better part of an hour trudging up to the beach, you can easily hail a speedboat back to the starting point. All for the cheap, cheap price of RM50 per boat!

I wouldn’t bother booking them beforehand, which the salespeople are wont to encourage you to do before you step foot into the park.

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore

Monkey Beach Penang National Park Explore
You leave now, yes?

 

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Monkeying Around Penang

Monkeying Around Penang

Sometimes it’s fun to monkey around – hop from tree to tree or sit around scratching your bum. Penang is a great place to monkey around!

You can go for a little jungle trek a stone’s throw from town, up near the Botanical Gardens.

Monkeying Around Penang

Coming down is the hard part.

Take a spin through George Town any time of the day – night is better as it gets quite hot in the day.

Monkeying Around Penang Monkeying Around PenangMonkeying Around Penang Monkeying Around Penang Monkeying Around Penang

Or chill at one of our brand new local government service centres! A new one just opened up in the heart of Jelutong.

Jelutong Kadun Service Centre Ong Ah Teong Jelutong Kadun Service Centre Ong Ah Teong Jelutong Kadun Service Centre Ong Ah Teong Jelutong Kadun Service Centre Ong Ah Teong Jelutong Kadun Service Centre Ong Ah Teong

It’s headed by a charismatic young father YB Ong Ah Teong.

Jelutong Kadun Service Centre Ong Ah Teong Jelutong Kadun Service Centre Ong Ah Teong Jelutong Kadun Service Centre Ong Ah Teong Monkeying Around Penang Monkeying Around Penang Jelutong Kadun Service Centre Ong Ah Teong

As you can see he’s very popular with the locals. Give him your support and help him get things done!

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Admiral Cove of Port Dickson

Port Dickson Avillion Admiral Cove

Port Dickson is a truly idyllic seaside sanctuary from the hectic madness not far to the north. The Avillion Admiral Cove is a meticulously reclaimed semicircular lagoon prodding west along the Straits of Malacca.

Port Dickson Avillion Admiral Cove Port Dickson Avillion Admiral Cove

With turquoise waters and a gradually receding beach front, it’s a perfect spot for classy resorts…and sport.

For 17 years, this Avillion Admiral Cove has been host to the annual Port Dickson International Triathlon, one of the few this part of the world.

Port Dickson Avillion Admiral Cove Port Dickson Avillion Admiral Cove Port Dickson Avillion Admiral Cove

With clean sweeping beaches and protected lagoony marinas, it’s not hard to see why this is such a popular spot for tourists and hardcore triathletes.

Port Dickson Avillion Admiral Cove Port Dickson Avillion Admiral Cove

And where there is tourism, there is food. Just down the road are a number of popular seafood restaurants. One iconic eatery is based in a multi-tiered Chinese shrine. The rest have your usual assortment of resting flora and fauna.

Port Dickson Avillion Admiral Cove Port Dickson Avillion Admiral Cove Port Dickson Avillion Admiral Cove Port Dickson Avillion Admiral Cove Port Dickson Avillion Admiral Cove

With the sportspeople come a rainbow variety of vividly coloured equipment and accessories!

Port Dickson Avillion Admiral Cove Port Dickson Avillion Admiral Cove Port Dickson Avillion Admiral Cove Port Dickson Avillion Admiral Cove Port Dickson Avillion Admiral Cove Port Dickson Avillion Admiral Cove Port Dickson Avillion Admiral Cove Port Dickson Avillion Admiral Cove Port Dickson Avillion Admiral Cove Port Dickson Avillion Admiral Cove Port Dickson Avillion Admiral Cove Port Dickson Avillion Admiral Cove

Port Dickson Avillion Admiral Cove Port Dickson Avillion Admiral Cove

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Cycling Experience Around Penang Island

Bikelah Cycling Experience Teluk Bahang
As you may have noticed, bicycling is our passion! Currently we are hosting a cycling experience around Penang Island, with bike rental if you require.
One of our usual routes is along the northern coast of Penang, riding through Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferringhi and Teluk Bahang.
You can tackle some of Penang’s scenic hills firsthand!

Bikelah Cycling Experience Teluk Bahang Bikelah Cycling Experience Teluk Bahang

This here is Pearl Hill (Bukit Mutiara) which is nestled in the suburban slopes of Tanjung Bungah. Entirely optional, as it is a bit of a workout with the constant gradual climb, but nothing a seasoned cyclist can’t handle!

Bikelah Cycling Experience Teluk Bahang

We will take a ride along the windy and winding roads of the northern cliffs, and make our way past the towering resorts and beaches that Penang is famous for.

Bikelah Cycling Experience Teluk Bahang

Bikelah Cycling Experience Teluk Bahang

Bikelah Cycling Experience Teluk Bahang Bikelah Cycling Experience Teluk Bahang

We can also take a bike hike up to the Teluk Bahang Dam (and further beyond into the hills if you’re a seasoned climber).

Bikelah Cycling Experience Teluk Bahang

We’ll pass all the fun places in Penang, such as the Escape Theme Parks as well as the Entopia Butterfly Farm.

Bikelah Cycling Experience Teluk Bahang Bikelah Cycling Experience Teluk Bahang

And of course there will be fruit and food and drinks!

Bikelah Cycling Experience Teluk Bahang Bikelah Cycling Experience Teluk Bahang Bikelah Cycling Experience Teluk Bahang

There are many intriguing and picturesque sights to see.

We host casual fun rides around Penang all the time, so feel free to contact us and join one of our cycling experiences!
Come ride with us!
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Ipoh Infatuation

Ipoh Town Art ExploreIpoh Town Art Explore

Ipoh has always been a unique concoction of culture and art and limestone and soul, a magnificent microcosm of modern Malaysia.

Ipoh Town Art Explore
Ipoh Town Art Explore Ipoh Town Art Explore Ipoh Town Art Explore

While the adornments may not be entirely original – even largely derivative as a lot of modern art and popular culture tends to be, Ipoh puts its own sublime spin on what it means to be a Malaysian metropolitan landmark city.

With extravagantly large visuals (you’ll notice Ipoh is noticeably larger in print on road signage) and splashes of colours between heritage colonial buildings, Ipoh is evolving out of the umbra of its larger brothers that flank it to the north and south.

Ipoh Town Art Explore

Easily compared to Penang and Melaka, Ipoh has always been that hub town on the road down to KL or Cameron Highlands. But I’m afraid that is no longer the case.

Ipoh Town Art Explore Ipoh Town Art Explore Ipoh Town Art Explore

While retaining its former identity as a British colony and tin mining town, Ipoh is rapidly blossoming into a tourist city rife with vivid colour and character.

Ipoh Town Art Explore Ipoh Town Art Explore Ipoh Town Art Explore Ipoh Town Art Explore Ipoh Town Art Explore Ipoh Town Art Explore Ipoh Town Art Explore Ipoh Town Art Explore Ipoh Town Art Explore Ipoh Town Art Explore Ipoh Town Art Explore Ipoh Town Art Explore Ipoh Town Art Explore Ipoh Town Art Explore Ipoh Town Art Explore

Ipoh has a strange phenomenon where existing narrow terres townhouses have been extended upward. You can still see the remnant of the original roof poking out between crushed concrete.

Ipoh Town Art Explore Ipoh Town Art Explore Ipoh Town Art Explore

Ipoh Town Art Explore
Brickway to Heaven

Ipoh Town Art Explore

And like any tropical town, Ipoh is alive with green and vegetation, tying it back to its simple Malaysian roots.

Ipoh Town Art Explore Ipoh Town Art Explore Ipoh Town Art Explore

And of course it wouldn’t be a modern city without some swanky street art!

Ipoh Town Art Explore Ipoh Town Art Explore Ipoh Town Art Explore

Remnants of the colonial era stand strong against the tropical elements.

Ipoh Town Art Explore Ipoh Town Art Explore Ipoh Town Art Explore

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Taman Jajar in Sungai Ara

Taman Jajar Sungai Ara Plogging Penang

There is this wonderfully picturesque park in the core of Sungai Ara on Penang Island named Taman Jajar.
 
It is a surprisingly sizeable and well-equipped park. Taman Jajar has a fenced-off football field, stage area atop a hill, 2km loop walking path, children’s playground, exercise machines, and neatly cultivated flowerbeds lining the walkways.
Taman Jajar Sungai Ara Plogging Penang
The children’s play area next to the playground (I guess technically it is also the playground)

Taman Jajar Sungai Ara Plogging Penang Taman Jajar Sungai Ara Plogging Penang

 
And the lush greenery is nicely carved up by a curvy creek that snakes its way through the entire park.
 
Taman Jajar Sungai Ara Plogging Penang
Taman Jajar Sungai Ara Plogging Penang
Zumba upon the stage area

Taman Jajar Sungai Ara Plogging Penang Taman Jajar Sungai Ara Plogging Penang Taman Jajar Sungai Ara Plogging Penang Taman Jajar Sungai Ara Plogging Penang

Taman Jajar Sungai Ara Plogging Penang
Cutely adorned recycling bins

Taman Jajar Sungai Ara Plogging Penang Taman Jajar Sungai Ara Plogging Penang Taman Jajar Sungai Ara Plogging Penang Taman Jajar Sungai Ara Plogging PenangTaman Jajar Sungai Ara Plogging Penang Taman Jajar Sungai Ara Plogging Penang Taman Jajar Sungai Ara Plogging Penang

What a hidden gem in a heavily populated neighbourhood such as Sungai Ara, which is right next to Bayan Lepas and Relau and all the high-rise apartment buildings.

Taman Jajar Sungai Ara Plogging Penang

Just look at how perfectly picturesque this park is!

Taman Jajar Sungai Ara Plogging Penang

Taman Jajar Sungai Ara Plogging Penang
The actual playground

Taman Jajar Sungai Ara Plogging Penang

A well-kept park that the local residents are clearly immensely proud of. Let’s hope they continue to keep it that way.

So if you’re ever in the area, go drop by Taman Jajar (Linear Park) in the south side of Penang Island!

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Cycling the Bridge of Hope

Penang Spiral Bridge of Hope Sam

At the dawn of an overcast yet auspicious morning, the authorities of new and old gathered with cyclists and joggers to celebrate the completion and official opening of the massive new spiral bridge – officially known as the Jambatan Harapan, the Bridge of Hope For those that are unaware, this is a nod to the name of the winning party in the recent election, the Pakatan Harapan.

Penang Spiral Bridge of Hope Sam Penang Spiral Bridge of Hope Sam

Much revelry was had at this grand structure that finally allows pedestrians and cyclists a safe way across the busy Penang Lim Chong Eu Expressway – a link between Queensbay Mall and the industrial zone

Penang Spiral Bridge of Hope Sam

Penang Spiral Bridge of Hope Sam Penang Spiral Bridge of Hope Sam
Penang Spiral Bridge of Hope Sam Penang Spiral Bridge of Hope Sam

After going around the spiral bridge, you will find yourself on a wide new bicycle path heading straight towards the largest (and busiest) roundabout in Penang, with Krystal Point on the right.

Penang Spiral Bridge of Hope Sam Penang Spiral Bridge of Hope Sam

There is a stream (read: big ravine) that runs along the bike path. However, the refuse from the surrounding plants and factories has turned it into a foul-smelling cesspool of stagnant floaties.

Penang Spiral Bridge of Hope Sam Penang Spiral Bridge of Hope Sam

Still needs to be some beautification on both sides of the bike path, but the spiral bridge itself is a grand testament to just how much Penangites like to cycle (and show off)!

Penang Spiral Bridge of Hope SamPenang Spiral Bridge of Hope SamI hope the Bridge of Hope stands strong as a testament to the mighty will of the people of Malaysia, as well as a proud hope for a better tomorrow from this day forward.

Malaysia boleh!

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The Spiral Bridge of Hope

Introducing the brand new Spiral Bridge of Hope – right in time to usher in a new era of Malaysian history!

Penang Queensbay Bayan Lepas Spiral Bridge of Hope

This circular landmark can be found a few klicks south from the popular Queensbay Mall on the south-east side of Penang Island.

Penang Queensbay Bayan Lepas Spiral Bridge of Hope

And it’s purposefully made with pedestrians, runners and cyclists in mind!

Although I’m sure motorcyclists will find their way up it, as they do.

Queensbay Penang Aerial

With a height of 11 metres, a length of over 250 metres, and a gradual 5 degree slope (compared to some of the more ridiculous slopes we have here in Penang), this bridge was designed to not only be accessible by the physically robust or those with motorised assistance; even the most inexperienced cyclist and pedestrian can easily make their way up this tower bridge.

The new spiral bridge will act as both a safe passageway across the highway as well as a magical lookout point to this side of Penang Island. Although not immediately apparent from below, at its peak there is a large circular platform that provides quite the view!

To the west you can see all the way into Penang’s heart and suburban central, and to the east you gaze upon both of Penang’s massive bridges as well as Pulau Jerejak just 800m across the channel.


Penang Queensbay Bayan Lepas Spiral Bridge of Hope

Maybe not so sightly at the moment with all the reclamation going on.

It was a clever idea to incorporate a viewing platform into this bridge; in doing so its value has been multiplied tremendously. The bridge is now more than just another overhead bridge – it is a potent tourist hotspot, a gathering point for landscape photographers, a place to relax and look up at the open sky.

So where does it go?

The spiral bridge starts from the south of Queensbay Mall in Bayan Lepas and stretches west across Penang’s busiest highway – the Lim Chong Eu north-south expressway. It bends around the tennis courts of Intel and along Penang’s Free Trade/Industrial Zone.

Penang Queensbay Bayan Lepas Spiral Bridge of Hope

This bridge will serve to connect the coastal Bayan Bay area with the Sungai Nibong and the Bayan Baru area where Penang’s largest roundabout and Krystal Point are. All in all the project cost a decent 8.9 million, which is perhaps a little more than I would pay, but what do I know about building bridges?

The reason it is unofficially known as the Spiral Bridge of Hope is because the party that overthrew the previous government stronghold is named the Hope Party (Pakatan Harapan).

So here’s to hoping this bridge remains a beacon of our dreams and wishes for Malaysia for many years to come.

Penang Queensbay Bayan Lepas Spiral Bridge of Hope

And here’s a video of it – now with music!

 

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The Broadest State of China Electric Boogaloo

A while back I posted a brief blurb on cycling in China. Here are more snapshots of my forays into Guangzhou, the broadest state in China (not literally).

Guangzhou China Travel

Guangzhou China Travel

Guangzhou is a widely spread city that is not too vertically striking, with many sectors and a whole lot more people. And where there’s people, there’s food to eat!

Guangzhou China Travel Guangzhou China Travel Guangzhou China Travel

Guangzhou is a very wet place, with regular light showers and high humidity. However, don’t let that get you down.

Guangzhou China Travel Guangzhou China Travel Guangzhou China Travel Guangzhou China Travel Guangzhou China Travel Guangzhou China Travel Guangzhou China Travel Guangzhou China Travel Guangzhou China Travel Guangzhou China Travel

Durians are popular in China now, although you probably won’t find them for this price anymore.

Guangzhou China Travel Guangzhou China Travel

The food is excellent, and the serving sizes are generous.

Guangzhou China Travel Guangzhou China Travel

The cats also enjoy the local hospitality, and wherever they fit they sit.

Guangzhou China Travel Guangzhou China Travel

Guangzhou has an old colonial sector on its own little island, where the rustic buildings are stark reminders of when the West had a foothold in the East.

Guangzhou China Travel Guangzhou China Travel Guangzhou China Travel Guangzhou China Travel

Guangzhou China Travel
Creepy doll machine

Guangzhou China Travel

Guangzhou China Travel
After the rain

Guangzhou China Travel

Did I mention Guangzhou was wet?

Guangzhou China Travel Guangzhou China Travel

Guangzhou China Travel Guangzhou China Travel Guangzhou China Travel Guangzhou China Travel

Overall, Guangzhou has a decently relaxed feel to it, with a large gentrified area of classic buildings with an ageing population. If you venture into some of the newer districts and night markets, the energy is still very much alive, but this place clearly has a lot of history and it’s not going anywhere fast.

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