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Anita and Bernie’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 12 Apr 2008

Location: Penang, Malaysia

MapHello all from my old holiday island called Penang which is up the west coast north of Kuala Lumpur. The day that was meant to be a relaxing time for us turned out to be a big sight-seeing day instead. We hired a car and driver and visited many temples and went up Penang Hill. The Snake Temple was not how I remember it. It was far more tame with very few poisonous snakes around. We were told this is due to the impact of the jungle clearance for factories (there is a factory right behind the temple) therefore the micro-climate for the snake has changed. There was a snake farm in the temple which we went to see and for once the snakes in the tanks were quite lively (because the torrential rainfall had woken them up!) One snake, the spitting cobra, made me jump in fear as it lunged towards me spitting very poisonous venom but fortunately there was glass in the way so I was safe! Bernie had a big 'hero' moment when he had 2 vipers put around his arms and an enormous Burmese Python on his shoulder. It was more terrifying when one of the vipers started climbing up his face.
The Burmese Buddhist Temple and the Reclining Buddha Temple (they are on opposite sides of the road) were very peaceful. The Reclining Buddha Temple was extremely colourful with cremation urns of devotees displayed in niches under the statue.
The train up Penang Hill took 30 minutes in 2 stages but the view made up for the slow ascent. There was not much to see up at the top but we enjoyed a nice plate of nasi goreng (75p each).
Returning tired to the hotel we took advantage of the pool!
Today and tomorrow we are spending the time recharging our batteries by swimming, reading and going to the night market!
All the best