Saturday, July 12, 2014

Going ashore

Earlier today we anchored in front of George Town at Penang Island (Malaysia). Going to shore was interesting as we tied up the dinghy at 1 of several "Clan Jetties". These structures are a composite of Chinese residential shanties built on stilts that extend from the shore out into the shallows and their front doors are accessed by a narrow centre boardwalk. Originally built many decades ago to avoid property taxes, they have endured and now have become an attraction.

Boarded walk of Chew Jetty

We used the Chew Jetty, the biggest with 75 homes/buildings, which is the most visited by tourists. But the invasion of privacy seemed to be taken in stride by the residents and in fact most have taken advantage of the situation and offer souvenirs, snacks, and services to the curious camera clicking visitors.

View of jetties from our anchorage

Wandering the city streets and alleys, we visited the remnants of Fort Cornwallis and read its history boards. We passed by the 1897 clock tower built as a monument to the Queen, and then walked through the Penang Interactive Museum which was fun and out of the ordinary.

Mirror illusion...or not?

For relief from the heat, we stopped at 1 of many coffee shops for what has become 1 of our favourite treats, iced coffee.

Trishaws, another form of rickshaws, pedalled the tourists around; sidewalk vendors and buskers delighted the crowds. Later in the days and evenings always seemed to bring out more life.

Tasty foods of all kinds

On 1 corner, we were attracted to the Eagle's "Hotel California" accompanied by a novel percussionist with his made-up instruments of pots and bins. His original guitar was built from a tennis racket!

Play it again!

It immediately reminded us of a time and place, half a world away now, when we were in Baja Mexico at the actual Hotel California that inspired the song, and where our timing was perfect for the live band playing the namesake song. Jordan, showing his age, also remembered being at the Eagle's concert in Seattle (USA) when they premiered that song in 1980.

When we returned to the Chew Jetty to dinghy back to Sea Turtle, we were shocked to see how low the tide was - we had forgotten about the extreme tides of the full moon! We were just in time and managed to escape the mud and low water level.

Moon over Penang

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