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  • Writer's pictureKay Redrup


Penang has a conservation area that boasts turtles, a lake with salt and fresh water and treks through the jungle. It also has a beach called Monkey beach. We began our day with the intension of taking the canopy trek through the jungle but after a trek through the streets to reach the conservation area (buses diverted) we opted for a swim at monkey beach, having learned that the lake was dry (dry season) and we wouldn't see turtles. We stopped at a pisang goreng stand (fried bananas) to have indulge ourselves also with fresh mango juice and a lovely chat with the women working at the stand.

Watching a cockerel on the beach with his hens and then with the tide was out

we had to walk the length of the rickety wooden jetty to reach our ride to Monkey island.

If you dared to leave your coconut drink unattended the monkey's would take it. Apart from that they were charming and weren't annoyed at sharing their space with us. And for some reason a stuffed tiger hung around the tables and restaurant area too.

Upon our return from Monkey island we went to Batu Ferringh's famous Long Beach. It was lovely, however we couldn't swim there as warning signs were up to say that jelly fish had been spotted and it was advisable not to go into the water.

The trigger to my stomach issues appear to be MSG, which features in so much Thai and Chinese food. Turns out also in satay (which I thought was safe). For dinner I walked round all the stalls in the night market asking if they had MSG in the food and discovered only the Indian stall, 1 of the Malay stalls and the wonton mee stall I had eaten from the night before was MSG free. I went for the same thing I ate last night, mostly because it was delicious and the soup good for the gut. It was washed down with the most refreshing watermelon juice.

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