In the end of May 2012, I packed my bags and traveled with my sister and her friends. Penang was our destination. I was so excited because this was my first trip abroad not with my parents. There were four of us – me, my sister Ria, and her friends – Anna and Mei. We had our meetings, to plan which destinations we’ll be going to and how to get there. So, I feel so much good about this trip. And it did turn out to be a very fun holiday. So I want to keep my memory here. And I want to say first that I will post many many pictures. Because the essence of going out with girls is taking A LOT of photos, isn’t it?
I had to wake up at 3 AM in the departure day, because we took the first flight from Jakarta to Penang – so we still had a day long to explore in the first day there. The sun had not risen yet, and I always feel that it’s magical to go travel somewhere when there’s no sunlight around. I don’t know why, I just felt that kind of way. However, maybe because we’re still a bit sleepy, we left our tripod in the car. Well, actually, it’s probably me who left it. Worse, we can’t call Anna’s dad who take us to the airport. So it’s a bit quarrelsome before finally we decide to buy a new tripod there. Haha. Tripod is a very valuable item for this gang.
So, this is the very first picture of the gang (minus Mei who took the pic) in this trip. 🙂
When we arrived in Penang, we took taxi to our hotel. Taking trip with group is very beneficial to save the cost for taxi. And after we left our bag in hotel, we directly hit the street to start this holiday. We had planned to go to Hatyai, Thailand – on the second day. So before we visited places, we need to book a travel to go there. But, then I got hungry so we had to stop to eat first because I’d had mood disorder when my stomach left empty for quite a long time. So then we stopped at place which serve traditional food often found in Malaysia. It’s roti canai. And the famous drink: teh tarik.
When we continue to walk, we saw this street sign, and then we stop there to take pictures. But, because there’s no tripod, we had to change turn to take picture. So, there will be four combination of three of us. One street sign, 4 pictures taken for each pose. Repeat: each pose. Hahaha. It’s funny to think about that now. And this is the street sign:
And back to story of the trip.. After we had the new tripod, off we go to places we had planned to visit before. We knew we could use the public transportation there, the Rapid Penang. It was a convenient shuttle and I could see that it was really well maintained. At the beginning, we had trouble to spot which bus number would go to the place we want to visit. But after several jumped on and off the bus, added with several times asking the native there, we got kind of expert about which bus go to which place. Especially Anna, she’s very talented in reading map, tracking routes, and navigating. While me – I prefer the verbal way – by asking the native there. Well, thank God people in Penang spoke English too.
I had just a bit idea about Penang actually. When we had our meetings, I just confirming the destinations. Okay, we’ll go here, there, there, there, check. I didn’t do the history research – which I felt sorry about that. After now I do the research, I bet myself would enjoy the holiday more that time.
Odd thing about Sri Mariamman temple, we tried to find out the entrace but from the direction we came, we could not find it. And because we were so tired walking, we decided to just take picture accross the street in front of the temple. Next destination, we jumped on the shuttle again to go to Swettenham Pier – one of the place filmed in the Amazing Race Asia
This fort was built in the end of year 1700 by the command of Sir Captain Francis Light. Who is he? He was the one who were sculpted into statue that we took picture with (above). He took the possesion of the island from the Sultan of Kedah – then he built this fort to protect the island. The sun, however, maybe didn’t like us to take photograph with Sir Francis Light that instead of highlighted the personage, it highlighted our extremities. But yeah, it was time for sun to prepare to set. We did came a little bit late, it was almost close – so we had no much time to see around. So after taking picture with the statue, we straight headed to the main attraction: the Canon.
This cannon looked like it had a lot of history, hadn’t it? Well, otherwise – they wouldn’t write it as the historic cannon. Came from the year about 1600, this cannon had been in Netherlands – then the Dutch gave it to Sultan Johor – which then siezed by the Portuguese who brought it to Java then to Aceh in Indonesia, then taken back by the British who then put it in Fort Cornwallis. And I don’t know how it was started – but they said that this cannon has been believed could make infertile women to conceive a child if they put flowers to the barrel of the cannon.
After visiting Fort Cornwallis, we went to the park which located next to the fort. This park was amazing. People could just went to this park and enjoy their time here. And every one seemed had a good time. Me too, had a good time with the girls.
We spent pretty much time to just hanging out in the park and enjoying the atmosphere there. And we end the first day by having dinner at Gurney Drive – which famous for its foodcourts and hawker stalls which open until late night and offering the best taste of Penang. Unfotunately, the battery of the camera was down so we had no picture there. But well, althought I can’t show it in the picture, I could say they did offer tasty food.
As I said, we went to Hatyai – Thailand in the second day. We had booked a travel with the earliest departing time, so we had sat nicely at the hotel lobby at 5 AM. It was still dark, and we are the only people in the lobby – with the clerk behind the reception table who seemed very preoccupied in writing a large book. He seemed very alert considering it was still 5 AM. There we waited the travel who would pick us up. And we are the first passenger who picked up that morning so we could choose our seat.
Again, travelling while there was no sun light around was making me felt peaceful. I really love to see the streets without the bulk of the cars, the light came from the building and the streetlight. And when we crossed the Penang bridge – showered with bright light in the dark dawn, it was magnificent! I didn’t hold a camera but I didn’t want to ruin the moment I felt by saying something – so I just absorbed it in my mind. But I think it was something valuable to try, to cross the Penang bridge so early in the morning.
Not like in Penang, most people in Thailand couldn’t speak English – so we really had to rely on the body language to communicate what we want – and to the map to get to shops we would like to visit. But, thank God there were Seven Elevens. The employees who work there – they speaks English quite fluent. So, every time we need guidance from the local for direction, there we turn to buy something in Seven Eleven and ask for direction there. We shop pretty much a lot in Hatyai – and not only for clothes, but also for food and snacks.
But, the best part of going with girls was… we could try on what we have bought that day and it was hilarious. My sister, Anna, and Mei, didn’t realize they bought same clothes until they try it on together. It was a kind of aha moment – 3 persons buy same cloth just with different colors, try it on together in the same time – and realized they bought same clothes.
End of Penang with Girls Gang part 1..