There are only 2 ferry crossings each day. Do the later one. You set off at 5:15 and have to sit in the seated lower deck for the first 10 minutes. As soon as they give you the go-ahead, race up to the top deck and grab a seat, and settle in for the ride. It is more than just a ferry crossing. It’s an entire evening sea cruise disguised as a commute.
We were on deck from 5:30 to enjoy the last evening rays as we watched Langkawi shrink into the distance. With headphones in, setting the perfect tone, the sun began to set (nothing as beautiful as we’d seen from The Cliff, but every bit as relaxing and all-consuming).
We stayed on deck until darkness fell, with the warm ocean air brushing over us. A fantastic lightning storm appeared in the distance – far enough away for us to be able to enjoy without a splash of rain.
We arrived into Penang just in time to grab a taxi to our hotel and hit the streets for hawker food. We were staying on Chulia street which is a great start for street food, and from here we made our way to Little India. Unfortunately there wasn’t much on offer there but by chance we took a turn down Lorong Pasar where there was the most fantastic stall. We gathered around the front, picking out little pieces that took our fancy. Oh my word, it was so delicious, I can’t stop thinking about it even now!
Rice in pyramids and sticks, wrapped in banana leaf and filled with sweet coconut stuffing, fried bean sprouts, fried dough, sesame-seed balls, nasi paprik, spicy soup, all washed down with sweet, condensed-milk ‘Tea tarik’, and all eaten just perched on plastic stools beneath strip lighting.
After our delicious meal we took a little walking tour around the area and stumbled across the beautiful ‘Unique Penang’ art gallery on Love Lane. The couple who own it paint, photograph, play music, teach…all things creative, and their shop is beautifully calm and relaxed. One of my favourite things is the postcard arrangement they have. You write your postcard to a loved one and agree the date you want it to be posted – this could be long into the future – and they pop it in the respective pigeon hole and post them out every day. Such a lovely concept