Posted by: James Shannon | March 23, 2011

Penang, Volume III: The Death Of A Camera (But As Last Looks Go, You Could Do Worse)

Before we get started on this blog, if you’re sharp you’ll note that I borrowed a movie quote from one of my favourite movies for today’s post title.  Know what flick it’s from and who says it?  The right answer wins you my undying admiration for the rest of my life (we’re on a tight budget here at PoE, not a big-time blog yet!)

After getting a taste of some truly epic beaches in Penang National Park, I was hungry for more.  A German girl who was also staying at Annie’s Homestay gave me a killer tip about a beach not far from Batu Ferringhi that was basically deserted, but was in many respects, perfect.

But first, let’s rewind back to the evening where I got back from Monkey Beach … time to go eat!

A huge ship on B.Ferringhi’s main drag, called, yeah you guessed it, The Ship.  Lots of big, audicious restos all along the street here; the was a massive Thai seafood restaurant that I thought about eating at, but it was a bit out of my price range…

… instead I opted for the massive Long Beach food court.  In Malaysia, there are outdoor food courts everywhere, serving a myriad of cuisines, from Malay to Indian to Chinese to Western etc etc…

… and what did I get?  Emperor noodles from a Chinese food stand … Greasy, but tasty and cheap, at about 4.5 MYR (~ $1.50CDN)


The next day around noon, I set off to find this hidden paradise.  I planned to check out the Tropical Spice Garden, located across from aforementioned beach.  But again, as it happened many times in Malaysia, I had something to eat and it turned into something I had to photograph (foodies, this is a must visit destination if you’re travelling internationally)…

Tandoori Chicken on steamed rice (Indian) … mmm mmm yummy!

Beautiful water feature welcomes me to the Tropical Spice Garden

“Floating” tiles bridge a small pond … I stepped gingerly on the first one just to be certain it wasn’t a trick 😛

This is what wild pepper looks like as a spice … I sniffed a leave, didn’t sneeze though!


After looking at flowers and spices for an hour, I was sweating like a pig on a spit over a roaring fire, so just like that, I decided it was beach time.  Finding behind a local laska stand, it was the vision of simple perfection that inspires most of us to travel in the first place…

Alluring.  Mesmorizing.  Excited to jump in the turquoise waters, I stripped off my shirt and ran for the water …


… forgetting that my camera was still in my right pocket of my swim trunks.  Oops.  It’s too bad really that I deep-sixed the camera straight away, as the views at that beach were so endearing, they are seared into my consciousness for life.  Shaped rock and coral to the right, cliffs to the left.  Pocket-sized white sand beach between the two, with a smattering of local kids and travellers in-the-know, and nobody else.

Next time I go back, I will take in-depth photos, remembering to safely stow my camera in my day pack before I run into the water like a ten-year old without a care in the world.


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