« Phuket Boat Trip - November 18th 2007 | Main | Jungle Trek Days 2&3 - 14th & 15th September 2007 »

Blogging hiatus - September to November 2007

Ok, time to stop being (quite) so slack.  Had a bunch of people tell me to pull the finger out and get some more posts in here, so I’ll try to get back to updating it regularly.  Aside from general laziness the main reason I’ve stopped posting is because I haven’t been travelling about too much.  Really just settling into ‘living’ rather than ‘visiting’ here.  ‘Here’ being bouncing between Phuket and Penang (Malaysia). 




It was never even meant to be a stop on the tour at all as I figured it’d be too touristy for me.

Turns out I quite like it.  I’m staying in a quiet little alleyway about 100m walk to the beach and within walking distance to everything I could need.  I have a large room with in room wireless internet, king size bed, private balcony, daily maid service, fridge, kettle, large private bathroom, nice hosts etc, all for about $20 a day.  Motorcycle hire is $5 a day and a short (fun) ride is all it takes to find an empty beach if the hoards of tourists on the main beach here get under the skin too much.  Between excellent street magicians, outrageous prancing lady boys, bar girls who are almost impossible to beat at pool, guys with huge lizards or monkeys walking down the street, parasailing, jetski-ing, or watching us kick ass at cricket on cable tv (in all the bars and even my own room) there is always something to see and do.  And when I don’t feel like seeing or doing then the place I’m staying can be remarkably quiet.  There are annoyances here sure, but all told it’s an excellent spot to lose a couple months.




This is a bit of a creeper of a town. 


At first it is just another grimy SE Asian city with open sewers, motorcycle petrol fumes and general chaos.  But after you spend a few days there it has a habit of growing on you.  And it isn’t just me, there are a lot of return/long term travellers in Penang and when you talk to them almost all have the same story:  “I was only supposed to come here for a couple days to get a new visa for Thailand but I just never got around to going”  This city does that to you, my couple days turned into a month before I knew it.  It is just a great place to chill, the old Chinese shop houses have a allure and charm all their own and getting lost in the twisting alleyways can be a pure delight.  The people there are absolutely the friendliest of anywhere I have ever been.  I’d regularly get folks on the street just wander up and strike up a good natured conversation.  At first I was quite wary as (coming from Thailand) I would wonder what there were going to try to sell me, but it isn’t like that.  In Penang “Hello, where are you from?” means just that, as opposed to what I’ve seen so far of Thailand where it means “Give me a sec to walk over to you, pretend to shake your hand so that I can grip tightly and pull you physically into my store”





Over the next couple of posts I’ll probably delve a little deeper into things I’ve been up to over here but for now I’ll just share a leaflet I got handed here the other day walking down the street.  It’s the first time I’ve seen one of my shots in print without expecting it, sure, I’ve seen my work in magazines before but I’ve bought the magazine knowing it.  Here I was just walking down the street and from a complete stranger handed one of my photos (of Celine too at that).  It was a very cool moment.

The original shot can be seen here.


PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (3)

too bad you seem to have a problem with your image links

November 14, 2007 | Unregistered Commentereskimo

Thanks Ben! Haha, that is sooo cool! I was jumping out of my skin in excitement for about 2 days when I found out! :)

November 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCeline

Dude, MTV(!!) party you've hit the big time ;D

November 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJem

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>