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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Penang Hill - escaping the city in Penang

The previous Sunday my son wanted to go up Penang Hill but by the time he told us it was past noon and from experience going up by cable car, it will be about 4 pm before we could start up. So I told him, let's try this weekend.

Then on Thursday in the newspaper, the cable car was shutdown and will be down for at least 6 to 8 months. So I thought "Horray! I don't need to bring him after all. " I kept the article to show him but I did not get the response, I had hoped.

He read it but zoomed in and said, "Yay, Let's go up by jeep!!" I did not know when to get one so I told him, we can only get a jeep from up there so we have to hike up! Children being children, said, sure let's do it.

So we got ready, (my son, daughter and myself) to prepare for the long tedious hike. Imagine, a 5 year old, 7 year old and and 41 year old hiking up 4 km above sea level. My dad, also joined in the fun and urged them saying if they can hike all the way to the peak, they will get RM 1,000/- (USD1/- = RM 3.2/-).

So we set off, planning to go up the tar road just beside Botanical garden. That was the safest route since chances of getting lost was minimal. When we reached the entrance to the tar road up the hill, there was a guard house. I asked them, where I can get a jeep up the hill. I found out that the guard post is where we can get a jeep up. The price was not that bad, we could hire the whole jeep for RM 90/- which covers going up and down.

So off we go. Here are some of the pictures from the trip:

This is the cable station:


Outside the station, there is a binoculars (now free - use to cost RM 1/-) to look at the view:


Here are some view:





The driver also took us to the Canopy walk: Cost RM 5/- for adult and RM 2/- for children.








The following are some other sights in Penang Hill:



Ancient Phone booth:



Playground, with a Hindu temple and Mosque next to each other:









The view of the food court:



If you feel adventurous, you can take the Penang Hill forest challenge, that is hiking up the forest path to reach the top.



View from the bottom to the playground:



Water fountain next to the food court:



The old cable car:



Side Note from the jeep driver:

There are approximately 300 residents on the hill. Of this only 100 plus are permanent, the other 200 hundred are either day time workers or farmers who stay half way. The cable car can take up to 80 person per trip. The business is currently badly affected with the shutdown of the cable car/train.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Ocean view from the ferry

I took several photos on the ferry recently as I was leaving Penang island. I like the color of the ocean changes and thought I will share it here:





A cruise ship happened to be docked near the island at the time:



This was towards the evening and I love how to evening sun reflects on the water.





I didn't realize how blue the water looked until I downloaded to the computer.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Tongue Twisters

Most people know the following tongue twister:

She sells seashells on the seaside.

I was with my daughter and thought of the following. Now say this really fast:

Give me the Screwdriver to screw the screw into the screw hole.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Now I am confused

So what is the greatest threat that mankind is facing. I guess I have lost touch. All this while, I still think that the depletion of the ozone layer is the threat because, by depleting the ozone layer we allow all the harmful rays of the sun to enter our atmosphere thus causing cancer or other skin diseases.

However, as I watch the show - Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" , it talks about global warming. Apparently global warming is different from the ozone depletion. The global warming is actually the rays of the sun that are deflecting from earth is not able to escape the atmosphere.

For those who have not watched the show, I encourage you to watch it. The message it is trying to convey is critical to our survival as a species. According to the show, the recent disasters which we are facing in recent years can be linked to the global warming - primarily diseases like SARS and recent disasters like Kathrina and recent earthquake.

If we don't pay attention to the warnings and take action now, it will mean the end of our survival as a species.

According to a colleague of mine, the depletion of the ozone layer has been captured with the control of the ozone depleting chemicals. I wonder if this is really true or are we facing many different threats (most of which are self incurred).

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bugs on the Highlands

This trip to Genting Highlands, I decided to look for as many bugs as possible. Much to may surprise I saw a majority of them clustered around the entrance of the outdoor theme park. In one of my previous visits, I took one of the staircase of the hotel and found a lot of dead and flying butterflies.

The only thing I can think of why we see so many such butterflies in the hotel and the themepark is that we have invaded their homes and they have no where to go.

Anyway, here is my discovery: