malaysia 2016: george town tour, kek lok si, and penang hill
November 15, 2016
Open Photo Gallery
The colors are so nice.
Charmed by the cat tail rear window wiper.
Loved this tile pattern.
It's so hot, the fire plugs are melting.
Kind of a mashup of street art- wondering if it was something else originally on the end of the kid's string.
Melissa in the street art.
Kirk in street art.
"Soft Opening" - a poster for some kind of singles night, I think.
Colonial architecture... near the start of a nice little free walking tour we took.
Again with the colors. An island thing? Or maybe a post-colonial island thing? I wonder why...
The tourguide took us to the Kuan Yin Teng (Goddess of Mercy Temple), this is one of the booths outside. It's funny we had been so shy about approaching the day before, it's a very public place. I mean as outsider tourists we try to be respectful, but this flavor of Taoism, or maybe this temple in particular, is very open.
The guide told us of some of the querying / divination going on here; picking numbers that you can then bring to the counter for the corresponding revelation, and then you toss these two ying yang halves to see if your answer is correct or not or maybe not understood by the divine forces at that time. The guide Campbell mentioned people come for that when they have problems, mostly.
I appreciate the down to earth nature of the figure attending to his ear.
Kapitan Keling Mosque again - this one is a bit more aloof, tourist-wise; outsiders are allowed in but you have to arrange it.
Inside the courtyard of one of the clan houses. One point stressed is the Chinese in the town were historically very diverse, not homogenous at all. Different groups (and not just the Chinese for that matter) would form societies and groups to help their communities get a foothold.
Some of the clan houses, this one in particular with "secret soecity" connections, was a fortress that could be sealed off, and had a narrow escape route that a Chinese man of the time might have an easier time with than a burly British copper.
Just a photo to remember the tour by.
Loved this mod'ed auto, especially the rear hatch's tail light covers that look like exhaust pipes.
After the tour we had lunch at a nearby open food court.
My White Curry Mee and a Tiger beer, a kind of local default.
In the USA it's usually "order, pay, get food, go sit", but here it's "order, go sit, they find you with food, pay" - feels chaotic but it works.
View from an Uber, guessing people were picking up their schoolkids. Many scooter riders put on a shirt backwards (not sure if it's ever a custom garmet or just a regular shirt), I'm guessing to protect from the sun and other elements.
We headed out to Kek Lok Si, a Buddhist temple
It's an amazing place... the grounds are huge and winding with lots of ways to go and explore.
Random photo experiment, trying to capture reflection of pagoda in glasses. Kept her because I'm amused at how I ook.
Later we'll see the power of scale, but repetition is an important theme too - over 10,000 Buddhas on the grounds.
The grounds are full of shops of religious paraphalia and souveniers as you make your way to the cable car to ascend. That is a creepy holy person in a box statue.
Chinese Zodiac statues abound, I decided to pose with my year's figure, the Tiger.
Wishing ribbons, I did a Family Safety one for Cora and her moms.
This photo does not do justice to the 99 ft statue of Guanyin, Goddess of Mercy, built in 2002, nor the Pavillion built around her.
Graceful tree. Less graceful garbage can but it had a certain wabi-sabi.
A lot of construction going on around.
I guess I didn't get a picture of the pavillion and koi pond (it had an interesting chant playing on loop from speakers hidden as rocks.) But I like this one with the (I think Kuan Yin, though that's just another name for Guanyin) upper body behind.
We paused to reflect, in more ways than one, actually.
Buddha off to the side.
I liked the expression, almost a little mischevious.
Suspiciously infringing looking stone figures.
Because of my housemate I'll always take a picture of turtles.
You can go into and ascend the seven story pagoda here- wikipedia tells me Chinese at the base, Thai in the middle, Burmese at the top.
Each level had its own Buddha
And each level had its own Buddha tiling...
Floor 4. People of the world, Relax!
View at this level.
Floor 7. Each floor had less floorspace than the one below.
View from the top
Attempt at a panorama that just into a vertical slice
A note on this cross. I thought it was the clockwise vs counterclock wise that seperated it from its nazi use, but more that the Germans put it at 45 degrees.
It's humbling to think about the detail of this- I mean this is just one panel among dozens, in this kind of of wonderland of hundreds of things to see, and it's amazing.
We hopped an Uber to head to Penang Hill. They have a funicular (such a good word) to ride up
The train rises over 4/10 of a mile in its mile and a quarter run.
For non-citizens, a ticket is 30 ringgit, like $7.50, for a roundtrip. Or you can pay double that for a "Fast Lane" pass, and skip the line. We felt kind of like jerks but we did that to save at least 30 minutes each side. I was a little surprised that more people didn't go for it, though I guess local, besides not having as much money in general maybe, only pay 10 ringgit, so if it's a 10 to 60 ringgit jump, that might change the equation.
Schoolkids go for 4RM, or a buck.
Oh I'm such an 8 year old, but Kaca means glass.
Oh, man, the view was astounding, just vast and sweeping, you could see the whole coast of the isalnd and the main insland beyond.
On the right is Kek Lok Si where we were earlier
A cloud that, uh, looked like an elephant.
Students wanted to take selfies with us. After a week of taking awkward photos of "exotic" stuff, it was nice to have the tables turned.
At the top we were approached by a tout for "The Habitat", a walkway through the tropical (not equatorial, we learned) rainforest there, where important conservation work and some fascinating research is being done (like - this tree is 500 years old and not dead of fungus, what does it know that we don't)
We took the guided tour along with anotehr couple. Our guide Hermes was so obviously enthused about the place, and when we spotted relatively rare birds from the path...
They had a few really nice giant swings.
The couple we were with also wanted a selfie...
They had electric carts you could hire to run you back to the station.
The electric buggy driver stopped to let us see this Centipede... not sure if this kind is dangerous or not.
Back at the funicular station. Man, and I thought Tokyo had it tough with Godzilla... George Town must have been really hosed!
The hotel recommended this Dim Sum just a few doors down - we went in and the waitress nudged us (almost literally, we didn't have a language in common so much) to this awesome chicken and ginger, and the greens...
Classic Dum Sum feasting!