Jungle Trekking and Spice Garden in Penang

We spent the first half of the day at the hotel beach. All of us are already tanned, and some have already burned a little, but the thought that in only a couple of days, we will go back to dark and cold Estonia gives us the reason to sunbathe on the beach. We have noticed that local TV channels do not pay much attention to weather forecasts because the weather is almost the same- the temperature- the wind- only sometimes it rains a little. This is different from what we have at home. In Estonia, the weather forecast is shown often, and people like to watch it several times a day. This is because the weather changes very quickly, usually lousy.

After lunch, we went jungle trekking. We did not know what to expect, so the minivan took us there. At the place, there appeared to be marked trails in the rainforest; they are different in terms of length and difficulty. Jungle trekking was free of charge. We did not have a guide, only a map, so we picked a mid-range trek to go on. According to the instructions, it should have taken 1.5 hours, but we did it in 50 minutes.

The walking was not very hard, although it was hot and without wind in the forest. But the noises were extraordinary; this was wild. On the trek, we saw different rainforest plants, including meat-eating plants. For some reason, this environment doesn’t provide enough nutrients for the plants they need. As a result, these plants have adapted to their environment by developing ways to catch insects for the extra food they need.

After the jungle trekking, it was still too early for dinner, so we also visited the Spice Garden. There were three different trails, and we walked them all. The Spice Garden was a beautiful and very well-maintained nature park. All the plants had notes with their names and where they grew. Here we saw how different spices we use in the kitchen grow. The entrance to the Spice Garden costs 13 ringgits per person.

We returned to the hotel because we wanted to book a tomorrow trip to Langkawi Coral. We got a discounted price as it was our first trip after the tsunami.

We had dinner in Batu Ferringhi at Jasmine’s Kitchen. The waiters remembered us from last time. The food was perfect, as expected. The service was excellent. When driving to our hotel from the restaurant, we noticed that there were three Tandur Chickens on the restaurant bill, although we had only two. We told the taxi driver, and as he knew the place’s owners, he called them. The waiter explained that this was his mistake and showed that this was corrected in one of the last rows. We apologized to each other.

Pulau Payar – Langkawi Coral

This morning we woke very early, as we should have been at the reception at 7:50 when the bus picked us up to go to Langkawi Coral. For some of us, this was our first real snorkeling experience. We were frightened because someone told us that aftershocks could occur after a principal earthquake. But we still wanted to go, as we believed the expected experience would be great.

After breakfast (where we hardly ate anything), the bus took us to the boat, and the boat drove to the small island of Pulau Payar. Pulau Payar is situated in the northern part of the Straits of Malacca, near Kuala Kedah and thirty kilometers south of Pulau Langkawi. The island is not inhabited. Pulau Payar offers sandy beaches, which combine to provide a total length of about 200 meters. Teeming with coral reefs, the waters surrounding the island have average visibility of between 9 to 15 meters, making this marine park an ideal place for scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, and picnicking. Two tracking trails have also been made available for visitors to explore flora and fauna of the island.

There was a floating platform where we changed clothes and went snorkeling. The view that opened into the crystal clear blue water was magnificent, with colorful fishes and coral. One of the guides blew the pieces of bread into the water, and the fish came to eat them quickly. Some of the fish even bit our legs. We felt like swimming in the aquarium.

For those who do not dive or snorkel, a tunnel-like chamber was located at the bottom of the platform, more than 10 feet below the sea. This underwater observation chamber is the closest encounter a landlubber can have with the world below. Coral Langkawi also offers glass-bottom boat rides to selected sites of coral gardens.

At lunchtime, a shark feeding trip was organized. We stood at the 5-meter-high bridge, and below there were a lot of sharks; the guide threw them some meat.

There was also a beautiful beach, where we walked, picked up some beautiful stones, and just sunbathed.

At the platform, we also had a buffet lunch. This was good food again. After lunch, we had free time, and we snorkeled again. One of the children saw a little shark when swimming, so this was a challenging experience.

This was just a perfect day to end our vacation in Malaysia-a lot of sunshine, enjoying the colorful sea, and excellent food. In the evening, we had our last dinner in Batu Ferringhi. We also did some souvenir shopping in the night market. We had dinner at a place we had not been to yet. From the cozy restaurant, we met fellow citizens from Estonia, with whom we flew to Penang.

Winter vacation in Pulau Penang, Malaysia

Relaxing at the beach, Diamond Factory, Snake Temple, and fishing village in Penang

Butterfly Farm, Fruit Farm, and Kek Lok Si Temple in Penang

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