Sunday, July 30, 2006


FIRST ~ Kuala Lumpur - Penang Expressway 280706

We are traveling along the North-South Expressway, on our way to Penang from Kuala Lumpur, a 5-hour leisure drive. As we enter the state of Penang, we are greeted by this glorious sunset.

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Teluk Bahang Dam 290706

After a well-earned night's rest, we decide to travel the road snaking along the rural and rustic west coast of Penang island. For orientation, please see this Penang map.

Noon and we depart our Sri York home in Georgetown for Teluk Bahang on the northwestern corner of the island. From there we turn south and come to the Teluk Bahang Dam.

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Organic Durians 290706

After a number of twists and turns in the forest and orchards, we chance upon this interesting-looking stall.

Uh-huh? Organic Durian? Sounds catchy enough for a sucker like me.

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Durians and Cempedaks 290706

How can I resist these organic durians?

And these cempedaks too?

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Mr Wong 290706

And the poster boy beckons. This better be good!

And there is Da Man himself, ready to sign your autograph if he's not busy prying open a durian. But honestly, Mr Wong is a very friendly and chatty bloke. He advises you well and serves you too. A hands-on sort of chap. I like that. Love his shades too.

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The Catalogue 290706

You can flip through the catalogue of Mr Wong's creations. And I've lost count how many varieties of durians there are.

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The Dining Room 290706

This is the chow table. Take your pick and be served on the spot. We choose a durian called 'Amy Yip', for some reason, and at about RM2 apiece (not a fruit) it ain't cheap! Amy's brownish-yellow flesh is very soft and creamy, but pliant, with a tinge of sweetness. Gobble up 3 pieces and you are done, just like doing 3 servings of Häagen-Dazs! Very wholesome stuff.

Mr Wong's helpful deputy comes around and prepares the spiky thing for us. Inferior stuff are quickly disposed off. We just feast away on the good ones and only pay for them. Sounds very fair to me.

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The Gallery 260706

Mr Wong's gallery of durians.

Comfy and breezy corner at the back, overlooking the scenic plain towards Pantai Acheh.

Pantai Acheh and beyond, the Andaman Sea.

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Pasir Panjang 290706

Having had enough of Amy Yip, we push on, with detours to Pantai Acheh and Kuala Sg Pinang, hoping for beaches, but nothing interesting. Further south, we see a Biro Tata Negara signage, follow it and find ourselves in wonderland ...

... and at the end of the road, a gorgeous sandy cove on the Andaman Sea. This is Pasir Panjang.

We make friends with 3 of the local denizens.

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The Runway Lights 290706

Getting late and we take the road to Permatang Damar Laut, which skirts the southern end of the Penang airport runway, in time to see an Air HongKong - DHL plane taking off in the dusk.

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The Departure 300706

Early morning, and time to return to Kuala Lumpur. We board the first AirAsia flight from PEN to KUL for the day. Airbus A-320 reg. 9M-AFB, delivered on Christmas Day 2005.

Yes, it's a virtually brand new machine, though the new plane smell is already gone.

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The Usual Suspects 300706

While the usual suspects linger around at Penang airport ...

... we take off, and bye-bye, Penang. For the moment, at least.

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FINAL ~ Selangor Dam 300706

En route, in the morning sun we spot the Selangor Dam near Kuala Kubu Baru, which we have passed by countless times on our way to and from Fraser's Hill by road.

Fifteen minutes later we land at KUL.

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