Monkey Beach @ Taman Negara Pulau Pinang

Monkey Beach Penang National Park

Monkey Beach Penang National Park November 2012
Monkey Beach Penang National Park

Prompted by a sudden itch for an adrenaline rush, we packed a knapsack and a boy of 24 month-old heading to Penang National Park without a second thought. Though we had explored this national gem more than a couple times, this was our first with a toddler that weighs more than 10 kg. Recalling our past experience and a little planning on the night before did help. Our gears were brief. No hiking pole but running shoes, an umbrella, band-aids, hats, sunscreen and a change of clothes. We were prepared to survive on a box of home made pancakes, 2 packets of fried beehoon and 2 L of water. We left the rest for God to decide.
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Easy Healthy Snacks and Foods For Family

It started with a donation chit, RM108 for a seat. Why 108? This number represents Tzu Chi aim’s to accommodate up to 108 dialysis machines, serving up to 432 patients at any one time once their new building at Penang – Logan Road is ready in 2013. At present, Tzu Chi dialysis center operates at Gottlieb Road. Little that I knew about this international NGO and their fund raising program until five of us turned up at Jing Si Hall of Tzu Chi Merits Society Malaysia slightly opposite Island Hospital. Similar to its parent architecture in Taiwan, painted in grey, this structure at Macalister Road is not a temple nor a religious building.
Fund raising by Tzu Chi
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Taman Negara Pulau Pinang – Penang National Park

Taman Negara Pulau Pinang – Penang National Park

If you’re in the mood to immerse yourself in an off-the-grid adventure in Penang, Taman Negara Pulau Pinang or Penang National Park is a must-visit. Occupying a size less than 3 hectares on the north-western tip of Penang island, it is the smallest national park in the world. I had been in-and-out no less than a couple times when it was still known as Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve.

taman negara pulau pinang
Welcome to Taman Negara

Taman Negara Pulau Pinang map
Penang National Park Trail Guide

Teluk Bahang fisher's jetty
Teluk Bahang fisher’s jetty

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Penang Public Library at Seberang Jaya

Penang State Library

If you live in Penang and reading is your favorite thing, Seberang Jaya Penang Library is a place that you must visit – at least once in a lifetime! Residing across the sea on the beautiful resort island is not a good excuse, neither the distance that you might claim ‘too far’. To bridge the distance in your mind, you can math out this way. On a good day, circling around the island of Penang takes less than two hours, so even you live at the furthest point from Penang Bridge, it is only an hour away. If you live next to Penang Bridge, this sounds like a bonus. The journey on the bridge is merely 10-15 minutes, then continuing on North-South Highway entering into Seberang Jaya township takes less than 10 minutes.

Penang Public Library at Seberang Jaya
Penang Public Library

How To Get to Seberang Jaya – Penang State Public Library?

Two options. One, tell your GPS this is the coordinates: 5.391975,100.398869. Don’t panic if you don’t own a GPS, there is a second option here. Presumably you’re coming from Penang via Penang Bridge, continue driving on North-South Highway, on the direction heading north, as if to Sungai Petani or Alor Setar. Until you have passed Carrefour and Seberang Jaya Hospital (on your right), then take the far left road connecting to a roundabout. Enter the direction at 9 o’clock on Butterworth-Kulim Highway. Less than a few hundred meters, right after Caltex gas station, take a left turn into Seberang Jaya township. Travel on Jalan Todak 4, then continue on Lebuh Tenggiri 2. Once you see FMM, take the left turn into Jalan Perpustakaan. You will see EPF building and Tenaga Nasional before arriving at Perbadanan Perpustakaan Awam Pulau Pinang. Not many Penang islanders are aware, parking at MPSP (Seberang Prai Local Council) zone usually requires pre-paid parking coupon. Seberang Jaya has no escape so get the pre-paid parking coupons ready before you need them. If not, be ready to greet enforcement officer on-duty. However, this scenario typically applies to road side parking bays, not the internal ones within library’s premise. Some roads in Seberang Jaya are one-way traffic, at which otherwise the township is pretty simple to navigate.

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Penang International Kids StoryTelling Festival (PINKS)

If you had missed out on this PINKS episode – Penang International Kids Storytelling, let me tell you a snippet of how fantastic the event was!

Mark Thompson at PINKS 2012
Mark Thompson on The Gruffalo

For those who have never heard of PINKS, here goes a brief introductory. PINKS Festival is an annual affair organized by Preschool Education Committee of Penang Education Council, aim to promote literacy, creativity as well as the fading art of storytelling in our society. Through the sharing of stories, it creates an opportunity to learn and to better understand people of different cultures. Run as a whole day event, it also serves as a platform for everyone in the family to take part in this educational and fun activity.
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Exotic Tropical Fruits | Duku Langsat Dokong

Lanzones – Lansium domesticum
Peel Lanzones with unpeel ones
Peeled Dukong!

Originated from South East Asia, Duku or Langsat is an exotic, seasonal fruit in the tropics and so it is called in Malaysia and Indonesia. The scientific name is Lansium domesticum. Langsat is also known in English as Lanzones. In Thailand, the same fruit is called Longkong. And a local fruit vendor told me the fruit is Dokong!! According to the seller, this variety is sweeter, nicer owing to smaller or undeveloped seeds and thicker aril, so it is very much preferred over the standard Langsat. My wild guess, this is a cultivar between Duku and Longkong, thus gives the name Dukong or sometimes refers to Dokong!

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Bukit Fraser (Frasers Hill) | Attractions and What To Do

Hearing what you can do at Bukit Fraser or Fraser’s Hill may not be good enough, you have to read this post if you’re looking for the heart and soul of this highland retreat! Today, scheduled traffic or one way driving restriction uphill had been abolished, so you can go up the hill anytime. No vehicles are queuing at The Gap anymore. Don’t say I’ve never warn you, the last 10-km road is pretty winding, expect motion sickness and nausea to be possibly experienced.

Bukit Fraser At A Glance

Bukit Fraser or Fraser’s Hill takes after the name of a legendary trader and adventurer – Louis James Fraser. Operated a tin-ore station in the forested Titiwangsa Range in the end of 19th century, Fraser was last spotted trudging along a beaten path that connects Tras and Kuala Kubu Bahru, hauling a tem of mules laden with crude tin ore. After that day, no one seems to know when, why and how he left. His disappearance remains puzzling. The summit was then left untouched until after a Bishop’s visit in 1917. Since then, Fraser’s Hill went on rapid development as the cool highland gateway was uncovered!
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