After completing the dive course, and having a few more days lazing about on Ko Tao, we finally got moving again, getting a boat to Chumphon, and an overnight train through to Butterworth, Malaysia, where we could get a ferry to Penang Island. I’m back here to search for the Penang Curry that eluded me the last time I was here.
It was good to be back on mainland Thailand, in a town that’s not really aimed at tourists. Rather than every restaurant having the same menu of banana pancakes and mango shakes, it was good to be wandering around the night market, eating local foods, aimed squarely at the locals – the odd tourist was just a bit of bonus income.
Upon arrival at the station, an old lady saw Sally’s bicycle, and promptly came over with her bike, presenting the two flat tyres to me. Ah – no problem, I’ll pump them up. And of course the favour was returned – we could then leave the bike and our luggage at her shop at the station for the few hours that we had to kill before our train arrived.
The train was a sleeper, much more comfortable than a bus. Early the next morning we crossed over the border into Malaysia. They had a rather amusing sign there, detailing how to identify someone with hippy characteristics. What made it especially amusing was that right behind us in the line was a hippy couple, who matched pretty much every characteristic. Dreadlocks, waistcoats (with nothing underneath or on top of it), sandals, poor condition silk pants…it was like looking at a hippy stereotype, beamed in from the 60s. Good thing we were leaving Thailand I guess, although they don’t seem to worry too much about that anymore.
So it’s back to Penang for a couple of days, before doing an all day train down to Singapore. I’m going to make a concerted effort tonight to track down a Penang curry – but I’m sure that I’ll be able to get one outside Malaysia, should I desire one.
Prices were looking a bit high for a flight to Darwin…do I have an excuse to stay in Asia a bit longer?