Pulau Aman,the abode of peace

Pulau Aman and Pulau Gedung are two lesser known islands within the Penang State.Perhaps the only island most people know about in Penang state (apart from Penang Island itself OF COURSE!) is Pulau Jerejak.

Well,as most relatively unknown places are, Pulau Aman and Pulau Gedung are really interesting places to visit. Pulau Aman is just a few dozen meters away from its uninhabited sister island Pulau Gedung.In fact as some of the fishermen on Pulau Aman told me,you could actually cross over on foot when the tide is low!!
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Looking from Batu Musang Jetty to Pulau Aman and Pulau Gedung(in the foreground).Its just a 5-10 minute boat ride away.

To get to Pulau Aman,exit at the Bukit Tambun toll and follow the signages to the Batu Musang jetty.There are plenty of signs showing you the way to “Pulau Aman” once you pass the toll.Just an extra hint :-the road is the same as the one that leads to the Batu Kawan Stadium,just that you need to continue going straight along the road after the stadium.

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Pulau Aman and Pulau Gedung(the longer one).Just to give you a picture of how close they really are.The yellow path is the path I followed around the island.

Pulau Aman is the only one with inhabitants as of now.250-300 residents of whom all are Malay call this island home.An idyllic Kampung setting greets every visitor to the island.Friendly faces and lots of chickens and cats roaming around are not  uncommon as you get around the island.

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Welcome to Pulau Aman!

The main attraction in Pulau Aman would of course be its Mee Udang. Well of course this being my first time in Pulau Aman,it was a must try.The prawns were of course juicy and succulent and probably fished from the waters around the island. As for the rest,I’ll let my pictures do the talking.

 

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Mee Udang and Asam Drink with an awesome view.What more could you ask for?

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Southern side of Pulau Gedung from Pulau Aman.

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An interesting rockface in Pulau Aman.

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Looking south towards the Second Penang Bridge.Coming up very soon 🙂

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Telaga Emas or Well of Gold was dug in 1798.There is an interesting story to it.

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Idylic Malay Kampung which greets you on reaching the island

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Looking back at Batu Kawan.Batu Musang Jetty can be seen beside the                                                                                                    cleared area

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An interesting creature along the way.A crustacean or an insect?

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Yet another look at our weird little friend

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The oldest breadfruit tree in Malaysia is in Pulau Aman.She’s 123 this year and                                                                                   still fruiting.

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And there was this deer who was just starring at me for some reason

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For those who enjoy jungle trekking,there are three or four trails on the island.As it was raining today,I’m coming back in June to try this trail.                                                                                  

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I got myself a kilo of Dokongs on the way back.Sweet and juicy!

 

BN Chinese New Year Open House 2013

So 11th February it was,the day every Penangite was looking forward too. For the first time in Malaysia’s history global celebrity, PSY was setting foot in Penang for BN’s Chinese New Year do in Han Chiang School. We set out around 10.10am that morning and along the way to Han Chiang, we saw this.

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Hundreds of 1 Malaysia flags lining the streets. It felt like the elections were here already. I wonder if PSY might have mistook these flags as the national flag. Zzz…

Anyway as we approached Han Chiang school, we could literally feel the intense excitement among the crowd. Kids holding PSY balloons, vendors selling PSY shirts, hardcore fans in PSY masks…you name it they had it there!

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No Chinese New Year is complete without this,LION DANCE!!

Our arrival was soon followed by the PM’s arrival in his executive Perdana car, when things were just beginning to heat up. The crowd kept growing and as Malaysian culture dictates, people were literally squeezing and pushing each other to get food. Seeing that was enough to keep me a far distance away from the food tables.

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A sea of humanity.

After a few cultural dances which barely caught the attention of the crowd, Shila Amzah, the 2012 Asian Wave Champion was up on stage. As she picked the mic and began speaking few words, the ladies went crazy!! She performed 3 songs (The first and last ones were in Chinese I guess, didn’t really tune in to hear) before her time was up.

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Shila Amzah

As she left the stage, the crowd started becoming anxious knowing that at anytime, our Korean superstar would steal the limelight. However much to the disappointment of the people it wouldn’t be PSY’s show till at least another 15 or 20 minutes.

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Why is time going so slow,I just cant wait for PSY!!

Sheila’s performance was followed by YB Teng Chang Yeow’s address, a few words by Najib’s son (who is surprisingly fluent in Chinese) and by the Premier himself.

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YB Teng.Touted as the next CM of Penang,if BN wins.Let me repeat,if and only if BN wins.

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The Malaysian Premier.

As usual the issues of affordable housing and traffic woes of the island were raised. As Najib concluded his speech he screamed at the top of his voice “ ARE YOU READY FOR PSY???” 3 times to loud shouts of “YES” from the euphoric crowd. Well much to the surprise of the mainly Opposition crowd, Najib was quick to repeat this chant in the most politically charged manner “ARE YOU READY FOR BN??”  “ARE YOU READY FOR BN??”  “ARE YOU READY FOR BN??” I leave it to you to figure out what the response was…

Just when the crowd thought the formalities were done with, Kak Ros and Aunty Ng wanted to perform a song  for the crowd. Looking around you could see a few disappointed faces but well most  were still enthusiastic enough to give her a chance up on stage. 3 songs she did perform before the time everyone was looking forward to came.

ImageOh Yeah Kak Ros just loves to sing.And sing song she did!!

As PSY got his final preparations backstage, the MC’s were mentally taunting the crowd, making  them look up,down,right and left of the stage to spot PSY. Then is the most suprising manner, out of a dark corner in the right side, the star appeared. For almost 3 minutes, the crowd went crazy. Seeing him on the LED screen itself was enough to overwhelm me.For a few seconds i was just left ogling at his face, trying to make out if he was really the “true” PSY afterall. And of course you need evidence too right? So I took a few quick snaps of him.

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My first glimpse of the star.Just blew me off.

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Oh my,those glasses!!

After a  few words in very Korean styled English, it was time for OPPA GANGAM STYLE.As the song began, yet again the crowd went delirious. For the next few minutes, the CNY Open House turned into an open air pop concert, with the crowd dancing like there was no tomorrow .I’ll let the video do the talking for you.

As he went off stage, I thought the fun was over. But I was wrong. Diehard fans wanted one more repetition of the song and kind as he was, PSY delivered in style yet again.

To be honest, it was one hell of a day. Well as for those of you who are still horsing in front of your computers,dying for a glimpse of PSY, well I’m sorry to make you jealous guys, I SAW HIM LIVE!!…