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Friday, 4 November 2011


As a part of my visual research repertoire, plus entertaining my sister Kak Yong and brother in law Abang Taha, I drove to a very interesting spot somewhere along the winding Teluk Kumbar road in the island of Penang. 

I've been staying in Penang for more or less 8 years already. The highest elevation I had been was at the peak of Bukit Bendera. Then there is another high elevation winding road that connects Balik Pulau to Teluk Bahang. The hillside of Penang's Spice Garden is too pale for comparison, even though it is not less beatiful (and informative/educational too).

But there is another peak with a breath-taking view in Penang. Not Genting Highland (which is in Pahang), but Bukit Genting (Genting Hill). Laila, my staff at the Muzium & Galeri Tuanku Fauziah (MGTF) USM kept on telling me to go to Bukit Genting for a good Thai food dinner with a majestic view of Selat Melaka (Straits of Malacca).

So I drove off to Bukit Genting, forcing my old Avanza to climb the very steep hill, while feeling unsure whether I was along the right path (more like a winding jungle alley). My wife Rozana kept asking me to turn back, obviously nervous about the remoteness of such place, if not the steep climb. For a while, we felt like lost tourists waiting to be rescued from a no man's land. 

I called Laila again, and she assured me to drive uphill until the top. "Drive uphill until there is no more hill to climb" she said.

We finally reached the top. As we stepped onto the main hanging balcony of the Thai food restaurant, we were in a state of relief and complete awe. No wonder Laila kept insisting me before. The view immediately washed away all the previous nervousness.

I let the pictures to do the talking. But still, the pictures are no substitutes for the real experience of being there. 

In the midst of enjoying the inspiring view and beautiful natural ambiance, there were few questions too, like how the heck the owner managed to get this piece of beautiful land. Then there was this gaudy kind of approach towards the way the buildings were designed, not to mention what appeared to be a theme park occupied by animals made of cement. But all the questions and issues were about to be washed away by a heavy rain.

We could see heavy clouds coming towards us with some part of the open land appeared to be washed by heavy rain and thunderstorm. I took the opportunity to wash away my mental and emotional toxic as well. 

Abang Taha and Kak Yong probably felt like
a honeymoon couple again.

After a nice early dinner, I drove down (the road is one way). Again, we had a minor panic attack. It was raining, the road down was very steep and winding sharply, with lots of water gushing like a river everywhere. 

With Allah's Grace and Protection, we safely reached the Teluk Kumbar road. 

Thank you Laila for kept telling me to go to Bukit Genting. 

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