Friday, February 27, 2015

Return to Batu Maung

This is a photo taken during my first holiday in Malaysia in December in 1970. This was just after I had completed my HSC Exams – the equivalent of today’s A-levels – and waiting to be enlisted into the army for my full-time National Service. All these years, I had assumed that this photo was taken in Malacca. It was not until relatively recently, when I shared this photo with members of a Facebook group in Malaysia called Down Memory Lane that I discovered this place was actually in Penang. Through some clever detective work, readers there managed to figure out that this place was Batu Maung, near the southern part of Penang.

In December last year, I visited Penang with my wife and some relatives and decided to revisit this place. Thankfully this stretch of the beach is still there as you can see from the photo above. It was just next to a Chinese temple known as the Sam Poh Footprint Temple.
Other places that I revisited in this trip down memory lane were the Snake Temple, Penang Hill, Kek Lok Si and a Thai temple at Burma Road which had 2 huge fearsome-looking idols in front of it. I was surprised to see that the temple has remained practically unchanged. Unfortunately, of the four persons in this photo, I am the only one still living.

On the trip back, we decided to take the ferry instead of the Penang Bridge even though the latter was faster. I was hoping to catch a glimpse of the beautiful sunset which I saw in December 1970, and which I blogged about here. Unfortunately the scenery I saw in December 2014 was quite disappointing.