We have found the Malaysian people to be one of the friendliest nation’s we have ever met – truly happy and welcoming to us in their country.
Travelling for an extended time can be lonely sometimes and we have made the mistake all to often in the past of keeping ourselves to ourselves.
We have been lucky enough to be taken for a meal and day out, invited into a local Malaysian’s home to stay in KL, partied with an Indian family in Penang, and made new friends in a family from Canada who are currently traveling the world!
A shared experience, like traveling to a new country forms bonds quickly and we have found that; as it was with our new Canadian friends, we can chat freely about shared, similar experiences whilst the children play and build relationships even quicker than we.
It was with these new friends that we spent 2 hours trekking through the hot and humid Penang jungle to Turtle Beach.
For big and little adventurers this excursion is a must.
Starting from Penang National Park to the Turtle Sanctuary is only around 3km, so it’s not a huge distance but much of which is either climbing up or sliding down steep verges and large boulder like steps.
The journey takes you through beautiful scenery; by waterfalls and streams, with plenty of shade from the hot Malaysian sun.
Although covered almost entirely by the tree canopy, the humidity still makes it a very sweaty trek but with plenty of places to rest, many fellow trekkers to talk to and the view that awaits you when you emerge the other side; it is totally worth the 1 – 2 hours it may take.
We completed the trek with Matthew carrying our 3 year old, Emma in flip flops and our 5 year old walked the whole route along side our companions 3 year old without much trouble at all.
The beach you find at the other end is breathtaking and has a small turtle Sanctuary to spend 20 – 30 minutes at, but nothing else, and due to jelly fish; isn’t a place to stay for long swimming.
Instead we chose to go around the coast to Monkey beach which is back in the opposite direction.
You can of course trek the same route back but we decided to organise a boat to pick us up.
This can be done with any of the tour companies at the Penang National Park entrance, which was easy and straight forward.
(It’s important to note that we have found bartering in Malaysia to be a no go; the price is the price and the tour companies made no attempt to outbid each other.)
At a cost of 80RM (under £20) the boat picked us up at a set time, dropped us at monkey beach.
Here you can swim surrounded by tree lined mountains, drink beer and fresh coconuts at the shack like bar and even get food from the BBQ.
When we wanted to go we had the bar call the tour company for pick up.
The day was one of the best spent in Malaysia so far and a must if visiting Penang.
Remember to pack plenty of food, water, sunscreen and bug repellent.