Penang Hill and Moving South. Port Dickson: 02:28.54N, 101:50.74E

Serenity of Swanwick
Phil and Sarah Tadd
Tue 9 Apr 2024 07:15
The last time we visited Penang Island we didn’t climb Penang Hill.  It’s the highest peak on the island and one of the old hill stations where Ex-Pats went to get some relief from the heat.  To avoid the worst of the heat we got an early Grab (Asian equivalent of Uber) and were walking not long after 8am.  The most popular route goes almost straight up under the Funicular, but Phil had found an alternative, the Bat Cave Temple route, which was longer but less steep.  We started along quiet roads towards the Bat Cave Temple (which was closed, a pity as it sounded interesting) but were soon on a relatively shady footpath.
It was an interesting trail that wound its way up through trees and plantations growing pineapples and  papaya.  There were a couple of other temples to make up for missing Bat Cave: the Buddhist temple was surrounded by stupas, many hidden in the forest, and the Chinese one had great views over George Town and the straits.  The final part of the walk joined the direct route and was a mixture of concrete paths and scrambling over tree roots.
Buddhist Stupa 
Hillside temple
Plantation with a view
The quick way up and down
From the top station of the funicular we tried to find the summit, but every path seemed blocked.  We eventually discovered that it is a military installation with no public access, so we had a cup of tea and visited the Biosphere Reserve instead.  The reserve had lovely walkways, and it really felt and sounded like you were in tropical rain forest.  The canopy walkway gave views all round, but like earlier it was hazy.  After lunch in the reserve’s vegan restaurant we treated ourselves to the easy route down, catching the funicular: two and a half hours up and 5 minutes down!
Tea at the top
In the Biosphere reserve
View from the top
This visit to Penang Island was mostly to check the work we had done to the boat, in particular the engine, while still close enough to Pangkor to get things fixed if needed.  All seemed well, so when we cleared out of Penang we put Puteri, next door to Singapore, as our destination planning just short stops on the way.  Our intention was to leave Serenity in Puteri Marina and fly from Singapore to Vietnam to do some touring while waiting for the Passage to the East rally to catch us up.  The chaos resulting from a change of ownership at Puteri put paid to that plan but James, manager of Pangkor, suggested going to Admiral Marina ant Port Dickson and flying from Kuala Lumpur instead.  This option seems to be working and we are now in Admiral ready to fly on Friday.
On the way down, we stopped briefly in Pangkor to collect some canvas Sarah had ordered to replace our dinghy cover.  We also had the chance to catch up with Julian and Lyn from Domini who we hadn’t seen since last November.  They were struck by lightening in Borneo and had been in Singapore getting repairs done.  Between Pangkor and Port Dickson we had one overnight stop anchored in the Klang delta.  Klang is the main port for Kuala Lumpur and very busy but we found a quiet spot in the shallows between the big ships and Klang Island.  This trip was notable for the fact that we sailed for about 3 hours.  It felt like the first sailing on passage for some time. Yesterday we went to the ferry port to check in with immigration.  It was packed, apparently with Indonesians going home for the Hari Raya holiday.  Malaysia seems to have more public holidays than anywhere else we have been!
Wharves of Port Klang
Admiral Marina and Resort