Tropical Island Paradise
in Penang Island, Malaysia on 7th February, 2012

I woke up at 7am after only getting about four hours of sleep to catch a train out of Kuala Lumpur up to Georgetown. The journey took eight hours but went by in a flash. I got a first class ticket and had a single seat with no chair next to me. The view from the window was unbelievable. Dense jungle, clear blue sky, occasional body of water, mountains and hills in the background and rice fields dotted along the way. This train ticket was the best £14 I'd ever spent.

I arrived in Georgetown and caught a £0.26 ferry over to Penang Island. A short cab ride later I arrived at my hotel. My room had a balcony looking out at the pool, the beach and the ocean. Off in the distance there were some islands with fairly large mountain ranges fading a lighter shade of blue as the settled off into the horizon.

I grabbed my camera and headed down the beach to snap some photos. This island looks more like some sort of tropical pacific island paradise than I ever expected. Along my photo walk I came across some local Malays fishing. We got to chatting for a bit. It's nice that English is an official language here and everyone I've come across speaks it fluently.

In the evening I hit the night market. Everything on earth was on sale including counterfeit watches, counterfeit movies, counterfeit hats and counterfeit underwear. I had an Arabian meal and a shesha at a restaurant that wouldn't be out of place on Edgware Road or on the back streets of Dubai.

A few days later I returned to the same market and walked into the fanciest bar/restaurant on the whole road. I had a beer at the bar and then I started to walk around and take photos of the place. The manager noticed and came over. I showed him the photos and explained my techniques for each of the shots. He looked with astonishment, went and grabbed his marketing material and said my photos were better than what he was using. I told him I'd send him the photos for free. He was grateful and asked if I wanted to sit down for a meal. It's a shame I had already eaten. I think I might go around photographing every fancy restaurant I come across for the rest of this trip.

I spent my afternoons laying by the pool listening to music and playing games on my iPad. It was nice being able to just order drinks willy nilly without having to get up. Before dinner each evening I'd walk along the beach and chat with the fishermen a bit.

On the last evening I got to chatting with one guy who's daughter is studying in the USA at the moment. She wants to get into photography and I offered to email back and forth with her and offer a explanation as to how I got to where I am today with my photography.

As well on the last evening there was a thunderstorm brewing as I got ready for bed. I opened the curtains, turned off the lights, laid in bed and looked out the window as lightning stuck again and again. When I first awoke in the morning the sun was just starting to rise and shawn a beautiful red hue across the landscape. Absolutely amazing. I can't remember seeing such a striking sunrise before.

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