Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Penang : Cross Ferry Ride Pt.1

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                     AhPek Biker - Riding Adventures                 
Penang Cross Ferry Ride (Pt.1)
George Town to Pantai Bersih, Butterworth : 22nd June2013
Medium-sized Group Ride from George Town, Penang Island>Penang Ferry>Butterworth Outer Ring Road (BORR)>Pantai Bersih, Butterworth & back.
Distance covered : 21.7 km. (excluding ferry rides)

Route Recommendations :
1. The George Town UNESCO Heritage Core Zone is a worthwhile place to visit with nice old buildings from the colonial era.
2. Don't miss the good food on the island and also at the Raja Uda area of Butterworth.
3. Please note that last ferry is at 0100hrs from the island and 0040 from the mainland.
4. Hold on to your bikes when the ferry berth, as the could be a sudden jolt.
5. The day traffic along the BORR is fairly light, but evening and night traffic can be heavy, so do right carefully. Same goes for Jalan Raja Uda.

You are at Part 1 of a two part blog, click below to view the other part :
- Penang Cross Ferry Ride Part 2

Biker Group @ Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce before start of ride.
(Photo by Nicholas Lim)
Many of us from Kuala Lumpur will be going up for the Where2Go Ride Event in Penang. Most of us would be reaching one day earlier as the event starts early the following day.
With time to spare, what should we do? Do what bikers itch to do - Go Riding!

May of our friends had seen photos of Sin (of the hApPy HaPpy blogs) & me riding from Penang Island, taking the ferry over to mainland Butterworth, riding there and then coming back (... see Penang Cross Channel Ride). It looked interesting for them. So why not organize a ride for them so that they could have the same experience too. We did that and were quite taken aback by the response, 17 of us will riding!

So on an early Saturday morning, me & my buddy packed our three bikes into my car and drove up to Penang; eager to meet up with our friends.

Upon arriving in Penang  we did what most visitors do - made a beeline for the nearest coffee-shop for eats after all Penang is a foodie paradise. I had this plate of delicious Char Keow Teow (stir-fried flat rice noodles)


Penang Cross Ferry Ride Map  (click for Map Link)
Sin had done a recce of the ride route the previous day, and had extended the route a bit on the Butterworth side. The ride route is now :
Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce (PCCC)>UNESCO Heritage Core Zone>Ferry Ride>Butterworth Outer Ring Road (BORR)>9 Emperor Gods Temple>Raja Uda & back

Setting off from the PCCC, we must have looked like a very colorful lot with funny bicycles.

Larry, with his cute bicycle earring, will be leading the Penang Island side of the ride - he will take us round the UNESCO Heritage Core Zone.

My cousin Harry, will be marshaling.

Heading down Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, the mosque's (the Kapitan Keling Mosque) minaret can be seen on the right.

At Armenian Street, the quaint houses made us feel like riding into a colonial past.

Happily posing in front of the street art at Armenian Street, which depicts colonial days traders of scrap. Decades ago there were many shops here which dealt in unwanted old glass bottles, newspaper, scrap metal and what-not that people sold to collectors.

Further along at Chulia Street Ghaut, Larry tried his hand at scoring into a basketball hoop which was part of a street art.

Across the road, at Step By Step Lane; Corrina, SuiT and Nash tried their hands at the"Children On A Swing" street art.

Irene & Crystal at the swings, trying their best to look like pole dancers.
The street art in George Town has painting on walls with real life props incorporated to make them unique. (... see more Street Art Of Penang).

Next to this are huge metallic doors to a whare-house. On these doors are signatures, mementos left by tourists.
Larry, the yellow fellow, posing with some other yellow fellows.

Photo fun over, we continued our cycling around the Heritage Zone. It is such an interesting place to cycle, with mosques, Chinese & Indian temples next to each other - a real melting pot of culture place (... see more at Streets Of Penang : Temples).

More street art fun at Queen Street, are those two guys dancing? Shucks!

Around the corner, at Church Street, we stopped at the Peranakan Mansion a sort of Museum displaying colonial Baba-Nyonya life (... see Baba-Nyonya Manison blog). The place was closed at this hour but that did not prevent us from having some fun ...

Nash emulating Superman changing into his costume in a phone booth.

Crystal & me pulling one of those antique rickshaws.

We are off again, heading towards Beach Street with its stately bank buildings, the Malayan Railway clock tower is seen ahead (... see more at Streets of Penang : Stately Buildings).

At Weld Quay, the traffic was heavy so we cycled on the pavements instead.

One last stop before we board the ferry - at the Tanjong City Marina for a group photo and to chill off a bit.

A panoramic group photo.

Seems like we were not the only ones chilling here. This tourist taking a nice snooze to the sound of the waves amidst the cooling sea breeze.

My bike chilled off here too!

Dusk view of Butterworth from Penang Island.
Oops! Dusk is setting in, it's getting dark, best we head for the ferry now.

The traffic was still heavy, fortunately there is a cycling lane for us to ride on.

In the ferry terminal, we were eager to get on board the ferry. What will the ferry hold for us? Find out in Part 2 (... see Pt.2). 

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