Air Itam Dam, Penang, Malaysia

A beautiful water reserve, at Air Itam in Penang.

The small island of Penang that lies on the northwest coast of the Peninsula of Malaysia, is best explored on scooters or by car. These modes of transport are readily available at the airport or booking arrangements can also be made via some hotels when you get there.

Traffic in Penang is languid and very much kampong or ‘village’ style where modern roads are their markings are there as a suggestion rather than a rule. I’ve witnessed motorcycles ride against the main flow of traffic on expressways, and cars carrying along merrily despite a red stop light. What was more amazing was that everybody expected it and no accidents occurred.

The rocky waterfront of the reservoir.

The roads up and down Penang hill are meandering, much like those found in St. Tropez along the French Riviera, though the heat in Penang is much more humid.

There are also the numerous fruit trees that grow in Penang Hill, the most prominent among them are the durian fruit trees that grow up to 30 feet tall. When in season, these sharply thorned fruits hang low upon the branches of the trees, and the roads winding around Penang Hill will begin to carry the pungent scent of the fruit.

The meandering roads of Batu Ferringhi, going towards Balik Pulau, some so narrow that traffic needs to stop for oncoming vehicles.

The reservoir of water that we came across in the mid-day sun was inviting, though no swimming was allowed in the area. I am unsure if this body of water is connected with the waterfall located in the Botanic Gardens of Penang, but the waterfall lies directly across, a few hundred meters from this reservoir of water.

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