Penang take two: butterflies, temples & superheroes

Our first visit to Penang was an unplanned itinerary change, allowing Chloe time to recover from the digestive challenges visited upon her by New Zealand and Indonesia. Our second visit was intended to wrap up Malaysia with a big ribbon. And what better way than to indulge in its ‘big three’: natural and human-made beauty, great food and the silver screen?

Entopia is the reincarnation of the old Penang Butterfly Farm. The butterflies were, as butterflies always are, ethereally gorgeous. We just stood and marveled as they floated jerkily around us, all colours and sizes. The rest was a mildly disappointing range of bells and whistles (mostly made out of papier-mâché), some depressing lizards and insects in tiny, bare boxes. The mighty gecko should not be penned up in such a way. Mind you, the glossy pile of huge, black scorpions that first greeted us were a sight to behold.

The Burmese Buddhist Temple is the oldest Buddhist temple on Penang. It’s a green pool of calm nestled amongst shopping malls and the soaring glass towers of luxury flats. It may also have brought us enormous luck because, as we stood on the roof of the bell tower looking over into the Thai Buddhist Temple’s complex, we found out that we’d secured the last decent apartment left in the whole of Greece for early August!

Between these treats for the soul, we also looked after our senses with sushi, Wonder Woman (deceptively formulaic plot and totally kick-ass women over 40), sushi, Spiderman (fun and funny), and sushi. There was even time to watch another spectacular lightning display and for a traditional bowl of Penang Assam laksa: sour, fishy and oh so good.

Penang treated us well both times. We’ll miss it.