penang national park monkey beach penang national park ペナン モンキービーチ


A few photos below from a recent day trip to Penang National Park on the northwest coast of Penang Island. There is no vehicular access to the park beaches, so they are uncrowded. Access is by small boat or on foot. We walked in and out, a total of some nine kilometers.


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We found Monkey Beach, named for the crab-eating macaques that live in the trees there, clean compared with other Penang beaches more often frequented by tourists in great numbers, drawn to parasailing, jet-skiing, and other such activities.

On a beach in the park, my son found a couple kinds of crabs: one a small fast-scurrying crab with a translucent body, and a larger fiddler-like crab, which he dug from its sand burrow. We also observed a few water monitors on the beaches and on the mudflats just off shore.




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Recently, I asked a Tamil acquaintance why fish and shrimp are expensive here compared with other sources of protein. We had thought that living on an island would give us access to fresh, inexpensive seafood. He told us that 50 years ago, one could cast a line from almost any beach and catch stingrays, which are eaten here, at the rate of about one an hour; now, there are none to be found in local waters. This is true, too, he said for many fish and for shrimp. He told us that the sea nearby had become so polluted that many fish are now sourced from Thailand and Indonesia, thus driving up prices. Penang has become rich by some measures, but much poorer by others, I think, a story similar around the developing and developed world.




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