Great view from Batu Kawan
Favorite thing: Even if you do not take the boat acroos to Pulau Aman, you can enjoy a panoramic view from the new jetty at Batu Kawan.
From the there, you can see the hills of Bukit Mertajam and Juru on the mainland, the Penang Bridge, Penang Island, Pulau Jerejak and of course Pulau Aman (closest) and Pulau Gedong.
On the way out of Batu Kawan as well as at the old jetty of Bukit Tambun, do check out the many seafood restaurants. The seafood is fresh though prices are no longer as cheap as they used to be. Still cheaper than Penang island.
The Simple Life
Favorite thing: This is no art gallery but it caught my attention.
At the village jetty, there was a display of children art competition of drawing Malayisan flag and celebration of this year 50th Year of Independence (Merdeka).
So although Pulau Aman is relatively isolated, the spirit of patriotism and sense of belonging in the bigger world is not lost here.
It is interesting that when wandering around this "nothing much to do" island, one is often reminded of the simple life.
Favorite thing: Came across a pair of deer kept behind fences. Apparently, the deer once were allowed to roam around the village.
The rearing of goats on the islands has also stopped over the years. Being a small island, it is difficult to support grazing animals, domesticated or introduced.
But if you look into the sky, you will see, throughout the day, majestic flight of the endemic sea eagles. These are the Brahminy kites which provide amazing aerial acrobat show if they are in combat, courting or just soaring in the sky, looking out for prey in the sea.
Other than, the other wildlife I saw where the long tipped nose fish in the sea at the jetty.
Favorite thing: At the island old jetty, you can see a lot of cockle shells. Cockle rearing used to be a major earner in Pulau Aman.
Over the years, pollution from neighboring mainland has badly affected the cockle industry.
The builidng of the Penang Bridge, the new factories and the starting of the second bridge as well as transportation of garbage of Penang island to the mainland dumpsite, all have affected the simple life of fishermen of Pulau Aman.
Hopefully,eco friendly tourism will become a new source of income.
The Story of the Elephant
Favorite thing: During the British administration era, there was the story of the elephant on the island.
Apparently, the British officer came all the way to the island of hearing about the elephant on Pulau Aman. How did an elephant get on the island or was it washed ashore or a carcass found on the beach.
The hue and cry ended with the eventual visit. There was no elephant.
The local Chinese called a sand spit an "elephant tusk". It looks like one anywhere.
There is a sand spit on Pulau Aman almost joining Pulau Gedong at low tide - end of story.
You can see it clearly on Google Earth. Here is a picture from a distance.
About the local population
Favorite thing: There is a mosque. The local population is 100% Malays.
In the past, there was a sizeable Chinese population who were engaged in rubber planting, fishing as well as quarrying granite in the nearby mainland sites. Over the years, they have moved to Penang island or mainland. The old Chinese school is no longer there.
Now on the island, there is a kindergarten, a school, a clinic but no police or fire station.
One part of the island was affected by 2004 tsunami though damage was not as bad as other places.
No souvenir shops
Favorite thing: You know that a place is unspoilt by tourism when there are no souvenir shops.
There is a small general store that sells most of the daily household needs and you can stock up if you did not bring enough for cooking for your weekend chalet stay.
It is also serve as useful information center by the friendly owner. The shop has no name but it right at the "village center".