Having three days on the island of Penang, Malaysia, I was excited to learn about the Penang National Park. One of the beaches in the park is called “Monkey Beach”, so I knew we would likely encounter monkeys. The trail started off as a leisurely stone pathway before turning into a rugged trail hiking. On the wide stone pathway the monkeys we saw in the distance were cute and I was eager to see more. After meeting a few groups of monkeys on the narrow trails, I am convinced that anyone who says they like monkeys has never been up close to one. Monkeys are evil. At one point of our hike, there was a monkey that would not let me pass. He stood his ground and blocked the trail as I heard all of his friends moving in the bushes surrounding me. I never thought I would be scared of a little monkey, but I was proven wrong that day.
After my run-in with the evil creature, I did gain a more confidence, but I would stop and prepare myself every time I heard the leaves rustle. I was standing on a low bridge with leaves and boulders underneath me when I heard a giant commotion. I could feel the movement under me. I was preparing myself to see another monkey, but what came out of the bushes I was not prepared for. I was frozen, I couldn’t move or talk for a few minutes. Ming Hay did not see what I saw. I didn’t know how to describe to him what I had seen. Was it a crocodile? Was it a dinosaur? No, it was a monster!
I had never heard of a monitor lizard before that day, and I would be happy to never see one again. This monster was huge! Forget about evil little monkeys, I can handle them; these monsters are on a whole other level! These “lizards” look like the small lizards you see everywhere in tropical areas, except they are enormous! This creature was at least as long as I am tall and moved quicker than I can run.
The next hour of our hike was excruciatingly stressful. We saw three more monsters and I was almost in tears. I am normally not very “girly”, but I had a total “girl moment” in the fact I almost made Ming Hay carry me the rest of the way because I was so frightened. We eventually made it to the beach and had a relaxing time sipping coconuts and swimming.
As the sun started to go down, Ming Hay knew there was no way he could get me to walk back. We were able to hire a boat to drive us back to the entrance of the park. Since we were the only tourists left at the beach we had to pay for the entire boat, but it was fun and because I didn’t have to encounter any more monsters I really enjoyed the experience.