Words by Rexy Prakash Chakco
Wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life?
Pulau Aman or the Isle of Peace is waiting for you! Located just off the coast of Batu Kawan in Seberang Perai, this isle offers intrigue, gold hunt, food and culture with a tinge of chequered history.
A short hop on a ferry from the Batu Musang Jetty took me across a strait to Pulau Aman in 10 minutes. On weekend when more people visit the island, the boat services are more frequent.
Pulau Aman has only 250 residents, who live in Kampung Pulau Aman on the northern coast. The village is an array of colorful houses, a perfect example of a typical traditional Malay village.
As it was a weekend, the local teenagers were playing Sepak Takraw (rattan ball) while a communal event was packed with villagers.
With the first settlers arriving on Pulau Aman in the late 1700s, the island and its sister Pulau Gedung acquired a notorious past for harboring pirates.
At the heart of the village is the island’s famous Breadfruit Tree which is the first of its kind to be planted in Malaysia in 1891.
Moving along the path, I came across a well named Telaga Emas or The Golden Well. Words that gold was found there in 1789 caused a mad rush but interest died when the gold that was sighted turned out to be a shiny stone. Nevertheless, the well was stuck with the name, Telaga Emas, until today.
The path ends at a rocky beach where I can see the Second Penang Bridge on the left and Penang Island on the right. Retracing my walk, I reached the jetty but before departing for home I checked out the one and only Pulau Aman Floating Restaurant for its famous bowl of Special Prawn Mee.
While eating, I looked towards Batu Kawan and saw a green hill whose exposed cliff face bore the scars of granite mining.