The Exotic Holidays In Penang!

A start of bad experience when we first touch down at K.L (Kuala Lumpur), as we've being rip off by a taxi driver that took us to our hotel. We pay RM80, while the actual fare could be as low as RM30 for a 25min journey. We plan to stay for 2 days in K.L before going for our 1 week holidays in Penang.

The hotel room looks o.k., a little dirty and most of the plumbing seems to be leaking from the toilets which also wet the floor. But for a room that cost only RM45 per day, we aren't complaining. K.L is pretty hectic where you can find all kind of people trying to sell things from
food to clothing to fake watches. And did I mention food? Well, it's great.

We went to our room to sleep but I was waken by the feeling of insect bites. Without trying, I found and killed quite a lot of bed bug that roaming on my bed. We complain it to the receptionist and ask to move room. The staff were very friendly and offer us a room in their sister hotel just a few blocks away due to no other room left. It was late at night and the receptionist walked us to the new hotel as he was worried that we might get lost. It was down a bit of dodgery looking backstreet but we weren't going to try and find other place to stay at that time (2am). The 2nd hotel is much better and the air condition works. We had a good sleep that night.

The next day we visited the Petronas twin towers - The tallest building in Malaysia. Inside the towers, there is a KLCC complex - A huge shopping mall. It has the entire brand that I can think of - Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Nike & etc. We don't recommend you to shop here as the price is very expensive. After KLCC, we found our way back to the bus station and bought a bus ticket to Butterworth on the following day for our holidays in Penang. The bus station is crazier than the streets with about 50 different companies trying to sell you a ticket on their coach. We chose the least crowded ones and pay for RM25 per person.

Photos by Flickr

As the meal from previous night was so good, we decided to go back to try some others different dishes. I enjoyed Teh O Limau or Ice Lemon tea. I can't remember the meal that we ate but they were Malay dishes as each meal had the flag of the country it originated.

At night we went to Chinatown as many guide books recommend this place. The town is hustle and bustle with people from all walks of life selling fakes t-shirts, DVDs, VCDs & etc. I was impressed to see Hindu temples and Chinese temple that is located nearby. We were very hungry after a while and decided on the safe option by eating in the same place as we do not want to have stomach ache while we holidays in Penang tomorrow.

We found our bus quite easily and took a 5 hour trip to Butterworth. The reason why we wanted drop at Butterworth is because we want to take a ride on the famous Penang Ferry. Holidays in Penang can never be completed without taking a ride on the colorful and nostalgic Penang Ferry. The ride on the ferry took about 15 minute. We can see a magnificent view of Penang Bridge from here. At Penang, we took a bus heading towards Tanjung Tokong (where we were staying). Bad luck strike as we miss out stop by getting off the bus too early. We ended taking a 30 minute walk to the hotel. One taxi that we stopped tried to rip us off by overcharging, so we just walk away while he stated to offer a better fare. Hopefully this will teach him a lesson to be more honest next time. For our holidays in Penang, we booked a deluxe room with is very huge with a balcony overlooking the sea. We spent a few days lazing around the hotels and the beach.

Food was Penang specialty given the fact that many people seems to say good things about Penang food. We tried eating different types of Malay & Chinese dish such as mee rebus, satay, ketupat,  char kway teow, rojak and chendol. At Georgetown, we go up to the 65 storey of Komtar to catch a breathtaking view of the city. Later that day, we decided to take a bus instead of taxi to the botanic garden after a guy told us that the garden can be reach by bus. Once we got into the bus, the driver told us that we still need to take a taxi to the garden as the bus
does not have any stops there. At this point, we decided to give up on the sightseeing as it seemed too much hard work and got on a bus back to our hotel.

The next day we visited Penang hill, Tropical spice gardens, Penang butterfly farm, fruit farm, orchid garden and the Teluk Bahang dam where the dragon boat race where held yearly. Back to our hotel, we were discussing on how we can get to Koh Samui in Thailand. It seemed we have to go back to the ferry and take a bus or train from Butterworth and then another bus or taxi to reach there. Fortunately, we found another way which is by flight from Penang direct to Koh Samui that could have save us a lot of time, effort and money.

On our last day of holidays in Penang, we ask a taxi driver to drop us at Penang snake temple which is located nearby the airport. The temple lives up to expectation as the visit is definitely worthwhile. We took few photos and bought some souvenir at the temple entrance. From there, we went to the airport and left for Thailand.

Our best memories we will take from Malaysia especially during our holidays in Penang will probably for the food and the interesting tourist attraction. I'd certainly say it's worth spending a bit more time in Penang as the heritage city has so much to offer.

GILLIAN CLARK from England

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