18-6-2012 - PENANG is once again covered by thick haze, the haze continue to worsen since last sunday with the API climbing to as high as 84 around Seberang Jaya/Perai. API to 100 should considered as unhealthy. A DOE official attributed the haze to a variety of factors, including open burning, prolonged hot and dry weather and south-westerly winds carrying smoke from hot spots in Sumatra.
Picture 1 : Photo taken from my Balcony in Bukit Mertajam. Penang not visible at all. :-((
Weathering the haze
Signs and symptoms to watch for:
Breathing problems, nasal congestion, chest pain, eye irritation, itchy throat, coughing, runny nose, skin irritation or itchiness.
1. Drink as much water as possible
2. Try to stay indoor
3. Wear a mask if you have to go outdoors
4. Wash your face, hands and take bath regularly if you exposed to the haze
5. Turn on the air-conditioner in your car while driving and keep windows closed
6. Refrain from smoking around sick children and elderly.
7. Refrain from smoking when the Air Pollutant Index exceeds 100.
8. Seek medical treatment asap if you have such above symptoms.
Take care, Mimi
Whenever the rain is heavy, most places are filled with knee-deep water and even higher. It is well-known some heavy bursts may cause flash flood (banjir). As kids we went for a bath because its water temperature is lovely. Typical thing of minor importance, though strange effect is the red-earth which causes a red-coloured flood all over the island. It will disappear the next morning flowing into the ocean for miles around Pulau Penang, within miles ...
"AMARAN RIBUT PETIR DAN HUJAN LEBAT"
"THUNDERSTORMS AND HEAVY RAIN WARNING"
Don't risk your health! Better be prepared going away to the strange ... Especially hiking from place to place and stay in the jungle.
Not required: Smallpox & Yellow Fever.
Only when you have visited zones, inland.
No need for Cholera vaccinations.
Get info at Health Appendix about Hepatitis (especially B, and A, C, E), Rabies and about epidemics of "Dengue Fever".
Recommended: Tetanus, TB, Diphtheria, Hepatitis A and E is recommended.
Food & drinks : >>>
Take care, however donot get too paranoid when eating your delicious satay! Anything cooked is oowkee, like the vegetables. Just avoid fresh salad and "open fruit" in the streets, it could be infected by heat. And be carefully with unbottled water from hawker stalls.
You may ask about the water if it has first been boiled or otherwise sterilised. Like milk, which is available as powdered or tinned milk. Take care with products that have been made from unboiled milk (sometimes only sweetened) ...
The meat and fish should be well-cooked, and avoid pork and mayonaise, and a bottle of water with you always is the best ...
We used to drink rainwater when kids, though even rainwater can spoil a great holiday ... leave the rainwater to earth, even with banjir/flood.
Although it's worth a pic!!!
Ofcourse we knew not to bring some drugs to the Orient, even a "sniff" or "bon-bon" is a great risk!!! Though we did not expect when completing the form in the airplane to Bayan Lepas Airport Penang, to read the following >>>
Malaysia’s anti-drug laws are severe
And on bilboards you could read the same message, so especially to Western (and Dutch!) travellers this warning,... and don't mention the Hippies carrying bags full of beatific stuff ... that was a long time ago!
After my meal, I take a walk through the crowded streets of Georgetown. It is a rare occasion when the streets are not crowded just with people, but with an abundance of decaying buildings which although lay dormant, appear to be jostling for position. One cannot simply walk down a footpath here, as space is limited and every available inch is used. It's a constant game of back and forth, as you must alternate between road and storefront in order to proceed to your destination.
Always watch where you're going!
This is not a city full of landmarks, or must-see attractions. For the bulk of visitors, it is a place to indulge in digestive decadence. A place to relax by the beach, catch up on reading or spend long periods of downtime. There is a reggae cafe with many depictions of Bob Marley, but being caught in possession of any drug in Malaysia will lead to similar penalties found in Singapore. The lucky ones can get off with a hefty bribe, but tonight I'm not going to risk it. The hustlers and drug dealers persist anyway, hoping to allure me with cat calls and hissing. I can't blame them for trying, as my long hair and scraggly beard produces similar results wherever I go.
women always ned to be on the lookout when out drinking here as it has been known that women and girls have been kidnapped from popular bar spots eg in 2005 2 teenage girls from the international school down the street were having a night on the town when someone slpis a small pill into thier drink the next thing they remember is waking up in a room naked having been kidnapped molested and raped they managed to escape these girls were no more then 15 years old so if your a guy always watch out for your table making sure that no creep is walking near or around your table and if he is then dump your drink and get a new fresh one never take any chances but generally speaking penang is not a dangerous place if you know what your doing and excercising good caution when out on the town
There is a quete good Pickpocket operating in Hin Bus 101, Komtar to Batu Feringhi (probable also in other buses). He looks like a middleaged Businessman, and is hiding his work behind large Envelopes, probable he uses also some Chemical (Spray?) to make you sleepy.
I was travelling with a girlfriend and we were walking from the Little India street to the main George Town street and we were circled by the same motorcyclists as we walked looking for a opportunity to take our bags.
It was very obvious what they were doing and we made it aware that we knew what they were doing but they wouldnt stop. I think they were hoping to confuse us.
This was a terrible incident for us and unfortunately i proberly won't go back to that area again because of it. It is a shame that girl travellers can be targeted like this.
When you enter a toilet , get your toilet paper from the common toilet roll dispenser before you enter your cubicle. You may not get any toilet paper in the cubicle! Better still, carry your own toilet paper with you wherever you go or arm yourself with packets of tissue.
Beware, speacilly Female Travellers, do not walk on the deserted streets day or night, there are quite a few incidents reported that the Bag/Wallests of locals and foreigners were snatched by the guys came from behind on Motorcycle, it happn like a flash there is no chance of recognizing the bandits or taking note of the vehicle registration number.
Do not resist them, it can turn violent.
Do not carry lot of cash in your bag/wallet and keep a photo copy of your credit card/passport and airline ticket at your hotel.
Toll Free Emergency Number can be dialed from Any Cell Phone (even if you dont have credit or even dont have SIM Card inserted that is recent development) or from Any Landline Phone.
Always keep your eye on where your feet are going. The pavements often abruptly stop and you could find yourself in an open drain. Also there are many obstacles in the way such as mopeds etc. It is often easier to walk in the road.
If you are going round Penang Island, opt to drive or sit in front if you are prone to car sickness. The roads are windy though manageable.
Another proactive action is to stop more frequently or longer and enjoy the sites along the way. There are several places along the way to allow cars to park along the road.
Look left and right before crossing the road. Traffic is low but there are tour buses, motorcycles and foreigners on bicycles going round the island.
It can be hot and so drink a lot of water and take a lot of pictures.
If you are driving, do not park illegaly at the popular eating places in Penang. You will quickly get a ticket. So why spoil your holiday, drop your family and friends at the door step and drive further to find a legal parking lot.
Illegal parking is usually RM30 and it is reduced to RM20 if you pay at Komtar.
Caught in action - Picture shows a car illegal parked at a handicap lot. Soon enough an officer from MPPP (Penang Municipal Council) showed up on a motorcycle and wrote a ticket.
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