If you've got the patience of Donald Duck, I'd suggest you skip Penang Hill Furnicular Ride altogether. If not, be prepared to wait for at half an hour and be crammed like a sardine in the tight,compacted confines of the small tram as it slowly creeps upwards for another 30min. And God help you if your fellow passenger turns out to be Fat Bastard*. I became a contortionist for half an hour when a very weight-challenged tourist squashed me against the window frame.
*Scottish lump of fat last seen in Austin Powers
Just a couple of days prior to our arrival, our pal's Mom got attacked by a snatch thief in Penang. She was walking along a busy street when someone swooshed past her on a motorbike and grabbed her handbag. Fortunately for auntie, the bag broke and the thief just escaped holding the handle! That was definitely a close shave. So for the rest of you, take this as a lesson. Leave your Louis Vuittons at home and carry a nondescript bag or a money belt. But don't let me frighthen you with this bit of advice. Penang's generally a safe place.
Do take note that the 200m long Canopy Walk in Penang Hill is CLOSED for repairs *. Go there only if you're Indiana Jones and can't wait to step on a broken suspension bridge.
* As last seen on Nov 2005.
Beware of THE SMOKE!!! Due to Indonesia burning off vegetation to make way for New Crops.......Unfortunately it ends up being TREES....that get WIPED OUT So long to the Jungles if this practice continues. BUT it unfortunately happens in other coutries with same, or worse results.
This is very common in Asia as it is full of tourist on a yearly basis. Just watch your belongings at all times and do not carry large amounts of money with you at any one time whilst out on the town. I thought that Malaysia was a great country and did not see any theft when i was there, but you always have to be on your guard!! A good thing to buy is a money belt that tucks in under your trousers/skirt which cant be seen buy anyone. Very handy!!
Just returned [July 2005] from Penang, having had a great ten days.
Unfortunately the holiday was 14 days.
The last four days were marred by what the locals call 'haze' but to anyone else it is smoke.
This is caused by burning of the rain forest in Sumatra, further bad news, and we were fortunate in that the prevailing wind normally blows the smoke all over western Peninsular Malaysia and Penang, so we were lucky to have 10 good days
This is a serious health hazard, check with the New Straits Times where you will read of doctors and government ministers warning people to stay in their homes on particular days.
If you suffer from asthma or other breathing problems I would suggest you take medical advice before deciding on a Malaysian holiday as long as the Indonesians persist on burning the rain forest.
Penang is a great place for a holiday but bear in mind the above.
In this island, there are some 'clever' peoples trying to fool tourists by selling stupid artificial fake juice drinks. This glass of sugarcane juice was purchased at one of the restaurant at the famous Kek-Lok-Si temple. I don't want to mention which stall, you should know by then. The juice is sold at RM1.60 per glass, and we were so happy to drink when coming down from the temple with friends. We discovered the juice was not sugarcane, it was some 80% artificial syrup sugaring kind of thing mixed with some flavours and only about 10% pure sugarcane inside. After drinking, my tongue felt dry and thirsty. I drank less than a quarter of glass and I snapped this photo to put here as warning for you. Don't drink fruit juices at almost any roadside vendors, they don't understand the meaning of drinking fruit juices.
Cab - expensive charges at Jeti and Komtar
Once you reach the Penang Jeti early in the morning, many taxi drivers will come to you and offer you a ride to your desired destination. Some of their charges is very high. My advive is to ask the charges first before you board the taxi....
Instead the bus station is located at the same location. The buses here are heading to different destination in Penang Island. I pefer to take buses since the fare is cheap and it is convenient....
If you are not sure what buses to board, you may ask the bus drivers or the people around... People here are friendly and nice.....
Well in malaysia, you are like to face with toilet issue. The toilet use in Malaysia is mostly squating style and not sitting style. Another things is that the floor around the toilet will be very dirty, if youare wearing pants, when you pulled down the pants, the tousers will be touching those dirty floor.
Therefore, for ladies, it will be better if you wear skirt or dress that you can lift up. For guys or ladies that wear pants, fold up your trousers before you go into the toilets.
I was walking with another tourist. We saw lots of prostitutes and we talked to some of them. (NOT FOR THE PURPOSE OF INDULGING!)He thought there was something wrong with the girls...maybe they are actually guys?? Later a guy at a bar told me that most of them in the streets in Malaysia are transvestites.I was grabbed by one of these transvestites while walking down Chulia road but flatly refused to "go upstairs".
Instead of leaving your shoes at the door of the temple, take them with you.
Keep a plastic bag in your purse or bag for this use. Put your shoes in the bag and carry them with you inside the house or temple.
That way no one can snatch them while you are not looking.
I am not saying anyone would but it is better to be safe than barefoot.
When walking on a footpath near traffic, carry your bag securely not just by hanging it off one arm.
Opportunist bag snatching is common especially around Georgetown and Batu Faringi tourist areas.
How it happens:
A motorcyclist with passenger will ride up close behind you, the passenger will grab your bag and the the rider will take off at speed, yanking the bag from you.
How to avoid:
Walk against the traffic. Carry your bag by looping it across the opposing shoulder and wear backpacks using both shoulder straps.
During my visit it looked to me that the whole Penang city was going through reconstruction and refurbishment. It was almost impossible to walk around in Georgetown as all the footpaths were under construction.
Whenever you are renting Taxi or Trishaw it is always safe to agree on the price. Be prepared for haggle as well. They always ask for some madness money but it is up to you how much you can knock it down.
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