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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
Written Nov 22, 2005
There are warning signs of fines and that it is an offence to feed the monkeys inside and around the Botanical Gardens but is largely ignored by some locals and some tourists.
There are two main reasons why not to feed the monkeys.
Firstly, if monkeys are fed, they no longer forage in their natural habitat and become dependent on tourist food. Excessive tourist food will also unnaturally increase their population and so it becomes a vicious cycle. When food becomes scarce, the monkeys will venture into other neighboring houses and create havoc and will also cause damage to the botanical plants in the garden.
Secondly, the monkeys are wild and become aggressive when taunted by tourists with or without any food. The dominant monkey leader are known to have jumped on unsuspecting child to grab an icecream causing traumatic fear.
So as a responsible tourist, do not feed the monkeys.
Updated Jan 13, 2007
Beware of jelly fish if you are swimming in the seas around Penang island.
Apparently there are times when there are more jelly fish. Getting stung by one is no fun.
So before you swim in the sea, ask an informed local about any jelly fish alert.
Ammonia is a quick relief if stung. If no ammonia, eg on an island, then urine is effective, hearsay.
If in doubt, why not juest enjoy your hotel swimming pool.
Updated Feb 24, 2007
While in Penang, you may encounter the giant size cockcroach, much bigger than the American cousin but apparently originate from USA. This species is dark brown in color, sometimes fly in the air and grows to 1 to 1.5 inch long.
And did I mention the kitten-size rats that may dart across the coffee shops and into the drains in downtown George Town.
Mosquitoes bites can be painful but usually not Dengue fever or malaria related.
Updated Dec 24, 2006
Parking at Gurney Drive (only those in front of Gurney Plaza) now on the coastal side are now diagonal slots which means you have to reverse park. It is OK during the day when traffic is not heavy but on weekend nights or public holidays, it is like trying to park in a night market of cars.
So you may want to just avoid Gurney Drive and go to the next road, Kelawai Road, and park at Gurney Plaza through Kelawai Road back entrance or the private car park next to it.
Alternatively, drive further down Gurney Drive to the less busy sections and hope for parking slot and then walk up back. Of course, others will have the same idea.
Written Jan 8, 2007
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.
Written Jun 27, 2004
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".
Written Jul 21, 2004
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.
Written Apr 15, 2004
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.
Written Feb 26, 2007
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.
Updated Feb 24, 2007
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