Getting Squashed in the Penang Furnicular
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
Do not feed the Monkeys
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.
Jellyfish in the waters
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.
Giant size pests
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.
Reverse parking in front of Gurney Plaza
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.
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.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
Chulia road transvestites
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".Related to:
- Gay and Lesbian
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.
Getting dizzy in the back seat
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.
Illegal parking ticket
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.
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.
BAG SNATCHERS ON MOTORBIKES
When we were on holiday in Penang we were given a local paper to read each day. This gives you an insight into the parts of Penang you would not normally be told about . When we first arrived an old woman was locking up her restaurant for the night & walking home when some one grabbed her handbag as they rode past on a motorbike. She was dragged along the roadway and her injuries were so bad she died. I don't think we would have found out about this except for reading it in the paper . It pays not to walk too close to the road which is sometimes hard if there are no paths. Also wear a bumbag or money belt & maybe don't have handbags that go over one shoulder. I find a backpack with the front closing buckle is good.Related to:
- Women's Travel
- Family Travel
WATCH YOUR STEP WITH THE TRAFFIC
A large amount of traffic fills the roads of Penang everyday. We were only there for 10 days and saw two quite serious accidents. You need to keep your wits about you when walking close to the edge of the road or even crossing it . When the traffic starts to build up motorbikes pull around the cars or overtake as they don't want to wait. My husband and daughter saw a small boy hit by a motorbike speeding along the road. It was very frightening for both of them.Related to:
- Family Travel
Clever roadside vendors
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.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Beware of Snatch Thieves in Crowded Places
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.
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