A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about penang

2017 OCTOBER - MALAYSIA, PENANG

A FEW DAYS IN LUXURY IN PENANG

sunny

THIS BLOG IS BEING WRITTEN FROM MEMORY SO NOT MUCH DETAIL.
I AM CATCHING UP ON MISSED BLOGS WHILE RELAXING ON TIOMAN ISLAND

DAY 251 SATURDAY 14TH OCTOBER 2017

PEDANG BASAR, THAILAND TO BUTTERWORTH, MALAYSIA TO PENANG

Our sleeper train arrived at the border station about an hour late, but that did not matter as it was still morning and we had all day to get to our destination of Penang. The Thai train does not cross the border, we needed to get out at the Pedang Basar train station, go through Thai exit immigration, then go through Malaysian entry immigration, then continue our journey south to Butterworth from a train at the same station. This was an easy task involving about an hour of lining up waiting for our stamp out of Thailand. Timing was on our side because as soon as we were stamped into Malaysia we could board the train to Butterworth that left minutes later.

The ride to Butterworth was 11.40 myr = aud $3.52 each , and took about 2 hours in a comfortable, clean, air con train that was completely devoid of any kind of food or drink vendors.

PB_TO_BUTTER.pngDSCN7341.jpg

Before leaving the Butterworth station, I purchased our train tickets to Kuala Lumpur for a few days’ time as there were notices that today’s tickets to KL were already sold out. Purchasing in advance assures we travel the day we plan.

The train station at Butterworth was very close to the ferry that would carry us over to Penang, the only problem was that you must cross the train tracks, which meant lots of steps up and over the tracks, then down the other side. This task looked to be impossible for us with our luggage and we were relieved to be told by a nice gentleman in uniform that there was a free shuttle from just outside the train station to the ferry station. This free shuttle was supposed to be for the old and infirm, but another uniformed man who was at the shuttle stop seemed happy enough for us to line up for it with all our luggage.

The shuttle took us to the walk on ticket booth, where we purchased tickets for 1.20myr = aud 37c each and waited for the ferry to arrive. This was much better than even attempting to carry our luggage up and down steps. We made a mental note to get the free shuttle on the way back too. The ferry crossing took about 20 minutes.

DSCN7346.jpg

I had read about taxi sharks in Penang refusing to use their meters, so you have to bargain a price before you get in the taxi. Our hotel was only about 5km away so when the driver advised it was 20 myr I said what about 15 myr = aud $4.63 and he relented, giving me a look like we were ripping him off, which of course we were not!

While checking into the hotel I asked the reception what the price of the taxi should be, and he said no more than 15 myr, so I felt ok with the price we paid.

Hotel Royal Penang, our home for the next 3 nights. Malaysia is a little more expensive than Thailand and we have decided to stay somewhere a little bit nice. 140myr = aud $43.20 per night, for a room on the 15th floor with an amazing view.

DSCN7347.jpg90_DSCN7349.jpglarge_DSCN7350.jpg

Next door to the hotel was a Giant supermarket that sold real bread – ie baguette, not sweet Asian bread. So for dinner we bought some bread & butter and a roast chicken, which we ate in our lovely room.

DAY 252 SUNDAY 15TH OCTOBER 2017

PENANG

The sky is still cloudy and grey but it’s hot outside. We went for a walk along the waterfront, checked out a few flash hotels where we could never afford to stay. And wandered through old Georgetown.

large_180_DSCN7352.jpgDSCN7356.jpg

Penang is famous for it CKT noodle dish which was a little disappointing when we had it last time we were here. This time we tried it again from a street vendor and it was ok (I think my Eric’s Noodle shop at home does a better job), but here it was only 5myr = aud $1.54 , and as we sat in the street we think it was the same street vendor we ate from last time.

DSCN7365.jpgDSCN7364.jpg

At a nearby 711 we also managed to find some Tiger Radler beer which was on special @ 7.10myr = aud $2.19 for 2 cans. We had a can with our street dinner and took one home for tomorrow.

large_DSCN7362.jpg

We walked around a little, then found our way back to the hotel.

DAY 253 MONDAY 16TH OCTOBER 2017

PENANG

Walked back into Georgetown to hire a motor bike as at 35myr = aud $10.80 , it was cheaper than getting taxi’s to the 2 places we wanted to visit today.

First up was a drive out to Penang Hill to ride the funicular up to the top for a bird’s eye view of Penang. Yes, us and 100’s of other tourists. It seems Penang only has a limited number of sights or things to do and this was the number one thing on everyone’s list. I stood in line to buy tickets 15myr = aud $4.63 each, one way, for about 35 minutes, and if I thought that was bad the line up to actually get on the funicular was about 1 ½ hours, in the heat!

180_DSCN7377.jpgDSCN7378.jpg

Finally it was our turn and the trip up took all of 5 minutes? But yes the view was good.

large_DSCN7380.jpg

There were a couple of very expensive restaurants up the top, but we also found a food court where most of the local people were eating. Here Lyn & I just shared a small meal as we had plans later that we didn’t want to spoil our appetites for. Chicken rice 6myr = aud $1.85
There was a temple, mosque and a few other gardens and things to see at the top, but mainly it was the view. Ah and there was a stage set up where for 15myr = aud $4.63 you could get your photo taken holding a snake. As I never like to let the opportunity of holding a snake go by, I managed to coax Lyn in joining me. As you can see by the photos she was not very impressed.

large_DSCN7400.jpglarge_DSCN7408.jpg

We had bought just a one-way ticket on the funicular as we had intensions of walking down the path, but as it turns out we ran out of time as we had to be at our next destination before 5.30. So, we rode the rail back down, jumped back on the bike to our next destination.

large_180_DSCN7407.jpg

Our second destination for today was Suffolk House for afternoon high tea! Thought we would have a posh afternoon and out of all the places I found online, Suffolk House, which was once an English Governors house claimed to be the best place in Penang for high tea.

large_DSCN7435.jpg

I must say I was a little disappointed when we were served the tea in daggy old white café cups. Where was the English bone china to match the surroundings? The room was nice, although the pipped music turned a little rock n roll every couple of songs. The food was ok, I say ok as this is Asia, if I was served these rock biscuits in England or Europe as scones I would ask for a refund. But this is Asia, so I was a bit more lenient. The tea was nice, and our 2 cup pot was refilled numerous times, but the same bag was used. The food was enough as we took the tiny cakes away to be eaten later. Price we paid for 2 of us 95.40myr = aud $29.44 and I would score it a 4/10.
DSCN7414.jpgDSCN7415.jpg90_DSCN7419.jpgDSCN7420.jpgDSCN7421.jpgDSCN7422.jpg

We had a bit of a ride around before taking the bike back. We had used 2myr = aud 62c in fuel, so it was a bargain.

large_DSCN7439.jpglarge_DSCN7453.jpglarge_DSCN7454.jpg

Dinner was the remainder of chicken and bread & butter in our room with the fabulous view.

Posted by Cindy Bruin 23:30 Archived in Malaysia Tagged hill penang Comments (0)

2017 OCTOBER - THAILAND RAIL JOURNEY part four

WE TAKE A SLEEPER TRAIN TO THE THAI/MALAY BORDER

THIS BLOG IS BEING WRITTEN FROM MEMORY SO NOT MUCH DETAIL.
I AM CATCHING UP ON MISSED BLOGS WHILE RELAXING ON TIOMAN ISLAND

DAY 247 TUESDAY 10TH OCTOBER 2017

HIN TO PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN

Back on the train we are continuing to travel south from Hua Hin to Prachuap Khiri Khan, just a short less than 2-hour distance so we opted for a 3rd class seat @ 19 baht = aud 75c.

hh_to_pkk.png

DSCN7261.jpgDSCN7279.jpgDSCN7278.jpgDSCN7275.jpg

We are booked into Safe House Hostel for the next 3 nights @ 650 baht = aud $25.56 per night, no breakfast. This hostel had really good reviews regarding owner who advises on what to see and do in area.

On arrival at PKK before leaving the station, we sit and have lunch that we purchased in Hua Hin before leaving. Herring on a roll from the Dutch restaurant – it was very good. A little extravagant at 160 baht = aud $6.29 each but where else in Thailand can you get real Dutch herrings?? Washed down with a flask of coffee that Lyn had made back at the hotel before we left.

DSCN7284.jpg

We take a tuk tuk from the train station to the hostel for 60 baht = aud $2.36 ,no compromising on price.

Owner is not at hostel and we are checked in by her parents so no help with what to do in area. Room is ok, with 2 single beds and our own big fridge.

DSCN7286.jpgDSCN7287.jpgDSCN7288.jpg

We head out in the late afternoon to take a look at the sea front. Not what you would call a swimming beach, but it is on the coast.

large_DSCN7289.jpg

We walk out onto the jetty and spy a temple gracing the top of a ‘small’ hill and decide that climb is a job for tomorrow or the next day!

large_180_DSCN7302.jpglarge_DSCN7311.jpg

Food stalls are being set up along the waterfront and we try a couple of Japanese deep fried balls as a snack. Then take a seat in one of the seafood restaurants to have the cheapest beer we had found in Thailand. Large Leo for just 70 baht = aud $2.75 , so we had 2!

DSCN7319.jpglarge_DSCN7322.jpg

Walking back to the hostel in the dark we did not have much cash on us so just bought a couple of pieces of fried chicken to have for dinner.

DAY 248 WEDNESDAY 11TH OCTOBER 2017

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN

We didn’t do much today, highlight being the seafood dinner that we enjoyed in one of the beachside open air restaurants. We had natural oysters, garlic clams, little deep-fried fish and crab rice. Delish – and all for just 445 baht = aud $17.50, washed down with a 70 baht = aud $2.75 beer.

DSCN7338.jpgDSCN7337.jpgDSCN7336.jpgDSCN7335.jpgDSCN7334.jpg

DAY 249 THURSDAY 12TH OCTOBER 2017

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN

We did even less today than yesterday, highlight being the fact that last night’s yummy seafood dinner may not have been as fresh as we would have liked. Although it tasted ok and good at the time, obviously something was not good as both Lyn & I are struck down with toilet duty for the day.

knew something was amiss when I woke up burping the taste of the crab rice. I had abdominal pain most of the day with minimal trips to the bathroom, which was just as well as I would have had to share the toilet seat with Lyn as she occupied it most of the day. To add to our misery, the beds in this hostel would have to be the most uncomfortable beds we have had the whole trip. It was like already being laid out on a concrete slab!
We did not leave the room or eat anything all day! Not bad odds really, this is the first time on this long trip that we have been bailed up with upset systems.

DAY 250 FRIDAY 13TH OCTOBER 2017

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN TO PEDANG BASAR

Thankful that our train was not departing until 8.30pm, the hostel allowed us to keep the room until 6pm for just an extra 150 baht = aud $5.90.

We were feeling a lot better than yesterday, now that everything had passed through us, but still a little weak. We had to go out to get some cash from the atm, but still food was not a priority. We did toss up hiring a motorbike for the day to explore, but I soon kyboshed that idea, not wanting to risk anything too strenuous or too far from a loo just in case.

7.30pm we decided to get a tuk tuk to the station, of course when you want one, there is never one in sight. Our hostel grandmother said she would take us up for the usual 60 baht = aud $2.36 , and we happily agreed. Only thing was she seemed to ride very warily and at a speed that I could have walked faster. And she insisted on taking us in 2 trips. Lucky we had plenty of time, and thanked her with 100 baht = aud$3.93, because of the 2 trips she had to make.

Our sleeper train arrived on time, and we only had a few minutes to scramble on board with our luggage. Due to the time the seats had already been converted to the sleeping bunks, and our carriage looked like it was full. We both had upper bunks, because this is all that was available when I purchased the tickets a few days ago when we arrived in PKK. 764 baht = aud $30.04 each. We must take a sleeper train to get us to the border because our Thai visas expire on the 14th, so we must leave the country tomorrow. Our luggage half blocks the passageway, but does not seem to be a problem, we are both sleeping with a bag in our bunks too.

PKK_to_PB.pngDSCN7773.jpgDSCN7340.jpg

Top bunks in sleeper trains are always cheaper than the lower bunks, this is due to many reasons. Firstly, the lower bunk is obviously easier to get into, you need to climb up a ladder to get to the top bunk. Secondly, the lower bunk is MUCH wider than the top bunk, more room. Thirdly, the top bunk is usually artic cold due to the air con vents blowing straight into the curtained compartment. Fourthly, the top bunk curtain rail has a gap to the roof, where the passageway lights shine in on the sleep all night! Despite all these drawbacks it was not long before I could hear the sound of Lyn’s nasal music, even over the noise of the moving train. Obviously, these draw backs to not prevent some people from having a good night’s sleep on the train, others are not so lucky.

Posted by Cindy Bruin 02:06 Archived in Thailand Tagged penang khan besar prachuap khiri Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 2 of 2) Page [1]