Trip Report by Eko March 2002


Hi all, finally arrived in Penang on 9pm last Saturday (March 2, 2002). Nice Flight by Singapore Airlines and nice airport. Friendly Immigration, and very-very friendly Customs. They believed everything I said and didn't even check my luggage. On the other hand, in next gate I saw custom officer questioning a woman carrying a Mandarin CD. Arrived at Golden Sands at 10 pm, there's traffic jam near Tanjung Bungah (?). Later I heard there was a car accident that caused the traffic jam. Batu Feringghi was still crowded, and the night market all lighted up in the night. Found some hawker stall selling DVD's, CDs, CD-ROMS.

As I posted before, I wanted to explore Georgetown in Sunday. I wake up at 8:00 a.m, and try to find some breakfast. Went to Georgetown using complementary shuttle bus provided by the hotel. The bus is kinda old, but comfortable enough to drive us to Shangri-la Hotel. Went to KOMTAR, go straight to 58th floor. Very nice view !! Everyone visiting Penang should go here!. However, the window should be cleaned, so can enjoy the beautiful scene comfortably. The telescope seems not operating. Some nice souvenir also sold at this level. However I not buying anything yet, because I don't know if the price is reasonable. Go straight to the Prangin Mall and Parkson Grand. Exploring the mall and there are some DVD stores selling DVDs (looks like original, but apparantly it is a bootleg one). If you want to buy DVD, please buy DVD9 version for good quality and almost full DVD features. DVD5 usually does not have additional features and sometimes low quality. The price for DVD9 is RM15, and DVD5 is RM10.

Ate at Family Recipe, nice food - reasonable price. I ate Black Chicken with Rice Set, where my wife ate Traditional Herb Noodle Set. Each set cost us RM4.80. After eating we go to Xtra Super Center to fill up our fridge. After that we want to explore Georgetown using the Heritage Trail, but the sun is too hot, and found that it is hard to find direction from Komtar. We hardly found street name, so we decided not to take the Heritage Trail today, maybe some other day, because we will stay here for 17 days workshop conducted by World Bank and University of Sains Malaysia. Back to Prangin Mall, and the mall is really crowded now, so many youngsters in line to get and autograph from a couple of Chinese Celebrity named Wewe. I think they a new rising star from Hongkong/Taipei. After waiting for while, the stars didn't even show up. So we back to BF using the hotel complimentary bus. BF is changing. No DVD stalls, I'm tired, and time to sleep... That's all for now. I'll tell more in next opportunity

After 5 days of joyful yet tiring workshop, finally its time for me to have fun again Today we went for a tour arranged by the workshop committee. First place that we visited is a Batik Factory accross Mutiara Hotel. Actually Batik is also a common practice in Indonesia, but for other people it is quite a new experience. Nice guide explained to us the proccess of making the stuff. After that we invited to the gallery where we can bought some of the batik produced. Its quite expensive, so I bought nothing. After visiting this place we went straight to Butterfly Farm. A very nice place, and should not be missed by every tourist visiting Penang. Reasonably entrance fee (RM 10 for each adult, RM 1 for camera, RM 5 for video / handycam). We have a very nice time inside the place, especially on the complimentary show inside, where you can actually experience the real thing, such as grabbing some insects that looks like a leaf, looks like a branch, a real life Scorpion King, and a Gecko. Before you go out from the farm you will find a great art gallery, and souvenir shop. I bought some key holder that have scorpion and butterfly in it. After visiting Butterfly farm we drive through Teluk Bahang - a huge dam, nice view. Passing some village, the airport where you can actually see the Penang Bridge. After about 1-2 hour journey we ended in 1926 Hotel to fill our stomach with local dishes. The place is good, but I not very fond of the buffet meal provided. Drive through some nice place, including Fort Cornwalis, the stopped at Penang Museum for 1 hour. Actually you must provide more than an hour to really explore this amazing museum. I think Penang is really lucky to have such place. What more exciting about it, you only charged RM1 for each person. However, we cannot take picture inside :( Back to the hotel, passing again other beautiful views : Gurney Drive. Actually my fellow workshop participant from USM already took me there last night, gave me a chance to enjoy the food stall. We tried Rojak & Laksa, - nice !!! Finally arrive at the hotel, and I can't wait no more to tell you this story, so I go straight to the computer room. That's all for my second trip report. Hopefully I'll able to give you some more trip report. Eko

Finally, this is my last trip report :(. After another week of exhausting workshop, we had free times again. We went to One-stop-shopping "Midland" on Saturday dan to Komtar Bazzar again on Sunday. Midland is actually not a big mall, but you can find almost all you are looking for there. About Komtar, I guess you already now much - no more comment about it. But in the food court we (me & my wife) actually took our first "ice kacang" there. Nice desert We bought "tau sa pia" in the factory (sorry I forgot the brand - anyone know ?) near to Midland - some friends told me it was a popular one in Penang. I only bought 1 box of it - and I regret now, because It's not enough, and I already home now. For one box, filled with 32 piece of tau sa pia, it cost me RM 9 - cheap. After the joyful weekend, we must back for the last 2 days of the workshop. In Wednesday, the committe took us on a campus tour - USM campus near to the airport. A big campuss, nice environment - even some buildings quite old. On the way we can see the famous Penang-Bridge, it is so long that we can't saw the end of the bridge on the mainland. Well - thats all I can share with you on my last week in Penang. Really hate to go, but I have to go back to my "real world". I would really love if I have a chance to go back to Penang. In this opportunity I want to say thanks to all of you - especially Kayes - you really makes my stay in Penang enjoyfull, because you give a lot of usefull information, so I really feel at home while in Penang. Warmest Regards from Indonesia, Eko