Trip Report by Joanne October 2000
There are quite a few budget hotels around Chulia Street and its neighbourhood. Most of the buildings are not in a real knock out conditions but they are quaint in their own right; as opposed to staying at the Batu Ferringhi area, near to the beach. Chulia is quite close to Komtar (walk /bus) and all other places around which is quite nice really. Our first choice was Swiss Hotel (opp Eng Aun Hotel), chosen beacuse of its poise name ;-) The mgt wasn't very helpful and apparently the rooms were full. Maybe we had to look for alternatives. Opposite Swiss was a hotel (New Eng Aun) (old bungalow) off the road; there were 3 pool tables and a 'beer garden'/cafe , a vcd player and tv, juke box and a bar counter that catches one's eyes when they first go to Eng Aun. The boss is not in half the time and two managers took turn to man the place. All can speak English/Chinese/Hokkien/Thai etc.
We (4 girls) took a double bed room at RM$27 with a noisy fan, two queen sized bed and a cupboard and basin complete the whole installation. My students took the dorm (unisex) at RM$8 per head; the bathrooms are shared; in bearable conditions (I have seen worst). The atmosphere is friendly and nice. It is rather quiet during the day but by evening, the whole palce was transformed into a 'party'. Guests/walk in customers playing pools, watch vcds, hang around. The vcds seemed to show mainly fighting/car chasing/crashing? films and is on till like 1a.m. (We stayed directly above the damned thing).
It is a good place for pple watch as the guests varies from thai 'girls' to african guys , europeans etc. There is a convenience shop just outside and the hotel can arrange for day trips up Thailand /Langkawi etc. If not, opposite the hotel are two money changers / coache booking to Singapore (RM$33), and elsewhere around Malaysia/Thailand. Public buses runs from nearby bus stops (ask for actual location..). Food (yummmmmm) is widely available (catch the chao kuay teow that parks at night near the hainanese chicken rice coffee shop);-) I mentioned the Eng Aun Cafe.. it is operational (breakfast n lunch) only if the boss is around or when the staff never get a hang-over from the late night vcds viewing. Being an early bird, Iwas treated to a nice porridge breakfast by the manager and played a pool with him another time...ask him where he go boogie at night ;-)