Trip Report by Josie August 2002
Hi, a brief report on our wonderful 10 day holiday - 2 adults, 2 children from UK. We travelled Malaysia Airlines which was good but not fantastic. The screens in the back of the seats worked sporadically but as we had 2 night flights it wasn't too much of an issue. The food was good and the children's meals were much appreciated.
We stayed in the Pan Pacific in KL for 2 nights and that was very nice. We really only had 1 day of full sightseeing so did the Petronas Towers which were breathtaking - and free - amazing. We arrived about 10ish to be given tickets for the 1.15 entry. In the meantime we did the exhibition located on the top floor of the shopping centre. This was very good value as we did both exhibitions - dinosaurs and the science bit. Allow plenty of time for the science museum - at least 2-3 hours. The shops were good so we took advantage of the August sale. We travelled back to the hotel via the underground/tube system which was very easy to use once you understood where you were supposed to be going - we had no idea of the station near the hotel, but the staff were very very helpful. So this was a quick and easy way to travel and children under 7 go free!We visited Chinatown in the evening for a meal and more shopping - dvds etc.
The next day was off to Penang and the Mutiara. I was concerned previously that the hotel would be too far away from everywhere but this was not really a problem. The taxi ride into town (BF) was rm10 and so we made several visits with no problems - too far to walk though. The hotel was fantastic and we had a wonderful time. The staff were excellent and the food served was superb. We did eat there a lot which I know is expensive but my husband went down with gastroenteritis which isn't fun and so food was not high on his agenda. Having said that, the hotel did have a nurse on site and a visiting doctor who prescribed copious quantities of tablets to make him better. The hotel facilities were good - the pools were great for the children, mini golf, etc etc. I tried a massage and reflexology which was extrememly cheap compared to the UK.
The best thing from the UK point of view is that it seems to be off peak season in Malaysia in August so it was easy to get into places, no queueing and plenty of room around the pool. So it fits in very well with our school holidays. We did hire a car for one day which was incredibly cheap. We did some sightseeing - the Snake Temple, which is hard to find and in the end we stopped at a petrol station for directions; Penang Hill which was fun and not too crowded; and the Kek Lok Si Temple which was stunning.
Driving round was not a problem once you had learned to keep an eye out for the mad scooter riders who appeared from nowhere. Georgetown we did via the bus. We went up the Komtar and admired the wonderful view, and the free shuttle bus which was packed - standing room only, but worth using to get around. However, for the hubby, this was not a good place as the illness was just getting going and I think we did visit every public toilet going. Having just read the other notes about the toilets I can only agree that they were not a place to visit too often. 20c to get in and then another 10c for toilet paper. Enough said!
The Butterfly Farm was very interesting and the children did like this - especially the show time section where you could pick up the insects if you were brave enough. I did object to paying to use my camera but it was only a small amount and we did get some great photos.
Food wise we weren't too adventurous mainly due to one child only wanting to eat chicken nuggets and hubby being ill. The Malaysian people were extremely friendly and helpful. Taxi drivers were pleasant and chatty. One good thing was the tailors where hubby had a couple of made to measure suits run up - good quality, material from Yorkshire and very well made. The Lucky Tailor in BF was superb with 2 good suits. Overall a fantastic holiday and I would recommend it to anyone. We took sterling travellers cheques which were easy to change, use the ATM no problem too. I'm sure other things will come back to me but this is the bulk of it! Josie... PS we even got a sun tan! :-)