Trip Report by Lee October 2000


We have just returned from a great holiday in Penang. I was out there as a young RAF lad from 1968 to 1970 and this year I went back with my family. Penang itself has changed very little except for the extensive development around the airport. Back in 1970, south of Minden Barracks, which is now a magnificent university, there was very little but the airport, the Snake Temple and a great seafood restaurant at Batu Maung! On one hand I was very glad to see that most of the streets, houses and shops in Georgetown are unchanged but its all looking a little run down nowadays. I dont mean that unkindly because I think it's wonderful that they havent been swept away by modern high rise developments (like in KL) but I hope there can be some investment to bring some 'colour' back into the city. We stayed at the Lone Pine Hotel on Batu Ferringhi (never quite certain how to spell that - there seem to be a number of options!). A lovely hotel and the staff are just great. We did all the tourist sights that I remembered from my early days and some new ones like the Komtar - great views from the top. Sadly the staff at Penang Hill Railway still manage to turn a pleasant trip into an unpleasant one by squeezing a train load of passengers into each compartment! There I go, moaning again. In summary it was a fabulous trip to a fabulous island. Malaysians should be rightly proud. Happy Merdaka Day to you all.