Trip Report by Lyndon April 2004
Well we've been back for a week now and it seems like ages.
We had a marvellous holiday in what is now one of our favourite destinations!!
Flew with Malaysia and were given emergency exit seats on both long legs(sorry about that!) for all four of us. nothing to complain about, flying for me is a means to an end. Flew direct to Penang on the saturday flight. our driver was waiting for us and off we went to the Paradise Sandy Bay Resort sharing a minibus with a family from Croydon, Surrey. Both couples were upgraded to one bedroom suites to start the holiday off on the right track.
After having chilled out with the odd tiger or two we eventually made our way out to find some cheap mixers to go with the duty free rum and gin!!
Right near the minimarts was a hawker centre and we proceded to have a wonderful meal later that evening cooked by a guy who used to be a chef on the QE2. Whole meal with drinks cost about 40mr.
Our hotel was a great find, most of the time it was quite empty and that suited us fine. Weekends were more crowded and this is when we did our main daytime exploration.
We went to Georgetown for the day and had a fantastic trishaw ride. now I know most people will feel this is amazingly "touristy", but it was a great way to see the city witout actually walking it. We've walked New York, Barcelona etc. but this was a hot day and we didn't feel too confident of finding the best route. Our guy was fantastic. He really knew his stuff about the history and cultural diversity oof Georgetown. His name was Soo Ah Chee and he can be found either outside the Shangri-la in Georgetown or in the covered area outside Komtar. He made the day for us and we paid him a tip!!! Very unusual for Penang so we found.
Every temple was a pleasure to visit, Fort Cornwallis was really interesting, the E and O Hotel a must for hi tea (went there on easter sunday- great!), but the highlight was the constantly changing sights,sounds and smells of the different areas.unforgettable.
We ate most of the time at Long Beach hawker centre in Batu Ferringhi.. Sampled most of what was on offer and enjoyed all of it.sizzling noodles for 5 ringitts, i mean!!! Also ate at the Indian near our local hawker centre in Tanjong Bungah, not bad but a bit pricey! (forget that nothing was pricey)
We went to a restaurant called 32 in Georgetown. lovely setting on the water in a wonderful old colonial mansion. When we walked in to check out the menu we baulked ay the price for a 5 course meal, 48-62 ringitts. much more than we had been paying, We were actually about ot walk out when we had a reality cheack. £7-9 was the best value high class restaurant I've ever been in. A must!!
We bought our fair share of dvd's, best value was rainy's little shop in midlands one stop. bought a couple of fake rolex's worth £11450 in a shop in kingston , surrey and a series of louis v. bags. it's just a bit of fun, isn't it??
We had a cramped 6 hour tour of the island which I really enjoyed as seeing the island away from the tourist areas is fascinating. The fruit farm was worth it , again humourous guide and great fruit platter at the end of the tour.
Penang has made its impression on all four of us and we intend to return. The taxi drivers were great sources of info and were proud rightly proud of the manner in which the people of Penang get on so well together despite there diversity of cultures and religions.
Thank you to every one who has offered help along the way on this forum.
Finally,i spoke to Jeff da Silva the general manager of our hotel and I explained how I was familiar with this forum and Kayes. He knew immediately who I was referring to and proceeded to state that Kayes is a man with a very sharp mind!! Say no more!!!