Boy Does It Rain!

Penang Travel Blog

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Children playing the drums at the opening of a new shopping centre in Gurney
Hello from Penang! Well I made it to the island after a bit of a bumpy flight from Bangkok. We curved round and through a lot of storm clouds on the way into land and boy did it rain! The streets were flooded and the journey back from the airport took nearly 2 hours instead of the 30 minutes it normally takes. In 1985 a bridge was built to connect Penang to mainland Malaysia. It is 13.5km long and was once the biggest bridge in Asia. I think it is now the second biggest, but is currently being extended from 4 lanes to 6 as so much traffic uses it each day. On a Friday evening the entire island can grind to a halt as thousands of cars try to cross the bridge to get off the island.

Yesterday I had tickets to the Kings of Tennis tournament featuring some of the best tennis players of recent generations.
The view form my cousin's apartment in Penang
Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Stefan Edberg and Pete Sampras were all due to play. Unfortunately the organisers called it off the day before it was due to start because they had a disagreement with the local council. They had put all the seating together and are now taking it all down again. I was really looking forward to that, as were lots of the islanders, as they don't get many events happening here. Ah well, I will have to go to Wimbledon in June instead!

Last night we went for a superb dinner at one of the best hotels around. The Eastern and Oriental Hotel has been used by many famous people, including Winston Churchill. It is a very grand hotel and does a weekly buffet meal where you can eat and drink as much as you like for 20 pounds. I don't eat that much, but made an exception for the evening and had 2 starters, 2 main courses, 2 desserts and a few glasses of wine. I was soooo full by the time we'd finished.

This morning there was a charity run across the bridge, but it started at 6am to try to finish before it gets too hot. Obviously I didn't get up to see it! Having said that, I get woken up every morning as there is a big mosque outside my window and so the call to prayer wakes me up because it is so loud.

Tonight we went out for dinner at a hawker centre. Traditionally, hawkers are people who travel around selling their wares (mainly food) to locals. They would push their mobile stalls around knocking on doors, sounding their bell or singing a song. Much like we would have ice cream vans in the UK, these people sold all sorts of foods like curry, thai, shell fish, pizza, pasta and western food. Nowadays all these sellers get together and sell their food in centres allowing the customer to have a choice of whatever they want. I had a huge chicken curry with rice, bean sprouts, beans, nan bread, poppadoms and a couple of fruit juices, all for less than 2 pounds!

Off sightseeing in Georgetown tomorrow I think so best get to bed now.

Mr Mark
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Children playing the drums at the …
Children playing the drums at the…
The view form my cousins apartmen…
The view form my cousin's apartme…
photo by: Aurora78