Pearl of the Orient (I don't know about now, but it was then)
Penang Travel Blog› entry 6 of 13 › view all entries
June 27th, 2010 – by: almond72
What can I tell you about a place like Penang ? Once upon a time, this was an English colony. Prior to that, the island was part of the Siamese empire. Like many places, the rise & fall of empires shifted the demarcation lines of national borders like the waves making patterns on the seashore. Let's leave that historical stuff aside for a while. How can I describe this place to a newly arrived traveller ?
You arrive by air at Penang International Airport. You may notice (like I did) that the airconditioning at the main lounge is set at to simulate Artic climates for some inexplicable reason.
After a few moments of standing like a stunned prairie dog, you gather your wits and start praying to the deities in charge of rain & weather. Some visitors are already starting to wipe their faces profusely and turning a tinge of pink. All this and they haven't even left the airport ! and these nice couples (who usually are in their 50's) mostly have tags & signs plastered all over their luggage stating they will be spending the their vacation by the beach.
Let's get back to the picture. Newly arrived suc... tourist at the airport. Usually seen clutching guidebook (if not on package tour) and now wandering about searching for bus.
* Don't worry folks, this slaughter is totally indiscriminate. They favour none, not even the locals.
The local bus ? A totally boring trip through traffic until you near the sea side. (near where I usually stay) This is when the bus will start the weaving along the edge of the cliff for the next 5km or so. Occasional near misses with sharp boulders protruding from the landside cliffs will help keep you awake. Why not try touching it as you pass by ? (Oh, I forgot, they now have AC buses, no more fun like that anymore.) For some weird reasons, these lovely features have been left to nature to be eroded away or vehicles to chip away as they pass, or crash into occasionally. On the other side is the sea which you can peer at from your vantage point in the bus.
Anyway, you can rest easier knowing that it's not like that you will be plunging to your death off those cliffs if your bus decided to make an impromptu detour. With the whole load of new luxury condominiums that have suddenly sprung up along the sea side, you have a higher chance of plunging off those cliffs into someone's swimming pool or yacht parked below and get sued to death if you survive. This brings us to the important question, it's not "Why do we have to use that route?", it's "How the heck did people get all this f***** money?", I thought we were in a recession, ffs !!!
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!