Tag Archives: Penang

Penang to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

7/27 – Time to leave the island of Penang, the same way we arrived.

We took an early morning ferry from Georgetown back to Butterworth Station on the Malay peninsula mainland.

There, we waited for our Very Nice bus, which would take us for the six hour ride to the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, or, as the locals call it, KL.image

The bus really lived up to its name, with BarcaLounger seats, and a driver who called out every hour to see if anyone needed a rest stop. Very Nice!

As we approached the tall buildings of this modern city, I turned on my phone to check the GPS. There are several bus terminals in KL, and we were not sure which one this bus would take us to. I was heartened to see that we were progressing nicely toward the bus terminal that was nearest to our hotel. Closer, closer…. Oh no! The bus kept rolling along, even though we could see our hotel out the window! Now we were getting farther away, and, wouldn’t you know, it was starting to rain. By the time the bus stopped, we were 10 miles away, with no idea how to get back to KL Sentral.

Two university students saw us hunched over my phone looking for a metro or bus to get us back across town, and they asked how they could help. Nice People of Malaysia! They walked us over to the metro station, helped us buy tickets from the machine, and showed us on the metro map how many stations and where to change trains. Although we thanked them profusely, I neglected to get a photo. They were beautiful people. In a half hour, we were back at KL Sentral, walking the two blocks to our hotel. We have a rooftop pool! image

7/28 – Last year when we were in Istanbul, we shared breakfast with two brothers on holiday from KL. The younger brother Rool, who had the better English, invited us to look him up when we got to KL. Today, we did just that!

Rool picked us up and drove us to an authentic Malay buffet for lunch. Here we are with Rool and his six year old daughter Alicia.image

So many delicious choices! We really love Malay food. I even had some fermented durian (the orange stuff on the right).image

After lunch, Rool took us on a tour of KL. Here are the famous Petronus Twin Towers, which were the tallest buildings in the world for several years (not anymore). There is a walkway that connects the towers at the 42nd floor, which telescopes to compensate for the swaying of the buildings in the wind.image

There were shiny malls and designer shops, and government buildings.imageimage


A wonderful day – thanks Rool, we had a great time! Another Nice Person of Malaysia!image

Teluk Bahang to Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

7/25 – Time to get back to the city. We watched Bus 101 rumble through town every 15 minutes the whole time we were in Teluk Bahang, but as we stood at the bus stop in the sweltering heat with packs on our backs, no Bus 101 was forthcoming.  After 45 minutes, we wondered what could possibly explain the lack of buses, when four Bus 101s came rolling down the street, one after the other!  An hour later, we were back in the city, to stay for a day in Georgetown, before making our way south to the capital.  Our trendy hotel: 

With an additional fruit that is not allowed:  

We asked what is wrong with mangosteen – is it another smelly fruit?  We were told that the red juice of mangosteen skin permanently stains whatever it comes in contact with, and that is why it is not permitted.  

Our hotel is in the Chinese part of the city.  


There is a Sam’s here! 

A Chinese temple:


Traveling by tricycle rickshaw: 

 We asked our hotel clerk, who is of Chinese descent, how to get to Little India.  “Walk down the street” he said.  “When you see Indian people, hear Indian music and smell Indian food, you are in Little India.”  Easy enough! 


Ganesha, son of the goddess Parvati.   Lord Shiva cut off the boy’s head, which angered Parvati, so he replaced it with an elephant’s head.   

Hanuman is the monkey god.

Our yummy lunch – spicy chicken, vegetables, rice and ginger tea – we love Indian food!  The Malay and Indians eat with their right hands only – no utensils – but we were offered spoons and forks.


 The Kapitan Kling Mosque, the oldest in Penang, dating from the seventeenth century:  

Reminders of when Malay was a British colony.   St. George The Martyr Church, the oldest Anglican Church in Southeast Asia:


The Light Street Convent:   

Fort Cornwallis:

The 60 foot tall Jubilee Clock Tower, built in 1897 to commemorate 60 years of Queen Victoria’s reign.  The tower tilts slightly, but withstood being bombed during WWII:   

A lovely town, with new delights around every corner!

Bangkok, Thailand to Penang, Malaysia

7/18 – We took the sky train and the underground metro across town to get us to Bangkok’s main train station at Hua Lumphong in time to board our mid-afternoon train.


The reminder posted in the station’s restroom, which tickles me every time I see it!  We’ve encountered similar reminders throughout Asia.

 Jim had booked our tickets a week in advance to assure we would get an air conditioned car and lower berths on the 22 hour sleeper ride. 


We will miss Thailand!

On board, we met an American expat named Tom, who’s lived here for eight years.  He said he moved to Thailand because Miami was too cold!  

After a tasty dinner in the dining car and a peaceful night’s sleep on the rocking train, we arrived at the Malaysian border by mid-morning, and we all got off for our exit and entry stamps.  We don’t need a visa for Malaysia, and can stay for up to 90 days.

The train ride ended on the mainland in Butterworth, where we caught a ferry across the Straits of Malacca to the island of Penang. 


Georgetown is the big city here, full of shiny buildings and big shopping malls.  We are not staying in Georgetown, however, so as soon as we got off the ferry we boarded the 101 bus, which we rode for an hour and a half to the little town of Teluk Bahang, home of Penang National Park.  


We are staying at the Amal Inn for the next week, very convenient for exploring the jungles of Malaysia’s top nature park.   

Malaysia has Chinese, Indian and Malay cultures living in harmony, with three different styles of food and religion.  Today we heard the Muslim call to prayer for the first time since we left Turkey.  The town is small, but the park is huge!  The western alphabet is used here, and many of the signs are repeated in English, so we should be able to navigate easily here.  We’ve been told that Malay food is great!  Tomorrow we will explore.