"My third visit to Food Paradise" Penang by pepemorris11

Penang Travel Guide: 2,549 reviews and 5,629 photos

Food Paradise (14th August 08)

1st visit was in 1982, second visit in September 2005 and now....
We flew in by SQ 196. 1 and a half hour's flight from Singapore.Arrived at 1635h. Easy and smooth check-out. Friendly staff at Tourist info directed us to taxi stand to buy voucher to our hotel. Arrived Evergreen Laurel Hotel within 45 min. No jam. Had dinner at Gurney Drive hawkers' centre. Disappointing food. place where only tourists go. more expensive than usual and quality of food sub-standard

Day 2 (15th August 08)

No buses ply along Pesiaran Gurney. Only bus stop is near Gurney Plaza.Walked from hotel to Jalan Burma to get a bus to Komtar. Waited for 15 minutes and paid MR$1.50 to Komtar. Journey took about 15 minutes. At Komtar (Komplex Tun Abdul Razak) , we found our way to the bus terminus by asking locals. Wanted to take the Rapid Transit bus 704 or 705 across to Butterworth Megamall. waited for more than 2 hours from about 1005h to 1250h. Buses did not show up although there were many others going to the jetty. Decided to take a bus to Queensbay mall, the largest and longest shopping mall in Penang. Had lunch at the food court. Prices reasonable. Then left the mall at 1630h to catch a bus back to Komtar. Unfortunately, many buses came but none were heading for Komtar. Quite a comical scene. Every time a bus came, all passengers waiting to go to Komtar would rush to the door of the bus and shout "Komtar!" at the top of their voices and when the driver shook his head, all of us would trot back in disappointment to our respective waiting areas to wait....and wait....and wait again in eager anticipation for THE BUS! Some were so tired that they ended up sitting on the kerbs of the road.The long-awaited bus came at almost 1915h and everyone piled in sardine-like because if they missed this bus, they wouldn't know when the next would be coming!! Penangites seem to be resigned to this. We got to Komtar after about 40 minutes as there was a jam near the Penang bridge.We headed for New Lane Hawker stalls near Sunway Georgetown Hotel off Jalan Macalister. Enjoyed thirst-quenching drinks at Goh Chew coffee shop and ordered satay, penang char kway teow, oyster omelette and grilled chicken wings for dinner. Since there were 6 of us , we took 2 taxis back to our hotel .Fare for 1 taxi cost us MR$15

Days 3 & 4 (16th and 17th August 08)

Spent the morning sleeping and swimming. Left hotel for Komtar at about 1500h.Took a taxi from hotel which cost us MR$10. Shopped for medical ointment while friends explored Prangin Mall. Ate penang assam laksa and famous chendul at Lorong Campbell. Took a taxi back to hotel, this time had to pay MR$12. Had dinner outside hotel along Pesiaran Gurney. Ate at Song River Seafood Restaurant. Had 2 plates of vege, grilled chicken wings and 5 bishop's noses for Lesley (10 for MR$2), 1 otak, 1 plate of crabmeat omelette, 1 plate of grilled squid, and a big bowl of bak kut teh (herbal pork ribs soup) plus rice.
Day 4: 4 out of 6 of us suffered from food poisoning. I was the worse badly hit with vomiting and diarrhoea.Checked out of hotel at 1300h. Explored Gurney Plaza. Took a taxi to airport and paid MR $35. If you book from the hotel, you have to pay MR$45-$50. Flew off on SQ 197 at 2115h and arrived safely back home at 2240h.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Cheap and tasty food, cheap transport, friendly and helpful locals
  • Cons:Unhygienically prepared food that may lead to food poisoning, buses that make you wait for hours, polluted air
  • In a nutshell:Singapore in the 1950s
  • Last visit to Penang: Aug 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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