Posts Tagged ‘Pulau Pinang’

June 9, 2014

Penang tourist traps

I don’t fucking understand why you foreigners and outstation rustic bumpkins like to flock to the same few stupid tourist traps in Penang. More often than not (especially during long weekends or school holidays) those few places get unusually congested with people/traffic, and turn the whole Penang into a massive nightmare.

Why can’t you people do a little bit more research before coming here? It’s a digital age for fuck’s sake, getting information should be as easy as scratching your taint!

Here are some of the most popular tourist traps in Penang that people unknowingly walk into, and some suggestions where to go instead…

Penang Hill
I’ve blogged about it before. It’s a massive shithole. Why go there? There’s nothing there. The air there is not any fresher and everything on the hill is frigging expensive. If you’re going there for the view, you’d get a better view when you’re on the plane, trust me. The tram ride up there is congested with people like you and often breaks down. So, why bother wasting your time going to Penang Hill?
Where you should go instead:
Do you guys fucking know that Penang has a ‘National Park’ at the north side of the island? It’s called Penang National Park [duh!]. If nature’s your kind of shit, you should go for a hike there. You’d get acquainted with the local leeches, macaques, snakes and whatnots there. There’s a lighthouse there for you to do some one of a kind selfie, and a couple of beaches for you to relax on at the end of your short hike. If adventuring or climbing in the greens is your kind of dope, just go to Escape Adventureplay Theme Park – which I’ve blogged about here. If you do not fancy a hike or eking any energy out of yourself but just need some trees to get your shit together, you can opt to go to Penang’s Botanical Gardens. You’d get to see the local girls jogging there, on top of the faunas I mentioned earlier. The air is definitely fresh, and the most important of all, they’re fucking free. No traps.

Gurney Drive
For some strange fucking reasons, Penang’s Gurney Drive attracts tourists like a carcass to common houseflies. It’s just a promenade too congested to be enjoyable. The sea is now filled with so much sediment, mud and garbage, that I’m surprised that it isn’t gazetted as a sanctuary for salt water lizards, mudskippers and ultra chemical resistant rats. The food here is expensive, and the traffic here is stroke inducing. Why would anyone want to come here? Escapes me.
Where you should go instead:
Penang has at least a dozen other (better) promenades, I bet not many of you shitfucks know that. There’s an old one called ‘the Esplanade‘, near the jetty. It’s not as flashy, but at least it still has the nice sea view, minus the traffic. There’s one at Straits Quay, which is for pedestrians only, and you can have beers al fresco while enjoying the sea breeze (if you’re really creative, you can even have beer while cycling there). There’s another one in front of Queensbay Mall too, which has a proper cycling track, and stalls selling food and kites (lots of annoying people though, but better than Gurney). What’s special about this place, is that it offers the view of BOTH Penang’s longest bridges. If calm is all you seek (no traffic, not much people) and you needed a peaceful environment to jack off or deep thinking, there’s one under the first Penang Bridge, one near Jerejak Jetty, and another one near Jelutong (recently given a name ‘Persiaran Karpal Singh’). There are a couple of private ones near Tanjung Bungah, but they’re not open to public.

Kek Lok Si
Kek Lok Si is originally intended as a place of worship, but it reeks of tourist trap now. Everything in there is expensive, and revolves around parting your money from your wallet. There are even gossips that the monks there are raking in millions and are driving around in posh cars. Thanks to your contribution. Instead of living modestly and preaching humility to the people, the ‘monks’ are now leading a rock star lifestyle. They are charging a premium for a niche for the dead, keep building ostentatious ‘wonders’ near the surrounding hill that flaunts the might and riches of their religious faith… If you’re into expensive plastic beads and scriptures, then there’s nothing more I can say – go there already.
Where you should go instead:
If your faith is strong, and you want to pray, go to a real temple. One of the oldest temple in Penang is the Goddess Of Mercy temple at Pitt Street (now known as Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling). The place look mostly as it was since it was built more than a century ago. Another unique temple would be Seng Hong Beow, near Katz Street. There, you’d see some deities being worshiped with pure opium (those black stuff on their mouth) and alcohol. Might be spooky if you’re a first timer, but this place screams one of a kind photography opportunity. If you’re fascinated with Chinese architecture, then there’s a whole bunch of them around Georgetown which you can enjoy – some free, some with a little bit of fee. There’s the famous Cheong Fatt Tze mansion, then there’s another one that is teeming with opulence owned by an ugly Kapitan called the Pinang Peranakan Mansion. Then there’s of course, Khoo Kongsi, the place where they filmed the movie Hidden Dragon Tiger’s Crotch (or something like that). There are a lot more around Georgetown, just walk around. Any of them is better than Kek Lok Si. (there are multitudes of places of worship around Penang, of various faith. Just search around).

Occupy Beach Street
Every Sunday morning, Beach Street will be closed to traffic to make way for a carnival called ‘Occupy Beach Street’. I wasn’t quite sure what the whole thing is all about until I saw people started to post pictures of them doing retarded selfies there, and that was when I thought of visiting the place/event/whatever. It was a tourist trap. It’s actually a flea market, selling merchandise with jacked up price which you could have gotten anywhere else at a fraction of the price. The flea market is about, 150 meters long (that’s like comparing an amoeba to a megalodon in the scale of actual flea markets)… but the crowd is usually about the size that could occupy 4 – 5 times the capacity of that carnival. You’d also see some annoying youngsters showing off their skating/skateboarding skills, as if Penang’s lack of the space they could use (hey, it’s all about the attention) and people cycling around like morons there. It’s so over-hyped that it’s borderlining retardation. I lasted only 10 minutes there and I had to fucking bail because I couldn’t stand the whole bullshit.
Where you should go instead:
If you have a Sunday morning to kill for buying bargain stuffs, there are a lot of places you could go. Penang has a lot of markets selling a lot of surprises, like Penang Bazar (or more popularly known as Chowrasta – selling food, souvenirs, clothes, shoes)… or the Balik Pulau town / market (food, durian, shrunken human heads… kidding), or Air Itam market (food, clothes), or Lorong Kulit flea market (real kosher flea market, this one).

Batu Feringghi
Penang’s famous tourist belt – Batu Feringghi. It has long stretches of beaches and a lot of luxury hotels. People like Batu Feringghi because it’s the only place they think they could go for beaches. And naturally, the place turned into a shithole eons ago with so many tourists visiting. Instead of just beaches, now you get dirty beaches, some add ons like paragliding (not sure if that’s the right term, the one on parachute towed by a speedboat), jetskiing, banana boat-ride, horse riding (horse poo and pee all over the beach!) – all for some exorbitant fee. It’s so severe, that the government has to think of controlling the license to operate such activities!
Where you should go instead:
Penang is a fucking island, and it has beaches all around it, why flock to Bt. Feringghi only? Check the fucking map bitch please, north south east and west. We have a whole stretch of beaches along millionaire’s row (if you know where to find it), Tg Tokong and Tg Bungah. We have the Teluk Bahang Beach right after Bt. Feringghi. We have a few beaches at the Penang National Park – Kerachut beach, Monkey beach, Ketapang Bay beach, Aling Bay beach, Teluk Kampi beach, Pantai Mas beach. Then at almost the south west, we have Pasir Panjang beach. Then at the south, we have beaches at Gertak Sanggul, Teluk Kumbar, Sg. Batu. We have more at other areas out of the island as well – all the surrounding islands (Jerejak, Rimau, Aman, et al). So why only settle at Feringghi beach? Why so fucking sohai?

Graffiti around georgetown (semi trap)
When it first started, it surely is something to be reckoned of. The heritage trail around Georgetown has a lot of Ernest SomethingSomething’s art adorning (otherwise) boring and older than shit brick walls. It was alright at first, because people admiring the walls walked or cycled around. But it has now turned into an annoying obsession. We have tour buses stopping on narrow streets and inconsiderate schmucks posing in the middle of a busy road taking selfies. This spells traffic congestion and in some cases, safety issues. It’s not yet a trap now, but is fast turning into a trap.
Where you should go instead:
The essence of Penang lies not on graffiti arts nor the pictures on its old walls. Penang has a lot to offer in terms of diversity, food and its uniqueness. Instead of endangering yourself posing in the middle of the road, try to go round the island on your car / bike. Or you can hail a taxi for that (expensive option). Everyone in Penang has done it, and its fun. Imagine a road trip that will never get you lost (it’s a fucking island, remember?)… and you’d stop at wherever that piques your interest, be it for food, shopping or a photography opportunity. You can never do that in KL, or Ipoh, or anywhere in Malaysia for that matter. This is the most awesome island in the Peninsula, savor it.

Any shopping mall
If you come to Penang with the sole purpose of shopping at one of its malls, then you’re here for all the wrong reasons. Shopping in a mall has never been a strong point in Penang’s portfolio. It’s like going to Singapore for mountaineering. It’s retarded to come to Penang to shop at a mall. Sure, we have nice malls, and equally annoying people inside them, but the malls are always a few tools short of a toolbox. If you’ve been to shop at Singapore or KL or Hong Kong, then you surely won’t miss a thing here at any of Penang’s mall.
Where you should go instead:
If all you wanted is to shop at a mall, go to KL or Singapore instead. Don’t fucking come to Penang you stupid cocksucking piece of shit.

Will add more when I can think of some…

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July 18, 2013

Escape Adventureplay Theme Park, Penang.

I’m sure most of you have probably heard of ‘Escape Adventureplay Theme Park’. It is the first theme park in Penang (like, big fucking deal). At first, I was like “Meh…”, but after a visit there yesterday for a ‘Company T’ teambuilding event, I am now like, “WOW!”. I had a blast there. It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed an outing so much.

First of all, I’d like to stress how glad I am to learn that this first theme park in Penang is such an awesome place. It would surely break my heart if Penang’s first theme park were to be some sissy ass place like that Legoland, Lost world of Tambun or some shit like that. This is a theme park made of creativity and pure fun! Just how fun it is? Well, the easiest way to gauge the fun level of any place, is by measuring the number of times you whip out your mobile phone (to kill time). The more times you whip out your phone, the suckier the place is. And at Escape, my colleagues and I could have gone the whole day without a phone! (if not for the compelling need to whip it out to record some crazy ass videos!)

If you don’t already know, the whole place is sort of like an eco theme park, and everything is close to nature (I like that idea very much – it reminds me of the greener Penang back when Teluk Bahang hadn’t had that damn dam yet). There’s one part of the theme park called ‘Monkey business’, a place where you’d spend most of your time doing what monkeys do best – climbing, balancing and go from tree to tree, through creatively designed obstacles. ‘Monkey business’ is all about ropes, nets, cables, zip lines and tricky steps. Think of it like, being in ‘Prince of Persia’ in real life, with obstacles on trees. Divided into 3 levels, 1 being the lowest and least difficult, to level 3, the most challenging of all. I could only complete level 1 and part of level 2, before I go all exhausted and bent out of shape. Suffice to say, one has got to have a reasonably fit physique and stamina to be able to tackle level 1, 2 and 3 all in 1 go. I now know that I am far from that category of a person. (if you have Acrophobia – extreme fear of heights – this is probably not your shit even if you’re fit).

For those who want to look for a respite from all that climbing, balancing and having to deal with vertigo inducing heights in ‘Monkey Business’ section, they can opt to take an unrestrained glide down a reasonably high slope on a tire, called ‘Tubby Racer’. This is a ride that’ll shrink your balls if you have them. I did a round in this section, and I learned about the dreadful feel of losing control over something you ride on at high speed. Wasn’t really a great feeling but, the adrenaline rush was massive. If you have heart problems, stay away from this thing, otherwise – I’d recommend to try it once. Then there are some other areas with more climbing & balancing, one with only pure zipping across high altitude above the trees, one that regulates a free fall from the height of a 8 storey building, et al. Didn’t get the chance to explore them all, due to the exhaustion from proving myself too damn much in “Monkey Business”. Also, there’s a section for the kids too, but I wouldn’t recommend bringing kids there – because it’s simply not worth the fee, which can be quite pricey (Google for the price).

All in all, it’s a great place to be if you’re into climbing, nature and something different. You’d spend the whole day here, and sleep the whole night well. You’d get muscle aches, blisters and bruises, but it’s worth it. The 2nd phase of the theme park is in construction now, and it’ll be a water based theme park – which I’m sure will make the place even better. I just hope they’d be able to sustain this place of attraction well, and Penang will surely get a shot at being one of the greatest place for eco-tourism…

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