One long weekend in Penang

1:36 PM

For the love of all things holy, don’t go on holiday in Penang if it’s a long weekend.
Especially if it’s Hari Raya weekend (or Chinese New Year for that matter.)

Chances are:  1.) Your bus will never come. 2.) You’ll be stuck in traffic. 3.)You’ll be stuck in traffic.

That’s what I found out when instead of flying home to Manila from LCCT, I’ve decided to swing by Penang to visit bagong bayani Jose Miguel. It was two days before the said holiday and getting on a bus bound for the island proved to be the most difficult thing.  It was going to be a long weekend and it seemed that Kuala Lumpur decided to celebrate the Islamic holiday of Eidul Adha elsewhere.

I bought tickets for a bus scheduled to leave at 15:30 for Penang and waited for two whole hours with Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth for company.  The bus, though, never came. Tired and very hungry, I marched to the window and demanded a refund only to buy a new ticket at the next window for 19:00. (I HAD to get to Penang, remember?) This bus mercifully arrived though two hours late and so JM had to pick me up at the local bus station at the ungodly hour of 02:30.

When the Tampeeps Singapore chapter – Jenie first and Tatoff second - finally landed on the island, we headed straight to UNESCO world heritage site of Georgetown.  Traffic was slow on the way and then when we got there, a parking spot was hard to come by.

After supper in little India, we’ve decided to head towards Gurney only to crawl our way because evidently, everyone thought of the same thing. Throngs of people walked up and down the esplanade like it was one big fiesta which I guess, it was. Anti-social creatures that we are, we were turned off by the throng of tourists and so decided to leave. Unfortunately, most of the people thought the same thing and so was stuck in the car park for an entire hour. (Who gets stuck in a carpark, immobile, for a whole hour?!)

Jimena, the lovely Mexicana we got to know on board Yangon’s circle line, managed to catch a bus to Penang  (how she did still baffles me) and so met up with her at the Pinang Peranakan Museum the next morning. We went around George Town again until we couldn’t take the heat anymore and so cooled off at Old Town White Coffee along Church Street. We took advantage of their free Wifi while Jimena did her own tour of town. 

All six of us packed into JM’s car and raced against the sun to Batu Ferringhi, on the other side of the island, to go Parasailing and to catch another beautiful Malaysian sunset. Traffic on the road was a bit slow but we managed to get there just in time. After which, we tried our luck again and went back to Gurney where the traffic was just a wee bit better than the night before.  I devoured a bowl of a very good laksa and a plate of oysters as a fitting end to one fun day.

Jimena went home with us and camped on JM’s couch. They bonded over a couple ounces of alcohol while I gave in to sleep. The next day started early with JM driving Jimena to the bus station but not before he dropped us off at the beach. Raffy and I wanted to catch the sunrise. 

After a hearty breakfast, we decided to take a dip in the pool and try the slide. Lots of screams on my part and body bumping on theirs. At one o’clock in the afternoon, it was Raffy and I’s turn to be dropped off at the bus station.

The bus left for KL at 14:00 but got there at 01:00 the next day. 
Unfortunately for Rafael, he missed his flight and had to buy a new ticket. But to me, this meant I had a companion during my 06:45 flight home. The horrendous traffic proved to be not so bad after all.

It seems that long weekends wreak havoc on traffic just about anywhere. So I guess, the best way to spend a long weekend is to stay put and go on staycation. 

On the bus to Kuala Lumpur with pretty Mexicana Jimena. 

The banging sounds of the building site next door woke me up. 

Early morning at TESCO where my friends searched for the cheapest beer. Tell me, why am I friends with these three, again?

The Penang Gang! Photo by Raffy Vicente

Ironwork markers such as these are planted all over Georgetown.

Started and ended our tour of Georgetown in Little India. 

Tandoori chicken!

Indian flower garlands on sale

A mosque with a canon on its lawn.

"Where's my husband?!" Ummm. He's hanging right outside the window? 

Love Locks ice cream along love lane was a welcome respite from the heat. Air cooooon!

Locks of Love. 

Happily ever after but with a broken heart?

711 isn't open 24/7 anymore. 

A row of shop houses along love lane. 

These iron works are too cute to ignore. 

Kiss. Kiss. The things I do when I'm away.

All dressed to the nines!

What a crow. 

Here's an old shop house, with a moto to boot.

Karate Kid, Penang Style

Ironwork marker for the section of town where famous cobbler Jimmy Choo started his career.

A modern conversion of a shop house.

The courtyard of the Peranakan Museum.

I covet this chandelier!

An old school television set together with other old things. 

Tea time!

"JM and Tatoff, why are you showing off your 100 plus cans?" Photo by Raffy Vicente

Church Street's Old Town White Coffee

We can have this table; we're six! Photo by Jenie Gabriel

Penang's white city hall

Penang's Esplanade

T-shirts turned turbans. Photo by Jenie Gabriel

"We're going parasailing! Eeeeek!" Photo by Jenie Gabriel

"I should do what?!" Photo by Jenie Gabriel

"Here we gooooo!" Photo by Jenie Gabriel

Gangnam style (with beer in hand) on the beach. 

Sunset in Batu Ferringghi

Stranded in the middle of the street. Photo by Raffy Vicente

Don't think JM and Jimena are pretty happy with this crowd.

Early morning along the Malacca Straight. 

A lovely sunrise on our last day. 

"Weeeee!" Photo by Jenie Gabriel

Underwater Gangnam Style. Photo by Jenie Gabriel

What are these two so happy about?

Beers by the pool... before the security guard kicked them out.

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