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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
    Marmite the Dog's Avatar
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    Penang - The Pearl of the Orient

    Rabbit and I headed down to Penang for a visa run and ended up very impressed with the place and the people.

    We stayed at the Hotel Continental on Jalan Pinang, (Penang Street) Georgetown. We booked via Email with the very helpful Patrick. He arranged the visas (335RM for 9 month tourist visa), transfers (about 100RM) and rooms (98RM per night) with absolutely no fuss and no cock-ups. AirAsia flights came to about 3,750B return.

    04-263-6388 hotelconti@po.jaring.my



    Hotel Continental is pretty good. The room is fine, the shower superb, the beds fairly comfy, proper safety plugs, the view is good and there's Guinness in the mini-bar. The hotel also has a pool, 'health spa', restaurant. The only downside being the lack of a 'bum-gun'.



    Last edited by Marmite the Dog; 17-03-2006 at 08:03 PM.

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat
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    Georgetown seems a sucessful, industrious town. It doesn't rely on tourism to the same extent that any Thai town by the sea does. There are many historical buildings that are restored and in daily use.

    Near the Hotel Continental there are quite a few places to go to in the evening. First we tried a place called Uptown Bistro that offered a free dinner buffet. The beer was expensive at 14RM each and the buffet was the same crap that you get in a Cambodian casino.


  3. #3
    Thailand Expat
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    Next we had a look at Shamrock which had Beamish Stout and Tetly's Bitter on tap, but at 28RM a pint we declined. Earlier we had seen a sign for a bar called Church Street Cafe on Lebuh Gereja. So, we hopped on a couple of rickshaws and sedately made our way there. We even managed to have a crash as my rickshaw 'rear-ended' Rabbit's as both drivers were to busy looking at the sign.



    Church street Cafe was more like it. They offered Guinness at the much more reasonable price of 17RM a pint and they were doing a promotion for Paddy's Day of buy 2 get 1 free. So I did.



    They also have a pool table (3RM) and the music is at a reasonable level, so you can still have a good natter.



    The food there was good and reasonable priced too. I had chicken in black bean sauce for 7rm and Rabbit tried the lamb chop which was around 13RM, and was described as 'ok'. You can also get yourself a cheese sarnie for only 1.8RM. This place is really good value.



    04-263-9422 yteecee@yahoo.com

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat
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    Over at the backpacker enclave of Chulia Street is a cafe and guesthouse called Jim's Place.



    The joint is run by a nice chap called Jim Tachinamurthy who will sort you out with anything the average backpacker requires; visas, flights, buses, advice, beer (6rm), hippy food and anything else that may come to mind.



    04-264-2960 blackangel90@hotmail.com http://jimsplacepenang.tripod.com

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat
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    Nearer to the hotel is a row of units which is gradually being filled by some decent little clubs playing some lively tunes. We stumbled into Star Club Z for a beer or three and had a very pleasant time shouting at each other over the music and looking at Jenny's tits.



    Opposite Star Club Z is a nightclub called Slippery Senoritas and a nightclub called Cocos.



    We went into Cocos first and watched the last three seconds of the live act before they took a break. After 15 mins or so, they came back on and did anything from Bob Marley to Shakira. Not really my thing but it was OK.
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  6. #6
    Thailand Expat
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    Next door is Slippery Senoritas. This had filled up as the evening wore on and for a Monday night was doing well. The music was loud and the drinks were expensive.



    Luckily there was a bird standing next to us who insisted on giving us free beer. I wasn't sure if she was on the pull or not, but it would've been easier to raise the dead than wake 'chai noi' up (plus I'm a good boy), so I didn't bother trying some of my lines on her (lucky gal).



    After SS we thought it would be a good idea to eat again, so we walked up the road and had some Indian street food. Then it was back to the hotel for a drunken 10 hour sleep.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat
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    Needless to say, neither of us woke up very early the next day. We headed over the road to the Soho Freehouse for lunch. The menu has traditional English pub fayre and we were glad of the opportunity to get our lard levels topped up.



    The beer was pretty expensive here. 12RM for a pint of piss or 20RM for a guinness, but the food was pretty good and inexpensive.



    The rest of the afternoon was spent wandering around looking at how well preserved a lot of the colonial architecture is. The footpaths are walkable and the lack of street vendors getting in the bladdy way was wonderful. There are vendors here, but they are located in areas large enough not to be a pain in the arse. Overall, the town was much more interesting that anywhere I've seen in Thailand and the people here look after their town very well. Strangely, the bulk of the rougher looking places seemed to be Chinese...




  8. #8
    Thailand Expat
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    We eventually made it out at around 9.30 for dinner and went to a place called Passage Thru India. What a wonderful place! This is probably the nicest Indian restaurant I've ever been in. The decor was superb, as was the food. I cannot recommend this place enough - excellent!

    04 262 0263







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  9. #9
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    After dinner we went to Star CLub Z again. We found out that the previous night was their opening night.



    The difference between the young Malaysians and Thais is quite pronounced. Thais seem very uncultured in comparison. The waitress (Jenny with the big tits) came and sat with us for a while and we had a nice chat. All in all a nice little bar to sit outside of and have a few drinks whilst looking at all the Chinese totty. We left early (1.15am) in anticipation of our 7am wake up call.
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  10. #10
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    good on you Marmite

    looks like the place has changed a lot in the last few years

    the price of beer is a big no-no in Malaysia, but the rest is good value

  11. #11
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    There was a niceish place on Leith St., called the Leith Street Cafe or Pub or Bar, the last time I was there. Live music, decent food, cheapish beer. If you're still there you might want to check it out.

    I just loved the Indian street food in Penang!

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat aging one's Avatar
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    Great review and covered so many bases. Excellent Marmers.

  13. #13
    born of a jackal colourful-era's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog
    Over at the backpacker enclave of Chulia Street is a cafe and guesthouse called Jim's Place.

    That's a coincedence - I stayed at Jim's place for 3 nights - in the room above the 'Tiger' advert in your picture.

    It was 30 Ringgit a night with A/C - fairly small and noisy but quite a nice atmosphere.



    Now why didn't you say hello if you were at Jim's Marmite?

  14. #14
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    Damn, I don't know most of those places and I must have been to Penang about 50 times, Then again I aint been there for over a year now, Soho I know though, the food there is great, I shall be going there next month, normally I eat at those open fronted Indian restaurants down the road at the big junction, but after a couple of days I do need some English style food and Soho is the place.

    How comes you didn't visit the snake temple? they got poisonous snakes laying all over the place, vipers I believe they are, you can pick them up and play with them aswell, then again that was about 15 years ago so safety standards may have improved a little bit, worried the fok out of me thinking I might step on one accidently and the fok would bite me...

  15. #15
    I am in Jail
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    The rest of the afternoon was spent wandering around looking at how well preserved a lot of the colonial architecture is. The footpaths are walkable and the lack of street vendors getting in the bladdy way was wonderful. There are vendors here, but they are located in areas large enough not to be a pain in the arse. Overall, the town was much more interesting that anywhere I've seen in Thailand and the people here look after their town very well. Strangely, the bulk of the rougher looking places seemed to be Chinese...
    This was the most interesting part of the read. The place sounds like a good cure for anyone fatigued from being overly exposed to disorganised pure Asia.

  16. #16
    RIP
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    to the standard which we expect from Marmers...many thanks

    oh, and this is what i always understood by the term 'trip report'...not some overt sex blow-by-blow visit to some exotic place!

    how about a total cost figure for the 'run' marmers

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by klongmaster
    how about a total cost figure for the 'run' marmers
    Well, I did put the prices for most things up, but we did eat three times (for research purposes of course) and drink a lot of booze on the Monday (also for research), so I may have spent a little more than a person on a normal day.

    Probably around 20,000B all in.

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by klongmaster
    not some overt sex blow-by-blow visit to some exotic place!
    Oh dear, I was just proof reading marmers visits to the brothels of Penang, maybe have to stick it in a new section that km cant see

  19. #19
    Dis-member Dougal's Avatar
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    Nice report Marmers, I can see I won't be bored when I retire.

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat
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    Here's a map of where some of these places are.



    (Click to enlarge)
    Last edited by Marmite the Dog; 17-03-2006 at 10:48 PM.

  21. #21
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    Nice work Marmers. I spent a couple of days there getting a visa once upon a time, and was gobsmacked at the difference in English ability compared to Thais. I asked a guy in the street for directions, and his reply was:

    "If I'm not very much mistaken, it's the third on the left just past those traffic lights."













    Mind you, I think he was Welsh.
    The sleep of reason brings forth monsters.

  22. #22
    Northern Hermit
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    That was a great TR MtD. I am tempted to retry Penang one day soon. My fist couple a trip I hated it but now, am tempted to ry it again.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by friscofrankie
    My fist couple I hated it but now, am tempted to ry it again.
    I think you should have posted this in CMN's confessions thread...

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by friscofrankie
    That was a great TR MtD.
    You wait until you see my next report.

    "Marmite gets Pops laid & divorced!" - It'll be a hit!

  25. #25
    Northern Hermit
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    ^That one better Loads of pictures too!!!

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