Penang

Jan 28th, 2015, 02:18 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 244
Penang

Hi Guys,
I'm still here in Thailand. Just booked a four day trip to Penang.Any help with where to stay would be great.
Never been at all. Shall we do the city or beach? We are open. Are the beachs clean?
Water clean to swim in?
Please reply. We need to book fast.
Thanks so much,
Ellen
zoso is offline  
Jan 28th, 2015, 03:31 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 8
For Penang, some guests prefer staying in beach or city area and depends one's interests. If you are staying in beach, there is no much activities around the town except some water sport activities.

If you like to visit heritage site area, you should consider city area. A few hotels are located within buffer or near to heritage zone.

For water, it is not suitable for swimming. There are occasional jelly fishes attack cases. For beach, some guests are playing volleyball there.

Hope this helps.

A licensed tour guide
withluck is offline  
Jan 28th, 2015, 04:32 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,494
I would stay in the city. The beaches are not clean. if you are a swimmer you will end up in the pool. As touristy as it sounds the butterfly farm is Interesting if you get tired of the historical center. There is a lot to see in the center. Can't think of the name, but there is an old family house( it is blue, if I remember right) that was very interesting. The main Chinese temples are beautiful also.

Not sure what your hotel budget is , but the E and O , or Clover Hall are 2 nice places to stay.
kmkrnn is online now  
Jan 28th, 2015, 04:35 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 12,948
I was just in (Georgetown) Penang up until Monday. I spent 7 nights at the E&O Hotel, in the Victory Annexe, and it was fabulous. The Victory Annexe was finished in 2013 and all of the rooms have a sea view.

Also, in the Annexe, guests have their own private dining room (6th floor) and sea-view terrace where there's a limited breakfast buffet selection, but it's very peaceful up there. It's the same floor with the infinity swimming pool.

Guests in the Annexe can also have buffet breakfast at Sarkie's restaurant, on the first floor, which has a huge, buffet breakfast selection, with even curries and coconut rice and a whole Chinese noodle bar. There's also the wide arrangement of Western breakfast foods.

The buffet breakfast is included in the price of the room. There is also a Happy Hour, every evening at 6PM, in the same dining room, and on the same terrace on the 6th floor. Happy Hour is free and there's also food along with wine and gin and tonic which a lot of folks seemed to be drinking. LOL! Folks were getting quite toasty up there. I was sitting and drinking tonic-water soda, but various guests kept asking if they could get me some red wine or a gin and tonic. I don't drink either one.

The guests were very friendly as they seemed to also be there for extended stays. They'd just start talking to me and invite me to join them at their tables and we'd sit out on the terrace until after 9PM, so they were really happy after Happy Hour was over.

As far as staying at the E&O, I felt like I was at a beach resort, just without sand and without tons of people. It was great to wake up, every morning, to only the view of the endless sea.

There were a lot of interesting places to visit in (Georgetown) Penang, but for me my favorite places were the Peranakan Mansion, The Blue Mansion (Cheong Fatt Tze) across from the E&O, the Peranakan, nonya-beaded, custom slipper (shoe) maker, in Armenian Street, and the camera museum. I didn't get to a lot of places as I was tired, after nearly a month, running around in Bangkok, but I have a list of things to do, hopefully, next year.

If you need a private driver, Azmi at azmi1990/yahoo is great. He said it was OK to post his e-mail address if I wanted to.

Azmi is in his early- mid-20s and is very nice and laid back. I went to the front desk, at the E&O, and they have a list of drivers. I was asked if I wanted a hotel driver (200MR-per hour.-Yikes!) or a taxi driver (45MR per hour,minimum 4 hours). Of course I opted for a taxi driver. I just made a list of where I wanted to go and handed it to Azmi when he arrived in his nice, clean, taxi van. His father, Mohammed, is also a driver and I met him,too, at the E&O. I think it's a family business. Azmi even drove me to the airport at 5:15AM which cost around 84-87MR, I think it was, due to the early hour, but he gave me a discount. He uses his meter.

Have a great time in Penang, I wish I were back there. But, hopefully there's next year. But, for now, I'm in another part of Malaysia.

Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Jan 28th, 2015, 08:55 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,000
Skip the beach, Georgetown is what is really special about Penang.

If you can afford the E&O, stay there.
Kathie is offline  
Jan 29th, 2015, 08:09 AM
  #6  
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Great sound good. Thanks friends!
Do they take USDollars?
zoso is offline  
Jan 29th, 2015, 08:24 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,000
No, you will need to get Malaysian Ringgit from an ATM.
Kathie is offline  
Jan 29th, 2015, 08:27 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Interested to read your review of the E&O, we were for five days in March and we stayed in the Vicotry Annex. I agree that it's very luxurious and an excellent value but I felt it was rather soulless. I far preferred the older section of the hotel and I hadn't realized quite how separate they were. One has to walk outside to get between them. here a full review with photos on my blog for anyone who is interested.

Here's my blog review on the E & O
http://www.somuchmoretosee.com/2015/...ers-hotel.html

We also enjoyed the local museum in Georgetown and the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion that Guenmai mentions above. I've just posted a blog post with picture. The interiors are fabulous and it's a really wonderful example of a Chinese Malay mansion.

http://www.somuchmoretosee.com/2015/...on-penang.html

There's great street food in Georgetown and we ate a lot of it. If we went again I'd consider staying at one of the boutique hotels converted from one of the chop houses. We were at the end of a trip and I really wanted a place with amenities but some of the smaller places look really characterful. I think Seven Terraces would be at the top of my list, we had a very nice meal at their Kebaya restaurant.

Have fun, we enjoyed Penang but I wouldn't rush back.
welltraveledbrit is offline  
Jan 29th, 2015, 08:28 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 509
If you can't afford E&O, check out Campbell House, right on the fringe of Chinatown. We thought it was a good, friendly option for our stay in George Town.
internetwiz is offline  
Jan 29th, 2015, 08:42 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 12,948
Zosa: Are you asking if you can pay at the hotel or for a taxi in U.S. dollars? No, I doubt it. But, you can easily exchange U.S. dollars as that's what I've been doing the whole time. I got a stack of crisp $100 bills before I left home and it's been really easy. Plus, there must be ATMs at the airport if you want to go that route. I had some leftover ringitt from my trip years ago.

The hotel will exchange money, right there at the front desk, and the exchange rate was not horrible and yes, I'm sure there's a higher rate at an ATM machine, but I saw none at the hotel in the 7 days that I was there. Maybe they have them, but I have no idea where.

There is a bank, across from the Blue Mansion (Cheong Fatt Tze), so I assume there would be an ATM machine there. However, I did not notice one outside of the bank when I was walking back to the hotel from Cheong Fatt Tze., and I don't know if there's one inside, as the bank was closed.

To take a taxi from the airport to the E&O, it cost me, I think, 42.50MR. I remember it was somewhere in the 40 range. You go outside and then there's a taxi, payment booth, and you tell them the hotel name and they tell you how much. The fare is prepaid and then you just hop in.

If you're going to be staying in the Victory Annexe, then you need to let the drive know or else you will end up at the Heritage Wing. I told my driver, twice, that it was the Victory Annexe, but he still drove me to the Heritage Wing. He didn't even know that the Victory Annexe existed. Since he missed the turn off into the Annexe driveway, he had to make the long block, in a circle, as the street is one-way.

The name for the Victory Annexe is written on the side of the first building that he'll come to. So make sure he SLOWS DOWN, so that he doesn't miss the driveway to turn into or else he will have to make the block again. I had to point it out to him or else he would have missed it again.

Have fun! I wish I were back in Penang. I'm in KL at the moment.

Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Jan 29th, 2015, 09:00 AM
  #11  
 
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Welltraveledbrit: Funny you should mention 7 Terraces and the Kebaya restaurant. I e-mailed them before I left home and asked how far they were from the E&O. They sent me back a nice e-mail letting me know how much a taxi would cost, as they're only open for dinner, and I didn't want to be walking alone at night. Then, they said that they would gladly be waiting when I arrived. Very nice.

The day that I went out with my driver and we were almost back to the hotel, I asked him if he knew where the restaurant was. He said that he did and that he would swing by there to show me how to get there. So, we made the block and went over there.

The Kebaya was my first choice on my list of places to eat, as I like Peranakan food, but after days of eating, my poor stomach could take no more, so I ended up not going there to eat. I'll keep it on the list for next year. I'll hit a Peranakan restaurant when I get to Singapore as by kebaya maker owns one.

As for the Victory Annexe, interesting thought. As I was sitting with a British couple, during Happy Hour, and they were commenting about both wings as they had stayed in the Heritage Wing on a previous trip, but were in the Victory Annexe, they commented that they liked the Victory Annexe as it was new, but looked old. I haven't stayed in the Heritage Wing, but I walked to that building a lot and it just felt dark in there and I preferred being back over in the other building.

Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Jan 29th, 2015, 02:23 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,552
Guenmai,
You may already have visited it already, or on another trip, but we very much enjoyed the Islamic Art Museum in KL which is next to the National Mosque. It really give you a sense for the diversity of the Islamic world and the range of Islamic arts and crafts.
Here's my blog post
http://www.somuchmoretosee.com/2015/...laysia-in.html

We also liked a free walking tour organized by the tourist office which takes you all around the heritage building around Merdeka Sq and even into the Pegu club which is generally members only. WE really enjoyed it.
welltraveledbrit is offline  
Jan 29th, 2015, 02:48 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,000
WTB, I appreciate your comments on the E&O, as it's been quite a while since we stayed there, I love old hotels, and was wondering about whether to stay in the Victory Annex or in the historic part of the hotel. You have answered my question - thanks!

We hadn't been planning to go to Penang this trip, but Cheryl has been spending time on the east coast with her terminally ill mother and I think she will need some special pampering when this is over. Penang is one of my favorite SE Asia destinations and you can't go wrong with a Sarkie Bros hotel!

BTW, knowing you love these hotels as much as I do, I have to recommend the hotel in Surabaya, the Majaphit. Find an excuse to stay there!
Kathie is offline  
Jan 29th, 2015, 03:00 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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welltraveledbrit: Thanks for the tip on the museum. I have been in KL before and didn't get a chance to go to that museum, but unfortunately, it will have to wait until one of my future trips here, as I won't have time on this one.

Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Feb 5th, 2015, 02:44 AM
  #15  
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 244
Dear Friends,
Just Quick heads up on Hotels Penang.I took a three night stay at the Campbell House.This was
One of the best hotels I've stayed at in the three months on the road in Asia!
Beautiful room, service, owners on site, excellent bfast,I can go on and on.
Top of the stop boutique hotel in a great location of Geoge Town.
zoso is offline  
Feb 5th, 2015, 07:55 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 12,948
Zoso: Glad that it all worked out great for you in Penang. Wish I were back in there. I just got home, to L.A. yesterday, after being in S.E. Asia since December. Now, to readjust to being back in my own culture. Smiles.

Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Feb 5th, 2015, 08:04 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 12,948
Correction:" Wish I were back there..." Let me either wake up or go to sleep. Jetlag, ugh...

Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
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