South East Asia 2016 travel blog

Out With Gabby

Dinner With Her Mum & Dad

Temple Lights

The Goddess Herself


Up early & off to the coach station to catch the 9.15am to George Town, the capital of Penang Island. We stopped off on the way at an Indian cafe for a breakfast of roti & Dahl. Made a change from from our hotel breakfasts.

Our coach was called an Aeroliner & the seating was very comfortable with seatback entertainment screens & leg rests. We waved goodbye to Joan & settled back to enjoy the four hour trip. It has been a lovely weekend & we are so grateful to have to Joan for her marvellous hospitality.

To top it all she had arranged with one of her friends in Penang to meet us on our arrival & take us to our hotel. Her friends daughter, Gabby, was waiting at the coach stop in Penang. She took us to our hotel to check in & then ended up having a guided tour of George Town & lunch at a local food court.

When we first checked in at the hotel & took our cases to our room it was obvious that it had not been prepared after the previous guests checked out. So it was back down to reception where they gave us the key to a second room further down the corridor. We moved our cases there before we went out with Gabby for the afternoon. When Gabby dropped us off back at the hotel in the late afternoon we were ready for a nice refreshing shower as it is really hot & humid here. After opening up our suitcases & stripping off Viv discovered that there no towels in the bathroom. Meantime I found that one of the bedside lights was broken exposing loose wires so it was back down to reception & after a visit to our room we were moved to yet another room. This one was at the front of the hotel & we had a sea view out over the ferry h terminal & bus station opposite which made it worth the move although why they didn't just give us a set of towels & replace the lamp I couldn't understand.

Gabby's mum has invited us to join them for dinner so after a shower & a short rest we were picked up by Gabby's mum & dad & together with Gabby we had another tour of George Town & sampled more of the local food at a street side Hawkers area. You select the food you want from one or more of the little stalls that cook a variety of different foods & find a spare table amongst those set up on the pavement nearby. We had a good selection including oyster omelette, chicken satay, squid & rice.

We were then treated to a ride up the hill to see an amazing display of lights at the Temple of the Goddess of Mercy. The whole hillside was a blaze of coloured lights from the bottom to the top, there must have been millions. Again we have been lucky because they only put on the light show for the Chinese New Year.

That wasn't the end of our Chinese New Year celebrations though because once we got back to our hotel & said goodbye to our hosts for the evening we were treated to a firework display from 11pm to midnight. If they hadn't mucked up our rooms we wouldn't have been able to watch it from our third flow window. We had a front seat view. So still no early night.

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