Tuesday, 7 February 2017

FSTR (8 - 16 August 2016), Day 8 - Penang, Pearl of the Orient

The ever flexible Uncle KC
Train's canteen
Train's kitchen
On Malaysian soil
Sniffer dog at the immigration department
Enroute to Butterworth
At Butterworth Station
Enroute to the ferry terminal
Climbing the flyover to the ferry terminal
Ferry Charges
No dogs, birds, deers and even Tom Cats allowed on the ferry!
Waiting for the ferry
Looking for space!
No drones required for this shot!
Here comes the ram
Touch down, Penang Island!
Pulau Pinang

Our train to Butterworth made a few stops during the night. Like a baby rocked to bed, Claudine stirred every time the rocking motion came to a stop. During the night, she wondered if the steward was assigned to wake passengers up at certain stops, for clearly, the passenger in the bunk below her, left just before dawn, making a lot of noise as she moved about.

Just as Haatyai was approaching, she gave up her sleep. It was getting bright and whatsapping has begun slightly before 6 am. A sentinel guarding over our bikes, alone and away from the team, YC took an additional half hour of shut eye!

Brushing one's teeth over the moving train can be tricky. One had to take aim and time one's spit together with the train's jerky movements!!! Forget about washing one's face as the water from the taps comes in trickles, just like on board an aircraft but a lot less posh!

The stewards came around to turn the beds back up as passengers alight or upon requests. It was a mere 30 seconds job!

A Caucasian family traveling with their 2 young adults children were served a complete breakfast of juice, fruit and sandwiches while the LTF team munched on 7-11 fare. Despite that, we were not complaining as we knew a gastronomical fare awaits us in Penang!

Minutes before the Padang Besar station, the staffs walked down the coaches briefing the passengers on the 2 stops; the first Padang Besar stop for Thailand before the train rumbles down the tracks to the next Padang Besar stop on Malaysian soil. Both stations were within sight of each other. All baggage had to be removed from the train as this is its last stop.

Finally back on Malaysian soil, we went through customs and immigration of both countries. Then, we took a long break at the canteen upstairs which served surprisingly good authentic nasi lemak in banana leaf wrap.

It seems our tickets gave us the option to board any train heading down south. As the commuter train runs more frequently and arrives earlier than the southbound train, we boarded it.

It was a good move as there were more room for our bikes and panniers. Downside to it though were the inadequate air conditioning and the "NOT" so plush seats. However, it did get us to Butterworth in slightly less than 2 hours which was perfect as lunchtime was approaching.

We had to wait for a further 2 hours before we finally sat down for our meal on Penang island. Transiting from the train station to the ferry terminal, plus the long wait to board and get off the ferry is time consuming. Most coffee shops were beginning to pack up when we finally arrived in Penang.

After lunch, we continue to break traffic rules going counter traffic on Penang's multitude one way streets. That helped us to get to Tido Hostel in the shortest time possible. Not the wisest choice but our sage pastor had had the whole team in his prayers!

8 of us were put together in a room with bunk beds. Within 10 minutes, we choked up the air conditioning system. It could not filter out our body odour and for the next 24 hours, the room stank of sweat and grime collected over the last 8 days!!!!!!!!!!

Mike collected us soon enough! He had rode his non environmental friendly two wheelers all the way from KL to Penang to host us. The minute we made contact, our gastronomical adventure began.................................and did not end till close to midnight!!!!

Lor Mee
Cendol and Assam Laksa
Kueh Tiau Kia
Putu Mayam
Wantan Mee
Roti Tissue and Vadae
Half Time, Bike shopping!
Lights out at Tido
You can't really tidur when someone is snoring....

Photo courtesy :
KC Au Yeong
Ped Al


  1. What an amazing ending indeed - train, ferry, bike then packed together in the same room to ferment our friendship once and for all!

    1. Hahahaha! I would have used pickled though ferment smelled more like us