from the Peninsula: 13. Back to Malaysia
Our trip from Bangkok to Penang left us with a very mixed feelings. Be cause Nana said she wouldn't be able to stand another train trip like what we had before, we decided to look for other ways to get back to Singapore. We were offered a bus in a system called Joint Ticket, they show us schedules and nice pictures of buses. Since we're very amateur we were happy and we bought the tickets.
It turned out that we had to change buses along the way. In every change place they handed us a new ticket, to a worse bus than before.
Our bus from Bangkok to Surat Thani was really nice, a double decker one, with full aircond and reclining seat, just like what they told us. Very nice, we had lots of beautiful scenery. However Nana still didn't like it because the bus ran too fast even when there were deep gorges to our side.
From Surat Thani we had to change to a minibus, no reclining seat, but it has aircond. In Hat Yai we had to change to another one and it's really bad. This one was not nice at all, an old decaying minibus with barely working aircond. We had to wait a long time, but when we complained they said the bus would arrive at the normal schedule. When we asked why it's different than the schedule given to us they could not answer or do anything because it's a joint ticket, the last operator didn't have have to know the first one and they didn't care. So in the end we arrived in Georgetown 3 hours later than the schedule.
From my Lonely Planet book we found a hotel called Hong Ping Hotel in Lebuh Chulia. It seems to have a lot of Indonesian patrons. It is also very nice and clean and we can have as much boiled water as we want. But the price is slightly higher. For a simple family room with bathroom and AC we had to pay about US $ 15.
We did not do much this evening, just went for food at the street stalls along the road in front of our hotel. We need to sleep. Long journey tomorrow.
Penang, Friday, 25 June 1999