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“Park Royal” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Penang Island

Chesterfield, England
14 reviews 14 reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Park Royal”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2008

We stayed here for three nights. The hotel is situated near the night market, restaurants and bars. The beach is very disappointing; we found it dirty and not very wide.

The hotel is self was very nice. The staff were very helpful. The bedroom are clean but out bedroom overlooked the street so it was noisy. It was my birthday whilst I was there and they gave me a chocolate cake with happy birthday on it, which I thought was very nice of them. The hotel grounds are wonderful to stroll through. The drink we found to be very expensive.

We eat out for our evening meal, which was reasonable. Drinks were a lot cheaper up to road from the hotel.

We took the local bus into the town. We enjoyed looking around the town and didn’t feel frightened at all. Some street we were the only ones on there. We went up the town and the views were wonderful, well worth a visit.

I would go there again.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
294 helpful votes 294 helpful votes
“Food: Main Attraction”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2008

Been to Penang last week with one major thing in mind: Street Food and Hawker stalls. Most Malaysians will tell you that when Penang is mentioned, street food comes to mind. Ask any resident in Penang about going to eat in a hotel and most will give you a look that contemptous look and remark Why do you have to eat in a hotel.

Went tothe famous Chendol (coconut milk and brown sugar drink with green jelly) on Penang Road. It is still as good as far as I can remember. Ask anyone about this iconic place and everyone will know where it is. Next to this stall is a coffee shop. Try the Fried Kuey Teow (fried fetucine like rice noodles) and if you dare, the 'Assam Laksa' (rice noodles in sour fish soup). These two items are synonymous to Penang. The, off to Penang Hill for tea and scones.

Many food stalls are grouped together in Food courts nowadays. One such place we visited is the Northam Beach Cafe on Northam road just opposite the Northam All Suite Hotel. It is basically a collection of food and drink stalls - more than 30 of them serving different food. You find a table, go to any stall and order whatever you want, quote your table number and go sit and wait for food to arrive, then pay. Go early just before sunset and find a table by the embankment and watch the fishing boats moored nearby with the entire length of the sea off Gurney Drive while you eat. We discovered this 'Apom Telor' (flour sugar and egg pancakes cooked individually over a charcoal stove) stall here. One of the best we ever tasted. Prices are prominently displayed on each stall, as is everywhere else, so no problems.

The enxt day and we visited Pulau Tikus (an area down Burma Road heading away from town, 5-10 minutes by car), where the locals eat. There is corner coffee shop selling Siamese laksa. then there is an indian muslim stall in a coffee shop (at junction just after the police station on the main Burma Road). Try the 'mamak mee goreng' (fried noodles with sauteed squid).

Of course, to top it off, we went to the Swatow Lane Food Court. Check this out as well. Try the 'ice kacang' at the main drinks stall - shaved ice, syrup and beans, jelly etc - a dessert dish. There are well over 40 stalls here. You can also get a big plate of fruits (4 types or more) at the same drinks stall at bottom prices.

Enjoy. We did all the above in 24 hours and look forward to it agian.

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2 reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“great value in Malaysia”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2008

Went to Singapore for New year then on to Penang ..Golden Sands resort.
Quite flat in Singapore for new year ..not even a countdown to midnight ..fireworks ok ,however the city is beautiful and lots to see and do .

We stayed at the PanPacific Hotel which was first class despite the drinks etc being overpriced ,but not to worry as there are lots of places to eat and drink at that is very reasonable,especially around Boat Quay and Chimjes.
Lots to see also ,river trip,Singapore by night and Sentosa island is a must .
New years day we moved on to Penanag . Batu Ferringhi beach resort .Golden Sands .hotel right on the beach with excellent facilites, landscapes gardens and pools ,golf ,restaurants and night market right at the end of the drive.
Good restaurants include Marios (italian) evening meals and good breakfasts too , Kampon Garden (chinese), the ship (steak to die for) and Eden seafood restaurant. .
must do in Penang... is to visit the Kek Lok SI temple, a trip on the funicular railway up penang hill at dusk...a snorkelling trip to the Langkawi coral platform...have an overview of the city from floor 69 at the top of the Komtar tower... see the oroginal village on stilts at Tu Jetty and don`t miss a meal in china town for a real taste of chinese food.(Starview restaurant or Feing Wei) is good .
This is an ideal holiday destination as it has good weather (about 80f every day)varied and interesting cultural sights ..excellent food .. a good class of hotels and quite cheap in comparison to uk (average cost of a meal for 2 with drinks about 12- 15 pounds.).a little more if you have fillet steak at the Ship or seafood in a speciality restaurant.

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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2008

I travelled to Pinang in early January to escape the cold & grey of London, on the recommendation of a friend who originates from Malaysia. Pinang (or Penang as it is commonly known) is an island off the west coast of Malaysia about 170sq miles in size.

I stopped over in Singapore for a couple of days either side of my flights from/to the UK then flew to/from Pinang (with Malaysia Airlines who I'd recommend). An alternative is a train from Singapore to Butterworth in Malaysia which takes about 8 hours then a 20 minute ferry ride to Georgetown in Pinang. I decided against this as I was only in Pinang for a week but next time I'll take the train there & fly back.

At the airport you buy a ticket at the taxi stand for the zone in which you want to & wait your turn for a taxi. My ticket was ~£6 to my hotel was (The Evergreen). The taxi driver was very friendly and later became an absolute star! He dropped me at the hotel & said if I want to have a look around the island I could hire his taxi for just over £5 / hour.

I chose the Evergreen hotel after looking at the reviews on Tripadvisor and I was impressed, excellent value for money. The staff are generally very friendly & helpful. I had a seaview room which was nice but you can't open the windows which is a shame. The breakfast was quite a spread. The standard western style bacon & eggs wasn't up to much but the asian food was really good with huge choice & really worth sampling.

The Evergreen is on the east coast near a long road called Gurney Drive. For me the real star attraction was the hawker centre at the end of Gurney drive ~15min walk away. It has so much choice and is a really buzzing. If I lived near this place as kid & moved away (especially to the UK) then I'd really miss it! One thing I really liked was the Laksa (noodles, fish, pineapple plus herbs & a special sauce) delicious!

One disappointment was the sea around the east coast especially Gurney drive. It is quite shallow and when the tide goes out it exposes large mud banks. Still, I'd only seen mudskippers (little fish that can live out of water) on the telly so seeing them for real was something! When the tide comes back in though there's a nice sea breeze which helps to cool the air. There are nice beaches in the north of the island but it seems quite resort-like which doesn't appeal to me. Apparently jellyfish tend to congregate around here in June/July but then go back out to deeper water.

There are plenty of places to go & see including Georgetown, a small city, for history and a mix of cultures (the Malays, Chinese & Indians all seem to get on well together here). I'd recommend a short round trip across to the mainland to get a nice sea breeze. There's not much to do on the other side in Butterworth so I just came back on the same boat but its nice to survey the coastline & see the port of Georgetown from the sea on your return. I even saw a pair of dolphins swimming next to the ferry! Other places worth visiting are the spice gardens, the Pinang hill train for some stunning views, a fruit farm (see where all that exotic fruit in your supermarket comes from!), plenty of markets, temples, plus some fantastic scenery (especially in the west of the island). There were lots of other places I didn't get round to visiting.

There are busses which start in Georgetown that go to various parts of the island but they do take a while to get going (generally waiting til they're full) so I would highly recommend hiring a car or even better hiring a taxi driver. This is where the taxi driver who took me from the airport to my hotel comes in.

His name is Naeem and it was a real pleasure to spend some time with him. Over a period of 3 days (a few hours each day) he showed me pretty much the entire island & I got a real flavour of Pinang, much more than if I'd hired a car or stuck to the busses. Nothing was too much trouble and he was just as interested about what life is like in the UK as I was about life in Penang. I even got to meet his family which was a real honour! I'd highly recommend calling him [-] if you do visit Pinang to arrange for him to take you around the island.

Finally, if you really do want to experience some luxury then stay at the Eastern & Oriental (E&O) hotel. Its fantastic especially if you get a sea facing room. I had 3 nights in a ground floor seaview room & quite frankly it was one of the most comfortable a homely places I've stayed, a real treat!

I'll definately go back to Pinang and I'll make it part of a longer visit to Malaysia.


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