Browse Tag


Persiaran Gurney drive seaside marina Penang

Malaysia 2010: Day 4 — One day in Penang (Around Georgetown, Gurney Drive, Penang Hill)

Date: 28th September 2010

When we arrived the previous night, we left a rainy Singapore to land in Malaysia, where the rain had followed. We prayed the sun would come out the next day.

Old Penang guesthouse window sunny day
And today morning, our prayers were answered

We decide to set out early as we had only a day in Penang. While the others got ready, I decided to take a few snaps of the place we were staying.

Old Penang Guesthouse corridor roomsOld Penang Guesthouse is a restored building that retains the charms of the colonial era with rooms at rates from the current backpacker era.

Old Penang Guesthouse upstairs restroom
This is the shower room and toilets upstairs

Old Penang Guesthouse upstairsOld Penang Guesthouse staircase

Old Penang Guesthouse library tv room
They have a ‘living room’ of sorts where you can watch TV & read the papers while you serve yourself breakfast

Old Penang Guesthouse downstairs bathroom

Old Penang Guesthouse breakfast
This is breakfast: toast, butter (but usually margarine) & fruits

Old Penang Guesthouse dining areaOld Penang Guesthouse corridor window

Old Penang Guesthouse notice board
I made list of things I wanted to eat when in Malaysia
Old Penang Guesthouse wooden staircase
You’re instructed to walk softly at night as the flooring is all wooden
Old Penang Guesthouse breakfast area
The dining area
Old Penang Guesthouse view outside
The skies were getting clearer

Once we were all ready, we soon stepped out to head to the harbour, which was walking distance from where we were staying.

Penang Chinese buddhist temple

Penang Love Lane cheap hotels
There are a lot of budget hotels on Love Lane (that’s the name of the street we were on)

Penang Love lane alley

Penang Chulia street daytime 7-Eleven
There’s a 7-Eleven very close to our guesthouse

Penang Georgetown Kapitan Keling mosquePenang Georgetown Hindu templePenang Chulia street intersection

Penang Han Jiang ancestral temple
Han Jiang ancestral temple

Penang Georgetown towards harbour

Penang Georgetown Nagore Indian mosque
Nagore Durgha Sheriff mosque

Penang Georgetown traffic intersectionStrolling through Georgetown reminded me of Fort Kochi (I need to put up those photos as well) in Kerala, with its heritage buildings by the sea.

Penang Georgetown old doorway

Penang Georgetown Old Chinese temple roof
Many places of worship in and around Georgetown
Penang Georgetown old Chinese temple
Lim Kongsi Clan Temple; when we entered, there was this one dog ‘guarding’ the temple
Penang Georgetown old temple dog
Which came hopping all the way towards me and my camera. And then Loi patted it. Then it went and peed in the bushes.

Just walking past the many temples – be they Indian or Chinese, mosques etc. you get a sense of the religious harmony that exists in Malaysia. Of course, this was only the start.

We reached the road by the ferry terminal and made our way to the other side.

Penang harbour Tanjong marina car parkingPenang Tanjong marina harbour Star Cruises shipPenang Port road Rapid metro buses

Penang Tanjong marina bus station
There’s a bus station near the ferry terminal

Tanjong city marina Penang dock

Penang marina harbour restaurant
There’s a sea-facing restaurant at the end of this walkway
Tanjong marina penang docks yachts boats
That’s where the ferries dock

Penang marina harbour Hai Nan InnWisma Kastam building PenangPenang Georgetown marina road old buildingsWe stepped into a few travel agencies to inquire about ferry prices to Langkawi. Everywhere, it was the standard RM60 (Rs. 900/US$20/€15). It was the same price quoted by the guy at Old Penang Guesthouse, but fearing he may have been quoting a higher rate, we thought we’d ask near the ferry terminal itself.

We bought our tickets for the next day and continued our walk.

Penang clock tower Georgetown circle
Georgetown’s landmark Queen Victoria Memorial Clocktower
Penang sea park
A short distance from the clock tower, and you get the beautiful sea

Fort Cornwalis park Penang Georgetown

Fort Cornwalis Penang Georgetown
This where we went next; entry is just RM 2 (Rs. 30)
Fort Cornwalis Sir Francis Light statue Penang
Statue honouring Sir Francis Light

Penang The Statue of Francis Light info

Fort Cornwalis Penang Sir Francis Light statue Ramesh
Ramesh dishonouring Sir Francis Light statue

Fort Cornwallis Penang Georgetown prisonYou can read about the history behind Fort Cornwallis on its Wikipedia page, but from a tourist’s point of view, its nothing spectacular. Then again, when the entry is just RM2, you shouldn’t be expecting much.

Fort Cornwalis Penang sea steps cannon
But we still hung around a bit longer

Fort Cornwallis Penang sea cannonFort Cornwallis park Penang cannon sea

Fort Cornwallis park Loiyumba umbrella hot Penang
It was quite sunny

Fort Cornwallis park Penang cannons flagpoleFort Cornwallis park cannons Penang GeorgetownFort Cornwallis Penang Georgetown prisonFort Cornwallis Penang old prisonFort Cornwallis Penang inside old prison cellAfter checking out the fort for around 15 minutes, we made our way out.

Fort Cornwalis garden ice cream

Fort Cornwallis Penang steps down touristsFort Cornwalis is right near the Town Hall grounds.

Georgetown Penang esplanade town hall grounds

Penang esplanade Padang Kota Lama grounds
Town Hall & City Hall buildings in the background
Penang sea park tree shade sunny day
The esplanade is a nice place to laze under a tree on a sunny day

Penang port cruise ships

Penang esplanade Mithun Loiyumba umbrella
I wasn’t imitating Loi, it was sunny (Photograph by Ramesh)
Penang bay road car parking
We continued our stroll along this path

Then, a young, kooky Japanese couple came excitedly towards us and asked us if we could pose for a photograph with them. Assuming they’re tourists wanting to pose with tourists from another country, we figured “Sure, why not”…

Penang Japanese tourists Mithun Ramesh
… and so we asked them for one for ourselves too!

They weren’t the only Japanese we came across. The Japanese were aplenty in Penang, we would later find out.

Penang car parking tree plant shade

Penang Mahkamah Tinggi statue headless lady
The building in the back is the Penang High Court

Penang statue in front of Hight court headless lady

Penang Georgetown town square mushroom cloud
That was one big ‘nuclear’ cloud

Georgetown convent Light Street PenangPenang Georgetown Japanese cafeWe decided to walk towards the popular Gurney Drive.

Georgetown old museum building
Penang museum

Georgetown bus stop PenangGeorgetown walking towards Gurney drive Penang

Eastern & Oriental hotel Georgetown Penang
The Eastern & Oriental hotel

Georgetown fire hydrant PenangPenang Georgetown old houses

Georgetown Penang worship plant sea
We stopped here for a break as Ramesh was quite tired from all the walking
Penang bay boats sea facing apartments condos
Gurney Drive was over there
32 at the Mansion restaurant Georgetown Penang
The Mansion, a high end restaurant
Penang tall building club
We got back on to the main road

Wawasan Open University PenangCIMB Bank building Penang branch

Persiaran Gurney drive empty food court Penang
We even stopped by this food court for lunch but it was empty — and closed
Penang three buildings
So it was back to the main road
Persiaran Gurney drive premium condos Penang
And a few minutes later, we were finally on Gurney drive
Persiaran Gurney drive road luxury condominiums Penang
A LOT of luxury apartments on this stretch

Persiaran Gurney drive seaside car parkingPersiaran Gurney drive road parking signIt took us more than 30 minutes of walking to get to Gurney Drive. If you think that’s too much (or can’t do it), just hail a cab.

Though there were many restaurants along this stretch, plan was to have lunch from the food court at the end of Gurney drive, which is a very popular local joint.

But first, we had to quench our thirst.

We entered the only major shopping mall on Gurney Drive, Gurney Plaza. They have the usual gamut of mall brands and about the same as far as eateries and coffee shops go. I don’t remember how or why, but we sat down at the Chili’s in Gurney Plaza for beer.

Chilis Gurney Plaza Guinness beer
We ordered Guinness… and I stared at the ceiling… for some apparent reason. (Photo by Ramesh)
Gurney Plaza stores shopping mall Penang
The mall isn’t bad at all. We picked our Malaysia SIM cards from the 3rd floor which housed a lot of tech stores.
Gurney Plaza shopping mall Gurney drive Penang
Gurney Plaza shopping mall

The plan was to sit somewhere and have some beer along with lunch, but after the heavy mugs of Guinness and nachos we ordered, we were honestly quite full.

Persiaran Gurney drive food court Penang afternoon
The food court was closed too. Seems like they only open at night.

Persiaran Gurney drive seaside marina Penang

Persiaran Gurney drive roundabout McDonalds
This is the major roundabout at the end of Gurney drive

Post ‘lunch,’ we realized we still hadn’t seen any of Penang’s major attractions. So we boarded a local bus and headed to the main bus station.

Penang public bus inside
The plan was to see Kek Lok Si temple and take the tram ride up Penang hill

Penang local bus ride Loiyumba

Inside Penang local A/C bus windows
The ride took nearly 20 minutes

Once at the Komtar bus terminal,  we boarded a bus from Lane 1 that goes to Kek Lok Si temple.

Penang Kek Lok Si Air Itam apartments
This ride took another 30 minutes and was headed towards Penang hill
Penang Air Itam restaurant
Passed through mostly residential areas and housing colonies for the middle class

Penang Air Itam food market

Penang Kek Lok Si town Air Itam
When we reached the town of Air Itam it was already well past 5pm
Penang Kek Lok Si Air Itam town
But there it was: Kek Lok Si Temple

Unfortunately, the locals told us that we were too late and it was closing time. Sucks.

Penang Kek Lok Si temple
So all we could do was zoom in and take photos
Penang Kek Lok Si Buddist temple closeup
Seemed like some renovation work was going on
Penang Kek Lok Si temple tomb
I really wanted to check out the biggest Buddhist temple in Penang…
Penang road to Kek Lok Si temple Air Itam
… but we still had to go further up to get to the temple.

So yeah, if you want to see Kek Lok Si temple, make sure you are here well before 6pm.

Penang Kek Lok Si Air Itam Chinese shrinePenang Air Itam alleyInstead of waiting around, we decided to head to Penang Hill (or Bukit Bendara as it called locally). So we hailed a cab as the locals said it would take us at least 15 minutes to walk it there.

Penang towards tram ride
The Chinese taxi driver quoted RM7 which sounded reasonable, so we got in

The journey barely took 5 minutes.

Penang Hill tram ride closed construction
We soon reached the foot of Penang Hill and could see the tram line

But unfortunately (again)….

Penang Hill tram ride closed sign
Penang hill tram ride closed Loiyumba
Loi didn’t take the news too well

Turns out renovation work here as well. Couldn’t the taxi driver have told us it was closed? Of course he could have. But he didn’t… ‘cos he was a greedy b@#$%&*!

Disappointed at the turn of events, we decided to simply head back to town. Oddly enough, the very same bus we took to come here was waiting for departure near Penang hill.

Penang Air Itam Kek Lok Si temple background
As you can see, Kek Lok Si temple isn’t that far from here

Penang Air Itam stores

Penang Air Itam Indian temple
The cultural mix in Malaysia is truly admirable

Penang apartment building trees

Penang Air Itam residential building
Passed through the same landmarks
Penang State Mosque Masjid Negeri Georgetown
Penang State Mosque
Penang school boys street vendors
Hmm, not that different from India isn’t it?

Penang school girls after schoolPenang roti street vendor

Penang restoran Chu Yoke
(Photograph by Loiyumba)
Rahim burger street vendor Penang
Banjo is fried egg (Photograph by Loiyumba)

We got down near the ferry terminal but contemplated going back to the rooms just yet. I wanted to have dinner at Gurney drive, so from the ferry terminal bus station, we availed the Hop-on free bus.

Georgetown Hop on free bus Penang
The Hop-on buses follow a particular route

The Hop-on bus was taking a long route, so we got down at KOMTAR.

Georgetown Komtar Tower tallest building Penang
Komtar Tower — the tallest building in Penang (Photograph by Loi)

Once we reached KOMTAR, we checked out the adjoining mall.

Georgetown Komtar ICT Mall ground floor PenangThe offerings are anything but glamourous. Not a high-end mall at all. Just the usual clothes, electronics, grey market goods, coffee shops etc.

Georgetown Komtar ICT mall shops Penang
We didn’t spend a whole lot of time in here

We boarded another bus to get to Gurney Drive.

We got down near Gurney Drive… or at least we thought it was near Gurney Drive.

Penang Gurney Drive Solok Midlands
We walked through a residential colony

Penang Georgetown residential apartment at night

Penang Gurney Drive at night
Before finding ourselves behind Gurney Plaza

In the afternoon, Gurney Drive was quite empty…

Penang Gurney drive food court crowds
… but the scene is quite different at night!

Penang Gurney drive food court cuttlefish vendorGurney drive food court pasembur Penang

Penang Gurney drive beef slices
Beef. Looked yum.

Penang Gurney drive food court seafood

Penang Gurney drive food court seafood Sotong Bakar
As you can see from the above photos, lots of sea food available here

Very limited (to virtually no-existent) pure vegetarian options though.

Before we sat down for dinner, I wanted to check out another joint near the roundabout that I had seen during the day .

Penang Gurney drive seafood restaurant
Saw the lobster sign and assumed it was another food court by the sea

But turns out it was a big ‘mid-to-high’ range restaurant. Looked nice but we didn’t want to spend too much and sit for long — because it was only going to be me & Loi eating. The vegetarian in our group Ramesh still had nothing to choose from.

Penang Gurney drive marina at night
Anybody notice the drain vent in the sea — or is that litter?

Once back at the food court, myself and Loi each ordered what we wanted.

Penang Gurney drive food court oyster eggs
I chose ‘raw oysters and egg’ scrambled
Penang Gurney drive food court dinner
Loi had his boiled meat on a stick. With some beer of course.

Us two had to eat first, and then head back to Gurney Plaza so that Ramesh could find some vegetarian to eat.

Penang Gurney drive food court boiled meat
But Loi wasn’t done with his boiled meat. He wanted more! 🙂
Soyabean curd dessert Penang Gurney drive food court
I had Soyabean curd with hot brown sugar sauce for dessert (RM1 = Rs. 15)

After we were finally done, we headed back to Gurney Plaza so that Ramesh could now eat.

We went back to our rooms by taxi.

Old Penang Guesthouse Red Inn New ABC pub Georgetown
Old Penang Guesthouse, next to Red Inn, next to a pub

But instead of calling it a night, I told the guys I wanted to roam around a bit more. So as Ramesh and Loi went back to the room, I walked on.

Gelugpa Buddhist Association temple Georgetown Penang
This temple was just across Old Penang Guesthouse

Tibet Gelugpa Buddhist Association temple Georgetown Penang

Love Lane Inn guesthouse at night Georgetown Penang
There are several budget hotels and guesthouses on Love Lane

The Secret Garden Inn cafe Love Lane PenangThe reason I wanted to walk around a bit more was because I wasn’t truly content with all that I saw today. I don’t think I can say I ‘saw’ Penang. I visited Penang, sure, but I don’t think I saw all there was to see.

We landed in Penang after 3 crazy days in glamourous Singapore. So obviously, everything felt a world apart. Throughout the day, every mall we went to, all we talked about was how much cooler Singapore felt. Well duh. Obviously its a unfair comparison…  but given how little we actually got to experience in Penang, we could only feel disappointment.

When we were planning our trip, we knew before hand there wasn’t anything stunning to see in Penang. In many ways, it is true. Especially if you have travelled throughout South India, seen Singapore or Thailand, Penang really doesn’t offer anything great in terms of new experiences. Sure, I would have loved to have gone for the tram ride up on Penang hill… and seen Kek Lok Si temple all lit up at night. But we all wanted to even take a ride on Penang Bridge. I also realized Penang isn’t just the island, but there exists Province Wellesley with towns like Butterworth and other attractions on the mainland as well.

So clearly, there was a lot more to Penang than I thought.

Red Garden food court back entrance
I saw this ‘food garden’ which I thought I’d check out

Red Garden food court vendors Penang

Red Garden food night line dancing Georgetown Penang
Line dancing + food court = Not bad
Red Garden food court Georgetown Penang
Not enough space in tummy to try out everything edible Penang had to offer

Red Garden night line dancing Penang

Red Garden food court night market entrance Georgetown Penang
This is the entrance

R & B pub bistro hotel Georgetown PenangPenang Georgetown cycle taxiPenang locals gambling at night GeorgetownOdeon theatre Endhiran Georgetown Penang

Ho Ping Chinese restaurant Georgetown Penang
Ho Ping the food is safe to eat 😛

Campbell street Georgetown Penang at night

Kampung Malabar Georgetown Penang
Yes, this street is named after Malabaris

(You can read about the history behind Kampung Malabar here . Besides me, I didn’t find any other ‘Malabari’ — it’s all Chinese)

Chinese traditional sculptures at-night Georgetown Penang
Saw these outside, what I presume was a store dealing in sculptures
Chinese stone sculptures at night Penang
Why didn’t anybody steal them? I dunno, probably too heavy to lift and run with
Penang Georgetown World Heritage building
Georgetown is a UNESCO World heritage site
Georgetown Penang brick paved roads at night
The same road was wet yesterday

Penang Kapitan Keling mosque Georgetown at night

Crystal Guesthouse backpackers Georgetown Penang
Penang is very easy on the pocket

Would I have liked to have stayed just another day longer? Yes. I was curious what was across Penang Bridge on the mainland to see. But alas, this was our last and only day in Penang.

Tomorrow, we were going to be heading across waters to another island — Langkawi!

Other posts in this series:

Singapore & Malaysia 2010: Planning and preparing for the trip

Singapore 2010: Day 1 – Little India, CBD, Clarke Quay, China Town… and a lot of walking

Singapore 2010: Day 2 – Orchard Road, mall-hopping… and already shopping

Singapore 2010: Day 3 – Singapore Zoo, Marina Bay Sands; leaving Singapore for Penang

Malaysia 2010: Day 5 — Langkawi (Ferry ride from Penang, Cable car & Sky Bridge)

Malaysia 2010: Day 6 — Langkawi (Island hopping tour, Pantai Tengah beach, Night market)

Malaysia 2010: Day 7 — Kuala Lumpur (Low Yat Plaza, Petronas Towers, Jalan Alor)

Malaysia 2010: Day 8 — Kuala Lumpur (Batu Caves, Petaling Street/China Town)

Malaysia 2010: Day 9 — Kuala Lumpur (KLCC Aquaria, Merdeka Square, KL Tower observation deck)

Malaysia 2010: Leaving Kuala Lumpur… and about going back

Singapore Zoo white Bengal tigers staring

Singapore 2010: Day 3 – Singapore Zoo, Marina Bay Sands; leaving Singapore for Penang

Date: 27th September 2010

We only had from morning to evening in Singapore today, so we decided to skip Sentosa as the journey all the way to the theme park wouldn’t be worth it unless we could spend time at Universal Studios as well… for which we didn’t have “sufficient funds”. So, Singapore Zoo it was.

This being our last day in Singapore, I decided to take a few photographs of ABC Hostels, in case you were curious as to what its like from the inside.

ABC Backpacker hostel reception Singapore
The reception
ABC Backpacker hostel reception free internet Singapore
The hostel provides free internet; we found it quite slow

ABC Backpacker hostel reception free internet Singapore

ABC Backpacker hostel breakfast kitchen Singapore
This is the kitchen
ABC Backpacker hostel breakfast kitchen restroom Singapore
…where you’d come to make your own breakfast or anything else
ABC Backpacker hostel breakfast table Singapore
Once made, you have to sit outside. Once done, wash the dishes yourself. (Photo taken by my friend Loi)

ABC Backpacker hostel breakfast table eating area SingaporeABC Backpacker hostel moped Singapore alley

ABC Backpacker hostel rooms Singapore
Our room was at the end to the right

I didn’t take a photo of the room we got because it was in a mess, but picture this: not a big room, big enough bed for 3 mid-sized adults, functional split A/C, well-lit, with a mirror and table. That’s it. If you want more than a room for just sleeping, its best you book yourself into a regular hotel.

After finding out how to get to Singapore Zoo, we set off for Bugis MRT station.

Raffles Hospital open field Victoria street junctionRochor Center Victoria street junction SingaporeTo get Singapore Zoo, we first needed to get to Ang Mo Kio MRT station, and then take a bus from there.

Ang Mo Kio bus station Singapore
Ang Mo Kio bus interchange

Ang Mo Kio bus interchange station opposite MRT SingaporeBut as soon as we got down, there was a van waiting with a woman approaching tourists with a deal. Buy the entry ticket with 4 tram rides and a drop to the zoo in a van (one way) for SGD23 (SGD18 + 5 for the tram rides). We knew the entry fee is SGD18 (Rs. 620/$14/€10) for adults so it seemed like a good deal (but what do we know). Plus we didn’t have to take the bus.

Singapore Zoo agents van ride ticket

Singapore Zoo entry ticket special
The entry ticket costs SGD18 even if you were to buy it at the zoo entrance

When the van quickly filled up with other tourists, we set off.

Ang Mo Kio branch office Singapore
This part of Singapore was noticeably different
Ang Mo Kio metro road traffic Singapore
It’s still well connected by the metro

Ang Mo Kio public library SingaporeAng Mo Kio MRT track Singapore

Driving to Singapore Zoo lush greenery
There was lush greenery around these parts

After a 15 minute ride, we arrived at Singapore Zoo. The weren’t a whole lot of people in queue — but we just walked straight in as we already had our entry tickets.

Singapore Zoo entrance gate

Singapore zoo elephant statues
They have real ones too

Singapore zoo entrance leaves greenFirst up, monkeys…

Singapore zoo cotton top Tamarin monkeySingapore zoo cotton top tamarin monkey habitatSingapore Zoo cotton top tamarin information… then parrots.

Singapore Zoo cockatoo parrots entrance

Singapore Zoo parrots at the entranceSingapore Zoo cockatoo pink parrotFrom this point on, the zoo truly begins.

Singapore Zoo animal shows timings ridesSingapore Zoo wooden bridgeSingapore Zoo alligator in water

Singapore Zoo greater mousedeers
Greater mousedeers they are called

Singapore Zoo waterfall

Singapore Zoo asian small clawed otter
These otters were ‘busy’

Singapore Zoo Asian small clawed otter info

Singapore Zoo siamang hidden in tree
There was a siamang (a type of ape) hiding in the trees

Singapore Zoo wooden bridge ledge

Singapore Zoo Tiger Trek gate
Next up, my favourite animal

Singapore Zoo tiger trailSingapore Zoo tiger statue

Singapore Zoo white Bengal tiger den
There they are!
Singapore Zoo white Bengal tigers staring
Hello beautiful
Singapore Zoo white Bengal tiger yawning roaring
Its roar was sooo… (oh who am I kidding), it was only yawning

Singapore Zoo white Bengal tiger sleepy scratchingSingapore Zoo tiger exhibit wooden platform

Singapore zoo babirusa wild boar
Babirusa, native to Indonesia

Singapore zoo babirusa wild boar hornsThe zoo has a few sections for smaller creatures, like reptiles which are on display in enclosed exhibits.

Singapore Zoo lizardSingapore zoo aquarium fishesSingapore zoo tortoiseSingapore zoo aquarium large fishSingapore zoo aquarium large fish full

Singapore zoo pygmy hippo water
The pygmy hippo… or at least half of it
Singapore Zoo desert warthog
Desert warthog a.k.a Pumba

Singapore zoo pond boat house

Singapore zoo Australian lizard
This was at the Australian Outback section
Singapore zoo carpet python
Carpet python

Singapore zoo path to kangaroos

Singapore zoo Australian kangaroo
If you don’t know by now, they’re called kangaroos
Singapore zoo Australia kangaroo meaning
This I didn’t know

Singapore zoo Australian kangaroo feedingSingapore zoo Australian jeepSingapore zoo Australian kangaroos

Singapore zoo Australia Steve Irwin tribute
Remembering the late Steve Irwin
Singapore zoo big bird small head
Funny looking thing, this bird
Singapore Zoo Hamadryas baboons entrance
Next up, baboons!

Singapore Zoo Hamadryas baboons sectionSingapore Zoo hamadryas baboons habitatSingapore zoo hamadryas baboons lazing sleeping

Singapore zoo hamadryas baboons ibex
They have to share their space though

Singapore zoo hamadryas baboons ibex rocks

Singapore zoo hamadryas baboons acting human
It’s fun watching monkeys behave human

Singapore zoo hamadryas baboons scratching back Singapore zoo hamadryas baboons close upSingapore zoo hamadryas baboons close up staring

Singapore zoo hamadryas baboons waterfallSingapore zoo hamadryas baboons injured

Singapore zoo banded mongoose sand
Banded mongoose
Singapore zoo saddle billed stork bird
Saddle billed stork
Singapore zoo black backed jackal
Black backed jackal

Singapore zoo bamboo path Ramesh

Singapore zoo elephant fountain statue
Next up were Asian elephants
Singapore zoo elephant show panorama
This is where they have the shows

Singapore zoo Asian elephants

Singapore zoo Asian elephant SBI adopted
Good on SBI for doing so
Singapore zoo hog deer
Hog deer

Singapore zoo long billed bird

Singapore zoo manatee water
Singapore zoo African penguins
African penguins
Singapore zoo African penguins info
Didn’t know there were penguins in Africa
Singapore zoo crocodile eyes above water
Guess what this creature was
Singapore zoo crocodile under water
Yup. I didn’t bother knocking on the glass or anything. I was too chicken.
Singapore zoo lake boat ride
Boat rides on the lake are also available
Singapore zoo chimpanzee trees
This is where the chimpanzees play
Singapore zoo chimpanzee
Couldn’t get a clear shot of its face

Singapore zoo chimpanzee climbing

Singapore zoo pony rides
They have a few ponies at the kids area

Singapore zoo pony

Singapore zoo model house old chinese
This was some model of an old farm house
Singapore zoo KFC restaurant
Oh the irony of seeing a KFC at a zoo

Singapore zoo mountain goats

Singapore zoo llamas
Singapore zoo mandrill baboon
Mandrill baboon
Singapore zoo proboscis monkeys sign
More monkeys

Singapore zoo proboscis monkeysSingapore zoo rain water level comparison

Singapore zoo Malaysian horned frog
Malaysian horned frog. Waited for the guy to turn around. He didn’t.
Singapore zoo American bullfrog
American bullfrog

Singapore zoo red birds

Singapore zoo pigeon hair small head
This is one of the most intriguing-looking pigeon-type bird I’ve seen

Singapore zoo river duck one legAfter this, we entered a fairly large netted section which enclosed a few bats, birds and some more interesting animals of this world.

Singapore zoo netted section bat hanging

Singapore zoo huge bat flying wing span
Took this on the same settings as the last shot, which is why it came out this way. Still, kinda cool.

Singapore zoo huge bat upside downSingapore zoo huge bat eating

Singapore zoo long tail animal closeup
You can get pretty close to these animals but you are asked not to touch them or feed them

Singapore zoo long tailed animal

Singapore zoo lemur family

Singapore zoo green white bird

Singapore zoo sloth hanging eating
Sloth. How these animals eat upside down is amazing.

Singapore zoo butterfly

Singapore zoo fragile forest
Went in here next

Singapore zoo leopard walking on tree

Shooting the above leopard proved to be quite difficult, and in this video you’ll see why:

Singapore zoo leopards
They did stay still eventually
Singapore zoo puma
Puma, the real thing
Singapore zoo lion
Finally, his highness truly
Singapore zoo lion tongue
😛 to you too
Singapore zoo lion den ground panorama
The king gets a pretty big ground for himself

Singapore zoo giraffe

Singapore zoo feeding giraffes
You can pay to feed the giraffes and get your photo taken

Singapore zoo zebras

Singapore zoo ostrich
Hello ostrich
Singapore zoo wind blowing trees
It was very windy and looked like it was going to rain fairly soon
Singapore zoo cheetah
The fastest animal on the planet, the awesome cheetah

Singapore zoo cheetah cubsSingapore zoo heron

Singapore zoo birds cleaning rhinos back
The rhino and its cleaning birds
Singapore zoo orangutan island
‘Orangutan island’

Singapore zoo orangutan swingingSingapore zoo orangutanSingapore zoo orangutan eating

Singapore zoo old big orangutan
I know you can’t make out much of what this is

The one above was a very big ape (I believe an orangutan), quite old in age who was kept in this glass enclosure and it was quite dark… so you really couldn’t see it. It was moving around very slowly but unfortunately, due to the darkness inside its “cage” and the reflection on the glass, I couldn’t really get a good shot.

Singapore zoo polar bear exhibit
Aww shucks, I really wanted to see the polar bear
Singapore zoo tram ride
Despite having paid for 4 rides, I never availed the tram rides

With that, we were finally done. Well, sort of. We could have stayed back longer and waited for some of the animal shows. But it was 2:30pm, we had to have our lunch and the skies were quite cloudy.

I still wanted to go to Marina Bay Sands and since Ramesh and Loi were against it, I wasted no time and decided to go on my own.

Singapore Zoo Night Safari entrance
Something for next time

I waited at the bus station just outside and in under 5 minutes, got one that goes to Ang Mo Kio MRT station.

Driving to Singapore zoo Night Safari Orchid gardenAng Mo Kio rainy day dark clouds SingaporeSingapore Ang Mo Kio Spiritual Grace Memorial GardenSingapore Ang Mo Kio shopsSingapore Ang Mo Kio Balinese massage Japanese restaurant

Singapore Tagore Drive road
They have a street named Tagore Drive; not sure if it’s after our Rabindranath Tagore

Ang Mo Kio Yiu Chu Kang Secondary School SingaporeSingapore Ang Mo Kio HBD apartments bus stationIt was nice to drive through the residential side of Singapore. Compared to all the commercial glitz and glamour of the central business district, Ang Mo Kio seemed so quaint and… nice.

Anyway, I arrived at Ang Mo Kio bus terminal in around 15 minutes and got down to take the underpass to the MRT station. Ang Mo Kio is located on the red line, so the train goes straight to Marina Bay — the last stop. The ride took another 15 minutes.

Once I was out of the station/construction site (it looked like they were upgrading the station) it was still drizzling.

Singapore Marina Bay construction workSingapore Marina Bay road junction

Getting to Marina Bay Sands Casino Singapore
That’s where I was headed

Singapore marina bay art monument

Singapore marina bay rainy day
It was tough holding a camera on one hand and an umbrella on the other
Singapore marina bay financial district offices rainy day
When I saw this, I smiled 🙂

Why did I smile? Because seeing the above instantly reminded me of another ‘marina’ I was at in April. I could help but go: “Ahh, so that’s where Dubai got the idea from!”

Singapore Marina Bay City Gallery rainy day
Marina Bay City Gallery
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands Singapore
The mall at Marina Bay Sands Casino & Hotel

Marina Bay Sands Shoppes way to mall Singapore

Marina Bay Sands mall shoppes Singapore
More stores are set to open

Marina Bay Sands shoppes mall Harley Davidson Furla Testoni store Singapore

Felt like going in just to see the car

Singapore Marina Bay Sands shoppes mall directionsSingapore Marina Bay Sands shoppes Gucci store

Singapore Marina Bay Sands shoppes mall canals sampan rides
They offer boat (sampan) rides on these canals
Singapore shoppes mall to Marina Bay Sands Casino hotel
To get to the hotel and Sky Park counter, you need to go down this
Singapore Marina Bay Sands Casino way to Helix Bridge
Go up, come out the left side of the lobby, which leads out to the Helix Bridge
Singapore Marina Bay Sands observation deck sky park ticket counter
Then take a left and go down this escalator. Down here is the ticket counter for the Sky Park.

And when I got there they asked me to wait because the sky park was wet.


Turns out they have a “wet policy” which essentially closes the observation deck to visitors if the observation deck is wet. I asked them if I could go up as I was leaving Singapore in a few hours but they said sorry, they couldn’t make an exception.

I told them I couldn’t wait as I had a flight to catch in a few hours time, so I didn’t.

I made way back up disappointed and decided to check out the hotel instead.

Singapore Marina Bay Sands hotel inside lobby architecture designSingapore Marina Bay Sands hotel inside lobby architecture designSingapore Marina Bay Sands hotel tower 2 lobby giant lanternsSingapore Marina Bay Sands hotel tower 3 lobby RueYou could tell by looking at the guests coming down to the lobby they were high rollers; in town to gamble a lot of money away.

Since I couldn’t check out the Sky Park, I thought I’d at least check out the casino.

Singapore Marina Bay Sands Bvlgari way to casinoBuuuuut… the casino has a strict dress code… and a “No Photography” rule — both of which I didn’t qualify for. I didn’t even bother using the “but I’m leaving Singapore in a few hours” excuse as one sight of the huge security men at the casino entrance will make you think otherwise.

Singapore Marina Bay Sands Shoppes escalators
So I made my way back to the mall
Singapore Marina Bay Sands office buildings rainy day
Damn you rain god! Ruining everything!

Singapore Esplanade concert halls rainy day from Marina Bay Sands

Singapore Marina Bay Sands wishing well rain oculus panorama
Saw this “wishing well” of sorts outside the mall. I had to take a closer look.
Singapore Marina Bay Sands casino hotel rain oculus wishing well coins
If you are wondering what those are… they’re coins!

I went to the other side of the mall to where the buses to the Marina Bay MRT station are.

Singapore Marina Bay Sands convention center
Besides having a 2500-room hotel, casino and a shopping mall, they also have Singapore’s largest convention center

Singapore Marina Bay Sands casino hotel towers

Singapore Marina Bay Sands Sky Park rainy day
Sigh. So close, yet nowhere near.

It sucks I couldn’t check out Marina Bay Sands Casino & Hotel the way I had planned. Oh well, another thing for next time.

It was past 4:30pm when I boarded the bus back to the MRT station. The drizzling hadn’t stopped, and I had to take the metro back to our hostel. I got to the hostel before my friends did and I used the time to get out of my wet clothes and re-pack. When the other two arrived, we took all our bags and walked towards Victoria MRT.

We took the MRT all the way to Terminal 2 at Changi. As soon as we got out, right in front of us was a board showing the layout of Changi Airport. Three big terminals… and then one tiny red square. That was our budget terminal 🙂

It was so funny, I regret not taking a photo of it. It was like the big guys just wanted to keep rubbing it in on how cheap people who avail budget carriers are, just so they would quit and use the regular airlines instead.

Anyway, we were at the budget terminal by around 6:30pm for our 8:15pm Tiger Airways flight. And then the flight got delayed by 30 minutes. While we could pass time by availing the free internet and having snacks at the airport, it was still annoying as it only meant our arrival at Penang would also be late.

Waiting at Singapore Budget terminal airport
A minute before announcing it was time to board, most of them were sitting on the floor
Singapore Tiger Airways Penang flight delay
Departing 20:15; current time – 20:38. Oh Tiger… 🙂

Once the plane did finally take off, we all three agreed on one thing: we were definitely coming back to Singapore!

Even though it was only 3 days, we loved every bit of it. Except the rain bit, we all hated that. We also decided we would come back during F1 week but stay much longer.

Singapore Port container ships at night from plane
Thats just some of the many container ships at Singapore Port

We landed at Penang, got through immigration quick and soon took a pre-paid taxi to head to Georgetown, where our guesthouse was.

Penang tree lights airport Malaysia
Hello Malaysia
Penang taxi at night Malaysia
It was raining here as well

It took more than half an hour to reach our hotel in Georgetown, that’s how far the airport was.  We were going to be staying at Old Penang Guesthouse during our time on Penang island.

Old Penang Guesthouse triple room interiors
We booked a triple/family room

Since it was nearing 12am, we quickly went out in search of dinner.

We were told there were 24 hour restaurants, mostly serving Indian cuisine, not too far from our guesthouse. We walked under our umbrellas and got into one.

Penang dinner Kassim Mustafa Indian restaurant

Penang dinner Nasi Kandar rice mutton curry
What I had: Nasi Kandar

Basically rice with your choice of meat and a mix of curries. Yum it was.

There were many ‘Indian’ restaurants in the area.

Penang Ros Mutiara Indian restaurant catering

Penang restoran Kapitans 24hrs Indian restaurant
Kapitan’s is quite popular – and open 24hrs

Penang street lamps glow rainy nightPenang night Chinese temple rainingPenang night cobble stone cars parked road rainPenang night cobble stone road red light

Penang night cobble stone temple junction road rain Georgetown

Penang Georgetown junction cars raining night

Penang Old Trafford Man Utd burger stall
Yup. A burger stall honouring Machester United. Just one of many such tributes we came across in Malaysia in honour of England’s most famous football club.
Penang Reggae Bar The Meeting Point Georgetown Malaysia
There is a 7-Eleven and quite a few bars near our guesthouse

Penang Georgetown garage Ken = Cow graffiti

Once back in the room, and a warm shower later, we did our calculations and thought about what had to do tomorrow.

Penang Yeo's Glass Jelly drink can
In my ongoing quest to try out things I’ve never had before, I drank this. It was okay.

Our first trip to Singapore was done, and Malaysia had begun. We only hoped it would be nice & sunny in Penang tomorrow.

Other posts in this series:

Singapore & Malaysia 2010: Planning and preparing for the trip

Singapore 2010: Day 1 – Little India, CBD, Clarke Quay, China Town… and a lot of walking

Singapore 2010: Day 2 – Orchard Road, mall-hopping… and already shopping

Malaysia 2010: Day 4 — One day in Penang (Around Georgetown, Gurney Drive, Penang Hill)

Malaysia 2010: Day 5 — Langkawi (Ferry ride from Penang, Cable car & Sky Bridge)

Malaysia 2010: Day 6 — Langkawi (Island hopping tour, Pantai Tengah beach, Night market)

Malaysia 2010: Day 7 — Kuala Lumpur (Low Yat Plaza, Petronas Towers, Jalan Alor)

Malaysia 2010: Day 8 — Kuala Lumpur (Batu Caves, Petaling Street/China Town)

Malaysia 2010: Day 9 — Kuala Lumpur (KLCC Aquaria, Merdeka Square, KL Tower observation deck)

Malaysia 2010: Leaving Kuala Lumpur… and about going back

Related Posts with Thumbnails