A Mix of Cultures

| 5 Comments | 2 TrackBacks

Not even five minutes afer I left the shopping center full of Muslim women in their headscarves when it started raining. I jumped over a few stray dogs and ducked into a trendy bar with all white decor called "Bed".

But I am not in Bangkok.

I ordered a Guiness Stout and sat down in front of the big screen TV to watch a Liverpool football game. But I am not in England. For lunch today, I had a delicious chicken curry, served by sari-clad women. But I am far from India. The soft chair and cold beer go a long way to healing my sore legs that carried me past countless Hokkien coffee shops and dried herbs and medicine shops. But China is still far from here.

So where in the world could I be? If you guessed Malaysia, you are right. Penang Island to be exact. (By the way, in Penang I also saw a lot of signs that said "Pinang". So I have no idea how to actually spell it!)

There's not much to do here other than soak in the culture -- make that cultures: Malay, Chinese, Indian, and yes, still a small touch of British. It's quite like Singapore, without the rampant and over-done gentrification.

But that's OK, I'm just here for one night. Perhaps the best thing about Penang is that I think it's the cheapest and easiest place to to for a monthly visa run. This wasn't my first time here (Piyawat and I stopped over on our drive to Kuala Lumpur a couple of years ago) and I have a feeling this won't be my last.

2 TrackBacks

90-Day Tourist Visa in Penang? from Stuart's Life in Thailand on April 1, 2006 4:03 PM

On my recent post about my visa run to Penang, "Bob" left a comment asking why I don't just get... Read More

My Year in Cities, 2006 from Stuart's Life in Thailand on December 31, 2006 7:07 AM

Last year I made a list of all the places I had spent the night in 2005, and since it's... Read More


Visa's only last a month now?

Tourist visas last only one month. When you arrive at the Bangkok airport, you are given a 30-day visa. Oh, and by the way, the penalty of overstaying your visa has increased from 200 baht per day to 500 per day. They give you a one-day grace period, so really you get a 31-day visa when you arrive in Thailand. But 500 baht a day will add up pretty quickly!

Tourist visas last 60 days, and can be extended to 90 days, and Penang is the place to get them. Why don't you get one so you don't have to make 30 day visa runs?

Bob, I would love to get a 90 day tourist visa. Can you tell me more about it? I've never heard of such a thing. (I tried to send you an email, but the one you left here was bogus!)

Pinang or Penang? It's actually Pulau Pinang (island of Pinang - island of betlenut tree). The British, in the past, pronounced it wrongly.

The same happened to Singapore (Singa = lion, pura = kingdom). And Malacca for Melaka.

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This page contains a single entry by Stuart published on March 25, 2006 9:56 PM.

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