03_Penang_Nov08 (37 images) - Nov. 13 to 18 - George Town & Panang Island, northwest Malaysia.

Arriving in Butterworth by train on the evening of the 13th, we quickly transferred by the reasonably priced ferry to the island of Panang and the colonial city of George Town.  Settling in the Mingood Hotel where Peg had made reservations, we had time to catch our breath and deal with some travel problems.  Our credit card had been compromised and we had yet to obtain our 90 day tourist visa for Thailand.  Not only was our hotel accommodations comfortable and convenient, the helpful staff were able to solve our Thai visa problem.  Their free and high speed WiFi Internet service enabled us to make contact with the helpful folks at our Coast Central Credit Union to solve the credit card problem. The staff was also able to resolve some major problems with our traveling laptop computer.  Thanks, Mingood! (see our web album devoted to this hotel)

We were fascinated and impressed with the contrasting architectures, cultures and religions we found existing side-by-side here. Muslim mosques, Hindu temples and Buddhist temples were to be found throughout the island. This place is known for its diverse and legendary cuisine, with many choices of Indian, Chinese or Malay foods available in a wide range of restaurants, food shops and street vendors.  In few photos below, we try to depict this cultural collage.

Our public bus ride (3 separate buses) around the island gave us a small view of life outside the buzzing city.  Better planning on our part would have resulted in a more thorough experience, but it was clear the island had a lot to offer and enjoy.

Click a picture to see a larger view.

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