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Malaysia and Cambodia


This is about my upcoming trip to Malaysia and Cambodia. The first part is pre-trip - information about flights, itineraries, accommodation and all the things that you need to do to plan an overseas holiday. This is my first trip to Asia and I hope it may help others. Comments are very welcome and anyone who has travelled to Malaysia and/or Cambodia, please feel free to comment and offer any advice or tips that you think would be helpful. As of today ( 28th February) , in exactly 11 days (minus 30 minutes) I will be in Kuala Lumpur.

I had the most amazing time and hope you enjoy reading about my trip. Each post is numbered and I'm doing them in order from start to finish - a little like a diary.



74. Batu Ferringhi Night Markets

Batu Ferringhi
One of the places I really, really wanted to go to was the Batu Ferringhi night market - I'd heard, and read so much about it, it was one of the things I didn't want to miss. I noticed a tour desk in my hotel and when I went to enquire about doing a couple of day tours I asked about the price of taxis. Being by myself, I didn't much fancy travelling by myself at night on a bus, especially as I was unfamiliar with the area. (I wouldn't travle on public transport at night at home either). Winnie, the tour operator, said the hotel offered its guest a mini bus which takes them to the bus stop and collects guests at a designated time.

When I went to get picked up, there were only two other guests that night so the driver said he'd drive us there. He dropped us off at the start of the market and arranged to pick us up at the Hard Rock Hotel which is at the far end around 11.00pm.

Nightlife at Batu Ferringhi
The nightlife in Batu Ferringhi is centered on its 'Pasar Malam' or night market. Open from dusk until late, often past midnight, the night market is a sidewalk bazaar of makeshift stalls operated by local traders, selling an assortment of goods ranging from souvenirs to fake goods, toys, gifts - these even ice-cream stalls.

Long Beach food court
My  companions from the Bayview were Margaret and Ivor (think that was her husband's name, I can't read my own writing from my travel journal), an English couple who live six months of the year in England and the other six at Langkawi where they have a property. Margaret said you can't buy bacon on Langkawi, but you can from Penang, so they pop over every now and then for a few days of shopping, markets, tours and of course, bacon.  She said they usually eat at the food court when coming to the night market here.

The Long Beach is on the 'strip' west of the Lone Pine resort. About two thirds of the customers are tourists and a third are locals although that can vary, especially during Chinese New Year when you'll find there are a lot more locals. It's very popular with the expats who live in the area, and the tourists staying not only in the local hotels here, but those staying in Georgetown. If you're on a tight budget, this is the place to come for the food's good, it's cheap, and so is the beer.

Above: Price List
Prices are written in both Malay and English and are easy to read as the writing is quite large. You can see the red decorations hanging from the ceiling - it was the tail end of Chinese New Year when I was here.

Above: The Diners
This being my first time here, I was unsure of the procedure, but Margaret said you find a table, flag down the drink servers, give them your order (alcoholic or soft drinks etc) pay them for your drinks and your drinks will be along soon. Sometimes you may have to wait some time when it is especially busy. You take a note of your table number, go to a food stall and order your food, tell them your table number. You pay when they deliver it. Simple! My food came before my drink did.

I had Chinese for tea - cost was 5MYR, spring roll for 3MYR and a glass of wine which was 11MYR. The wine was like lolly water. I heard that the owner of the food court makes his money on the drinks and I can well believe it too. The drinks flowed like a river!

Friendly Conversation
When I was walking back to our table after having ordered my dinner, I heard someone greet me by name and looked around but didn't know who had spoken. A good-looking young Malaysian chap spoke to me and asked, "You don't recognise me do you?" I must confess I didn't - he was dressed in white t-shirt and jeans. He said, "From the Bayview". It was Daniel, who had spoken to me in the lounge lobby. I thought that was so nice of him, I clearly hadn't seen him (let alone recognised him), but he had seen me and came and chatted with me. How many hotels have staff who speak to you away from their place of work?

It is true what is said at the Bayview ~ "Where guests become friends."

Above: Food court scene
The food stalls run along all sides of the food court with the tables and chairs in the center. It starts getting really busy by 8.00pm, when the weather has cooled down a bit. During Chinese New Year, you need to come even earlier as it gets very busy then.

Batu Ferringhi Shopping
When people mention Batu Ferringhi, two things come to mind: beach & night market. The Batu Ferringhi night market, otherwise known as the sidewalk bazaar, is one of the area’s major attractions.

Stretching along Jalan Batu Ferringhi from Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa all the way to Shangri-La’s Golden Sands Resort, the place comes alive every night as vendors set up hundreds of stalls all along the road after dusk. Offering everything from fake designer bags to dirt-cheap pirated DVDs and home deco items to souvenirs, Batu Ferringhi’s night market is Batu Ferringhi’s main tourist attraction - something not to be missed when visiting Penang. Best of all, you can still bargain for the best prices.

Above: Footwear
Thongs and sandals of every colour and style imaginable.

Above: Bags and Gifts
There are just so many things on offer here - plates, artwork, wall-hangings, jewellery and the inevitable genuine, fake designer label handbags! I swear I had never seen so many hand bags in my life. This is just a very small section - there was row upon row upon row. I couldn't even count the number of stalls there were so many of them.

Above: Trishaw
One of the most popular things with tourists is having a ride in a trishaw. The three-wheeled trishaw used to be a common sight on the island, but modern times have nearly phased them out. Today, they exist as a novelty for tourists to enjoy.

Restaurants, or Restorans as they are called, are dotted all along the Batu Ferringhi strip. Below are some that I liked.
Above: The Ship
I just loved this and thought it was a fantastic design. Serving so its tagline proudly proclaims – “The Best Steaks in Town”, The Ship’s eye-catching exterior and interior are a great attraction. It is shaped like a large wooden vessel, and serves a wide range of Western food and features a maritime theme complete with captains and crews in charming uniforms.

Above: Eden Seafood Village
Another one that caught my eye was the Eden Seafood Village which is marked by sharp, pointed roofs reminiscent of traditional Malay houses over a reddish-brown wooden exterior. They serve seafood of every imaginable variety straight from the tanks, from fish to crustaceans, and have an extensive a la carte menu with a variety of cooking styles. There’s also a stage for cultural shows to accompany your dinner. The place is usually packed to the rafters with hoards of tourists.

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