I actually crawled under the top sheet last night. The wind has become just a couple of degree’s cooler than last week before I left for Penang. Yen Sabai, in Thai, means ‘comfortably cool’. it references the beginning of the Thai winter season after the steaming monsoon has passed, when the northern air from China reaches down and brings the overall temperatures down. We can tell that we have fully acclimated, it’s still going to feel summer hot to any newcomers. Cool is anything under 95 degrees and it has ‘dropped’ into the low 80’s, which for us is a welcome change, but we had gotten used to the extreme heat and had to adjust to it accordingly.BKK is unusually quiet this week due to the Kings Birthday/Fathers Day celebration. The level of noise is way down, the level of pollution as well. It’s pleasant for a change.The visa run to Penang was uneventful, except for my picking up a stomach flu somewhere and suffering misery from it during the trip.
Penang is a glorious old pile, replete with great Indian and Chinese food, much of it hasn’t changed as long as you don’t look too closely or have any fond memories you’ll really miss. Tourism is up…way up…along with all the usual distress it brings. Inexplicably, male prostitution is a big industry. Cross dressing prostitutes line the alley ways of the main street for tourists. I suppose they must be supported by the huge influx of tourists who reside in the explosion of ‘guest flops’ that have suddenly appeared in the old city. Several large and loud disco’s have been built and just like what happened in Bali, the noise from the boom boom boom penetrates the atmosphere and essentially ruins the vibe of the place……unless you’re into a mindless boom boom boom vibe. Just like Bali..tourism is sucking the life out of Penang…I won’t go back….I want to remember how it was when it was great.
BTW…bring your own DEET based mozzie repellant to Malaysia as the government has made it difficult for pharmacies to stock…for some strange reason…. in a country plagued by Dengue and Malaria. They only sell the useless citronella and herba based products which are essentially ineffective stopping the low flying Asian mosquito. There are plenty of mozzies in Penang…be prepared.