Tropicalexpat.com

Tropical Expat has moved to Tropical Expat.com I have moved the blog and now pay for web hosting so I could have more control. At the same time I gave the blog a new look. And a few more features, like auto-translation.  The old blog remains. That is, this blog. And it contains the bulk of older blogs. This is because I could not successfully migrate all the blogs to the new site. Some blogs are just as relevant now as when I wrote them. On the new site I have updated some blogs, and am in the process of updating more.

Wesak Day parade 2019

The Wesak day parade 2019 took place yesterday evening.

“Wesak Day is held to commemorate the Thrice Blessed Day of Gautama Buddha’s birth, his supreme enlightenment and his attainment of mahaparinirvana. ” From an article in the Star on Friday.

It had been raining on and off all day. So late in the day I rang to check if it was still on. But no one answered. However, it was on. And the rain held off apart from sprinkling lightly a couple of times. There was a similar problem in 2016, but it went ahead then, too.

Wesak Day parade 2019 -

Arriving at Butterworth by train

Arriving at Butterworth by train you’ll end your journey at Penang Sentral. Penang Sentral is a hub from which you can catch the train, bus or ferry.

If you have been heading north on the train you can continue going north. If going south, you can continue south. Butterworth is on a branch line off the main line. It is also possible if you do not want to visit Penang to go directly to or from the Thai border from or to Kuala Lumpur.

From Penang Sentral there is a train service north to Padang Besar on the Thai border. You can cross the border to Thailand at the station. From there you can transfer to trains travelling north through Thailand. Or you can cross the border at the road crossing and catch buses to other parts of Thailand.

As for the train service south: it stops at cities such as Taiping and Ipoh on the way to Kuala Lumpur, and on towards Singapore.

Alternatively, arriving at Butterworth by bus, you can catch other buses to various parts of Malaysia from Penang Sentral. Finally, there is a ferry service four times an hour, across to Penang Island, a 15 minute journey.

If you are in no hurry, there are plenty of food outlets in Penang Sentral. And coffee shops etc.

So here are some photos and video of what it’s like to arrive in Penang Sentral. And thus moving on the catch the ferry to George Town.

Out of action

I was out of action due to a dental infection. Couldn’t concentrate enough to do anything but watch films. Reading was too taxing. Listening to podcasts was too taxing. Writing was certainly too taxing. So no blogging. My jaw had swollen so much that I couldn’t eat, and could, in fact, hardly even put in pills.

Out of action due to dental problems

It’s difficult to decide at what point self-care is no longer best and having to choose to go to a professional. When does some minor tooth pain become something that requires antibiotics? Mostly I can deal with minor tooth pain with clove oil. Available online in Malaysia.

out of action but clove oil helped

 

Arriving at Butterworth by bus

Arriving at Butterworth by bus you’ll end your journey at Penang Sentral. Penang Sentral is a hub from which you can catch the train, bus or ferry.

From Penang Sentral there is a train service north to Padang Besar on the Thai border. You can cross the border to Thailand at the station. From there you can transfer to trains travelling north through Thailand. Or you can cross the border at the road crossing and catch buses to other parts of Thailand.

Alternatively, arriving at Butterworth by bus, you can catch other buses to various parts of Malaysia from Penang Sentral. Finally, there is a ferry service four times an hour, across to Penang Island, a 15 minute journey.

arriving at Butterworth by bus

Malaysian Airlines service declines

Malaysian Airlines service declines as it has eliminated the checked baggage allowance from its lowest fare tier. Details here.

Living in Malaysia I have, of course, flown on them many times. Sadly there has been obvious cost cutting over the years. And yet the airline continues to lose money. They also reduced their long haul routes. So I, and presumably many others needed to fly on other airlines.

Many full service airlines have adopted practices of the low-cost airlines. I recently flew on Singapore Airlines. To Japan. And was surprised that, like Malaysian Airlines now, if I wanted to choose a seat I had to pay extra.