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5 nights in Penang with Kids

Sydney
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5 nights in Penang with Kids

Hi There,

I have been reading a lot of posts about Penang as I head there in 3 weeks with 3 kids aged 3, 4 and 7 and I really appreciate the invaluable information provided!

We are staying at Susie Troups apartment in Sri Sayang for the first 3 nights and then move onto the parkroyal for 2 more.

Firstly, I have organised pickup from the airport as its a night flight, however was thinking about hiring a car for the remaining days to give us flexibility in exploring the island with kids. I was wondering if its easy to get to (and park at) Georgetown in our own car? also wondering if some companies allow you to pick up from Batu Ferrenghi and drop off at the airport? Any recommendations on a decent car hire company at Batu Ferrenghi would be appreciated.

Secondly, I really want to take my 7 year old son somewhere close to nature, as he loves wildlife, and I have one day in my itinerary where I could fit this in, appreciate any ideas, is the national park worthwhile? or some other hidden gem?

A high level itinerary planned is as follows (if you think something should be added/removed please feel free to comment)

Sat - hire a car go to the spice garden and butterfly farm, penang hill possibly fruit farm?

Sun - drive to Georgetown see the Mosques and other historic buildings, perhaps little india. Gurney drive on the way back

Mon - ?

Tuesday - Relax at the resort

Wed - Leave for KL

many thanks for your thoughts and advice

Sydney, Australia
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for Penang
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1. Re: 5 nights in Penang with Kids

why stay at two different hotels so close to each other ... my suggestion would be to spend the entire time at the Parkroyal ... the kids will love the pool area there ....the pool at the Sri Sayang is very very bland

Forget renting a car ... parking will be murder for you and the traffic you will encounter !!!!!!!!!!!

Regarding pick up from the airport ... use Ocean Jupiter ... also you will get to see a lot more of Penang if you use Ocean Jupiter to take you round the sights .. you will be able to relax and enjoy....their charge is round the RM25 to RM30 per hour ..but well worth it ..... roughly ten bucks per hour

Kids will be bored at the tropical fruit farm .. will love butterfly farm

Sydney
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2. Re: 5 nights in Penang with Kids

Hi roostown, I booked sri sayang for the first three nights because its was a whole lot cheaper and we wanted to stay at the beach area for the whole time, hoping the bland pool isn't too much of a let down, I did see the pic and looked okay for a dip...

I have driven in langkawi, so I take it penang is much more congested. With oj, is that price for a car, we will need a van as there's 3 adults and 3 kids. If not the fruit farm what about the national park? Or penang youth park?

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: 5 nights in Penang with Kids

suggest you give Steven at OJ an email and ask him what the charge would be .....the Sri Sayang is NOT on the beach ..you need to cross the road and then walk down the laneway...from street level it is a steep hill for a 3 and 4 year old to climb to reach the apartments entrance,,,a long walk for the little ones of an evening to the night markets etc and places to eat... instead of the NP or the youth park I would suggest a day trip the bukit merah to see the orang-utans/ eco park and the water theme park...driving in Langkawi would be like driving on a country road

Edited: 22 October 2013, 12:16
Sydney
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4. Re: 5 nights in Penang with Kids

HI Roostown,

Thanks for the info, I have emailed OJ to find out about both the bukit merah and round trips on the island. I am a bit gutted about Sri Sayang, since it is not refundable, if the pool is no good, wondering If I go to the hotel across the road and pay to use theirs?. I think in this case, we will make sure Sat we spend most of the time out and about and Sunday we do the day trip to Bukit Merah.

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: 5 nights in Penang with Kids

you wll not be able to use the pool at the hotel across the road .. Rasa ...strictly guest only ... weekends a bad time to go sight seeing ...Bukit Merah will be crowded and traffic round Georgetown very heavy ..best to do things on week days.. we have learnt over the past 26 years

Paris, France
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6. Re: 5 nights in Penang with Kids

Hi I am currently in penang and it is my third visit...we also have 3 children. Look in my honest opinion, would forget hiring a car also. The traffic here can be a night mare. For safety reasons you can get around cheaper enough by hiring a driver through ocean jupiter, we have used them. I also have the name and number of a safe and reputable driver if you want.

There will be plenty for your children to see and do, butterfly park, spice garden, escape adventure park, indoor adventure zone at golden sands resort..etc...

I am sure you will enjoy it.

regards

angela

7. Re: 5 nights in Penang with Kids

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Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: 5 nights in Penang with Kids

self promotion is NOT allowed on this forum !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!..

Sydney
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9. Re: 5 nights in Penang with Kids

I contacted Steven from Ocean Jupiter, got a price of 40RM per hour min 5 hours to go around, so will be doing that, thanks for the advice Roostown.

Perth, Australia
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10. Re: 5 nights in Penang with Kids

Hi StevenKhan,

How exciting, less than 3 weeks til you head off, we are certain you're going to have a wonderful time and enjoy every minute!!! We bet your kids are excited - if they're even half as excited as we get (and we're most definitely adults) before a trip then they'll be ready to have some fun!

Ocean Jupiter is a very good option as far as car with driver goes. In our experience everyone at Ocean Jupiter is friendly, professional, and overall a great bunch of people. Their prices are very good too (in our opinion, oh, and that of our friends), with the prices having been stable for many years. You have a few options with them:

- you can do some research and come up with your own itinerary, send it on to them. We do this allllll the time, and sometimes set quite a challenge for Steven & Jack & Co. at Ocean Jupiter. Earlier this year we had worked out a day trip up to Alor Setar for a group of 7 of us taking in some rather obscure temples (we should be getting our JBR - or rather BAWR, Back a While Report - up this weekend). When we got to Penang we learned Steven had been doing some research to figure out how to get to the temples! Well we, with our driver Michael (a really nice guy, lots of fun, speaks great English, has a good sense of humour), got to each of them without any backtracking, and given they were kind of in the middle of nowhere, we thought that was impressive;

- you can give OJ a bit of an idea of the types of things you would like to see, and they can make up an itinerary for you;

- you can do one of the pre-planned tours they list on their website - http://www.oceanjupiter.com/ .

Now, for Sri Sayang. You've definitely made a great choice staying in one of Susie's apartments - we've stayed in two different ones, plus one owned by a friend of Susie's (Delia), and found them all to be VERY well appointed, clean, comfortable, spacious, with fantastic views over Batu Ferringhi (our reviews have photos, if you like you can check them out here: tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g635527-d317… & here: tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g635527-d317… ).

You're certainly right, staying in the apartment, especially for more than 2 people, is a lot cheaper than staying at one of the resorts for the whole trip. For us, if we stay at Batu Ferringhi (though we note our preference is to stay in George Town for short trips, longer ones we tend to split our time 70-30 in favour of GT but that is because we're not really beach-bunnies) we don't bother looking at the resorts now, we prefer to stay in either Delia or Susie's apartments - not only do we get the apartments for a good price, but we also get a lot of space, a room each (we both snore so it's nice to get some good nights sleep), fully equipped kitchen (on the off chance that we want to cook for ourselves), washing machine (which is a welcome amenity after time washing out our clothes in a hotel room sink), a bathroom each, good sized TV with DVD player and a selection of DVDs to play with (though of course we can always go and get more at the night markets, plus it is great being able to check their quality before heading home)...

As far as the pool goes, we find it perfectly suitable for a refreshing dip - Sabrina generally just does a "tea-bag" (in and out), but I'll just wander around in the pool, or float serenely on my back for a bit, until I get pruney and then it's time to hop out. The pool is open from 9am-7pm, and is kept very clean. Some days, especially weekends when the apartments are closer to capacity, it is busy, generally filled with kids having a great time. They have both the main pool and a toddlers pool down the end. We guess when Roostown says it is bland, it's because it's not a resort pool, landscaped and rambling. Yes, it is smaller than the pool at the resorts, but it is quite a good size, not too deep, and refreshing (sometimes VERY refreshing as it doesn't get sun all day but then you acclimatise very quickly and perhaps it seems colder because you're all hot and sweaty).

If you find it's not quite enough, then the Park Royal does offer day passes (subject to capacity) allowing you to use their facilities including the pools (of course), plus they offer discounts on food and beverages too! There is more information in this post: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g635527-i12669-k66… including prices (fairly current as the forum posting was from earlier this year).

Now, for the beach... As you would know, the Sri Sayang apartment building is across the road from the resorts along the beach strip (one of the reasons you can get it so much cheaper than the resorts), but it's easy to get down to the beach. Pop across the road, then to your right you'll find a paved path heading down to the beach, this takes you out beside the Rasa Sayang, and from there you can head all along the strip.

Do be aware that the beaches are not a patch on our Aussie beaches. The sand is a lot coarser except for the patch in front of the Park Royal as they import softer sand for their bit of beach (or certainly used to). We'd recommend that the kiddies keep their thongs with them for walking on the sand, or at least to be able to pop on just in case the rougher sand is uncomfortable.

As for swimming in the ocean, yes, it is possible, but just be aware that there are instances of jelly fish stings, and also some of the people enjoying beach sports (ie. jet skiing) are not as considerate of swimmers as they should be - they are told to stay away from the beach but obviously excitement at zipping around makes them lose their sensible heads (we prefer to think that than they're just, urrr, ignorant).

Please don't take the above as trying to put you off - it IS lovely to wander along the beach, to watch kids building sand castles, and to enjoy sunset from one of the many little bars along the beach. You can do a circuit, enter the beach from beside the Rasa Sayang, make your way up and along, then pop back up out on to the Batu Ferringhi strip to grab a bite to eat or do some night market shopping!

Not sure if you’ve browsed the forums for posts to help out in planning your holiday. This is a link to a reply we posted some time ago regarding Penang for/with kids: tripadvisor.com/…33730510 . This link is to a later post adding some more “sights” that children may enjoy - tripadvisor.com/…50930977 . Also, a friend took her granddaughter to Penang and posted a lot of information in her JBR (written over a number of parts: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293951-i7006-k615… & tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g298302-i9174-k617… & tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g298302-i9174-k617…

The Penang National Park is nice, but it could be hard work for the little ones. There is a canopy walkway around 1km inside the gates, ranging from 10-15m above the ground. It’s not super long so if the kids got a bit concerned about the height they don’t have to endure an arduous walk to get to the end. There are also plenty of spots where you can stop for a picnic - some tables & benches looking out over the beach, and near the start of the canopy walk there is a river area you can swim in.

Bukit Merah Laketown Resort is definitely something we would recommend! It’s worthwhile doing it on a weekday when it is quieter, both because you don’t have to deal so much with crowds, but also because you get to spend a bit longer on Orangutan Island. Do have a read of our comments in the link above.

Another place you could take the kids is to Escape Adventureplay Theme Park - http://www.escape.my/ which is very much geared towards children! Also, the Tropical Spice Gardens now have a human sized “Snakes & Ladders” (aka “Slides & Ladders”) game for kids - http://tropicalspicegarden.com/ & tropicalspicegarden.com/gardens/… . The Penang Butterfly Farm (http://www.butterfly-insect.com/ ) is simply magical! You can do the Tropical Spice Garden, Penang Butterfly Farm, and the National Park all in one day as they’re all in the same direction. Also out that way is the Penang Toy Museum (http://www.penangtoymuseum.com/ ), which could be interesting for the kids, but also, if any adult has even the tiniest bit of geek in them, they’ll enjoy it!

Anyway, this is a lot to read, just wanted to add some positives to your questions! Go in with your heads in holiday and happy space and no matter where you’re staying, you’re guaranteed to have a brilliant holiday! We’ve stayed everywhere from 5 star resorts to cheap and cheerful no star hostels, and have never had a bad holiday!!!

Hope this helps,

Lise & Sabrina

Edited: 27 October 2013, 02:26