My aunt and her kids were in town last week. My cousins haven't been to Penang, so all of us made a trip there. As there were 9 of us, dad and mum each drove a car. We stopped by Ipoh old town to have a tea break, and reached Penang at 2pm. Checked in into B Suite hotel at Bukit Jambul and rest for half an hour before proceed to Burma Road for the Siamese and Burmese temples. The next stop was at Batu Ferringhi's public beach, and then dinner at the end of the world, Teluk Bahang. After dinner, we went to Gurney drive and enjoyed the night's scenery. Went back to hotel after grabbing some stuff in Gurney Plaza.
We spent most of the next day at Air Itam-Kek Lok Si and Penang Hill. Went to the new pavillion at Kek Lok Si, which cost us RM4 for 2 ways of the elevator ride. It was a short ride though, so it's kindda expensive. Penang Hill was much better, as it is not so warm. Stay at Penang Hill until 3 something, and straight away when to Penang Road for the asam laksa and cendol. We wen back to hotel afterwards, and rest early, as we are going to Hat Yai the next morning.
The charted van reached the lobby at 6.50am, and we started the journey to the north straight away. It is a beautiful view of the sun rising from the Penang bridge, but the journey will be a long and bored one. It took us 4 hours from Bukit Jambul to Sakol Hotel in Sanehanusorn Road Hat Yai, through Bukit Kayu Hitam's exit. The driver stopped at Gerik's rest area and Changlun's CTC rest area, which is near to the border. While we had our tea break, the driver helped us settled the immigration stuff. The place looks like a small scale of rest area, but it's exactly an important place for people who wanna go into Thailand through Bukit Kayu Hitam. There is a shop like a travel agency, which settled the immigration stuff. So, the place is crowded, with people and buses.
After settled with the immigration card, we continue the journey. 10 minutes into the ride, we reached the custom's checkpoint. As always, Malaysia's custom is always the different one. There are only 2 manual and 1 automatic counters for the checking purpose. As there were less people going in, we managed to finish it in less than 30 minutes. After the custom's check, we came across the soldier's checkpoint, really the border between Malaysia and Thailand. Not long after that, there's the Sadao custom's house-Thailand's custom check point. After the check point, it was a straight line to Hat Yai town.
The journey to Hat Yai is 1hour++ from the border. It's not a bust town like Penang, but there are many crowds-local and foreigner. As we only stayed a night there, so we didn't visit any temples. We managed to visit the markets and the shops near the hotel, and the central of the town. There are many shops which sell many types of stuff-foods, shoes, shirts, those cookery stuff.
It was an unplanned trip to Hat Yai. Our initial trip was to visit Penang, but the plan occured when my mum speak with her colleague, who is a Penangite. So, it was a short trip. If it's a well planed plan, it should be Hat Yai first, then only visit Penang.
Anyway, it's good to have the opportunity to visit a foreign country