"Be Forewarned. Death for drug traffickers under Malaysian law." This is the sobering welcome you receive at the Malaysian border. Don't get caught with even a seed! What a difference a political border makes -- from the anything-goes Thai people, to the this-is-not-a-place-for-weirdo-freaks Malay Muslims. Buzzkill for certain, but a necessary evil if you need to get off drugs or just pass through.
I wanted to get out as soon as I got in, especially after seeing the miles and miles of decimated land where rainforests once stood on my way to Penang. The only redeeming thing I can say about Malaysia is they sell some of the cheapest airline tickets in the world. The plane tickets also offer flexible schedules for nearly every airline company worldwide.
Georgetown is Muslim town.
The place to go for the airline bargains is the former British colony town called Georgetown on Penang island. I purchased my plane tickets for the next year here. O/W Perth, Australia, to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, New Delhi, India, one year open -- $435. A round trip ticket from Bangkok to San Francisco was advertised for $420. A boat ticket to Medan, Indonesia, was $33. See yaz!
Apart from haggling with ticket agents over prices, there's not a whole lot else to do. Oh yeah, there's an old fort, some crumbling colonial buildings, a few mediocre beaches, and a modern shopping mall, but so what?
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