Saturday, 4 February 2012

Karioke Bar: Black and White - Penang Road, Georgetown

Now I must admit I'm not a great lover over karioke, it's just not my thing really but I have had some great times at karioke bars over the last 6 months, all depends on who you are with. There are dozens and dozens of karioke bars in Penang and of all the ones I have been to I like Red Box for the private cubicle events (the PCM near Gurney is good for larger private parties) but mostly I enjoy the open-plan places which have more of a regular bar feel and often, much more atmosphere.

For the open style of bar I have found that the Black and White Bar in Penang Road (almost opposite Cititel) is my favourite. They have another site here. It has a good atmosphere, some really great staff (my chum Nicole being one of them), has a good sound system and and is nicely decorated and furnished. The drinks prices are good too with a bucket of Tiger costing RM 58. So, if you fancy a karioke night with a few friends in a slightly more sophisticated environment with a good party atmosphere you should give Black and White a try, ask for Nicole and I'm sure she or any of the other staff will look after you.

Diary Dates 2012

Couple of dates for the diary for those interested in these events.

First up is Mean Machines (Malacca). I attended this excellent event in Auto-City last year and it's great to see the organisers taking the event to heritage Malacca. Likely to be a good weekend packed with hot cars and hot girls. The event will be staged over Saturday 21st and Sunday 22 April at Pahlawan Mall and Hatten Square. I suspect, and very much hope, my good
friend Leng Yein will be hosting this event.

Next, and still a long way off, the 9th Penang Jazz Festival 2012. Penang Jazz Festival is a great event and one which I only managed to get to on the last day of the 2011 event. This year the event will take place between Thursday 29th November and Sunday 2nd December. Having these dates well in advance will ensure I'm able to keep the diary free! And I intend to :-)

Firefly: Cabin Luggage Restrictions (April 2012)

Noticed when I went through Penang Airport recently that Firefly say they intend to rigidly adhere to cabin luggage size restrictions from 1 April 2012. I imagine these must be the universal regulatory sizes as they match the dimensions of a Victorinox case I purchased a few years back so I doubt they will affect too many people with these specific 'cabin luggage' cases. I suspect it will affect the quite large numbers of people I saw checking in with the longer holdall style of cases which, at this time, they were still allowing on.

The maximum permissible dimensions indicated by Firefly are:

Height: 56cm
Width: 36cm
Depth: 23cm
Weight: 7kg (max)

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Penang Bridge 'Touch n Go' - Discounted Rate

Minor one this as the savings you generate are not tremendous by any means, more so if you use the bridge often, but it is possible to get 'Touch and Go' (TnG) cards for the bridge which will also work on many highway tolls. Standard charge for bridge crossing by cash or regular TnG is RM 7. However, if you stop and buy your TnG card from the kiosk by the bridge, provided you have a Pg address, every time you cross, there is a 20% discount given to your card so it only deducts RM 5.60.

The kiosk is accessed from a slip road as you approach the bridge coming into Penang. The slip is BEFORE the tolls and takes you past a Sony building. The kiosk is on the right about 500m down the slip road and you have to park in the car park and walk back towards the tolls. The card costs RM 110 which includes RM 100 of credit. It can then be topped up at most fuel stations. Highway charges are deducted at the normal rate. I use the bridge every week and find a card easier than fiddling for change at the bridge and highway. As I needed a card anyway it was just as easy to stop here on the way back in and pick it up. While the site says you need your iKad or letter from an employer they merely asked me what my address was, as soon as they knew it was Penang I got the discount card.

The site for Penang Bridge, toll charges and services (including TnG) is here. The more generic 'Touch and Go' site is here.

The cards can be topped up through a variety of channels including Touch and Go toll plazas and Petronas gas stations.  One of the simplest ways IMO however is by ATM.  At the time of writing both Maybank and CIMB offer this service at many of their ATMs.