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Penang's culture is now more laid back than Phuket's, without sunbeds

Penang and Phuket Become Sisters in Tourism and Culture

Friday, September 19, 2014
PHUKET: Back in 2008, Phuketwan wrote: It's travel quiz time.

Think of an island that begins with a P and has six letters, where the mix is cosmopolitan and international, and where travellers enjoy a variety of cultures, good food and the beaches.

Phuket, you say? Well, yes. But Penang, too.

A few years on, and Phuket and Penang are becoming sister cities, under an MoU signed yesterday by Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansupana and Dato Patahiyah binti Ismail, president of the Municipal Council of Penang.

Once a year, the two island cities will meet to exchange ideas on city management, governance and trade, tourism and economic know-how.

Penang has been a popular destination for visa runs from Phuket and is likely to remain a favorite spot for flying visits whether or not the visa runs remain unfashionable.

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We have fond memories of both Ps. Penang was our first SW E Asia beach destination. Patong was our first Thailand beach destination "back in the day". Now they have another "word" of six letters beginning with a P. They are both "pastit" (sic). However, the PoU signed yesterday, if used as more than a propaganda tool, can be a very effective collaboration to Propel them to meet the challenges they both face in the future.

Posted by Alan on September 19, 2014 16:38

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I am not sure what the benefits will be?

I seem to remember Phuket Town twinning with Las Vegas some years back (if I have it right) - then nothing! It seemed a very odd choice at the time though maybe they were hoping Phuket would get clearance to become a gambling hub.

Does anyone else remember this?

Posted by Logic on September 19, 2014 17:25

Editor Comment:

Phuket probably has 10 or 12 twin cities. Penang could be the most productive alliance yet.

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Another P, The Philippines. They have better beaches. Tourists are seeing more of ASEAN and not Thailand anymore. Can you blame them? Nobody likes getting ripped off or paying fees higher than locals or fees more expensive than their own country. AEC coming soon. Will be funny to watch.

Posted by mungkood on September 19, 2014 20:34

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@mungkood

Have ever really been to Phillipines, and then, basing on your experience have concluded that rip-off there is materially smaller??
Or have you been to Vietnam?

The level of scam in both places, on average, is exponentially higher than in the Kingdom.

Not technical features of beaches itself but the whole Thailand experience, including to big part that people are nicer, in my opinion, attracting tourists to the Kilngdom.

Technically the best beaches I've ever seen are on out-islands of Bahamas Exumas, Eleuthera/Harbour is., Long is., it is not enough. Food is incomprehensibly bad, and folks are of the sort that it can invoke a brain cancer, especially on Harbour is.
Eleuthera Point/Lighthouse beach is the most nicest beach I've been, and there is probably no nicer beaches left - I tried hard to find
http://goo.gl/5WYihE
but when you are left half-hungry, with no fruits, a horrid service and, in general, in an environment of way too far unamicable people around, except guests, you just want to get home or just out ASAP.

If you will go to on package holiday to Turkey/N.Africa then you will get brain cancer even faster , because of environment incl.guests, and total level of service, however technically real estate - rooms, pools etc. are quite OK.

Whatever is said about obnoxious taxi drivers in Thailand, they by any measure better than you will on those bazaars : they never don't grab your hand or touch while soliciting (Nepal suit-masters is different stories), they never clap the shoulder, they never talk to you 10cm from your face spraying saliva onto you, they never completely block your path while soliciting a service.
Gemstone inflated prices and sales technics are nothing in comparison with hard selling technics of oriental carpets.
And so on.

Every time when I am in Carribean, or S.Pacific, getting poor food or service , then you always benchmark it to South East Asia, in principle first to Thailahd, then in some aspects to Bali, but hardly Phillipines or Vietnam or others.

Posted by Sue on September 19, 2014 21:25

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Nice..perhaps a small thing but perhaps Phuket could emulate Malaysia and doff those "size small" police uniforms in favour of a more pleasing tropical attire? The brown and black is so reminiscent of fascism.

Posted by David on September 20, 2014 12:42


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