THRONGS of local tourists are packing popular destinations on Penang island as things get into full swing this school holidays.
Penang Hill, the mural in Armenian Street, Chew Jetty, Kek Lok Si Temple and Snake Temple are among the many focal points of the visitors from out of state.
Major roads in George Town, the route to Penang Hill and Kek Lok Si Temple in Air Itam and other tourist attractions were congested over the weekend with vehicles that mostly bore non-Penang registration plates.
Popular food haunts in the city also had their share of customers with many visitors waiting around for a table.
Tong Siew Choo, 45, a mother of three aged between 14 and 17, said she opted to holiday in the country due to the weakened ringgit.
“I used to take my children to Hatyai in Thailand for holidays, but now, we have to cut down our overseas trips,” said Tong, from Ipoh, Perak, when met at Penang Hill yesterday.
“Penang is a good place to visit as there are a lot of attractions.
“My two daughters love the museums in Penang such as the 3D Museum, Upside Down Museum and Wonderfood Museum.
“They took hundreds of photographs there and we had a fun time.
“We also enjoyed chilling out on Penang Hill but getting the tickets was quite tedious as we had to spent more than an hour queuing up,” she said.
Mohd Zapi Abdullah, 44, from Shah Alam, Selangor, came with his wife and five children, aged between nine and 16.
“This is our fifth visit and my family enjoy spending our holidays in Penang. Penang is always our first choice for holidays.
“Our visit to Penang is always a makan trip as we all love the food in Penang,” he said when met at the famous Penang Road chendol stall.
“We had nasi kandar in Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling before coming here,” he said.
At the Upside Down Museum in Kimberley Street, tourists were seen streaming in from 10am yesterday.
Manager Jun Ooi said the crowd swelled after lunchtime.
“There’s a lot of customers today. The waiting time in queue was as long as an hour.
“Our tickets are unlimited so visitors will definitely get a chance to enter the museum up until the last admission time at 5.30pm,” she said.
Ooi said the number of visitors was double that of normal days.
“There seems to be more local visitors comprising families who come in big groups.
“They are most probably taking advantage of the public holiday today and the long weekend to visit. Besides, it’s the school holidays as well,” she said with reference to the Maulidur Rasul celebration yesterday.
PG Gold Museum manager Denise Tang said visitors started gathering at the museum in Bishop Street at 9.15am.
“The number of people is more than other days, including weekends.
“I believe this is because of the long weekend,” she said.
“Usually the museum gets tourists from overseas such as the Middle East and Singapore, as well as from east Malaysia.
“However, the majority of tourists appear to be from the Klang Valley,” she added.