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It’s raining tourists in Penang

GEORGE TOWN: Visitors have been thronging their favourite Penang attractions, thanks to the long weekend.
Locals and out-of-state visitors made a beeline to Penang Hill, the beaches, murals around the city and the butterfly park.
However, as it was Hari Raya Haji yesterday, many tourists interviewed were a little glum because they missed out on the famous Penang nasi kandar, since nearly all of them were closed for the festivity.
Scores of visitors were at Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm in Teluk Bahang on National Day to admire the assembly of insects, reptiles and amphibians.
Visiting for the third time was eight-year-old Penangite Goh Jia Wen with her parents Kwan Hwa and Cheah Hoey Yee, both 40.
“Jia Wen loves to play with butterflies, and she can learn a lot about them and other insects in Entopia,” Cheah said.
Businessman Tan Jin Han, 41, brought his family from Kuala Lumpur on a three-day trip to Penang.
“My sons were excited to be in Entopia. This is their first time here,” he said.
Physician Dr Hun Zi Ling, 26, brought her boyfriend Dr Low Khar Weoi, 29, to the menagerie too and both were spotted facing their fears by cradling a giant millipede with their bare hands.
The windy afternoon saw a hive of activity along the Batu Ferringhi beach.
Tourists were seen parasailing, as well as enjoying rides on water scooters and banana boat.
The George Town World Heritage enclave was busy as always with tourists hunting for murals on foot or by bicycle.
A check at Armenian Street saw a sea of visitors taking turns to pose for photos with the famous Children on Bicycle mural.
As for the hawkers in Penang, it was another bountiful holiday weekend as the out-of-towners lined up for food.
Tour buses were seen queueing in long stretches leading up to the Penang Hill railway station and Kek Lok Si Temple in Air itam.
M. Narehn from Segamat, Johor, was at Penang Hill station with 43 family members and friends who were on the last day of a three-day visit to Penang.
“We have tried all the hawker food but missed out on nasi kandar as it is Hari Raya Haji,” said the 24-year-old.
Penang Hill Corporation general manager L.L. Cheok said about 5,000 visitors were heading up to the hill at noon yesterday and he expected the number to increase.
“We expect even bigger crowds over the next few days until Monday.”
Factory manager Eunice Chia, 42, from Kuantan, Pahang, was on the hill with her sister, Gladys, 38.
“It’s been 10 years since I last visited the hill and Kek Lok Si Temple too. The temple looks magnificent now.”
At the edge of the George Town World Heritage Site, there was the familiar long queue of people waiting for the Lebuh Keng Kwee cendol.
Traffic snarls were evident along Penang Road, Jalan Air Itam leading up to Kek Lok Si as well as Tanjung Bungah and Batu Ferringhi.
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