We left Ko Lanta at 7am with a takeaway breakfast, we had to change buses before we got on to the car ferry to take us back to mainland Thailand. We were travelling with the Norwegian Liverpool fan and his girlfriend and some Thai Muslims, which was strange as they must use the tourist buses as well. We made our way to the a main transport hub town called Trang, where we had to change buses again and waited for 20 minutes before we could set off. We then travelled on to another main transport hub, Hat Yai, which is where buses connect to go to Northern Thailand and to anywhere in Malaysia. We ended up having to wait here for 2 hours so we went for a walk around the town, but there was not much going on as it was Sunday. We went to a food hall and had some pork and rice, we had missed pork as the areas we had been were mostly Muslim. We went back to the agency and waited for the bus, which was early but we had to make a few pick up stops. The next stop was not far and this was at the Thai/ Malay border we all had to get off of the bus and queue up with our bags. Some of the people that were on our bus were only using the crossing as a visa run to extend their stay in Thailand. The Thai immigration was quite smooth although the girl in front of us was charged 20 baht, we could not understand why. When I got to the both and had my passport stamped he asked me for 20 baht I asked why as we had not overstayed our visa, we luckily only had 40 baht left, but Wayne was not asked for 10 baht which was even stranger as our passports have all the same stamps. Obviously the immigration officer was onto a bit of a scam, but he has the authority to keep your passport until you pay, he's on a winner. We got back on to the bus and were taken to the Malay immigration which was quick and painless we were then back on the bus on our way to Penang. As we drove along the main road, more like a motorway it was getting dark and the houses and buildings on the roadside could have been in England it all looked very familiar. We arrived at 7.30pm so another long day. We were dropped at a bus/taxi station but we got orientated pretty quickly and headed in the direction of a guesthouse in our Rough Guide book. We walked with another girl on our bus who was heading in the same direction, we checked out her hotel first but we shocked at the price a dramatic increase from Thaiand. We went to the option in the book and it was terrible so we picked one just up the road which was still quite expensive but it was getting late and we were hungry so we took it. We then had to get some money which saw us walking back to where we were dropped off as this was apparently the nearest ATM. As we were there we decided to go for Pizza Hut which was lovely but they had very strange toppings I suppose to cater for the local palate.
The following day we had a lovely breakfast at a small Italian cafe we then went to the bus station to find out about travel on to Kuala Lumpar as we were not keen on Penang, lots of Indians that stare at White Girls and the place is pretty dirty not our cup of tea! We found out that we could book the bus the day we wanted to travel and it was only a hour journey. We then had a look around the shopping centre as we were in search of the Tourist Information we didn't find it but I was in heaven cheap shoes, I did well and only came away with one pair. We then walked down to the clock tower and fort Cornwallis, where captain Light first landed and where the tourist information is. This area is very colonial and has some lovely architectural buildings. Penang was a big British colony and a major port before there was a hold on Singapore, this area is totally different to the few blocks away where we are staying. We got a lot of information on Malaysia from the tourist centre, there are lots of brochures this year as they are celebrating 50 years of nationhood so there is a lot of focus on the country and its tourism industry. We decided there and then that we would head on to Kuala Lumpar and also to book flight to Kota Kinabalu in Malaysian Borneo. As we walked back we passed an Air Asia booking office so we went and booked flights straight away for 5 days time. We decided to get some lunch and headed to an Irish bar just round the corner from where we were staying as we made our way it started to rain and once we were inside it was like a torrential downpour. This lasted for about 3 hours and the roads were all flooded we got back to our room and watched a DVD to pass the day as there was not much to see in the rain. That evening we found an internet cafe and then we took advantage of the Indian influence and had an Indian curry it was lovely and we stuffed by the time we had ploughed through the mountain of food.