10/18: Okay, my job caught up on me, need to work even on weekends. Well, let me continue blogging on my trip. Sorry guys!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Traffic in Penang

Three years plus ago, I came to Penang to work after graduating from a university in Sepang area. At first I thought it was a freedom from traffic nightmares; but I was wrong. It seems that the traffic in Penang Island was so democratic that you could almost do anything you want with your vehicle.

In general, when you feel like it,j ust park wherever you want, stop whenever you like, ignore any incoming cars by coming out of any junction without paying attention to them (That is what the incoming cars’ brakes are for!) or jump any traffic queues whenever you want (they are trying to improve traffic efficiency because the drivers that gave in usually are slow reaction type).

However, different vehicles in Penang have their own ‘uniqueness’


Although the cars over here are usually the victims, they are not ‘weak’ at all. There are lots of creative ways to drive a car in Penang.

  • The Swimming Pattern - The car zigzags between two lanes, a good display of freestyle swimming.
  • The Titanic Pattern – They are the ‘King of the world’; they drive in the middle of these 2 lanes, using the centre white divider to calibrate the position of their cars.

  • The US Pattern – Slow lane is no longer left lane, it’s right lane! Our Uncle Sam says so!

Do not underestimate these vehicles. The riders think that they are driving a car, so don’t scold them when they drive slowly in the middle of the lane. Unless you own the road, else if you scold them, they would say that they pay road tax too!
In some cases, they think that they are both their bikes and themselves are considered as human beings. So they tend to ride their motorbikes on pavements which are meant for pedestrians or even go against the traffic on the same lane!

Lorries, Buses and Trucks
I guess the drivers watch too much of Transformers. In some condition they could ‘transform’ into motorbikes and squeeze through small gaps between side by side cars. In some cases, they think they become invisible and run red lights. For some drivers, they could ‘enlarge’ their vehicles to occupy 2 lanes. For them, no lane is too small, no road is too wide and rule is no rule. Must be Adidas fan – Impossible is Nothing!

There are many Lance Armstrong Wannabe in Penang. They think they could ride as fast as a spending motorcyclist. So don’t get annoyed if you find some bicycles riding in front of you and don’t give way, they could be representing Penang in future!


QuaChee said...

nice one here. haha.

oh i didnt know penang's island jam is bad.. i thought only on the bridge.

Lion in the Jungle said...

eh you didnt mention the 'tiba-tiba brake' thingy ler

AsX said...

Quachee, feel free to come here for a visit. Experience thing first hand...

AsX said...

lion, hey feel free to do a follow up blog...