Friday June 22, 2012
Still the tourists’ top choice
TOURISTS are continuing to flock to Penang Hill despite the haze in the state.
A check by The Star at the hill yesterday morning showed that visitors were enjoying their trip.
A local tourist who did not wish to be named said she felt warm although the tourist spot was usually chilling.
“It’s ok because I can still enjoy the nice flora.
“Despite the haze, the air is also fresher and it’s nice to be up here,” said the Penangite, who was there with her parents.
Mariella Kuenghakit, 17, from Thailand who was staying at one of the bungalows on the hill, however, said she experienced sore throat and running nose.
“I bought a postcard of Penang Hill but the view here does not look like the one on the postcard. I feel like I’m on top of nowhere and it’s a bit humid.
“I hope to see a nicer view before I leave this place,” she said, adding that she was in Penang for a musical performance with her friends.
At about 11am the sky began to become clearer and George Town could be seen after a strong gush of wind blew away the haze.
According to the Department of Environment (DOE) website, the API readings in three places in Penang ranged from 73 and 103, with the condition getting better towards the evening. An API reading of between 0 and 50 is considered good, 51 to 100 (moderate), 101 to 200 (unhealthy), 201 to 300 (very unhealthy), and 301 and above (hazardous).
Dhanasree M. , 20, was happy to be there to enjoy the cool weather.
“I’m happy to be able to enjoy the beautiful view up here,” said the student from Mumbai, India.
A retiree who was there with his wife for the second time were seen smiling, looking at the view.
“Earlier at about 10am, we couldn’t see anything but now we can see clearly.
“It’s relaxing to be up here,” Lim Chin Chuan, 70, said.
It was business as usual, at the hawker centre and kiosks at Penang Hill.
Kong Chean Soon, 38 who runs a stall selling drinks at the lower station of Penang Hill said the haze condition had improved compared to the previous day.
“Now Penang Hill is visible from here and the blue sky can be seen clearly. Yesterday (June 20) the hill was totally covered by haze,” he said.
A ticket counter staff said the number of visitors had in fact increased due to the holiday season, which saw more tourists coming in from Singapore and Saudi Arabia.