USM Engineering Campus – Part 1

Oh yes Penang is one of Malaysia’s famous touristic places and has one of the biggest cities. The capital Georgetown is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site along with Malacca. It IS a very beautiful and historic place.


But you aren’t likely to feel you’re in Penang with all its fun when you actually find yourself living in the farthest spot from the city and nearest the border of Perak :(


Unless I didn’t choose to go for Engineering course and be placed in the Engineering campus in Nibong Tebal, I would instead have been delighted to be living in the island and center of the city in the main campus. Agh.

And some more, Nibong Tebal is purely a jungle than a town! No public transports come inside the campus, and the nearest town is Parit Buntar (yes, in Perak state actually). You have to call a taxi to bring you to bus station in Parit Buntar. Then again there’s no direct bus to Penang island crossing the bridge. You have to take one hour trip to Butterworth and take a ferry to Georgetown. Yes, FERRY!!!!!!!! It sounds fun only if you just take ferry, not those very long journey that simply makes you feel as if you’re traveling to another state. I was in the main campus last week to do the medical checkup since our campus here doesn’t do X-ray thing, and USM provides shuttle bus to go there actually, but only 2 trips per day, 8.30 am from Eng campus and come back at 11am from main campus, and 3pm from Eng campus and come back 5pm from main campus. Thing is, I MISSED the morning bus!! T_____T And since there’s no other free day to go, and I had my classmate Fiona with me, we decided to turn it into an adventure and took taxi, bus, and ferry to go there. It took damn hours to really reach there instead of 1 hour by shuttle bus (use bridge, like many other cars do, and I still can’t understand why no public bus goes there by bridge). But we managed to catch the return bus at 5pm, fortunately. One day of traveling to Penang, and you say we’re living in Penang? BTW Nibong Tebal to Georgetown are at leats 35km apart.

OK, nevermind that. I just have to get used to the fact I’ll be living in the jungle for at least one year. It’s not too bad, actually. Think nature, no noise and air pollution. Coz here in this campus everyone is riding a bicycle. I have never seen lots of bike users like this in any other place in Malaysia before. It’s like a new discovery :)

One of the many bikes

One of the many garages in the hostel area (we call it Desasiswa here, = Student Village).


My bike!!!!! :D :D Who would have thought that I ended up riding bicycle again lol. Oh yes, Coffeebeanie, it's red color ;) How come did you guess PINK?? :o

bicycle path

Path for bicycle only to go to school buildings. I can't remember if I have seen such environment and biking society in other places in Malaysia before. For a moment, I thought I was in Holland instead of Nibong Tebal :))

bicycle path

Palm trees, lakes.. (though seen in picture is rather a flooded field after a rainy day). Hmmm yes as you can see we really live in a jungle.

lembaran blok 1

Desasiswa Lembaran Blok 1

My hostel building. My room is at the top level, no lift, hence another means of exercise apart of the bike. I live a healthy life now!! :P I have 3 roomates here, well USM hostel here is not as “posh” as UIA hostel I was living in past years, but trust me, it isn’t too bad either. I guess I’ll survive here for one year. Or actually, my course seems to last for 1.5 years. Agh.

The Chronicles of Penang: The Location

Hmm I just realized this cheap WordPress can’t embed Google maps. So a print-screen is an alternative. Click on pic to go to actual map.

One thing that has been in mind since AGES and now becomes densed even more now that my focus is on the transportation to go to westcoast:

– The stupid government is toooooooo busy building elevated highways and light trains and mega skycrapers in KL only that never seem to realize that MILLIONS of people would need a railway from the east to Westcoast i.e. Penang, Perak, Selangor… and vice versa.

You see? Since the existence of railway in Malaya more than 100 years ago.. it’s only been this way and never improved, you need to travel south first to go to KL by railway, hence long 13+ hours.. while they could have actually been much shorter should they spend some time thinking wisely and come up with a crossing railway from east to west.. I would say it may only take less than 10 hours to KL and only 5 hours to Penang.. or can be faster assuming they’ll improve the trains system itself rather than still being stuck at the era of Japanese colonization (no offense to Japan, this is a regular metaphor to actually say loooooooooooooong time ago and never get civilized). Sigh but some people are too blind to realize.. coz they only travel by private jets..

So….. forget the train now it’s more than ridiculous to travel to Penang by train if you have to go south first then come up north again. Driving would take 5 hours from Kota Bharu, as some say.. so it’s relatively closer than to KL obviously.


OK, less than 24 hours after I made the previous post, God has sent me a sign that I HAVE TO GO TO USM!!!!!!

He does have a sense of humour :)

Electronics doesn’t sound too bad ok. And it has its own modern Engineering campus, though I much much love the good old university buildings like UKM’s, but that’s another story. And think Penang, though I have not been there since over 10 years ago, I think it’s still an exciting place to be. And think original Char Kuey Teow! Hmm.. my mouth already starts watering….

Well, the Engineering campus isn’t in the island.. but it won’t stop me from crossing the Penang straits over the weekends :)