Two weekends ago, I was invited by the good people of Casio Singapore to a press trip to Penang. The mission? To test out the new Casio EX-ZR 3600. But more on the camera (and the surprise!) below.
I’ve been to Penang a couple of times in recent years, most notably two years ago for fellow editor Deborah’s wedding. Back then, we only hung out at places near our rented apartment, making sure to avoid visiting any of the touristy places like the popular Snake Temple. The itinerary for this press trip, however, involved visiting said temple and more. And as it turned out, I had more fun that I thought I would! More interestingly, I reckon some of the activities and places in Penang could help you overcome certain fears. Read on.
1. You have a fear of … large objects
Situated at the foot of the Air Itam mountain and built in 1891, Kek Lok Si Temple is one of the largest and most magnificent temples in Southeast Asia. Apart from the seven-storey pagoda and some 10, 000 alabaster and bronze statues of Buddha, another highlight of the temple is the staggering 30.2-metre bronze statue of the Goddess of Mercy, Kuan Yin, who sits within a 60.9-metre roof pavilion supported by 16 bronze columns. Chances are, you would be marvelling at the majesty of the structure. But if that proves too much for you, you can easily quell your fears by looking around the temple – it is home to many adorable waist-height statues that represent the 12 animal zodiac signs, as well as Disney characters like Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck!
2. You have a fear of … snakes
The renowned Snake Temple was built around 1850 in honor of Buddhist monk Chor Soo Kong, who was also a healer and would provide shelter for snakes. Legend has it that after he died, the snakes moved in on their own volition, and since then, locals revered the snakes and would frequently visit the temple to offer prayers to Chor. The temple houses quite a number of venomous pit vipers, all of whom appear to be strangely docile. I asked one of the snake handlers if the snakes were defanged and he insisted they weren’t, but I’m still feeling uncomfortable, to be honest – especially when the handlers kept pushing for photo-taking with the snakes for a fee.
3. You have a fear of … heights
To get to the top of Penang Hill (it peaks at 833 metres above sea level), you have to hop on the funicular train coach, which is quite an experience in itself. The funicular track spans a distance of 1.99km – the longest in Asia – while the funicular tunnel is 79 metres long with a steepness of 27.9 degrees, making it the steepest tunnel track in the world. The hill offers an incredible panoramic view of the island, wherever you stand. There’s even a love lock wall at one of the higher points of Penang Hill!
4. You have a fear of … street food
Penang offers arguably some of the finest street food in Southeast Asia. From char kway teow to assam laksa, the variety of mouthwatering street food promises to leave you spoilt for choice! Paranoid about getting food poisoning? While there’s no guarantee that every street vendor adheres to strict hygiene practices, I haven’t heard of any nasty encounters from friends who frequent Penang.
5. You have a fear of … water
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Chew Jetty is one of the six remaining waterfront settlements, and it comprises a cluster of wooden houses on stilts that were built by some pioneer Chinese immigrants more than a century ago. The 1, 500 residents of Chew Jetty form a tight-knit community and are actively involved in annual cultural and religious activities. There’s no better way to overcome your fear of water than by doing a homestay at My Chew Jetty Vacation Home. Located along the main walkway in the middle of Chew Jetty, you’ll be able to soak up the vibrant yet peaceful community spirit and experience waterfront living to the fullest.
6. You have a fear of … cats
Don’t worry, there aren’t many cats loitering on the streets, but there is a large litter of cat murals livening up the walls of Georgetown! As a cat lover, I was beyond delighted to stumble upon one cat mural after another at every turn.
7. You have a fear of … the sun
The weekend we were there, the temperature peaked at 39°C. No kidding. Despite bracing myself for the heat and wearing only lightweight and light-coloured clothes, the weather was insufferably humid and the sun, relentlessly glaring. The itinerary for both days required a considerable amount of walking, and we had to make sure we hydrated ourselves every so often for fear of getting heatstroke. Suddenly, the crazy-hot weather conditions in Singapore don’t seem so crazy anymore. On a serious note, though, rising temperatures around the world is a very real concern, and while quick fixes to beat the heat are welcomed, we should look at long-term measures to reduce the effects of global warming.
8. You have a fear of … losing your memories
Okay, this is admittedly a stretch since you don’t need to travel to Penang to overcome this fear. But to ensure you don’t forget all the awesome moments you experience in Penang – or anywhere in the world, for that matter – what you need is a great camera. All the photos you see in this post were taken using Casio EX-ZR3600, the newest addition to the brand’s EXILIM ZR Series of compact digital cameras. It boasts several cool features that allow you to easily capture every subtle detail with amazing clarity. If you’re into taking selfies, you’ll probably love the following functions: Selfie Art (choose from five filters), Selfie Timer (a new function that lets you access the timer using the front shutter button), and Casio’s original Make-Up Mode Technology (instantly enhance your complexion to your preference). What I love best about EX-ZR3600, though, is its Auto Transfer Mode. Using the Bluetooth Smart technology, EXILIM Connect app and Scene app, you can simply select the images or videos on the camera and transfer them to your smart device. EX-ZR3600 also comes equipped with Highlight Movie and Highlight Photo functions, which cleverly create short videos and photo collages to capture the best moments of the day.
The EX-ZR3600 is available in three colours (Pearl White, Pink, and Lavender) and retails at $599 at all Casio authorised retailers.
Now, are you ready for the surprise?
We’re giving away a Casio EX-ZR3600 (Pearl White) worth $599! [THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED]
Enter the draw by completing the following steps:
1. Answer this question in the Comments section below: “Which function on EX-ZR3600 allows you to seamlessly transfer images and videos to your smart device?”
2. Like Go Away’s Facebook Page. Only our fans are eligible for this contest.
3. SHARE this post on your Facebook*. Be sure to set your post on Public so we can see that this step has been done.
4. EMAIL your details (name, email, mobile number, and NRIC/passport number) to email@example.com
Deadline: 13 May 2016, 6pm
*Only genuine Facebook users will be considered for the draw. We will not hesitate to disqualify those who only share and post contest giveaways on their FB.