Below is a list of the National and State Public Holidays for 2014. National and Penang Holidays are highlighted. Knowing the public holidays in advance can help you plan your time here or time away.
||New Year’s Day
||National except Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis, Terenganu
||Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan’s Birthday
||Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Penang, Selangor
||Sultan of Kedah’s birthday
||Chinese New Year
||Chinese New Year 2nd day
||Federal Territory Day
||KL, Labuan, Putrajaya
||Installation Anniversary of Sultan of Terengganu
||Declaration of Melaka as Historical City
||Sultan of Perak’s birthday
||Sultan of Terengganu’s birthday
||Hari Hol Pahang
||Tuanku Raja of Perlis’ birthday
||Kaamatan Harvest Festival
||Kaamatan Harvest Festival
||Gawai Dayak Festival
||Gawai Dayak Festival
||Israk and Mukraj
||Kedah, Negeri Sembilan, Perlis
||SPB Yang di Pertuan Agong’s birthday
||Johor, Kedah, Melaka
||Anniversary of declaraion of Penang as World Heritage Site
||Yang di-Pertua of Penang’s Birthday
||Hari Nuzul Al-Quran
||Kelantan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Penang, Selangor, Terengganu
||Hari Raya Puasa
||Hari Raya Puasa 2nd day
||Yang di-Pertua of Sarawak’s birthday
||Yang di-Pertua of Melaka’s birthday
||Hari Raya Qurban
||Hari Raya Qurban 2nd day
||Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis, Terengganu
||Deepavali (replacement holiday)
||National execpt Labuan, Sarawak
||Sultan of Pahang’s birthday
||Awal Muharram 1435 Hijrah (Islamic New Year)
||Sultan of Kelantan’s birthday
||Sultan of Johor’s birthday
||Hari Hol Almarhum Sultan Iskandar
||Sultan of Selangor’s birthday
Some dates are subject to change. Replacement holidays are for when the actual holiday lands on a Sunday, the next weekday is given as a replacement holiday.
The Ministry of Education released the 2014 Malaysia School Holiday Calendar. These should be pretty definitive, but please note that these dates can change. This list plus the public holidays calendar should help you in your travel planning.
I’ve mentioned the Thaipusam festival on the blog before. It is a Hindu festival that happens every year in January. It is a very colorful and exotic thing, and while I do not recommend it for younger children, it is something that you might be interested in experiencing.
Well our good friend Dave Ray will be running a photo tour here in Penang during the next Thaipusam Festival. You will get to see the tour, embedded with the people, trailing the participants. There will be opportunities to work with the other tour participants to learn new photography techniques, and story telling with photography.
The details can be found at Dave’s tour page. The tour price includes the hotel and meals plus all the work Dave’s put into getting you into the heart of the festival.
Spaces are limited, so you need to sign up as quickly as possible.
In general, I think photo tours and photo workshops like these are a great way to get into the local culture. The tour guide has done a lot of the legwork to get you an insider’s perspective, in this case into the Thaipusam festival. The advantage of a photo tour over a regular tour is that 1) you can see what you’re going to see because the photographer often shows you the images you should be expecting to capture. and 2) you take home with you all your images to remember what you’ve experienced. I highly recommend photo tours and will be pointing out other photo tours in Penang as they come up.
[I have not been paid for promoting this tour, I just believe in the product and the photographer.]
I’ve mentioned it before that we are a homeschooling family. Our kids aren’t enrolled in any of the (many) international schools in Penang. We are hooked into the Distance Learning Resource Centre at Dalat International School which is a great opportunity for anyone who is homeschooling in Penang. One of the big benefits to this program is the opportunity to connect with the other families that are registered with DLRC. This past August one of the moms organized a field trip to Kedah and we were grateful to be part of it.
This post is being linked up to the Hip Homeschool Moms link up party. They are collecting field trips around the world that homeschoolers can find. Readers who have found this post through that website might also be interested in our field trips to
I’ve mentioned before that we’re a home schooling family. Our children are not enrolled in any of the schools here in Penang, local or. We buy our school curriculum from the US and ship it here for the kids. On average, we’re spending $600-$1000 USD per child for a year. It does cost us, I mean, my wife time in that she has to do lesson planning and teaching and reading to them. We’ve got multiple kids, so she has to plan and teach multiple levels.
But what about social activities? What about Physical Education? First, those are usually not a concern for most homeschoolers. Those are the questions non-home schoolers ask. Most homeschoolers tend to be more physically active and more socially adjusted to the children their age range who are forced to sit at desks for hours at a time and interact with only children their own age for hours at a time.
And besides the myriad kids programs and tuition programs that are out there, Dalat International School has a program call the Distance Learning Resource Centre which is for home educators, local in Penang, as well as around the region.
The benefits are huge! We paid a small annual fee for the whole family. And that gives us:
- full access to the Dalat library including online resources
- full access to the DLRC resource library
- option of enrolling in single classes taken on campus
- option of enrolling in online classes through Dalat (Sevenstar)
- option to participate in after-school clubs and athletic programs
- academic testing services
- homeschool/TCK consultation services at Dalat
- college/career counseling services at Dalat
- assistance with homeschool record keeping and transcripts
After school activities
I think the word is getting out, because this year there are now over 40 home school students who are participating in Dalat’s afterschool activities. In the past year, our daughters have been part of gymnastics, soccer, art, choir, gardening, girls scouts, and dance. There are loads more to choose from, although many of these after school clubs have limited space.
My kids have made some friends too. It’s been a great opportunity for them to connect and interact with expat children.
That’s another slice of Living in Penang. Keep coming back for more of our 31 days of living in Penang.
31 days, Activities, Kids Tags:
CC image by Kai Hendry via Flickr
It won’t be long before you need to pay your bills; electricity, water, Internet, Phone, etc. All these can be done at the Post Office. Here in Malaysia, the postal service is called Pos Malaysia. There is a post office in most towns.
The Pos Malaysia website has a branch locator that lists their locations state by state. Here’s the page for Penang.
The post office is a dreaded errand for me. I don’t know why, because in reality I’ve only had one bad experience there where I waited in line until I gave up. Every other time I’ve been there, I’ve been first, second or at most third in line and serviced very quickly.
The process is fast. Hand over your stack of bills. If you’re lucky, they all arrived in your mailbox at the end of the month and are due near the beginning of the month. They’ll add it all together and give you a total that you can pay all at once. They scan in all the barcodes from the various bills. Then they mark off the bottom of the receipt as paid and give it back to you as your receipt. Very efficient.
After a few months of this, you should have a local bank account. CIMB, Maybank, HSBC and most of the other banks with local branches have online bill pay services. Not all of the banks cover all of the bills. For example, I can’t pay my water bill with CIMB.
Automatic deduction from your account is available for some services, like Internet and Astro. I haven’t attempted to set those up for myself yet.
So that’s the first slice of my life in Penang. Keep coming back for more of my 31 days of living in Penang. Subscribe by email or like us on Facebook to get updates of when new posts are up.
I’m taking advantage of this blogging event to give you readers a snapshot of life here in Penang, Malaysia. Living in Penang has its ups and downs. On the up side, we experience new things and learn to see things from a new perspective. Then there’s the downside. There’s the challenges of the unknown and unfamiliar. There’s the challenge of the inconveniences. For the next 31 days I hope to show you both sides of living in Penang.
Day 1: Paying the Bills at the Post Office
Day 2: After school activities at Dalat
Day 3: Field Trip: Serba Wangi rice mill in Kedah
Day 4: Thaipusem photo tour announced
Day 5: Tom Yam Fried Rice
Day 6: Going to the beach
Day 14: Field Trip to the Royal Museum in Kedah
31 days Tags:
I recently had a huge problem with my iPhone. The power button stopped working. It was a livable problem, but annoying. Since I bought the iPhone in the US, I didn’t think I could get it serviced at the official Apple service center at Switch. So where to go in Penang for iPhone repair?
I found iFix4You. Jason is a great guy who does these iPhone and iPad repairs out of his apartment in the evenings.
Many of us are coming here to Penang, Malaysia to set up a new business. I know several reps for large companies that have come to break ground on new factories and offices. There are also those of us that are just here to live, but we need office furniture in our homes. Well there are two good sources to check out besides the furniture shops that I’ve already listed in a popular past post.
We are very excited to be participating in this year’s Best of Summer Kid Lit Giveaway Hop, hosted by Mother Daughter Book Reviews and Youth Literature Reviews.
If this is your first time visiting us here at Living in Penang, welcome. We’re an American family living in Penang, Malaysia. We’ve got three girls and a baby boy who was born here in Malaysia. This site is a repository of things we’ve learned from living here and the collected wisdom of those who have lived here longer than we have. Some posts are about foods that we love here. Some are bits of practical advice, like whether we should tip, or if we can drink the water.
Even if you don’t live in Penang, Malaysia, you might be interested in the cultural articles like overview of Nyonya culture or the Thaipusam festival.
Our kids are homeschooled so that gives us opportunities to go on more field trips in and around Penang. We’ve been to Orang Utan Island, a local goat farm, and a local batik factory, just to name a few.
So to celebrate the end of a great summer in Penang, and the start of another school year, we’re going to participate in this book Giveaway Blog Hop.
Win a copy of Tiger Hunt!
The book we’re giving away is called Tiger Hunt! We met the author, Christy Halsell, during our time in Bali, Indonesia. We all really like this book. My wife reviewed it on her blog, and my daughter reviewed it on the kids’ homeschool blog. The Tiger Hunt book website can be found here. Christy blogs at One Fun Mom.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This is a blog hop, so you’ll definitely want to hop around and check out these other great giveaways! Be sure to check out the other giveaways we are hosting. One is at Mommy’s site, Mommynificent.com, where she is giving away 3 electronic copies of the book Katie Grace Makes a New Friend, written by our friend Julie Merrin. The other is at our kids’ showcase site, DesperateHomeschoolers.com, where we’ll be giving away 3 electronic copies of a book chosen by our eldest daughter.