Review: Smilebay Dental Surgery Tanjung Bungah

I had the opportunity finally try out Smilebay Dental Surgery.  We have a post about Dentists that Dave wrote up a while ago, but I never had any person experience until now.

Read more…

5 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - November 27, 2012 at 1:58 AM

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Pure Pharmacy

98-G-13, Prima Tanjung Business Centre, Jalan Fettes, 11200 04 899 3609  (in the shop formerly occupied by Tan Pharmacy) in Tanjung Permai just SW and across the street from Island Plaza in Tanjung Tokong.  Very complete, professional, and helpful.


Midlands 1-Stop, Ground floor, NE corner.  Fairly complete, helpful staff.

GeorgeTown Pharmacy

on the corner of street leading into the Tanjung Bungah wet market.

Batu Feringghi Pharmacy

behind 7-11 and just behind the Eden Parade complex.

The proprietor and pharmacists are Connie and her husband.  They are very professional and helpful.  The clinic next door has served some people quite well also.


Or try these franchises:




Century Healthcare

Georgetown Pharmacy—in Tesco Tanjung Complex

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - July 13, 2012 at 8:00 AM

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Safe Drinking Water in Penang

Drinking water

Clean drinking water is important

If you are a regular traveler, you know that water can be an issue. Hydration is important for general health and you will need more as you live in Penang, an arguably hot climate. There are recommendations about how much water a person should drink online. They say that adults need to drink eight 8 oz glasses of water a day. I find that hard to keep track of and over generalized. What about children? They cannot be expected to drink that much in a day. What about other fluids?  Is the water in Penang safe to drink?

So for that reason, I have a general rule of thumb to know if I’m drinking enough water. Try to keep your urine relatively clear. If it starts to get a little too dark, you are running low and you should have more.

Bottled water

Unless you are far off the beaten track, you should be able to buy a bottle of water in Penang relatively cheaply and close to where you are. A 600 ml bottle will be around RM 1 to 2 at a convenience store (like 7-eleven) or as much as RM 3 if you are at a restaurant. A 1.5 L bottle will run between RM 3 -5, again, depending on where you are buying it.

Tap water in Penang

Tap water in Penang is potable. Many drink it and have report no problems with bacterial infection or parasites.

Yet, we’ve noticed that when using a ceramic filter, the filter often turns a rust color faster than we ever saw a filter get dirty in Indonesia (where no one in their right mind drinks the tap water). So, it’s up to you, but you may want to get a filter.

Many people just get one of the blue and clear plastic-cased fabric filters that fits next to the meter in front of your house. They’re very cheap and usually include installation.  I have written more about these water filters in another post on this site.  I also describe my sink-side water filter system in my kitchen for drinking water.

You may also want to get a ceramic filter set for your kitchen, like the one pictured here. These come in many forms—one is just a clear tank on top with a filter below and another tank below—gravity fed. You have to pour a few liters of tap water into the top to get it dripping through the filter. It’s cheap and easy to find replacement filters at Tesco etc.

Or you can get one of the multi filter sets that have become popular these past few years, that sit on the counter next to your sink and put water through multiple steps before you consume it. This costs a bit more, but is probably more convenient. If you’re willing to spend more, you can get a complete, multi-staged system set up in front of your house so that every drop of water that comes out of all your taps is guaranteed to be pure and healthy.

Check out the photographs of the water filters at my house and make your own decision if you think the water in Penang is safe to drink.

2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - July 11, 2012 at 7:45 AM

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K K Ong

Jalan Tanjung Bunga—on the corner just north and across Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang from Island Plaza.

Reviews are mixed on this particular clinic.  Several expats have used this dentist and are pleased with his work.  Others have had some complaints about his indifference towards the patient’s pain.

SmileBay Dental Surgery

This clinic opened recently across from the Dalat school.  Friends who had a hard time at K K Ong tried them and had a better experience.


Dentists on the ground and 1st floor of the center on the south corner of the Jalan Burma and Jalan Gottlieb intersection.  We’ve actually had friends to here on another friend’s recommendation, choose the wrong office and both swore that they got the best service they could have hoped for.


Prestige Orthodontics

On the SW side of Jalan Burma just S of where Lorong Burma intersects.  The lead dentist at K K Ong recommends this orthodontics clinic.


1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - July 3, 2012 at 2:35 AM

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Hospitals in Penang

Hospitals in Penang

There’s a debate among expats about which hospitals in Penang are to be trusted.  Everyone seems to agree that in the past Adventist Hospital was at the top.  The debate revolves around whether they are still number one.  Those in favor of Adventist Hospital insist that doctors there determine whether the other hospitals in Penang are even accredited.  However, the consensus that we’ve heard most is that several top notch doctors have left Adventist taking their high-tech equipment with them, and that Adventist Hospital, while not bad, is not what it used to be.

In general, we recommend three private hospitals in this order, the first two tying for first place and recorded in alphabetical order.  They’re all near each other in the western end of Georgetown.  They all provide executive health screening.

Island Hospital

308 Macalister Road

Tel: +(604) 228 8222 / Fax: +(604) 226 7989

On the recommendation of two other expatriate ladies, one American and one British, this is the hospital we’ve chosen for having our next child.  Prof. Dr Narinder Singh Shadan is the only OB in Penang who is qualified to perform water births.  We have been seeing him for our pre-natal visits and very pleased with his attention and care.  I will have more posts in the future about our experiences having a baby in Penang.

Other doctors that are especially praised are Dr. Malik (endochronologist) and Dr. Aaron Lim (sports orthopedic surgeon).

In our time here, Island Hospital has had construction and renovation going on.  They’ve done a good job of keeping it unobtrusive except when it comes to parking there.

Gleneagles Medical Centre

1 Jalan Pangkor

Tel: (+604) 2276111, (+604) 2202103 / Fax: (+604) 2262994

Gleneagles is a high-tech state of the art facility with a brand new wing built in 2012.

Dr. Peter Vanasingham—one of Gleneagles’ founders, is an excellent surgeon, despite his advanced age.

Penang Adventist Hospital

465 Jalan Burma

Tel: (+604) 222 7200 / Fax: (+604) 226 3366

Our advice would be to go to Adventist Hospital first only if you know you have a specific condition that can best be treated by a strongly recommended physician there.

Specialist Centre (Loh Guan Lye)

238, Macalister Road, 10400 Penang, Malaysia.
19 & 21, Logan Road, 10400 Penang, Malaysia.

Tel: (+604) 238 8888 / Fax: (+604) 229 0287
Emergency: +604 226 6911

Also located near the other hospitals in Penang, the Specialist Centre is in the heart of Georgetown.

Carl Corrynton Medical Centre

12A Jalan Mesjid Negeri

Phone: 04-829 9188
Email: [email protected]

Other hospitals to consider:

Lam Wah Ee (Non-Profit, Private) Hospital

It is located in the center of the island.  We’ve had two sets of friends give birth to twins here.

Hope Children Hospital

Jalan Gottlieb

tel: 04-2286557

Of the hospitals in Penang, this one specializes in Pediatrics and has been recommended by many parents of students at Dalat International School.

Located at the south end of Jalan Gottlieb, this is a pediatric care hospital with a walk-in clinic as well.  A walk-in consultation is only RM 35.  We have taken our children to Hope Children Hospital for routine check ups and immunizations as well as checking on other issues, like allergies and persistent coughs.

Penang General Hospital

In general, we do not recommend Penang General Hospital.  My anecdotal review can be found on this site.  However, we know one family whose son was diagnosed at Island Hospital with a rare disease, but advised that the pediatric specialist for this disease practiced only at Penang General Hospital.  Reluctantly they went to him, got treatment that brought full recovery and paid very little—because it was at the general hospital.

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - June 27, 2012 at 8:37 AM

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Review: Hospital Pulau Pinang

If you check out our list of recommended hospitals, you will notice that Hospital Pulau Pinang is not on the list.  We recently had an experience that underscored the lack of recommendation.  I will not risk any problems with the hospital, so I’ll just state the facts and leave it up to you to decide how you feel about this place.

We have an Indonesian friend who sells purses in Batu Ferringhi.  One day she called my wife to tell her that she’s got some stomach pain and would miss an appointment that they had set up.  We expressed that if she needed help seeking medical help that we were willing to be there for her.

Sunday night at 11pm, she took us up on that offer.  I stayed home with the sleeping children and my wife took her.  After two hours of waiting, they finally saw her, and confirmed that they needed to operate, so they admitted her.  My wife tried to pay but her card was low in funds so they said “No problem, pay tomorrow.”  She left and came home at 2:00.

The next morning we heard from our friend that she couldn’t get surgery until she paid for it.  I rushed around getting the cash into the hands of her husband.

They ran tests and confirmed that it was appendicitis and didn’t get to surgery until 6pm.  The next morning, Tuesday, we found out from the husband that they went in, found a healthy appendix and then opened her up in two more places, looking for problems.  A doctor tried to explain to my wife in broken English that he took out some bad blood (a clot maybe?) from the burn (no idea what that means).

By Thursday afternoon she felt well enough to go home, but needed more money.  We helped them out some more and drove her home, so she wouldn’t have to ride home on a motorbike.

Epilogue: We just got an SMS from her that she went back to hospital last night, was operated on again, and was told this morning that they will need to operate again today.  We have no idea what is going on.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - at 3:04 AM

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