From Kuala Lumpur, next up on our Indochina trip was Penang. I’m going to say it early on so that it’s out of the way…I love Penang. In fact, just like Hong Kong and Singapore, I could also live here. If not for the humidity, I would definitely make this my second home.
And it doesn’t get more picture perfect than UNESCO World Heritage George Town with its well-preserved colorful shophouses and charming buildings. Penang is a food-lover’s dream, too. If you are looking for cheap and delicious food, look no further than the Gurney Hawker Center. We went there on our first day and treated ourselves with our favorite Malaysian dishes like Assam Laksa, Char Kway Teow, Oyster Omelet and fresh sugarcane juice. We walked unfamiliar streets and discovered this little pharmacy that sells medicine with costs a quarter of the price compared to what we get back home. And I bought a lot of OTC meds. I can’t believe how cheap they were.
We again stayed at Chulia Heritage Hotel because it was near everything. Lots of cafes, restaurants, buses pass through Lebuh Chulia, and it’s cheap. We arranged a Street Art tour for my friend so she can experience riding a rickshaw while weaving through the streets of George Town looking for art on the walls of crumbly buildings and houses. We did this on our first visit and we enjoyed it so much. Our “manong” or Uncle was so accommodating, he even brought us to Noordin Mews (our hotel) which was not part of our agreement.
My friend didn’t enjoy it, unfortunately. According to her, the street art landmarks were close to one another that she could have just walked to each one without the rickshaw ride. She totally missed the point of doing this tour. The rickshaw ride was part of the experience. Not everything has to make sense, right? Sometimes you just have to enjoy the moment. And then there were other things that she didn’t find worth her precious time…
It’s really crucial to choose your travel partner wisely. It could literally make or break the trip. They say solo travel is over-rated. Well not in this case. I would rather travel solo than travel with someone you’re not obviously compatible with. Having to deal with misunderstandings and petty things during travel would drain you and can ruin any trip.
Here are more highlights from Penang:
- Cappuccino and Bagel at Mugshot Cafe
- Cheap breakfast buffet (Malaysian cuisine) at Yeng Keng Hotel
- Cheap dulcolax and other meds at a local pharmacy
- Pasta Truz at Ecco Cafe (new location)
- Sent a postcard to myself
- Delicious meals from the Gurney Drive Hawker Center
- Bus rides that stopped in front or near our hotel (no more walking)
- Managed to get lost only once (With several trips here, I still get lost once in awhile).
- Beef burgers and coconut juice at Old Trafford Burger
If it’s your first time in Penang, you might want to check out my top things to do here. For more upscale accommodation, why not try Noordin Mews which is also in the city center and is just a short walk from the bus terminal.
Thank you for following along our Banana Pancake Trail adventure.
Not fond of DIY tours? You can join one of these tours, and don’t forget to compare hotels, vacation rentals, rooms, or even homes for your trip before you go. And never leave home without Travel Insurance!