Malaysia

George Town

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  • Day112

    It's voting day and the youngest sister's birthday back in the UK so today really feels like we're missing out on not being at home. Luckily our proxy vote applications arrived from Thailand in time so my parents are voting on our behalf today. It's time to say farewall to the busy Kuala Lumpur and head to the island of Penang. Our train was leaving at 11:30am so this gave us enough time to get ready, have breakfast and use the cheaper public transport to get to the station instead of the quicker more expensive taxi. We boarded the train with no hiccups and found it was very modern and spacious with plenty of leg room which was nice. The journey lasted 4 hours and it was the coldest 4 hours of our lives. The air con was on so high that it was bitterly cold and basically like being in the UK in winter! Luckily and I mean really luckily Nick had packed not only his hoodie in his hand luggage but also his fleece too. I'm not sure we would of survived without them! Having arrived at a place called Butterworth we met a fellow traveller and worked our way up and down a very stair heavy route to the ferry dock. With a bag weighing 20kgs on your back and dodgey knees this was not a fun trek but at least we had our new companion to talk to about her travels. Sadly when we disembarked after 15 minutes on the water we lost her in the hustle and bustle of people getting off the boat so we didn't even get to say goodbye or find out her name. We walked to the guest house which is only 15 minutes away and no matter how much you look at the pictures and read reviews it's always a surprise when you enter a new accommodation. We'd chosen this place as it said it had a private bathroom but turns out non of the rooms did. Being a bit tired I disputed this and said on the website the room we booked does not say it's a shared bathroom to which he went to check and came back offering us to leave and that he'll have to inform booking.com about this. He was very apologetic and the room is the best value we saw here so we decided to stay. It made it a little awkward when leaving later for dinner but he seems okay with us and showed us where all the essentials are on a map. We headed out to find some dinner but soon realised we should of researched it as it was all street food places. Penang is known for its street food but after being so ill last time there's really no way I'm risking losing two days of doing things again. After a bit of wondering we found a lovely modern bakery and bistro. They had lamb shank! I cannot tell you how happy this made me and so of course I had to order it. Back home you can pay anything from £15 to £30 for this dish so when the price of this main was £5 it had to be done and by golly it was beautiful. It was in a tomato sauce but it was so rich and flavourful that it went surprisingly well. Nick had a baked rice dish which he was also impressed with so maybe we'll head back there before we leave. Georgetown where we are staying is know for its street art so tomorrow we plan to fully explore the area on foot.Read more

  • Day113

    We've based ourselves in Georgetown in Penang which is known for it's British and French architectural influences but also it's vast array of street art. Today we had planned to set off early and explore the area on foot hunting down all the different artworks to see. We did have a slight hiccup with leaving though. As I pulled the door closed the whole handle came off to door! One of the staff luckily managed to fiddle around with the key and open the door again but he had to wait for the other member of staff to arrive to look at it. We waited for him and after 20 minutes or so we just decided to go ahead and lock the door and leave. There wasn't anything we could input to fixing it by staying so we told the guy we'd come back in and hour or so and after some coffee and an explore it was all sorted with a new lock. Woopsie! I love Georgetown! I love the weathering of the buildings, the bunting, lanterns and plants that are everywhere and the wonderful street art. It's crumbling plaster and mishmash pavements give it such a charm so much so that it is becoming my favourite city that we have visited so far. After we visited all the artworks on our map we began a 20 minute walk to a supermarket. It was so unbelievable hot today: 35 degrees but it said it feels like 46. We were melting in the heat and when we entered an air conditioned mall at the end of our walk it was pure heaven. We stood for a minute or so just with our arms on the cold metal railings inside. We had some juices and then eventually found the supermarket. With the heat we decided to get a taxi back and visit a traditional mansion in the town that has Malaysian, Chinese and Indian influences in it's decoration and style. We had an 81 year old tour guide who took us around and was very insistent we had a photo with her which turned out to be an awful shot but it's a good memory to have. She didn't have much information to share and there wasn't any signs either which was a shame but we enjoyed having an explore. Afterwards we headed to a great little restuarant bar for dinner and I had the most amazing burger for tea. Coming back and having a cold shower was almost the highlight of the day!Read more

  • Day114

    We hadn't planned anything after we leave Penang on the 13th so we used our morning to go to Starbucks on the bus and plan our next moves. We booked our bus and hotel before heading back to the bus stop to continue our journey to a butterfly farm and centre. There are some great reviews of this place online so we decided that it would be a good afternoon activity but having visited we could of spent the whole day there. The place was amazing. The areas with the butterflies are so open and full of wonderful plants, trees, streams and even a waterfall. They've built the area on several levels and every section feels individual and unique to the next. They had some beautiful species of butterfly all flying around and we even had the opportunity to release some that had newly hatched from their pupae stage. Many were landing on the path as we walked around so we were anxious that people would step on them so helped as many to the side as we could. I had a bit of shock when one decided to land on my eye and eyebrow and Nick caught the moment on camera! Definitely a perfectly timed shot. At the centre they also house many reptiles and insects and we were able to hold two of the insects there. It was all very informative and interactive. Inside they have a fantastic 8 room educational centre that is so modern and engaging that this was when we realised we should have given this place more than an afternoon. We went right up until closing at 7pm before walking the 1.6km back to the bus stop. We had to wait and while for the driver and then we had our delightful one hour journey back into Georgetown. By the time we go back it was almost 9pm so for ease and the need for more lamb shank we went back to where we ate on the first night. It wasn't as amazing but we think it's because it's the end or service and they were quite busy but it still tasted great. A great end to a long colourful day.Read more

  • Day115

    I was feeling quite home sick today knowing that all the family, except my sister, were together meeting my new nephew. With that in mind and still with planning to do we headed to Starbucks to plan how we we're getting to Singapore and our accommodation there. Singapore, we have heard, is very expensive so we wanted to get our accommodation booked as soon as possible to avoid the costs going up too much or cheaper places not being available. After some research we concluded that we will be heading back into a dorm room, our first since Kyoto, Japan and private rooms are just too expensive. Even for a dorm room for 3 nights it is a lot more expensive than we have been paying but we think we have found a nice hostel and are in an 8 bed dorm together. We also had a look into what to do this afternoon and everything is far away and we felt we weren't that bothered about doing any of the things, not enough to travel far for it. To cheer ourselves up we decided to head to the 8th floor of the mall which did have some great views and visit the cinema there. We decided upon The Mummy in the end which was very jumpy but so good! The sound effects and volume in the cinema make it so much more scary. We thoroughly enjoyed it and it was the treat we needed and felt like we were back in the UK. After the cinema we headed to an authentic Italian restaurant for some pizza. It was quite a trek and when we got there we were seated and then told as we were looking through the menu that their oven is broken so they have no pizza. We decided to leave and managed to find another one not too far away from where we are staying. It wasn't amazing but it was still a nice dinner before we headed back to the guest house. Not a very exciting day but something that needed to be done.Read more

  • Day58

    George Town was fantastic! The city is on the island of Penang off Malaysia's north west coast (two hours south of the Thai border). It is considered to be one of South-East Asia's food meccas and its streets are coloured with vibrant street art.

    During our week in George Town we stayed in the Tipsy Tiger party hostel, in a flash apartment with an infinity pool, and in a hostel above a karoke bar (great times). We spent our days hiking and swimming in the national park on Penang island, sneaking into hotel pools when we didn't have our own, walking George Town's  street art trail, watching the All Blacks vs Lions game in an English pub, and visiting a cat cafe! Our meals were exceptional and affordable with our highlights being local chicken rice and cendol (a Malaysian dessert with coconut, green spaghetti noodles, and red beans). Whitney and I now leave our travel companions TJ and Alli to travel to Phuket. Bring on Thailand and its delicious curries!Read more

  • Day6

    1st Aug:
    Northam All Suite Hotel
    Gurney Drive
    Little India
    Hidden Bar

    2nd Aug:
    Cheong Fatty Blue Mansion (didnt go in)
    Chew Jetty Fishing Village
    Penang Time Square
    Komtar (wrong location)
    Queenbay
    Old Town Coffee

    Super Chill Day

  • Day203

    Wir sind nun in Malaysia, oder doch England? Indien? Oder China? In Georgetown treffen die Kulturen aufeinander und man kann im Umkreis von nur wenigen Blocks von den Hochhäusern Downtowns, an alten Chinesischen Häusern, durch das Gewühl der Händler in little India zu britischen Kolonialgebäuden (u.a. ein Fort) und Clan-Jettys (das sind eigene kleine Siedlungen die auf Stelzen im Meer gebaut wurden) am Ufer laufen. Da Penang am Eingang der Straße von Melakka liegt und im Meeresweg zwischen Ost und West war es früher (bevor Singapur die Rolle übernahm) ein bedeutender Stop für Händler aus aller Welt. Heute ist daraus eine Multikulturelle Stadt entstanden in der alle friedlich miteinander leben und man Kirchen, Moscheen, Synagogen sowie chinesische und buddhistische Tempel nebeneinander findet. Von den vielen Kulturen profitiert natürlich auch das Essen, nicht umsonst wird Penang als eine der besten kulinarischen Städte der Welt gehandelt. Neben dem Essen ist Georgetown auch für Streetart bekannt. 2012 hatte ein litauischer Künstler im Rahmen einer Ausstellung in der gesamten Altstadt verschiedste Kunstwerke geschaffen, welche heute viele Touristen mit einer extra Stadtkarte alle ablaufen - wir auch. Neben Streetart und Essen, waren wir auch mal wieder im Kino, welches Kühlschranktemperatur hatte, sodass wir uns zähneklappernd auf die warme Stadt gefreut hatten. Zudem waren wir auch mal wieder so richtig shoppen, für knapp 70€ gab es einmal alles neu (für uns beide) und die alten Kleider konnten wir direkt zum Recycling abgeben. Ausgerüstet mit unseren neuen Klamotten haben wir uns auch gleich noch ein zweites mal in Kühlschrank, äh Kino gewagt. Am letzten Tag besuchten wir vor der Abfahrt noch den Tropical Spice Garden, das war ein schön angelegter Dschungelgarten mit vielen Pflanzendie und Kräutern. Leider hatten wir etwas Pech und viele Blüten waren schon verblüht. Doch die vielen Informationen haben uns dann trotzdem gereicht.Read more

  • Day29

    We have arrived in Georgetown!!! I have been chomping at the bit to get here .... And it has not disappointed. You know that feeling you get, when you just feel so comfortable, relaxed and excited at the same time... I feel it here. I think my mum gets it in Brighton, I've had it before in Lisbon.
    Anyway, we are staying in an amazing hostel in the old town, right in amongst it. Our room is basic but stylish and the shutters make me feel like I'm in a French colonial villa in the Far East.

    We dropped our bags and headed straight out to mooch around the lanes, with our heads in the sky gawking at the architecture, the street art and the FOOD!

    It's only been 6 hours and I'm already considering a job/flat situation.

    Roll on day two in Georgetown!
    Read more

  • Day28

    Used their equivalent of Boris bikes to get around again today. The Northam Road Protestant Cemetery was created soon after the British East India Company established a settlement in Penang in 1786. Tropical diseases, like malaria, cholera and hepatitis were leading causes of death, with frequent outbreaks of diseases, it is ironic that the island was regarded as a 'change of air' for British civil servants and military personnel based in India. The majority of people buried are aged between 18-30! It closed in the late 19th century and was left untouched although suffered badly from Japanese bombing in WW2. We visited an old bus depot that hasn't been altered much but is now used as an art gallery.Read more

  • Day31

    So by now we had more dirty clothes than clean. And on our mooch yesterday, we spotted a dazzling, all singing and all dancing launderette!!!! Ha! After that was all done.. We got ourselves freshened up and did a walking tour around Georgetown, that incorporated all the street art highlights and some good food too.

    We had a very smiley afternoon of taking photographs and slurping on ice balls!

    When we found the swing street art, I instantly remembered a photo my friend has had taken when she was here... see photo.

    After all the walk in the heat, we decided to go to a bar for a G and T. B@92 is a retro american bar run by a Serbian man and a Thai lady, who rustled us up some wild boar Thai stew with mash.... It. Was. Incredible.

    After our second gin, I was looking up at the buildings and saw two swallows flying in unison, (they seem to everywhere on this trip so far) and they made me think of me and Tam on this adventure... So without any time for thinking, we heading to a tattoo parlour and I had them tattoo'd on my left middle and index fingers. It was agony but totally worth it. Something to remind me of this adventure.

    Another memorable day, one of the best.

    (Mum please don't kill me)
    Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

George Town, Ĝorĝtaŭno, جرج تاون پنانگ, Khiâu-chhṳ-sṳ, גורג טאון, PEN, Georgetown, ジョージタウン, ჯორჯტაუნი, 조지타운, Džordžtaunas, Džordžtauna, Џорџ Таун, ജോർജ്ജ് ടൗൺ, ပီနန်မြို့, जर्ज टाउन, Penang, Джорджтаун, ஜார்ஜ் டவுன், จอร์จทาวน์, جارج ٹاؤن، پینانگ, 乔治市, 喬治市

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