We arrived in Georgetown, Penang at about 3pm so headed straight to our accommodation to check in. We were staying in a private room at the Tido Penang Hostel, which was really nice! After all the places we’d been staying on the islands it was so good to have a clean room (no mozzies or sand anywhere!) and working AC. We’d had a long journey since leaving Koh Tao the previous afternoon, so the first thing we did was jump in the shower & put on some clean clothes. As much as I love the beach and the islands, this was the first time I had felt like a presentable human in what felt like a long time! The room had a kettle so I treated myself to a cup of coffee (I didn’t realise how much I’d missed this) before we headed out to explore Georgetown and get something to eat. We were both in need of something that had salad or vegetables in! It felt like I hadn’t been getting my 5 a day and I was really craving a salad. This may sound weird! We stumbled upon an amazing Mexican restaurant called ‘Holy Guacamole’ where I got a salad (yes!) and a chicken taco. After this I was feeling so good, it felt like it was exactly what I needed.
As we’d decided to come here last minute, I wasn’t really sure what to expect about Georgetown. I’d looked at some pins on Pinterest about things to do here and one of the main things I’d seen is how famous it is for street art. After dinner we just had a wander around the town, and there is so much art to see!
Georgetown is the capital of Penang, and has a mixture of western and asian influences. Whilst some parts of the city are run down storefronts, there are also brand new shopping centres. The city also keeps it’s colonial traditions, with beautifully preserved heritage buildings – Georgetown for this reason is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.
We then walked down to the Clan Jetties, as this is something I’d read about and seen as we came in on the ferry from Butterworth. The jetties are over a hundred years old, and were built by Chinese migrants who came to Georgetown, Penang for the opportunities the city offers. The jetties are small houses build on stilts, not too high up from the water. There are a few different jetties, as those with the same province of origin grouped together to form each jetty. Each wooden path is lined with decorated houses, full of lights and statues. They also had a lot of aloe vera plants, where they stick eggs on the ends of the leaves and draw on them! I tried to google what this was for/if it meant anything, but couldn’t find anything. I was very intrigued!
We were both knackered and in need of a good night sleep so walked across town back to the room. We’d originally planned to only stay one night, but decided to book an extra night so we could see more of the town and have a whole day to explore.
The next morning we woke up and moved to the Old Penang Hotel – Trang Road. We had washing we needed to do but couldn’t find a laundrette anywhere! After walking around with a huge bag of clothes for about an hour we gave up and decided to go to one of the museums. When looking on maps the first thing I noticed about Georgetown was the amount of museums it had – for literally about anything you could think of! James was keen to go to the Ghost Museum, but on our way we passed the Upside Down Museum so headed in to see what it was all about. I wasn’t really sure what exactly it was gonna be – a museum of upside down objects?! Once inside we saw pictures and the whole place is upside down rooms that have staff to take photos of you in! This was even better than I expected. We paid 43 RM to enter – this was 27 for an adult ticket and 16 for a student card. James had laughed at me when I insisted on bringing my student card travelling with me but now he was kicking himself for not bringing his! Trust me, there is always somewhere you’ll benefit from student discount! We took off our shoes and sat in the waiting area provided before being called through to the first room. The lady took my camera and told us where to stand and how to pose for a photo, which she then showed us (upside down) and it looked like we were defying gravity! The same process happened more or less for all the rooms – it was so much fun and definitely worth the money.
After this we headed towards the Camera Museum, as this was something I’d heard was worth a visit. We went upstairs but it was quite pricey so we decided to leave that one and grab a late lunch instead.
After eating (another) salad at an Italian place near the camera museum, we headed back to the hotel to catch up on work before the evening. Luckily we chose the right time to go as we got caught in a rain shower on our walk back! When it rains over here though it’s only ever for a matter of minutes, and usually quite welcome as it cools you down! On our way back we noticed lots of little shrines, painted with gold roofs and pineapples on the side. We also saw this little postbox!
We did some work in the room for a few hours before going for dinner. I’d heard Georgetown had great street food, so we headed towards a market area to try it out. On our way we passed a huge mall, so thought we’d have a look inside. It turned out it was M Mall 020, which is a part of the Penang Times Square urban redevelopment project. Here we found a load of food stalls! There was also a stage with performances going on, so we stayed to watch those and browse all the stalls. We ended up eating Coca Cola fried chicken! This came covered in mayo and cheese – they also asked me if I wanted sugar on top… very strange but really good! All served over a cup of Coca Cola… Healthy!
We had a look round all the floors of the mall, as there were so many! Each floor had different decorations – my favourite was the Japanese themed floor! Our chicken hadn’t really filled us up so we went and got ramen at one of the restaurants before heading back to our room.
Our check out time was 12 so we had a bit of a lie in, packed up our stuff then checked out to get ourselves some lunch. We headed to the Prangin Mall which was a short walk away and ate in the food court, then got a taxi to the ferry port (this cost 15 RM). The ferries go every 20 minutes but luckily we arrived just as one pulled up so went straight on. This also didn’t cost us going back! The ferry took about 20 minutes then we got the free shuttle bus to the station. We were going to get a train from Butterworth to Kuala Lumpur , but there wasn’t one all day, from 7.30am till 4.30 pm! This meant we’d arrive at 8.30/9pm, which seemed quite late. This also would cost us 79 RM each, which was a lot more than we’d been paying for everything else. We got the ferry to the station anyway to see if there was any other trains, as the website only showed commuter trains. When we got to the station we went into the bus terminal, where we managed to buy 2 tickets bus tickets instead for 70 RM, so over half the price! The train was 4 hours long and the bus only 4.5/5, so it wasn’t much longer for so much cheaper. We arrived at 1.45 and the next bus was at 2.30pm, meaning we’d get into Kuala Lumpur for 7.30pm latest. We went to go get some cash out and then got our tickets. Kuala Lumpur, here we come!
Charlotte Rick x
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