I didn’t have much time in the country so I had to decide whether I wanted to visit Penang or Langkawi. I did some research and made up my mind: I’m going to Penang! I wanted to see cultural sites and try the most delicious street food cuisines in a country so it was an easy choice.
I decided to start my trip in the historical Georgetown. I stayed in an Indian area called Little India, full of small bars offering amazing street food. I usually don’t book rooms in advance but this time I had to do it for my safety. I made a booking online because I was arriving late and didn’t want to find myself without a place to stay. If you’re looking for a platform where you can find cheap hotels check out Traveloka. It’s a great resource for finding hotels in Penang and one of the leading flight booking websites in Southeast Asia.
On my first day I wandered around the city on foot. My goal was to see as many murals as possible. George Town is known for its stunning street art and I couldn’t wait to discover it. It’s quite easy to get around the town. I would recommend starting your tour in a tourism information centre where you can get a free map and plan out your day. Here are some of my favourite paintings:
Two happy children riding an actual bike
Walking around the city and trying to find the street art in Georgetown is a great free activity that can show you a different kind of art.
On my second day in Penang I discovered the sights in the historic core of Georgetown. I started my city tour on Chulia street where my hotel was located. I visited churches, temples and official buildings. My favourite monument was The Town Hall – a beautiful Edwardian-style building built in 1903.
Did you get hungry yet? Don’t worry, you are in the right place. Georgetown is Malaysia’s food capital. Just look around and find some food stalls. Local men will serve you various soups, curries and noodles. Trust me, you won’t get sick! The food is clean and even the ice is fine to consume. Know that some vendors may not sell alcohol because they are Muslim and it’s against their religion to do so. Even though I’m vegan I got to find some delicious Malaysian and Indian meals.
On my third day I wanted to find an adventure. Hotel’s receptionist recommended taking a local bus and visiting Monkey Beach. I put my swimsuit on, grabbed a sunscreen, packed some snacks and a bottle of water and rushed to a bus stop. The trip was fairly easy. It took me about 50 minutes to get to the park entrance. I registered and went into the jungle. The track goes past many delightful little beaches, any of which would be worthy of a destination in their own right. I spotted about 10 monkeys and one of them tried to steal my food, so be careful and don’t feed these cute creatures. The Monkey Beach scenery is breathtaking. Be conscious of the humidity and take a couple of bottles of water with you. You can easily spend all day on the beach. There are a few small kiosk where you can buy something to eat.
I had a great time in Penang. I’m glad I got to see so much but most importantly meet some great people. The locals freely talked with me about their country, shared personal stories and it opened up my eyes to important matters. If you’d like to know what it is like to live in Malaysia read my post here.
Have a great day!