„Georgetown, the capital city of the Malaysian island of Penang, a romantic little town inspired by various cultures, colorful, beautiful with some interesting street art to watch out for.” some travel guide wrote.
“What a lie!” We thought.
Georgetown is the capital city of the Malaysian island of Penang. It’s colorful and multicultural and if you plan on binge eating that’s the place to go.
“But is it romantic and beautiful?” I was questioning when I stepped into some plastic garbage on the streets while seven people tried to hustle me into their restaurant.
I got there by plane from Langkawi island, that cost me no more than 12€ (ferry would have been 70 MYR, which is a little bit more than 15€). Since I am motionsick and boats bring my stomach as much pleasure as ten-day old mayonnaise, I decided not to go through that kind of struggle.
A plane it would be.
Once I arrived at the airport in Penang I got a taxi to Georgetown, where I was to meet some friends I’ve met in Langkawi the week before.
I arrived at the 80s Guesthouse, which is a quite clean and nice hostel located on “Love Lane”, where all the bars are at.
When I entered my room, I realized that my bed was a queen size bunk bed.
“Shit I booked the damn couple’s dorm,” I wrote David, and secretly cursed that one couple below me. Turns out they were friends of him and we ended up having a great time all together.
Highly motivated to curse less, we spent the following day hiking hungover together and my appropriate language was gone within seconds.
I grabbed some bananas and with the advice to hide them from the monkeys we walked inside the jungle – Ready to sweat to death. I have seriously never been covered in so much sweat before and the guys were fast! Plus the stairs were high and if you think I am complaining too much right now, picture yourself in a sauna and imagine starting a CrossFit workout in there.
We chose to hike to Turtle Beach, where you can visit a turtle Conservation project and see freshly hatched baby turtles.
Though exhausting, the trail was beautiful and in the end I was happy we did it.
There’s another trail leading to Monkey beach and as the name indicates there are plenty of cheeky monkeys and plenty of even dumber tourists who feed them energy drinks and chips. Well I could skip that one. And I’ve already walked for ages – no need to repeat that, haha.
I don’t know. I honestly don’t know.
I’m more of a beach girl, and though I’ve lived in São Paulo for 2,5 years, I am not that much into cities – especially the dirty ones. And here we go – Georgetown is a trashy dirty-air place, where flocks of Chinese people have built Chinese restaurants anywhere, scooters and cars clock the streets, ruin the air and street art seems to consist of two artists only.
To be fair- the little streetart I’ve seen is amazing and the Chinese buffets are delicious. But still … I don’t know – it wasn’t for me.
If you adore dirty cities and are into hustlers waving the restaurant menues in your face, Georgetown is the place to be. Have I mentioned yet that it is burning hot in Georgetown and that there’s basically no wind … well here you go!
There’s a place called “Little India”, which is pretty amazing. You can have amazing Indian streetfood accompanied by Bollywood music and some vegetarian Samosas to die for.
I’d recommend to download the App “Happy Cow”, where all vegetarian places are listed and you can find healthy and delicious food anywhere in the world
Another spot with visiting was Kek Lok Si temple. You can order a Grab to get there, which takes around 30 minutes from Georgetown. It’s quite interesting to see once and then never go back up there again.
In the evening we made our way to Perenthian islands, but didn’t know yet, that we wouldn’t make it there.
The island (Penang), where Georgetown is on, is connected to the mainland by a highway. You can either take this one or go by ferry (it doesn’t cost anything).
Well at least if you leave on time and don’t miss the ferry, hahaha. Apparently there as a suicide on the bridge causing a traffic jam, but with it without it we would have been too late to get our bus. Our Grab driver (Grab is the Uber of Asia) told us there was no chance we would get there in time, but was really helpful in translating our misery to us.
When we missed the ferry and then the bus to Perenthian islands, he offered us to sleep at his place and said he would take us to the bus station early in the morning the following day.
“I only have one room, okay?” He asked.
“Sure thank you so much,” we answered not realizing we would sleep with him on the floor without a mattrace. It was the worst sleep of my life, but he was so sweet and welcoming that we told him we had a great sleep 😬.
People in Malaysia are so friendly. Especially the ones that have the least are often the ones that give the most. We should take that as an example.
He brought us to the Bus Terminal, we waved him goodbye – grateful and with a hurting back- and decided to head to the Cameron Highlands to check out some tea plantations and enjoy a colder breeze.
We did not know yet, that our next room would be as big as a matchbox and the beds just slightly more comfortable than the floor we’ve (kind of) slept the night before.
But more on that on my next article 🙂