The last time I travelled to Penang, I was still single and I went with a big group of friends and my girlfriend (now wife). It was a pleasant trip with memories of nice food and cheap water-sports. Too bad I do not have a camera back then and our phones are still the old Nokia 3210.
Thankful for a loving wife who booked a surprised trip to celebrate my birthday, we geared up with our cameras and also boosted with a good exchange rate of S$1=M$2.50, we set off for Penang Island George Town!
Took a flight which is only an hour’s journey and from the airport we took a direct bus to the town area. One thing I like about travelling with Kless is her willingness to take the public transport with me and don’t mind the extra walking. She is definitely the best travelling companion.
Only M$5.40 for 2 of us. It’s about 45mins from airport to town.
Penang is separated into two parts – Penang Island where the seat of government is and the territory on the mainland called Seberang Perai. Of course, the main tourism attractions are on Penang Island George Town, the capital. George Town is a fascinating fusion of the East and the West. It embraces the modernity while retained the traditions and old world charm. George Town was also accorded a listing as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.
A few other friends commented that George Town was not as interesting as they thought. IMHO, I think it may be due to two reasons, firstly, they stayed throughout at Batu Ferringhi which is famous for its beautiful beaches but this place is quite far from the town central and thus not much other activities besides the water-sports and beaches. It would be a great vacation place to just rest and relax, but it can be slightly boring if you were to stay there for more than 3D2N. Secondly, for those who don’t really enjoy food or photography, then Penang is also not a good choice for you. It would just be another visit to Malaysia with nothing special. But for Kless and I, we loved the food, the cafes, the street art, and thus, we really enjoyed the trip and plan to re-visit again in the near future.
What to do in Penang?
1. Visit the numerous Cafes around the place. Almost every street has one or more unique vintage cafe for you to sit in and enjoy a nice cup of coffee and cakes.
2. Try the various street food vendors. Look beyond the hygiene factor (actually it is not that bad as many thought) and the food is simply heavenly. Penang is famed for its food even among Malaysians.
3. Visit the different heritage museums or buildings. Penang was voted as one of the top 5 cities to retire in the world. This is mainly because of the unique fusion of culture, race and language.
4. The famous street arts. This is in my opinion one of the main reasons to visit Penang asap, because probably in a few years time, the famous street arts may not be around anymore. Due to the harsh weather and lack of maintenance, the art drawings are already in bad condition. Some of it has already been washed away faded off.
5. Take loads of selfie shots. This is purely optional! =)
Penang is a place where we found time for one another, a place for couple time, a place with good memories (this time with photos).