Our next blog post was not supposed to be from Malaysia again; Penang was a quick unplanned stop as it was the easiest way for us to travel up into Thailand. From a quick google image search we were pretty sure there wouldn’t be much to blog about… turns out WE LOVE PENANG. We ended up staying five days, planning Penang into our future lives and coming up with Penang based business plans.
When we arrived in Georgetown we instantly knew we were going to love it, our hostel – which was in an old converted frame workshop – set us up for how unintentionally cool Penang is. Our timing was perfect as we managed to turn up when Georgetown’s four day heritage festival was on, literally around the corner from where we were staying. In the evenings the streets were set up with stalls teaching you how to cook traditional food (we managed a whole meal for free) and some traditional crafts. With our evenings sorted, we spent our days exploring the streets, stumbling upon sick coffee shops, inspiring street art and eating some really good food. It became apparent that hiring a bike out was the thing to do, so we made a pact to hire the most garish bike we could find. We ended up with a fluorescent pink and yellow tandem bike, fully equipped with basket and back rests… lets just say we turned up to church in style.
Without a doubt Penang has been our favourite city, it’s so obliviously cool with it’s perfect mixture of scabby walls, street art and vibrant culture.
Penang we will be back.
A flying visit to Singapore (actually slightly longer than planned as Roseanna was sickie on the plane) and a luxury coach ride later we found ourselves in Kuala Lumpur.
Kuala Lumpur – We decided to treat ourselves with a shopping trip for new shorts, sunnies and shampoo. It was such a bad idea as we lusted after all the clothes and got sad about having to be practical. We rewarded our self-control with an ice-cream. We also made friends with a small child with an amazing afro, she came and climbed on our bed, commandeered our phones for selfies and games and showed us her newly painted nails – she was about 3.
Tamen Nagara – Is the oldest rainforest in the world, we went there. We took a 3 hour boat ride on a seriously low level river and booked into our room equipped with en-suite (pretty much a shower which hung over a hole, which was the toilet). Only at 5am, with a prayer call ringing in our ears, did we realise we were situated next to a mosque that had a megaphone pointing directly into our window. We spent our day walking through the rainforest, walking the rope bridges through the canopies and basically walking – this would have been fine if the walking was flat but it wasn’t. I’m sure neither of us have ever climbed and descended that many steps in our lives – the calves felt it for a good few days after. A quick dip in the river and dinner on a floating restaurant with our new friend who looked not too dissimilar to Gwyneth Paltrow.
Perhentian Islands – Our minibus ride was potentially the worst journey of the whole trip so far. Emma was sick in an orange bin 5 minutes in and our bums barely touched the seat as we were bounced around in the back – this was made up for by the speedboat ride to the island. The island was basically paradise though our accommodation was basic (but seriously cool), with rat poo in the bathroom, humungous geckos and various other wildlife. We swam, kayaked, Emma scuba’d and we had many a milkshake – what more could you want from island life?
We have a bit more travelling and a few more days in Malaysia before we cross the border into Thailand to continue our island hopping.