Our Time in Penang

street art

Penang Street Art

Getting there from Ipoh

Ipoh seems to have a few different bus stations and it was a little confusing trying to work out which one the Penang buses left from. There is a new bus station north of town, plus one south of town, and one near the train station. I also found out that the bus company Sri Maju have their own station in town so we decided to go there as it was closer. The taxi driver didn’t think the buses actually left from there and insisted on coming in with me to check that we could actually get the bus (I think he was also hoping for the fare out to the new station) but my research was correct and we got the noon bus to Penang. It took 2.5 hours and cost MYR68 total. From the bus station in Penang the taxi to Georgetown was MYR25.

Accommodation

We stayed at The Small Inn which was a bit of a step down from Ipoh and KL standards but perfectly adequate. We paid MYR78 ($AUD27) for a room with a double bed, a single bed, bathroom, aircon, tv (only the movie channel worked but at east it was English), and wifi. The room was clean and although there was no daily room cleaning each day they gave us three bottles of water, a new bin bag, toilet paper, and, when requested, clean towels.

The Small Inn room

Our room

I did a lot of searching for accommodation in Georgetown and this seems to be a pretty good deal. The location is also good, a few blocks walk to Chulia St in one direction, Armenian St (the arty historic area) in the other, and the shopping centres around Komtar in the other. The owner was very friendly and we paid day by day which was handy when we decided to leave a day early.

The Sights

Kek Lok Si Temple is high up on a hill overlooking the city. We caught taxi there (MYR30) and bus back (MYR4) and had a fun afternoon exploring the temple. There are turtles, wishing trees, an inclined lift ride to the top, a pagoda to climb to the top of and lots of concrete animals. The kids had a great time and Ed fell asleep in the carrier on the walk back down the hill. Catching the bus back to Georgetown worked out well because Ed was able to stay asleep on Dave’s back as Dave stood up on the bus. The bus took about 40mins and was quite an interesting, though certainly not direct, ride.

choosing a wish

Choosing a wish

Edward all templed out on a local Penang bus today.

Snoozing on the bus

Penang Museum was not too interesting for the kids but entry is cheap (MYR1) and we timed our visit with a downpour so it was a good place to escape the rain. The one interactive area was a traditional games corner and Dave and Lil had fun playing checkers there.

Fort Cornwallis is not too far from the museum and a good spot for some exploring. It was very hot when we visited so there was more wilting than running around but again, entry was cheap.

Fort Cornwallis

Fort Cornwallis entry

We visited the Clan Jetties on our last day. Ed was in a bit of a mood and Lil spent the whole time asking for ice-cream so it wasn’t the most pleasant excursion. It must be a strange place to live with tourists walking past all the time peering into your house.

Chew Jetty

Chew Jetty

Vaccinations

We got our second Japanese Encephalitis shots in Penang at Gleneagles Private Hospital. It cost a bit more than in KL and was a lot more involved, but still cheaper than Australia. The kids had to be seen by a pediatrician who did a thorough examination (ears, throat chest, history from birth) before giving them the shot. Dave and I got our shots in accident and emergency!

Eating!

For breakfast most days we went to a corner roti canai man and ate delicious fresh roti with hot coffee. Yum and cheap at only MYR6 for four roti and two coffees.

Roti canai breakfast

Breakfast time

Our favourite dinner venue was Teksen Restaurant which was popular with locals and tourists and always very busy. Lil liked the fried chicken pieces (no sauce) and Ed liked the plain rice. Dave and I tried different things each time and they were all good. Here’s a video from Nomadic Samuel of Teksen Restaurant.

Teksen Restaurant

Teksen Restaurant

Another good dinner place was Kapitan Restaurant in Little India. We had delicious tandoori chicken and naan and it was cheap cheap cheap. Here’s another video of the restaurant from Nomadic Samuel. Seems we ate at all the same places!

After visiting the museum we happened to walk by a cafe called 32 Light Street and went inside for a light lunch. There was aircon, free wifi and games to play too! We quite happily settled in here for a while.

Where are we now?

Right now I’m writing this from the restaurant of our resort on Koh Phangan overlooking the pool, where Lil is swimming with Dave, and the sea. There’ll be more posts over the next few days about our journey here from Penang. We’re here until Sunday when Dave’s family arrives on the island and we move to the resort where the wedding will be held. Very excited to see everybody! Until then we plan to swim, rest, eat, repeat.

Good morning!

My View

 

PS. All Penang photos are on flickr.

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