Malaysia & Penang
…two places that had been on our radar since before we started the trip. Due to some unexpected changes of plans we had just 10 days to spend in both of them, so we had to make it count!
We started in Georgetown, Penang and after reading that it was well renowned to be a “Foodies Paradise”, going there was something we were both very excited about. It’s no secret that we love our food and a big part of our trip has been experiencing local dishes (with some adverse affects at times) so the prospect of spending 4 days in a food coma was very appealing, as it would to most people! However we explored a lot and saw some sites as well, we had to burn off the additional calories after all!
One thing we did not expect from Penang was the street art everywhere; everything we had read about the place mainly spoke of the food. Walking around and discovering the various different street art (including some you could interact with) was great fun.
Another big difference from the hustling and bustling of Indonesia that we had just come from was how quiet the streets were! It was welcomed with open arms. No more did we have to run for our lives, or have to double back around a corner with an unexpected scooter forcing us off a footpath. We had heard that Penang was considered “busy”…clearly they had never been to Jakarta. Don’t get us wrong, we still had to look both ways when crossing the road of course, but we could for example…have a conversation when walking along the footpath, something we hadn’t been able to do for almost a month!
Whilst here we visited some museums, local famous monuments including a private mansion which was open to the public; we also went to a ‘cat cafe’ for the first time…it made us miss our own cat a lot (Tony, if you’re reading this, don’t worry…we’re coming back for you).
The visit was short and sweet but fantastic all the same. The food was out of this world. Walking along and finding a small restaurant tucked away in the middle of nothing serving up incredible noodles and local dishes, or having Indian for breakfast from a 24hr place over the road… yes we did this! We didn’t have a single bad meal. It’s certainly a special place and one we definitely want to go back to.
Onto Malaysia…more specifically, Kuala Lumpur. As we did not have longer to spend here, we decided to stay in town and to spend our time here on foot, exploring everything we could. It’s hard to say just how much we walked (my Fitbit is broken, annoyingly) but rest assured it was a lot.
Kuala Lumpur is pretty city; considerably more developed than any other place we had been to in the previous month. It is a city full of history the museums, monuments and mosques are there to tell the story.
Whilst here we treated ourselves to some nice meals out (we were still in a foodie mood from Penang). We had great fun exploring the botanical gardens, central market & chinatown. The people we encountered were friendly and coupled with the incredible weather we thoroughly enjoyed our time here.
In summary, although our visits to Malaysia & Penang were short it was a nice break from the crazy that was Indonesia. We look forward to going back in the future and exploring other parts of both places.