We’re nearing the end of all the vacation posts for my epic trip to Asia! I hope you’re enjoying all the pictures :)
This is post 7 in a series on my recent Southeast Asia trip. To read about our last magical day in Thailand, click here.
Some Travel Notes About Penang
– Climate/ Geography: Penang is a state in Malaysia comprised of a little strip of the mainland and an island right off the coast. We were on the island of Penang. The climate was a comfortable 80 degrees while we were there in October, but I believe it gets a little hotter during the summer. After the heat of Singapore, we were quite happy here! Malaysia, like most of the East Asian countries has wet seasons, so check the weather before you go!
– Language: We found a mix of people who spoke English very well (at the hotels, larger stores, tourist destinations), and people who spoke very little English (at the food stands, trishaw drivers). We didn’t find it very difficult at all to get around for the few days we were there.
– Money: The currency of Malaysia is the the ringgit, which is worth about a third of the U.S. dollar. We withdrew ringgit from ATMs at the airport, and used cash for all small purchases like food, souvenirs, transportation, and used credit cards only for the hotel.
– Transportation: There are plenty of taxis in Penang – just ask the hotels where to find them or to call you one. The ones we rode in had no meter, so we negotiated the fare before we got in. We also took a tour of Georgetown by trishaw – see my coming post on Day 2 to see pictures!
We left our hotel in Thailand on Thursday morning and headed to the airport! We arrived around lunchtime, and walked around the airport to find something to eat…here’s what happens when I haven’t eaten American food for two weeks: I saw an ad for a “Pepper Steak” burger and was so intrigued! It was a pretty delicious and unique (for Burger King) burger, and we boarded the plane very satisfied. It was just a short ride over to Penang, and a half hour taxi ride to the E&O Hotel in Georgetown, where Kevin and Joy’s wedding was to take place on Saturday! I fell in love with the beautiful and temperate island at once – the weather was perfect and reminded me of Hawaii. We also found the hotel and its grounds absolutely stunning: The room was quite impressive as well, and it came with the perks of free soft drinks in the fridge, breakfast buffet every morning, and a daily happy hour in the lounge downstairs. Also, how amazing is that clawfoot tub!? After we unpacked our things, we went to the gym and I jumped on the treadmill and got three miles done. After several days of not working out at all, it felt great to get a healthy sweat on! After we returned to the room and showered, we headed downstairs to check out the happy hour. I made myself a gin and tonic, you know, for re-hydration :) We didn’t eat much because Mike wanted to try out some of the local food for dinner. Mike’s mother lived in Malaysia as a child, so she gave us a list of dishes that we HAD to try! After enjoying our drinks and a little snack, we ventured outside to explore Georgetown. After the busy tourist life in Phuket, we loved the laid-back and peaceful culture here. Before we knew it, it was growing dark, so we pulled out our map to find our first stop on our foodie tour! Mike had picked four places he wanted to try, although we only made it to two before we were ready for bed. First stop: dim sum. This place was some of the best dim sum we’ve had, and certainly the cheapest. We shared six dishes of sticky rice, dumplings, short ribs, and turnip cake for less than $7 total. We then walked down the street to try one of Malaysia’s signature dishes: roti canai – a flatbread, similar to naan, served with a curry sauce. It was perfectly flaky and hot – a perfect little treat to end the evening. We headed back to the hotel and watched a little TV before falling asleep. It was such a relaxing and enjoyable day!Have a great weekend friends! Thanks for stopping by :) Last two vacation posts coming next week!