Penang is famous for its food, often cited as the food capital of South-East Asia. and I couldn’t agree more. The cultural hub and food capital of Penang Island itself is Georgetown, a former British outpost.
In Georgetown I stayed at House of Journey, a nice enough place but a bit chaotic and run by an overenthusiastic, loud and inescapable American manager. As I walked up to the hostel, three guests at the entry immediately invited me out for beers with them, one German (Lars) and two Finns. There’s a place listed on maps.me as ‘cheapest booze in Penang’, and it really is cheap and a good atmosphere, even though its sitting on the side of the road, and thats where we spent our night.
The next day Lars and I went out for a walk to get some lunch, and I also wanted to get a SIM card and check out some street art. We found a really delicious Char Kway Teow and then went to the mall, where we stumbled across a gaming convention, which neither of us understood.
The following day we went for lunch and a walk around town again, this time with two Norwegian girls, Jin and Synne. I had done some research of places I wanted to see, but they were either very uninspiring or I couldn’t find them.
In the morning I got talking to some others in the hostel who were going up Penang Hill, which I was also planning to do. The four of us tried to get the bus out there, but halfway we got lost and called a Grab car instead.
When we started the hike, it wasn’t long before we were surrounded by monkeys on the trail. It was a bit of a slog getting up the hill in the humidity, and when we finally reached the top we were rewarded with clouds blocking the view in every direction. Luckily, after about 30 minutes the skies cleared enough to see some of Penang.
Going down the mountain by the alpine railway, we headed for the Buddhist Temple about 30 minutes walk away. On the way we found a famous Penang Laksa shop. It was cheap and didn’t look like much, but it was really tasty. The rain started to come down really heavy at the temple so we ended up getting a Grab back to the hostel.
I stayed in Penang for two more nights but due to the weather I didn’t do much sightseeing, plenty of eating instead though.