Published: December 1st 2009November 30th 2009
After the beautiful underwater worlds of Ko Tao, I took a boat back to the mainland and a night train to Malaysia; a new country for me to visit!
The border crossing went pretty smooth, and around 13h, I arrived in Butterworth, where I would take the ferry to Georgetown, Penang. Penang is an island that also has a bridge connecting it to the mainland. The ferry took about 15-20 minutes, and from there I took a taxi to the hotel/guesthouse I was planning to stay.
I had found a nice old restored mansion in my guidebook (good old Lonely Planet) that was serving as a hotel/guesthouse now. It just had a new lick of paint and looks great (See picture). The rooms were nice, too. Not too fancy, but all I needed.
Georgetown is a very pleasant city and has a lot of old buildings and some nice narrow lanes with old shop houses. There's also a lot of architecture remembering of the days of British rule. Malaysia is a big melting pot of cultures, Malay, Indian, Chinese, it's all there, along with many others as well.
The next day, I walked around town, but
found that the old British fort was closed (it was Sunday), so I had to skip that. I walked around town a little and found my way to an old Chinese enclave, with a stunning temple in the middle. The temple had some excellent details and it was nice walking around.
After that, it was time for lunch and I headed a few kilometers out of town by taxi to one of the local highlights: Kek Lok Si temple, a Chinese temple on the slopes of Penang hill. Very touristy, but I had some nice views and the temple complex was huge. It has been donated by rich Chinese people from Penang and they are still expanding it.
After the Chinese temple, I took a cable car up Penang hill, which was very similar to the cable car in Hong Kong to Victoria Peak, only slower and longer... But the view was great up there. I stayed until after sunset.
This was pretty much it for Penang's highlights. I hung around town a little the next morning, before I had a flight to Kuching in the evening: my Borneo adventure could begin!
There are more photos below