Published: January 3rd 2011December 11th 2010
After 14 hours travelling via two car ferries. 3 mini buses, a taxi and a lot of waiting around we finally arrived at Georgetown in Penang. We checked into the 1926 heritage hotel which was the most expensive accommodation we had stayed in to date. After barely eating a thing all day we de decided to try and find something to eat however as it was now close to 10.30pm the places were very limited. Our friendly taxi driver took us to a local outdoor food court where we enjoyed a delicious steak, kebabs and slightly karaoke sounding entertainment. After we decided to head for a few drinks and make the most of our two nights here. We went to an an an English bar called Soho first and then found a complex which contained several bars and clubs inside. We settled on one playing some trance music. After about 6 requests from Jo for the DJ to play a Swedish house mafia song, he finally gave in, then we headed home at 3am.
The next morning feeling slightly hungover we decided to move to a guest house closer to the centre and for a third of the price. If
you're ever in Penang and need somewhere cheap to stay, old town guest house is spot on!
We got settled then went to see what Georgetown had to offer. We were soon enticed into a cycle tour of the sights by a little old man. We actually felt a bit cruel making him cycle us round the city when he looked like he was on his last legs (he resembled a Malay version of Albert Steptoe!). Although we were giving him £5 for the hour, which is a pretty good wage in Penang. We past the tall White clock tower before disembarking at Fort Cornwallis, which was built in the 1800s and used as a military base for the British army in WW1.
After wandering round and having our photo taken by a random Asian man (not sure if he thought we were celebrities) lol, we got back on the cyclo and continued our tour of the city. Georgetown is a quant little town with no skyscrapers or tall buildings due to it being an UNESCO world heritage site. The buildings are very similar to those in Hoi An, very old and French looking with lots of quirky
little and beautifull carved building. bypassed past various2 boats 2 buss 17 hours after our departure from koh phagnan we arrived at the ferry port in koh phi phi and were greeted by a member of staff from a hotel we had pre booked at the Krabi harbour. We had been promised a "free taxi" to our resort, which actually just turned out to be a man with a frilly for our bags! When we discovered it was only in fact a 10 minute walk through the centre we could have a good laugh about the situation. We checked in to our little beach hut and then headed out for some lunch and to check out what was to be our new home for the next 3 nights.
After a dodgy uncooked Chicken kebab skewer an a wander around the little cafes and boutiques we headed to the beautiful beach. We lounged around and had a few standard games of bat and ball then headed into the shallow waters for some investigation. The tide was out which meant you could walk out for 200 meters before the sea even reached your knees. We paddled around the Manu rock pools
where we found lots of colourful and camera shy fishes, crabs and even a little sea snake. Then we left our aquatic friends behind and went to freshen up before our night out.
We headed out in search of somewhere to eat and were lured into an Irish bar by the promise of a free BBQ and 3 for 1 buckets. After polishing g off a load of chicken skewers, which were actually cooked this time we spotted our friends from koh Tao walking past and joined up with them for the rest of the night. After a few jugs of vodka redbull in another bar we headed to the black moon party on the beach. We pArtied till the early hours with our " vetches", some newly found friends and a Chilean guy we had met also in koh Tao, who had already managed to get a job dancing at the beach bar. We finished the night off with the best pizza ever ( mind you everything tastes good when your drunk) and stumbled the 10 meter to our shack.
The next day we checked in to a new shack about 50 meters from our old one,
but half the price, to save a bit of money. At first glance it appeared similar to our precious lodgings however we soon discovered it was falling apart and on top of a red ants nest, which Jay later stood in. Even though it was probably the worst room we had stayed in it was all worth it as it meant we could go shopping with the money we had saved. We also got a free double hammock and a playful kitten thrown in.
After booking our island hopping trip for the next day we retired to bed early, armed with our earplugs to drown out the next beach party that was happening 50 meters way.
We checked into a new hotel, before departing on our day trip around the neighbouring islands.
After a few overcast days we were pleasantly surprised to discover the sun shining brightly and blue skys ahead, as we boarded our boat and set sail. Our first stop was a picturesque little cove where we all had a go at jumping off the top deck into the crystal clear water below. Jay even had a go from jumping off the very top of
the boat after being challenged by another English lad. After a quick swim we headed to the famous Maya Bay where the film The Beach had been made. We snorkels to another entrance on the opposite side and saw lots of colourful fish and coral. We then walked through the forest to discover the beautiful beach. (just like Leonardo DiCaprio) The limestone craggs, fine White sand and perfectly clear sea was pure paradise. Just like in the movie apart from the hundreds of tourists and a few tour boats.
Our next stop was monkey bay, where we kayaked from our boat to the shore. A pretty little beach with only one monkey entertaining some tourists by drinking out of a coke can he had stolen from an unguarded bag. This one seemed much friendlier than the monkeys at Halong bay.
It is also a very multicultural place and there are many temples, mosques, Churches and other impressive buildings. One of the temples was rammed with locals who were burning sticks and waving them at statues. We wondered whether all this action was happening because it was Sunday or because it was just a very popular temple. You could
even buy caged birds to release outside for good luck. Once our hour was up, we had a look in some shops and got some fish & chips at a plush hotel.
We got back to the hostel and decided to check our flight for the following day. Good job we did as it had changed from 6:30pm to 9:30am! That night we had some Mee Goreng from a hawker stall (chicken, egg, veg and noodles) and had an early night. The next morning after an argument with a few taxi drivers we made to the airport with just minutes to spare and boarded our plane to Kuching.
There are more photos below