Blogs from George Town, Penang, Malaysia, Asia

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Asia » Malaysia » Penang » George Town April 14th 2014

7th April Penang, Malaysia Penang is an island state in Malaysia connected to the mainland by the Penang Bridge (the third longest suspension bridge). We berthed in its capital Georgetown for a short visit, arriving at 8.00am with Sailaway at 4.30pm The place is another UNESCO world heritage site which has managed to retain a considerable amount of natural environment. Our island tour took us first to a typical Malay village or Kampungs, which are built on stilts for ventilation. They are surrounded by fruit trees & plants in compounds which they sell on roadside stalls. We stopped on the roadside by clove trees, scents of clove and nutmeg were in the air at local fruit & spice stalls. Another shopping opportunity!! The next port of call was a Butterfly Farm. Our tour was going clockwise ... read more
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Asia » Malaysia » Penang » George Town March 23rd 2014

HE SAID... We arrived in George Town at 12.30pm. The drive from Kuala Kangsar was reasonably smooth, although typing in the minibus proved a little difficult, as the suspension was over-compensating for the road. It was a surreal experience driving over the long bridge linking mainland Malaysia with the island of Penang. We navigated the complex streets of outer George Town until we finally arrived at the Banana Boutique Hotel in Chulia Street. We checked in, unpacked and found my ring (it was in my pocket all along). We rang the home-stay and let them know it had turned up. I felt terrible, because they had been searching for the last few hours since we left. We headed straight out to lunch at Hameediyah Tandoori House, which was only one street over from our hotel. When ... read more
fish head curry
fish head curry
cendol stall

Asia » Malaysia » Penang » George Town March 13th 2014

I attract idiots. There's no question about it now. I was pretty sure this was the case back in the UK but, even though still not far into it, this trip has confirmed it beyond doubt. Take yesterday for example, fate conspired to put not one but two such characters into my life and that can’t be a coincidence. One was a Malaysian Walter Mitty who we got behind in a supermarket queue when we were buying bananas and yoghurt for our breakfast (I know…….but remember, this is the ACDC World Tour and that's just the way we roll ;-). The young guy in front of us seemed normal enough at first but, by the time we'd bagged up and paid, let's just say we didn't hang around to chat to him anymore. He wasn't a ... read more
On The Beach Penang Style
Comfort And Quality In Coach Class
Fort Cornwallis

Asia » Malaysia » Penang » George Town March 3rd 2014

Wednesday February 26th So most part of the day was travelling to Cameron Highlands. The bus driver was horrendous. A bit like a boy racer, just couldn’t get there fast enough. Overtaking all the time, on blind bends and hills and then having to brake suddenly as he was going too fast. Maryanne was going to say something when we stop, but we didn’t stop in the three hours it took us. I think he must’ve calmed down after a while as all three of us slept on the way, and the driver did drop us all off individually at our hotels so that’s good. This was the first time I had arrived at a hostel/hotel without a reservation. Basically, not known where I was sleeping that night. I arranged to get dropped off at the ... read more
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Asia » Malaysia » Penang » George Town February 24th 2014

I thought I had posted the following update a couple of weeks ago but have just realised it is still sat here. ooopps. Penang has got to be one of the best places in the whole of Asia for food. There are large communities of Indians and Chinese along with the local Malays, mainly due to the days of British rule when they moved people about the various colony's to suit themselves. They all seem to get on well together and it makes for great food halls. While I was feeling a little bit adventurous I tried some clay pot frog with basil.....it was OK but a little froggy for me. So had a great week seeing the sights but mainly eating. When I left for the airport my taxi driver on finding out I had ... read more
Garland maker
Rickshaw taxi rank
Penang fish market

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Asia » Malaysia » Penang » George Town February 21st 2014

I was in Penang when l was attacked by a rat. It was a few years ago, in the Year of the Rat, and l was hoping it was a lucky sign. I didn't manage to win the lottery but l did survive the rat bite which most people would think is pretty lucky in itself. l say attacked because l honestly don't know what l did to provoke it. I was in Penang's main town of Georgetown, a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of it's remarkable colonial architecture & unique townscape. I have always liked Penang, even after the rat bite, it has a great atmosphere, a comfortable fusion of Chinese, British & Malaysian cultures. It really is like nowhere else, it's uniquely charming, cultured & relaxed. And if for no other reason, it is ... read more
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Asia » Malaysia » Penang » George Town January 9th 2014

The heavens had decided to REALLY open somewhere over the ocean between Langkawi and Penang. Luckily it's a mere 35 minute flight so the turbulence didn't last too long. At first glance the island of Penang already appeared much more built up than Langkawi. The schmick white taxis (called 'limos' on Penang) were also a clear sign that this island is a lot more commercial (or as the signs would say "a world city"). For 45RM / $15.60AUD we made our way to the Sunway Hotel in Georgetown by limo. The Sunway Hotel is about a 10 minute walk from the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage site in Georgetown. It was a welcome sight to arrive at such a modern and stylish hotel after our dated accommodation back in Langkawi. The Executive Level Lounge on ... read more
Tree Monkey Restaurant
Dusky Monkeys
Penang Butterfly Farm

Asia » Malaysia » Penang » George Town January 2nd 2014

It was a hot day. The ice-cream vendor outside the Central Market in Kuala Lumpur was ringing her bell invitingly; I stopped to look. On offer was durian ice-cream. Now, I’ve tried durian in various ways from different vendors over the years, and I’ve never met a durian I liked. It’s not so much the smell, which is pretty aggressive – think over-ripe pineapple left to rot in the sun with an overlay of dog urine. For me it’s the texture, slimy and somehow unnatural, plus the fact your burps will taste like durian for hours after. But I’d never tried durian ice-cream; maybe this would be magic. The vendor saw my hesitation and offered me a sample. And – nope, I still don’t like durian, even in sweetened, frozen form. The vendor still made out ... read more
ice cream sellers
fruit3
Jalan Alor early

Asia » Malaysia » Penang » George Town December 28th 2013

Walking around the old city of George Town, Penang, is a fun exercise. One of the things guaranteed to bring a smile to your face – unless you’re truly a grumpy, old curmudgeon – is the street art. On July 7, 2008, George Town was officially named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unique architecture and cultural heritage. As such, the historic core of the city has remained. Renovation of old buildings is encouraged, and there are financial incentives for building owners to refurbish the outside of their structures to historic accuracy. High rises and modern shopping malls are relegated to the outskirts. In 2012 the Penang Municipal Council made the bold move of commissioning a Lithuanian artist named Ernest Zacharevic to create a series of murals around the city. Collectively these are called “Mirrors ... read more
boy on chair
Church Street
basketball

Asia » Malaysia » Penang » George Town October 27th 2013

After the crazy day careering around Phi Phi, a sense of calm prevailed on our one free day this week. Sally and I decided to spend it on Krabi's Ao Nang beach, blissfully peaceful and empty with everyone else presumably on their speedboats. The heavens opened in time for dinner (as usual) so the whole group forsook Thai cuisine and had dinner in the Carnivore restaurant next to the hotel - guess what they specialise in! Then on Sunday we headed off for the border, and our next destination, Penang in Malaysia. A ten hour drive by minibus, which was much more comfortable than we expected. Our last Thai meal that lunchtime, in a simple roadside cafe was, homestay banquet aside, easily the best. In fact we were a bit disappointed with food in Thailand, too ... read more




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