We left Kuching, capital of the state of Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo, and took a direct Air Asia flight to Penang, an island off the Malaysian Peninsular located in the Straits of Malacca. At the airport, we took a taxi to Georgetown, the largest city in Penang. We spent three nights in a boutique hotel on the outskirts of Chinatown; the hotel was very high on design but low on functionality, so we were pleased to leave this place with its bedroom containing hanging space for dolls clothes but lots of differing sized tables that were of little use for anything!
We explored Chinatown and Little India on foot, walking many miles, admiring some of the British Colonial architecture and we walked down to the waterfront and explored the Chinese village built on stilts in the sea. It was interesting walking from the Chinese area to the predominately Indian area and noticing the difference in architecture and shops and, of course, restaurants that are generally very good in Georgetown.
Penang is located in the Tropics, so it was very hot and humid. Whilst we respected the historical architecture, we did not particularly like the open drains and frequently spotted sewer rats disappearing into the darkness.
Most of our visit was over a weekend when many of the shops were closed. Saturday, we hired a tuk-tuk and explored the city, whilst Sunday we took the funicular railway and visited Penang Hill; this is a Sunday family outing for the locals, it is a very high with amazing views of the city and beyond. Penang Hill has beautiful walks and for those that do not wish to walk there are buggies to help you get around. We probably walked for an hour or so, checking our limited knowledge of the local flora and realized that we had a lot to learn! We spotted a nice restaurant for a late lunch; after that we got on the funicular railway back to Georgetown. So a nice relaxing day and the next day we headed off to our long-awaited visit to Langkawi, the honeymoon capital of Malaysia (that was not our reason for the visit!).
Watch this space for our next blog about beautiful Langkawi.