I never really google any info when I travelled at the beginning of this trip. I know that I should. Penang was one of the cities that I never really know about its background or what should I see there. I was too busy finding cute hostel (which I had) in Georgetown. I also tried so hard to find hosts there so that I could find someone who knows the city well. All I knew that it was one of the UNESCO Heritage cities in Malaysia beside Malacca, and also my best friend, Santi was happy when she went there and super recommended it. So therefore I amwiriting my favorite things in Georgeotn as Penang guide for you.
My first impression of Penang when I arrived at their bus station is that the city is modern with all those tall buildings. But when my bus turns to the other part, I was quite shocked to see the difference. The area that I wanted to see, Georgetown, was indeed not like I expected. It was full of Chinese old lush houses and some nice polished European architecture building. If I though that Malacca was so interesting, well.. Georgetown was charming in almost the same way.
I had so much fun of walking down the street and get lost with the wrong bus number. I wasn’t panicked at all. Most of the time I got excited with the nice surprise on the corner of the road. They have so many different and interesting arts graffiti on the walls. They even put 3D effects by using the real object glued to the wall. There are so many tourists crowded in one wall just to take pictures with the graffiti. Graffiti art has become one of signature for Georgetown. I was so impressed! It’s like finding another treasure hunt again.
In the afternoon I strolled by the night market in the street of Lebuh Armenian. It was quite interesting place as the old people even bring drums and sing on the corner of the street. There is also movie corner where some youngster promotes Georgetown movies, and many stalls that sell cute accessories. Get ready to be temped to buy something here!
Clan Jetties is another site that was interesting to visit. They called it “Jetty” as a floating settlement on the side of the shore with woods and high stalls, which was inheritance generation by generation. They build their life among the small halls of wooden road and live on top of the sea. They even build small gardens as if they are living by the land. Amazing isn’t it when you see there are people who can live like this in a quite modern country? Later I found similar place with these kind of building structure in Koh Chang, Thailand. Still it was kind of like in different world for me.
There are so many historical places to see in Penang some of them are by walking distance. Some temples, amazing fort, and Museum Baba Nyonya Heritage, made it feels like i am in China with little bit of Europe touch. Once again i was blown away with the old city ambience.
Tips for traveling here:
- I took the bus from Kuala Lumpur to Penang for 7-9 hours. No need to book. They have it every hour in Puduraya Station. They will stop you at the bus station of Penang. Just take the inner bus Rapid Penang to Weld Quay Station, Georgetown. Weld Quay is the main bus station near the beach of Georgetown. All busses will start and stop there.
- Women are absolutely safe to travel alone here. Stay alert and don’t forget to smile.
- As UNESCO Heritage site and touristy spot, you can find free map and guidance from your hostels/hotels. Even the tourist information near the Fort Cornwallis has been very helpful for any info you need around traveling in Malaysia
- I always prefer walking anywhere I go, because I can see many things slowly and able to look at the map easily. If I get tired, I just took a bus to go back to the Weld Quay Bus Station. But some travellers prefer to use bike, as it is easy to get around.
- Exchange your money in Little India area. Good rates.
- Cheap food is in the food court around the Clan Jetties. My tip: always find a restaurant with many local people in it. That means it’s good!
© 2017 Writing & Images copyright of Marina Utami.