My next destination was the lovely island of Penang (a.k.a. Pulau Pinang) a five hour bus ride northwest of Kuala Lumpur. There are two popular areas on the island. The first is George Town where all of the funky street art, good restaurants, and fun nightlife are located. The second area is Batu Feringghi which has the nicest beach area and a more laid back vibe. The island is surprisingly big, expect a 25 minute cab ride between George Town and Batu Ferringghi, so pick the area for your accommodation carefully. I liked staying in George Town myself.
Some photos of the streets in George Town:
My first dinner was at a restaurant called Inch in George Town. I had a drink with rooibos infused vermouth, gin, vanilla syrup, and a grapefruit twist. I then had some tasty chicken wings marinated in fish sauce, garlic, coriander roots, served with a sweet chili sauce. My main (pictured below) was a pasta dish with shredded roasted duck and a tangy salted Thai fish in olive oil:
George Town has a great street art scene. You will run into a ton of murals all around the area and they also feature wire wall sculptures (which unfortunately do not photograph well):
The following morning I explored the town on foot for a little bit until the unbearable heat and humidity forced me inside. I watched a lot of movies while in Penang to escape the mid-day heat:
For lunch I went to a popular restaurant called the Book Sandwich Café, which as the name suggests makes great sandwiches. I went with the tempura shrimp sandwich:
At night I went to the magnificent China House for dinner and to catch a band. The place is terrific, it houses art space, a number of patios, restaurants and bars.
After catching the band I took a few more shots along the street and at an interesting little bar. That is where I met Daniel and Alex who I hung out with for my remaining time in Penang:
On the recommendation of a cab driver, I started off the following morning trying out some street food that was conveniently located right next to my hotel. The dish is called Char Kway Teow, and it consists of flat noodles, shrimp, fish cakes, and Chinese sweet sausage, fried in dark soy sauce and chili.
That afternoon I went off to explore the beach at Battu Feringghi. Because the ride is fairly long, a normal taxi ride can end up costing as much as $30 CAD. I took an Uber out for $10 CAD, but when it was time to return I couldn’t find an Uber car in the area so I got fleeced on the cab ride back. The area was nice for a day visit, but it was too quiet for an extended stay:
At night I met up with Daniel and Alex for a phenomenal time at an outdoor beer garden of sorts. They have super cheesy live music, and you can get skewers of meat for pennies. We ended up dancing around and buying rounds with a family from Singapore:
I’ll leave you with two final pictures from my time in Penang: