Whilst at Alex & Ferns wedding at the beginning of August (Alex is Gethin’s little/kid/younger/annoying brother (love you really!!)) we were talking to a good friend of his Gareth, who told us him and his better half Emily had just accepted a teaching post for 3 years just outside of George Town in Penang, Malaysia and that when we came through we were to go stay with them – how could we argue.
Once back on dry land after the diving we caught a flight from Phuket to Penang where the guys met us at the airport and then they played host & hostess for the next 4 days. As is tradition that’s been following us for some time about 2 hours after we landed the heavens opened and it rained at some point during each day for the duration of our stay.
Penang is very different from the rest of SE Asia which we have seen in a few ways. The plugs are UK standard, you can drink water straight from the tap and the old and new parts of the city sit in harmony with each other rather than one fighting for dominance over the other. Penang’s population is made up of predominantly Muslim but it’s also made up of Chinese and Indian and with that comes a very tough decision on what you will eat food wise. George Town like London, has it’s own Little China and Little India. Within the Chinese section of town are some of the best Clan Houses around (insert link). Two of the days we just spent doing what we love to do which is wandering. Seeing where our feet take us. One other fabulous thing about GT is there is some amazing street art through its streets and there is even a map showing you where to find it all. I will say this, but the best thing about this part of the trip was staying with Gareth & Emily. Their flat was about a 30 min ride from GT but it was so nice being in a home and not a hotel, and having home cooked food as well was also a novelty. The guys have a bus that went not too far from their place to city and that was our transport. They weren’t as frequent as London but they had aircon and were cheap (less than £1 each way for both of us!) so you couldn’t really ask for more.
Our final stop in Malaysia was Kuala Lumpur before we were to catch our flight from there to Perth on the Saturday. We had heard various things about KL and were a little sceptical about it. The bus journey was about 6 hours and pretty uneventful. Saying that our old faithful the rain showed an appearance, and with some vengeance I may add. It was coming down that hard you couldn’t see the other side of the carriage way. Saying that, the bus driver didn’t slow down any but that’s driving in SE Asia for you.
The hotel/hostel we chose was about a 5 min walk from the centre and was right next door to a bar – which is all well and good less they play live music till 2am of which we could hear most of it from our room. I digress, back to KL. The city is lovely, it’s compact and has a very good public transport system that is easy to navigate. The Petronas Towers are amazing especially with the walk way in the middle of the two and you can see them from pretty much anywhere in the city. They are also pretty cool at night when they are lit up.
I enjoyed my time there but I don’t think it’s somewhere I would rush back to.
So it’s finally a very fond farewell to South East Asia and hello Australia…