After spending a few days in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital city, we decided to hop on a bus to Penang, which is about a 5-hour journey from KL.
Penang is classed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it’s capital city Georgetown, where we were staying, is a cultural hub, with food and art being the big attractions. Georgetown is home to a big Chinatown, Little India and also resident ‘Penangites’ – as Malaysian’s who live and work in Penang, are known.
Small and compact, surrounded by art on every wall and street corner, the boys found the best way to explore the Georgetown was to do it by bike !
We also paid 30Rm (about £6) to have unlimited travel on all the buses across the island, which was great when we wanted to head to Batu Ferringhi to meet with friends and explore the night market and excellent food court in that part of the island.
We enjoyed a great trip up to Penang Hill (Bukit Bendera). This is the site of the first hill station in Malaysia, built by the British in colonial times. The train journey itself is a vernacular rail which travels 823 meters above sea-level. Arriving in the cool, lush tropics above Penang, you are greeted by a wonderful view of the island. The train journey is one of the steepest we have ever travelled on and a great ride!
We also squeezed in a trip to the Clan Jetty which again is a world heritage site in Georgetown. This is home to the clan Chinese, who created a floating island by building their wooden homes on stilts, which rise from the sea. The stilts we saw were made from alsorts of things, but mainly concrete-filled, huge paint pots! As you wander along the boards, through the narrow lanes and past the unique homes, people have made small shops and cafes on their verandahs and there is a lovely atmosphere in the area.