The last time I was in Penang was over 20 years ago. I weakly recall taking the ferry across from Butterworth, seeing the tallest building around the island - The Komtar, visiting the Snake Temple, Kek Lok Si Temple, The Penang Hill, Batu Ferringhi Beach, Butterfly Farm and eating at the Gurney Drive. I didn't remember anything attractive about Georgetown at all. 20 year later, this place has became a UNESCO World Heritage site representing the British era from the end of the 18th century.
|The narrowest walkway|
It was just a short weekend trip but we made the most out of it. Tiger Airway has the best time to fly and max out the weekend. We left on Fri with the 7:50pm flight and return on Sunday 7pm.
On arrival to Penang International Airport, we easily caught a bus just outside the airport to town (The Komtar), from there we walked to our friend's hostel located at Sri Bahari Road about 15 minutes away. Dickie's new hostel is still under renovation, but the rooms upstairs were ready. There are 4 rooms upstairs with aircon and share toilets. There will one dormitory room downstairs and one room with attached toilet. The location is in the heart of Georgetown, with a bicycle we can easily cover all the sites in a day. Food is at all corners. )
We were able to cover most of the Street Arts by noon, we especially like the little kids on the swing and I love the big ginger cat. Some of the art are hidden inside small alley but if you don't know where just ask, the locals are very friendly. The boat art that is at the clan jetty is gone after wear and tear from the heat and rain. Most of them are degrading or falling apart so if you want to see them better make it fast. The Street Arts project, known as Mirrors George Town, is part of George Town Festival 2012. A young Lithuania-born artist named Ernest Zacharevic has made a fame. Check out his website for his art work all over the world. http://www.zachas.com/index.php/murals/
Apart from the arts, there are old shop houses and religious building built way back in 18th century. Still well preserved and restored. The weather was extremely hot and humid. One thing bad about cycling is you are constantly on the road under the hot sun even thought it bring you to places fast. We could no longer bare the heat after lunch. The only place to go is shopping mall or back to the hostel.
|Chai Diam Ma Cafe|
Overall George Town has a special charm, I see it as a nice place to live. Good food, nice people and not too hectic. The center of Penang is the Penang Hill at the highest point at 833m. There are many trails around the hill which can be an easy outdoor exploration over the weekend. (http://www.internationalsteam.co.uk/penang/penanghillstopten.htm) At Batu Ferringhi, there are beautiful beaches and resort to chill and suntan. It is a nice mix of everything.
28 Jalan Sri Bahari Hostel
Tigerair return SG to Penang - S$169.70
Public bus from airport to Komtar - RM2.70
Bicycle Rental - RM10 per day