As we had the conference on a weekend, my friend and I took the Senandung Langkawi 20 night train from KL to Butterworth on that Friday.
We arrived very early the next morning, and took the ferry (paid about RM2 or 3 per person, a kind of two ticket since the ferry from Weld Quay back to mainland is free) to Penang Island, and upon arrival at the jetty took a taxi from the RapidPenang bus terminal to the hotel (Heliconia Hotel, a small one but suffices for a couple that will be out most of the time, coming back only to shower and rest).
As it was too early to check-in at the hotel we left our things at the hotel's store and went walking around enjoying the fresh air.
We found a mosque, which was occupied by an old Indian man whose Malay words I could hardly discern(must be a Penang accent), to pray Fajr in and then had our first long walk in Georgetown.
That area of Georgetown's (Lorong Kinta, Jalan Burma, near KOMTAR ) was quite disappointing however as we could hardly find any cafes even around 8 or 9am.
After a tiring exploration that nearly ended at the beach, we finally returned to the kopitiam that was closed earlier (Old Town White Coffee) to sit down and have breakfast .
The coffee was too strong for me and at some point I added water to it and sugar of course.
I did/wanted to do the same to the lime juice I ordered after it.
After an appetizing Nasi Lemak however I was energized and so we walked back to our hotel to check-in.
Guess what we did after that?
We considered ordering food using Food Panda (found Kashmiri food and got all excited!!) but became lazier and lazier about going out to even accept the delivery.
We did end up eating McDonalds/KFC later on however.
The following day we spent the whole day at hotel (Bayview hotel) and after that went back to rest for a while. The taxi driver, Mr. Vasan, who took us there was very friendly and eventually we took his card as he offered to show us around Penang whenever we wanted, at a very cheap fare.
On Monday, we went shopping at Prangin Mall and then we gave the taxi driver a call and went around.
We went to St. George's church- that's South East Asia's oldest Anglican church.
It was my first time in a church!!
Here's where I learnt about the stations of the cross.
I took pictures with the angels too.
Unfortunately, Penang Hill was closed that day, so we couldn't climb it. Instead,
we went to the Botanic Gardens, a walk we enjoyed immensely and would never forget.
I guess this is where we took the most pictures, and spent the most time. We took the RapidPenang bus No.10 ( a very useful way to get a bigger picture of daily life in Penang and a closeup of the people) back and checked out, again keeping our luggage at the hotel.
We then went to the Penang 3D Museum (got charged RM 40 here :( )
Again, a fun place to visit, especially if you have a lot of time to take awesome 3D pictures..
Or if you want to learn about Penang's history in a fun way.
We went to a church, and then went to the Floating Mosque (at Tanjung Bungah )..
I was most upset here, because I suddenly had an upset stomach and had to use the toilet there- which to my disappointment didnt flush properly. Anyways, I was a mess and was really upset. :'''(
The mosque itself was beautiful.
Finally, we hurried to Batu Ferringhi beach !!
Sipping fresh coconut water with this close friend of mine, after worriedly watching & videotaping her parasailing , I lost all my worldly worries for a brief moment.
It was time to go and get our luggage back and go to the jetty.
Back in Butterworth, the railway station was under renovation and we were afraid for ourselves as it was dark and there were only 2 guys sitting nearby. They looked homeless, and later on one asked us for money to buy food, which we gladly gave. :(
After eating the McD/KFC(they look the same from outside and inside, and you can get similar food so don't really remember which since we visited both) we had bought earlier and finding a place to pray (some sort of a shipping container), time was finally starting to pass and more people showed up..
We encountered a blind young man and helped him get about. I mention him because I met him in KL Sentral the next day and helped him again :) and I feel that I'll meet him again some day.
If we had had more time, I'd surely have visited :
1- Gurney Drive and eat all the food there (gelojoh)
2- Penang Hill
3- Tropical Spice Garden
5- Kek Lok Si Temple
6. Snake Temple
7. Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram Temple (i heard about the reclining Buddha a long time ago)
8. Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion
9. Fort Cornwallis
10.Weld Quay clan jetties
11. Dr Sun Yat Sen's Penang Base (to get a feel of history)
12. Syed Alattas Mansion (read books, so need to see the mansion too)
13. Khoo Khongsi
14. Queensbay mall
15. Han Jiang Ancestral Temple
16. Kapitan Keling Mosque
17. Penang City Hall
18. Penang Peranakan Mansion
19. Penang Tropical Fruit Farm (hoping there's a lot of sampling involved :) )
20. Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower
21. Penang War Museum (great place to look at weapons, i hope)
You know all this time I've stayed in Malaysia, I've rarely looked at it from a tourist's perspective.
I've seen it as an expat and sometimes as a Malaysian coz it's my second home- and very few people would go about acting as tourists in their own country.
KLCC sky bridge? still not yet
KL tower? nope
Batu caves? didn't go
How lame ...