Okay so I’ll finally be wrapping up the summary of my travels in Malaysia. (See part 1 here) Currently having SD card issues (where most of my pictures are), so unfortunately you won’t be seeing the best ones on this post. Bear with me, folks.
Destination #3: Penang, January 25th – 28th
Okay, let me start off by saying that I absolutely loved Penang. I think it’s a super livable little city with so much delicious food. The area I stayed in, Chulia Street/Lebuh Chulia, was full of hostels so I was surrounded by like-minded backpackers and was close to a lot of things. The hostel I stayed at is called Siok Hostel and was probably my favorite of the three hostels I stayed in during my trip. The rooms were big, it had a rooftop garden, plenty of shower stalls and toilets, and free breakfast. WiFi also actually worked in the rooms #bless. Within 10 minutes of checking into the hostel, I hit it off with another American girl and we ended up being sightseeing buddies the whole time I was in Penang. *Sidenote* I met verryyy few Americans on my trip, which is totally fine because I’m not trying to only stay with my kinfolk, but I do recommend that more Americans get to experience the beauty and culture that is Malaysia!
Penang has so much to do. Wandering around you’ll find semi-3D street art down the alleys, hawker stalls that serve up cheap eats, you may stumble into Little India and hear music that you can’t help but move to, see one of the many beautiful Chinese Clan Houses, or be sat with random strangers at lunch. That last one is actually true, haha. I went to a hawker stall to get some Char Kway Teow (stir-fried flat rice noodles <- definitely Googled that lol) and was seated alone at the last table in the restaurant. These two foreign girls come in and the waiter asks if they can sit with me. They were actually sisters who were born in Ohio, raised in Jersey, and traveling the world together for over a year. We ended up talking for quite some time about politics, peace, oppression, and the overall state of the US. It felt so nice to talk to like-minded women who understand everything I’m feeling. Haven’t had that kind of in-depth conversation since I’ve left the States, and as heavy and overwhelming as it was, it was exactly what I needed to keep myself grounded.
ANYWAYS back to actual things I did…well my friend and I were wandering up and down Armenia Street and got some nice, fresh coconut water. While sipping to our heart’s desire, two people started talking to us. Turns out they’re from Canada but one of them has owned a condo in Penang since 1993! So the 4 of us became a cute little group and had someone to show us the ins and outs of Penang. I’m so grateful for them! We celebrated Lunar New Year together and shared many laughs. And thanks to them I ate so much yummy food.
Sights seen: Kek Lok Si Temple, Armenia Street, Chulia Street, Street Art, Little India, hawker stalls, downtown Penang
Destination #4: Last stop – Langkawi, January 28th – 31st
I didn’t make any consistent travel friends during my time in Langkawi, but every activity I did, I met some really cool people with whom to enjoy said activity. I think Langkawi was my least favorite place food-wise because a lot of things were overpriced. However, I think I had the most fun there because it’s where I did the most stuff.
I stayed at a really cute, secluded piece of paradise in Pentai Cenang called Soluna Guesthouse. It was almost impossible to find because it’s literally in the middle of a field, but super worth it. It was also overrun with cats if you’re into that kind of thing. Everything was open air and chill. WiFi was no bueno but I had a Malaysian sim card so it was fine.
My first full day I did mangrove tour (pics on my shoddy sd card 😦 ). We got to see lots of beautiful eagles while they were feeding, went to an uninhabited white sand island, learned about the mangrove forest, explored bat caves (much smaller than the ones in Kuala Lumpur), and played with fish! On my second day I went snorkeling for the first time. I was so incredibly happy. It was my first time swimming in such clear waters – everything was gorgeous and I got to swim with some tiny (harmless) sharks. Next time, I want to get my scuba certification and go diving. #2018goals On the my last day, I was Jane of the Jungle, lol. With Langkawi Canopy Adventures I climbed trees, hiked, rock climbed, zip lined, rappelled, etc. I felt so awesome during and after and highly enjoyed experiencing the Malaysian rain forest. Honestly, the most difficult part was the 700-step hike at the beginning of the course – when it gets warmer I’ll start climbing mountains again to get myself back in shape.
Sights seen: Pentai Cenang/Cenang beach (looots of restaurants in this area), Pulau Payar Marine Park, mangrove forest, Langkawi rain forest canopy, eagle feeding, bat cave, and a couple of islands whose names I don’t know
OKAY time to wrap it up. I couldn’t help but go into lots of detail about my time in Penang because I loved it so much. IF you have any questions about traveling Malaysia/Singapore or traveling alone, let me know! Can’t wait to take my next solo trip and buy a GoPro so I can provide you all with better quality photos. I’ll be back next week with Korea-related content, promise.