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Hello country #2.

After two weeks of full-time travel, we are stepping into our second country – Malaysia. We have three stops in this country, the first being George Town, Penang. We knew very little about this city before planning our trip here, but the few images we had seen of the colourful architecture and exciting street art were enough to convince us to start our time in Malaysia here. We quickly discovered this city is steeped in multicultural heritage that comes through vividly in its food scene, religious sites, buildings, streets and beautiful people.


We made it to country #2. Our bags did not.

We departed Bali at 11am on a Scoot plane covered in pictures of Pikachu. We had a brief stopover in Singapore, where we ran from one side of the airport to the other to make our transfer. We landed in Penang just after 5pm, turned our phones back on and received texts informing us that our bags had not made it to country #2 with us. We knew this was bound to happen at some point on the trip, but we had hoped it would be later down the track. Thankfully, Singapore Airlines were very helpful and called us before we even reached our hotel. They let us know which plane our bags would be on the next day, organised delivery to our hotel and compensated us for the trouble. We arrived at our hotel after an hour crawling in Penang traffic and feeling rather exhausted and dishevelled without our things, we decided to walk up the street for an easy, comfort-food style dinner at The BRGR.


Where can we find coffee before lunchtime?

We woke up at 7 am, but as our hotel room did not have a window, we both woke quite disorientated by the complete darkness in the room. Getting ready was quick, without our full pack of toiletries and only the one pair of spare clothes we had thrown into our carry-on bags (thank goodness). As usual, the first thing on our mind was coffee, so we jumped onto google maps to find a café near us. This was when we realised, George Town was not a morning city. We struggled to find a café in the area that was open before 10 am. Once we had finally located a place to grab coffee, we quickly stopped by on our way to start exploring the streets of George Town.

First stop was Jalan Kek Chuan – a street not far from our hotel, famous for a row of beautiful rainbow houses. From here, we walked down to an arts centre called the Hin Bus Depot. We had assumed we were arriving just as it was opening, but like a lot of things in the city, most of the space wasn’t opening until lunchtime. We decided to have a bite to eat at Bricklin Café & Bar while we were there but then rushed back to the hotel for the highly anticipated delivery of our suitcases. We were thrilled to have our bags back in our possession and very grateful for their speedy delivery to our hotel. We freshened up and walked back to the Hin Bus Depot to continue our exploration. We admired the art and browsed through the shops. I purchased my little souvenir from country #2 – a pack of very cute, handmade metal bookmarks from Kinohiro. When we were finished exploring, we stopped for lunch at Rumah Kacha and then slowly ventured back to our hotel. We stopped at a supermarket to grab some snacks and our budget dinner, which was some green beans, tomatoes and instant noodles in Bolognese flavour (which we had never seen before and couldn’t resist trying).


A self-guided walking tour of the town.

We both slipped on our comfiest walking shoes, double-checked our plans on Google Maps, then hit the streets for a full day of walking around George Town. We started with breakfast at Mews Café. After filling our bellies, and having our coffee, we began our day-long, self-guided walking tour. The first stop was Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion. As usual, we were completely unprepared and arrived well before it opened. We decided not to wait on the street for the first tour to start, so we admired it from the outside, and continued on to the esplanade, making our way along the water, past the Royal Malaysian Navy base and Fort Cornwallis. We weaved our way around the crowds that had just disembarked a giant cruise ship, thinking we could walk all the way along the water to the jetties. Sadly, this whole area had been boarded up, so we trekked along the main road until we finally reached Chew Jetty. We spent some time strolling through the stalls and houses along the jetty, enjoying the sea breeze and admiring the artworks.

From here, we journeyed north, on the hunt for more of the famous Penang Street Art locations. After exploring everything Armenian Street had to offer, it was time to stop for some more food, and we knew exactly where we wanted to go. China House is renowned for its delicious cakes, so of course we had to stop by and try some. In hindsight, we should have ordered one to share, but how could we restrict ourselves to only picking one flavour. Clark went for an orange chocolate cake. I picked the apple crumble. Both were everything we had hoped they would be. When we simply couldn’t fit any more in, we started exploring the rest of China House, which is when, out in the back courtyard, we ran into some people we knew from home. What a small world!

Content with the amount of walking we had done for the day, we started on our way back to the hotel, stopping at Pinang Peranakan Mansion, Little India and Kapitan Keling Mosque on the way. We made it home right before the thunderstorm started, so we decided to stay dry inside and eat another budget dinner.


We accidentally ended up at a Vespa Jamboree.

While our day three walking tour was incredibly successful, there were a few places we had missed and a few we wanted to return to again. We started by tracking down some of the famous street art that we hadn’t seen yesterday. This included the Boy on Motorbike, Brother & Sister on a Swing and Boy on Chair. We wandered the stalls at the arts centre Jetty 35, and had a late breakfast and coffee at Black Kettle.

We walked back up towards the Town Hall, which we had seen from a distance the day before, but when we arrived, instead of exploring the Town Hall, we ended up exploring the 5th Annual Vespa Lambretta Jamboree. It was quite an interesting festival to walk through. We first walked past the music stage, blasting Metallica, which made us think perhaps it was a heavy metal festival. Then we saw the stalls of food and merchandise, t-shirts and leather jackets and finally row after row of Vespas, revving their engines and lining either side of the entry to the Jamboree. We took a break by the water on the esplanade, then decided it was time for lunch and a refreshing drink at The Loft on Love Lane. Back at the hotel, we packed our things for the travel day that awaited us in the morning. Then to wrap up our time in George Town, We went out for dinner at the New World Park Food City. We devoured delicious and super affordable food, picked up some snacks for the morning and just like that our time in George Town had come to an end.

Vepsa Jamboree


This hotel is around a 20-minute walk north of the main historical area of George Town. However, we loved being a bit further out of town as it felt much quieter and less touristy. The hotel was very affordable, and had great amenities, including washers/dryers, a communal kitchen area with a microwave, oven and sink, a vending machine, some game, and a filtered water refill station with both chilled and boiling water. The staff were also very friendly, and very helpful. The only downside was having no window in the room. We did know about this when we booked, but having never stayed in a hotel without a window before, we hadn’t realised how much we would miss the natural light.


We are heading to the capital city of Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur.


When planning our travel destinations, we pin our bucket list of sites to see and recommended places to eat and drink on Google Maps. We are then never lost for ideas when travelling, and can easily share these lists for our friends and family to use as well.

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