Penang Island

Having a precise travel plan for once Nastya had reached out on couchsurfing.org to find us a place to stay in Penang. The only response we received was from a Malay school teacher in Alor Setar (a few kilometers before Penang) who offered us a spare house to stay. We enjoyed our little time there a lot and had a great chat into the late hours exchanging travel stories before three nice ladies gave us a lift to Penang in the morning.

If you’ll ever come to Malaysia visit Penang. Heritage, food and a liberal spirit makes it feel slightly Singaporean. The ethnic Chinese dominance lead to very progressive politics that attracyted a lot of business on this island of the Western coast of Malaysia. We enjoyed ourselves hiking in the National Park and exploring the heritage buildings of Georgetown. In the evenings we met up with our host Denis who picked us up hitch-hiking earlier that week and gave us a beautiful spare apartment by the sea (see below).

Penang has a rich history and a lot of ethnic and religious groups (and therefore languages and cultures) mixing in a small area. Unfortunately there is heavy traffic, just like everywhere else in Malaysia. Not a country where you’d see anybody cycling or walking. And a lot of German cars, so it’s good in a way I guess :).

We finished our stay in the South of the island giving the snake temple a visit in an attempt to face our fears. Something I was inspired to do by reading 20 Things To Do When You’re 30 That Will Make Life Better At 50, thanks Josh!

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