Getting Started with Some EXCELLENT Experiences - Penang & Kuching, Malaysia
Yes FINALLY! This is it everyone! I'm FINALLY blogging about Malaysia! We've heard so much of mother's childhood and about where she was born and we were finally given the chance to visit the country. And i was NOT disappointed.
So how did we arrive in Penang? After my island experience in Thailand Koh Phangan (click here to read that blog) we took a ferry off the island, then a bus all the way to a city closer to the boarder. There we stayed overnight and walked through some very dirty places. Eli was simply fascinated by the rats. I don't even know.
Woke up at around 1:00am in the morning to take a train that took us to the boarder where we waited behind a longgg line of people then took another train to Penang. There we walked to the ferry stop that too us to Georgetown in Penang. Basically a touristy part of town. The specialty was the street art. Now, i'll have a whole new blog about the art, but for now, i'll just share some other lovely experiences. One step at a time.
In Penang, the first night we stayed at a really nice hotel that had complimentary cookies and crackers. Back in Thailand, for a week i tried eating no carbs. (Cookies, bread, biscuits and all that delicious junk.) It worked well and i wanted to try again. (Also my lip incident helped me eat less. In Malaysia it was healing, allowing me to continue eating.)
Guess what? I failed my diet in Malaysia and ended up eating almost all their oreos. Don't blame me, oreos are really good. Luckily we left that place before i could make any extra damage and went with one of favorite of people....
Super Host William!
We were in contact with this host on Airbnb for a long time. He responded really well. Communication was excellent. At times dad would joke and tell us that Super Host William just asked us how was our breakfast that morning. Sometimes we didn't think that he was joking because that is that sort of thing that he would text. So from then on, we called him Super Host Willliam because that was what he was and that was what he called himself by text.
In Penang it was during Chinese New Year so our stay in the city was very eventful. There are soo many Chinese people living in Penang. It isn't rare to see the occasional Muslim Indian person either. Same goes with the food. There are a few resturants nearby that we thought was Indian food. Chapati (roti) and spicy chicken and curry and...goodness. Happens that it's actually just Mamak food. Meaning Muslim/Indian.Now that we entered a country of mainly Muslims!
Since we were outside of the tourist areas, we had to walk a long while before reaching Georgetown. So, naturally, we walked in the middle of a lane divider. Google said it was the quickest route :) Walking along the stretch was pretty fun. But the dude on the motorbike be lookin' confused on the photo above. Since this jaywalker stuff that happens in China, i thought it was confusing as well. Weren't there many Chinese here?
So instead of walking along the highway, we discovered (in the middle of powerful afternoon sun,) that there was a hidden walking path that led us to...FOOD of course! Cheap eats, friendly people, local experience (not as much as extreme as the night bus of China...) and it was amazing.
In Penang we visited some Jetties. The most famous one is Chew Jetty. What is a Jetty? To be honest with you, i'm not exactly sure but it's sort of these planks of wood over water where people live in. Like living on your street but your street being above water. Mom visited Penang with her sister few years back, and this time when we came, it had transformed into a very large tourist trap. (Especially for the Chinese Tourists.)
Super Host William's apartment had 2 levels with all the luxuries a long-term-low-budget traveler would enjoy immensely. As so naturally, being indoors delighted us. Us being just the 4 kids. We stayed in Penang for over a week and i really liked staying at home in an air conditioned environment. Of course that would lead to the brilliant parenting idea of...HOMEWORK! Which then lead to some dispairing tears.
Notice how in Penang, i just finished my Hanoi blog. Somethings never change but i'll try to hurry up these uploads. We met up with a good friend of mom's where she took us to eat some good food, drove us to the airport and was really kind to our family.
Extra Penang Images
After Penang, we took a wonderful flight to a city named Kuching. A beautiful city where everyone is friendly and just so chill. Malaysia is sort of divided in two parts, separated by the ocean and the itty tiny bit of Singapore below the Malaysia #1 (to the left.) So we flew from Penang (George Town,) which is north of Kulala Lumpur (Capital of Malaysia) all the way to Kuching. Emma flew across the sea, to the Malaysia #2 (to the right) and in the lovely Malaysian city.
In Kuching it's near a national park named Bako National Park. Around this area in particular, there is a lot of wildlife and animals. We stayed in 2 hostels. The first was sort of run down, but comfy and cozy named, Marco Polo and the second was Check-In, which was a newer one with fast WiFi but there was only 1 worker and it was less hospitable.
IT POURED SO MUCH DURING OUR STAY IN KUCHING.
Hiked lots in Kuching, went on this waterfall hike where dad slipped and sprained his toes on the rocks.
This is the same waterfall in my Insta account. Btw, it's @emma.der Not promoting or anything. Just some additional blog photos you want to catch up on.
But then on our way back, we got stuck because the buses heading to Kuching were too expensive for a family of 6, and too far for Uber to quickly come by. We ended up to spend around a good 2-3 hours doing nothing in an inconsistent rainfall. Oh but we did do something! Eli and Lucy made a muddy mess with dirt, dad continuously tried his Uber while mom filmed Myka and I singing our song in the middle of the highway. Here, it goes like this...
Uber, Uber, don't be a LOSER
Don't go for Grab, just get an Uber CAB!
I honestly forget the rest haha, we were high with laughter and i have no idea of what the next verse even began with. ALRIGHT THAT'S ENOUGH. We got home thanks to our Uber cheer and i'm going to try out for the cheer team next year. I'M KIDDING.
Since dad's foot was totally bruised, he stayed in for the day while we visited the Cultral Museum of the Sarawak region near Kuching. We learned about all the different cultural tribes in the area of Malaysia.
When it was time to go, the Uber app that mom had picked up little signal. And still, no Uber driver was around. Sadly, our Uber music magic failed because i guess the rest of the memorization was needed for it to work. Met some college friends and simply went in with their school bus that was also returning to Kuching. The next day, i went with them to the mall and because i'm still broke, i didn't get anything. Despite the dilemma, i had so much fun that day.
Just some extra photos of Kuching.
We visited an orangutan sighting place and didn't bring the Nikon Camera, sticking to phone cameras.
Not the smartest decision but later, after seeing some orangutans, i saw the largest alligator/crocodile thing and the thickest and longest line of termites!
Eli eating a whole durian below. Just kidding, you'll need to cut the fruit. Either you hate durian or love it. I guess that Eli enjoys it?
So remember the national park i talked about when i first introduced Kuching? Well we stayed there for a bit (and i'll put a link to where that part of our journey went when i'm done that blog.) But for now, i'll let you know that we returned to Penang from Kuching that happened after our Bako National Park 3 day experience.
Throughout the time we were in Penang and Kuching, it was still Chinese New Year and fireworks were appearing during the whole night. Most of them were all private fireworks but all together they would be around 34 times the size of Regina's Canada Day fireworks. That night, I slept in the living room with glass windows all around me. (Note the photo above the blog title.)
None of these photos above are the same ;) Feel free to recheck.
Dragon dance below. You need to really coordinate jumps and runs during the performance.
Well i hope that our "back-'n-forth" travelling habits aren't confusing you guys too much. Because we are going to see much of it in the future. And there is much of the future (past for today but i try to keep it simple) to be explored. But that's not all of Penang, because i still have a second part almost ready! Click on this link (when it's ready...) to see some of the street art that Penang has within it's streets.
But for now...