After our interesting week with Fuze Ecoteer we needed some time to relax. We had decided to head to George Town in Penang, which I am very sad to hear has recently had some flash flooding.
Our initial intention was to use George Town as a stop-gap on the way to Thailand by bus, but it didn’t turn out that way as after looking into our onward travel plans we decided it would be potentially slightly cheaper and definitely safer to head to Singapore and go to Thailand later on.
Anyway we arrived in George Town by bus from Kuala Lumpur, to find out that the Airbnb room we had booked had a leak, however the owner had another property (without access to a swimming pool) so would we be happy with that? I had been looking forward to having access to a pool, so I wasn’t terribly happy but it was fine. When we eventually made it to the property it, after our Uber driver getting a bit lost, we were happy to find that instead of the private room we had booked we had a lovely basement studio flat all to ourselves. It was pure luxury compared to the past week.
That evening we headed up the road to where we had been told there were some local restaurants and found a lovely view of the sea, after dinner we decided to treat ourselves when we found an ice-cream cafe and sat in the cafe on bench swings watching the sunset.
The next morning we set off into town to have an explore, I had quite fancied checking out the Blue Mansion, however as we arrived we had just missed one of the tours. So we decided to go for a wonder before coming back later for a tour.
George Town is a great place to wander, it looks like it is straight out of colonial times, except that there are lots of informative yet comical signs, local temples and street art (including one which looked suspiciously like Banksy). We wandered towards and through the famous Love Lane, where we would no doubt have been staying if we were in a hostel here. I really enjoyed the atmosphere of this city, it felt really relaxed and exactly what we needed.
Eventually we made our way back to the Blue Mansion for the tour, there were quite a few people on the tour, and everyone was trying to get photos on the outside before we headed in.
I will admit that I didn’t know a lot before we arrived, I had just seen a few pretty pictures and decided it was something I wanted to see. The Mansion had actually originally belonged to a Chinese businessman whose prosperity gained the attention of the Emperor of China on one side and the western companies on the other. This Mansion showed off his vast wealth and multi cultured approach with traditional Chinese mosaics made of small china bowls, floor tiles from Stoke-on-Trent and cast iron pillars from Glasgow.
Unfortunately after he passed away, as he had made it a condition of his will, the house could not be sold until after his last son had died and none of his children felt the need or had the income to maintain such a building. During the Second world war it unfortunately became a slum house with some entire families living on balconies.
I am happy to say that the mansion had undergone extensive restoration since that time and is back to looking beautiful.
After our tour of the blue mansion we decided it was time for an early dinner, since we had entirely missed our lunch. We decided to head to George Town’s Little India, as our favourite Malaysian food had been their take on Indian food. On our way we saw more interesting sights including evidence of the diversity in this town.
We went for a wander through the streets of little India which was a different world entirely, everything seemed a lot more fast paced and busy. The streets were still beautiful but in a different way with decorations splashed everywhere. We made our way slightly out of the central street towards a restaurant which I had seen featured on a Vlog channel I follow. The food there was lovely and I had my favorites, roti, chicken tikka masala (I know that isn’t Indian) and a mango lassie.
And that was pretty much our time in George Town, Penang. Short but sweet and a much-needed rest before continuing our adventure.