Malaysia – Penang & Kuala Lumpur

4th February, 2018

Oh sweet Malaysia, where do I start?!
Although we had never really planned to visit Malaysia, we are SO glad we did!
When it was time to leave Thailand after almost 30 days – Malaysia seemed like an easy choice. A quick flight and a reasonable airfare.

We flew directly into Penang without any knowledge or expectations.
It was raining when we arrived, but muggy. We sorted out a Taxi and headed to our hotel.
Now, we have been travelling for 3 months and I have become quite the pro when it comes to planning and booking accommodation and flights for us all. However, I made my first rookie mistake with the accommodation for our first leg in Penang.
I had booked an apartment which stated it was in Georgetown. It was not.
It was in a town called Bayan Baru, about 25 minutes drive from Georgetown. It was a residential area and didn’t have much more than a shopping centre called Queensbay Mall. The accommodation was great – but the location wasn’t really what we were after.
I’d booked 4 nights and we spent our days at the Mall and around the apartment, making the most of the facilities – swimming pool, gym, board games and pool table.
Andrew took the kids to the Cinema at Queensbay to see the new Jumanji movie whilst I had my hair done and had a facial…(WHAT. A. GUY!)
Sunset from the top floor was stunning!

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Our Grab driver, also named Lily

A few days later we took a Grab to Georgetown (glorious Georgetown), where I had booked us 4 nights but we ended up extending our stay as we quickly realised that 4 days wasn’t going to be long enough.
We spent 7 nights at the Armenian Street Heritage Hotel. PRIME LOCATION and walking distance to shops, restaurants and the famous Penang street art!
(You can see our YouTube video featuring the street art here: Her Travelling Tribe)

Our days were spent walking many, many miles and enjoying the wonderful sights and culture of the Heritage town. Eating delicious food. Discovering new places, listening to the buskers on the street, taking photographs and the boys even played a bit of 1 on 1 basketball at the court across from our hotel.
So much goodness in the one place. We absolutely LOVED it!!!

We also discovered Little India. It’s as if you’ve just stepped out of Malaysia and right into India. The smells, the spice shops and traditional clothing stores. The restaurants, the music. It was delightful!! We enjoyed a lovely meal here, and also found a great street stall where we bought the tastiest veggie samosa day after day.

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One afternoon we took the Hop-On-Hop-Off tour bus through the city and loved it so much so, that a few days later we took the same bus along the beach route. This was a great way to get out a bit further and cover more ground whilst still enjoying the fresh air and atmosphere, and only about $20 for the 4 of us for 2 hours – bargain!

After seeing the Batu Ferringhi beach region whilst on the bus, we decided to head down that way after we checked out of Georgetown and enjoy 2 days seaside – staying at the Lone Pine Hotel.
This was a nice contrast for us all and a great way to finish off our stay on Penang Island.
Lone Pine was just beautiful. A gorgeous boutique hotel, positioned right on the beach. We were lucky to get a room here at such late notice, and will definitely stay again some day.

We also enjoyed a fun photoshoot with the fabulous Rachel from Wanderloud. Rachel is a Penang local and it was great spending an afternoon with her.
Even though we had quite a bit of rain, Rachel did a great job and managed to get some candid shots of us all. The kids just love these images of themselves!

The food in Penang is fabulous!

Georgetown:
Jawi House – We ate here on our first night in Georgetown. It was literally a 3 minute walk from the Armenian Street Hotel. Traditional Malaysian food with a twist, and it was so fresh and delicious.

Holy Guacamole – This place opened the week we arrived. Good food, friendly staff and a funky interior. They also did a very good strawberry daiquiri!

Tek Sen Restaurant – Tek Sen is THE place to eat in Georgetown! It is absolutely packed full every single night of the week. They turnover diners so quickly, you won’t wait too long for a table. The food is delicious and full of flavour. Best Chinese food in Penang!

Batu Ferringhi:
Little Joe Cafe We stumbled across this place whilst we waited to check into the Lone Pine and were all a little hungry for an early lunch. Lovely staff, good honest food and SUPER cheap!! Our entire bill was $30 with coffees and milkshakes!!

Andrew’s Kampung – This is where we chose to dine on our very last night in Penang. So glad we did. My Andrew had read all about this place and was keen to try it out.
Family run business, super friendly knowledgable staff and fabulous food!

Our final 3 nights in Malaysia were spent in Kuala Lumpur.
We stayed in an apartment right in the KLCC – Kuala Lumpur City Centre.
Walking distance to the Petronas Towers and the City Centre Park. Such a great place for the kids to play wit a huge playground and even a swimming pool.
We got caught in the afternoon thunderstorms a couple of times, which made for a bit of excitement. Some of the loudest thunder I have ever heard!

We also had the privilege of visiting the children at Taylor’s International School in Kuala Lumpur during our stay.
The lovely Benieke and Ben from Wanderloud arranged this for us last minute.
We arrived before school started and Benieke had bought us all some local street cuisine to share for breakfast.
We met with the Grade 3 classes and introduced ourselves, sharing our travel stories with them all and answering their questions. They were all so sweet and it was a lovely way to finish off our Malaysia trip.
Thankyou to TIS for having us, and thankyou Ben for the special photos.

Before we arrived in Malaysia, we’d read about Grab. A super simple transportation service available in South East Asia. Some of our Grab drivers were amongst the friendliest people we met in Malaysia. Chatty and cheerful. Definitely download Grab if you’re heading to S.E.A some time in the future. ‘Til next time.

Malaysia – you are truly wonderful. Your people are charming. Your weather is glorious and your cusine – divine!
We WILL be back and we can’t wait!!

Next stop, Philippines!!

Big love,
Cxx

You can watch our Malaysia Travel Diary Vlog here 

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