Georg Town is actually known for its pretty, colonial era district (also listed as Unesco World heritage) and a lively scene of street art. Since we were occupied with the bike yesterday and then only moved in a radius of 50m from our hostel, today was the day for sightseeing.
We started the day with planning what’s to come after Georg Town. This is our last stop in Malaysia; the border to Thailand is not really far away anymore. However, all the interwebs told us that we will only get a visa for 15 days if we cross over at the land border. 15 days is too short for all of Thailand. So we made up elaborate plans to drive up north to Bangkok, change tyres and then swerve to the right into Cambodia…or try to get a 30 day visa here in Malaysia.
Spontaneously, we jumped on the bike, drove to the Thai embassy in Georg Town…and left again. The first employee we met was able to tell us that tourists cannot get a multiple entry visa here. Really, multiple entries is the only one that makes sense for us so we left again. The visa fees were horrendous as well.
Back in the hostel, we picked up Josy and Peter who had shown interest in doing the 2.5km long “walking tour” through the inner city which the Lonely Planet suggested. Glad to be out of our motorcycle gear again, we started. Man, it was hot. And almost lunch time as well. Not feeling up for a museum, we passed the Penang Museum before crossing the park in front of the City hall and Town hall. Only the 20 ringgit entrance fee deterred us (and the backpackers) from having a look inside Pinang Peranakan Mansion which is one of the best preserved old buildings in town.
From here, a quick walk through Little India brought us to an Indian, vegetarian place that I’d been eyeing up ever since we got into town. The Paneer Butter Masala was delicious while all of my fellows went for the set menu lunch and were rewarded with a tray full of 7 cups with different sauces, soups and even milk rice surrounding a mountain of rice topped with crackers. Flo ordered the deluxe version so had one cup more and chappati extra.
Happy and full, we continued from Little India with its blaring music to Chinatown. Starting from Lebuh Armenian, “my” section finally began: Georg Town’s street art. Those tiny little roads are filled with artsy tourist shops, scenes made from a thick metal wire and of course, the painted street art works. It’s hard to describe but I hope you get an impression through the photos. I really enjoyed it.
A bit of relaxing later, all four of us made our way through the city again. This time during dusk, towards the waterfront where Flo and I had picked an Italian restaurant. It was this time of the month again…our next try of Italian food in an Asian country. Checking out the prices at the door, Peter and Josy rather continued to the nearest food market while Flo and I decided to be decadent. Looking like tourists in our hiking pants and jandels, we still didn’t stick out too much. The pizzas were good; the best ones we have tried since leaving the western world but still a
tiny notch under a Scopa pizza for example. Being decadent already, Flo enjoyed a glass of wine to his food while I ate a piece of a rich Equatorial Gianduja cake. So good!
Back at the hostel, we ran into Josy and Peter again. Feeling generous and almost like in Wellington after the good food, we invited them to a drink in the “Behind 50” bar on the opposite side of the street from our hostel. It also looked and felt very kiwi so we got into reminiscing our time in Wellington…