Penang is a very photogenic city in Malaysia. It has lovely architecture and some of the friendliest locals I have ever met. I have dubbed Malaysians, the “Canadians of SE Asia” on account how how genuinely nice they are.
Thailand gets the “Land of Smiles” reputation but I don’t think it’s true or well-deserved at all. More on that in my epic Thailand post. This post is about how lovely Penang is.
First, accomodation. I had the misfortune of being stuck in the center of town which is a lot more expensive. For $30 a night I had a tiny room in a Heritage Building with a tiny bathroom and no view. The building is nice but the room is not:
Let me make it clear just what kind of traveler I am. I’m definitely not rich but I can’t sleep in a shitty room. I grew up poor, my parents are from Central America (Guatemala and El Salvador) and they grew up dirt poor. I grew up travelling to Central America every year so I am no stranger to shitty rooms.
So travelling to some new land to stay in a shithole isn’t an “adventure” for me. It’s more like a punishment because it reminds me of being a little kid and wondering why there are roaches everywhere and why the shower is so cold. Not fun. I’m not doing that anymore. I’m 35 and make a decent living now, I deserve a bit better.
My recommendations are for people who don’t need to be a 5-star hotel, but need something mid-range that is spacious, clean, with good design, and a nice bathroom where the shower is separate from the toilet. Also a nice view would be preferred but if the room is nice enough, I can deal with a sub par view. I am very specific about what I like.
I hated that room immediately. I know what I like and what I don’t like, so I was quite upset over paying that much for a room like that.
I booked an air bnb for the next 2 nights at a roomier 1920’s building outside the center in Bangkok. The room is also cheaper. 800 baht.
Bangkok is a lovely part of town full of Heritage houses. The entire neighborhood is made up of buildings from the 20s. It is really beautiful and a walk around that area is quite scenic.
I’m booking the exact same air bnb for my trip next week. That’s how much I liked it. So if that price range is good for you, I highly recommend staying there.
There is a lot of talk about how amazing the food in Penang is. Since I’m a vegan, my eperienexperience of the food was a bit different. I had been looking up restaurants