Malaysia is well known as the ‘border hop’ country for people living and working in Thailand but after a few visits to this beautiful country, I’ve put together 5 hot spots in Malaysia that will have you signed up and sold!
Hostel Recommendations: Reggae Mansion, Tipsy Tiger.
‘Quirky, vibrant and exciting’ – how I described Georgetown the first time I stepped foot on them streets and the vibe just gets more intense after every visit. The Chinese influence runs through this town as you see ancient Chinese buildings, temples and shrines. The go-to area for backpackers is Love Lane – it earned its nickname many years ago when married men would visit their mistresses in hotels on this street while ‘away on business’. Cheeky. Now, its buzzing with bars, hostels and good times. It is also the host of Little India. The food, the smells, the colours, the clothes… I never had India on my mind as somewhere to travel until I got to this place. It’s a right little tease!
Another reason why I love Penang are the coffee shops, bakeries and cute little cafes and restaurants they have splattered around the place. A great place to treat yourself to good coffee, delicious cake and quirky, unique surroundings!
This amazing display of rainbow umbrellas were located at the entrance of one of the hole-in-the-wall quirky little cafes we found. Strangely it had no name so it left us with a mysterious vibe. Like we just discovered a hidden gem.
The main reason why so many people visit this unique town? The street art. They even have a street map dedicated to the many pieces of art around the town so you can find them easy and maybe stuble across some hidden, secret ones. Its all very Banksy.
Penang National Park
After living by the beach for the past 6 months (I have such a hard life…), I was so excited to dust off the old hiking boots and get myself back into a National Park. Penang NP is a beautiful mixture of jungle and beach and the hike itself is fairly easy with little incline but the scenery and views are spectacular!
It’s really easy to get there by public bus or bike from Georgetown (approx. 1 hour) and it’s FREE ENTRY!!! The hikes lead to Monkey Beach and Penang Lighthouse. I don’t know if it was because I haven’t been in a National Park for a long time or because it was genuinely stunningly beautiful, but it was one of the best NP I have hiked! It’s free now but I won’t be surprised if they start charging tourists an entry fee so get here while you still can!
At the end of your 1.5 hour hike through the Malaysian wilderness, what could be better than collapsing on a white sand beach with a fresh coconut in hand? Monkey Beach lives up to its name and is home to… well, monkeys. So watch out for them buggers trying to steal your coconuts. It’s not too crowded and has a few beach huts along the front. We relaxed in a place called Lazyboys which had beer, music and good people. At the end of the day, either hike back through the park or catch a longtail boat back which takes about 10minutes.
Kek Lok Si Temple
This stunning Chinese temple can be found at the top of a mountain overlooking Penang and it is HUGE! So many statues, gardens and insta pics. We were blessed to be shown around this place by our landlord and local man, Charlie. An absolute sweetheart. He told us about the teachings, the history and helped us pray and wish for our deepest desires. There was a sacred Chinese praying tree where you can write a prayer for either yourself or another and place it on the tree. Also, a wishing bell. You walk into the little room where the bell stands tall. You speak your wish out loud into the bell, pull back the gong and send your wish up to the gods. It truely was an enlightening day and somewhere I could’ve spent hours at.
Just look at this place. Oh My Days. Sadly, I haven’t had the opportunity to go as its approx. 5 hours from Georgetown and I never seem to have the time to go. But it will definitely draw me back to Malaysia and it deserves a mention on this blog post. So if you’re an avid hiker like me, this is our nature’s paradise right?!
I mean… Uh!! 😍 . Such a beautiful country.