A few days in Penang

25th – 29th September

I arrived in Kuala Lumpur in the afternoon where I got the train to KL central from there I got another train up to Penang.  The train journey was around 4 hours however it was delayed by an hour so I arrived to Penang late, when the train arrived into Penang I had to run to go to the ferry that I missed it by seconds, so I had to wait for the next one which was another hour.  The ferry took 15 minutes to get to Georgetown when I got there are ran down to front and I quickly ordered an uber to go to my hostel.  Luckily I arrived in the hostel just in time, everyone in the hostel was going out for drinks and luckily I caught them as they were turning the corner which meant I could check in, they also told me to come and meet them in a bar after I checked in, if I had been even 10 seconds later I wouldn’t have been able to check in and I would have had to sit around on the street until morning……  Thank fuck for that!

I quickly ran upstairs and got changed then headed back downstairs to the hostel bar where I met a girl called Brooke and another guy for a but I can’t remember his name, they were finishing their shift on the bar and heading out for drinks with the rest of them, so I said I would join them.

We went to a bar called the why not bar where I had a few beers, and then I started to feel tired it had been a long day so I headed back to the hostel jumped into my little pod and passed out.

When i woke up in the morning I decided that I would go out and look at all the street art, on the way out I gave my laundry two one of the people working there his name was Alex, he said it would be done in the next day, he is a liar and a twat……more on him later!

The street art was amazing, there were so much of it and all over the city, check some of it out.

The food was also amazing, and really cheap.

After I had walked around all the street art I jumped on the free hop on hop off bus called the CAT, which takes you around George town and I went to the Komtar tower, while I was on the bus I met a guy called Hanis who was from Penang but spoke really good English, he was really nice and helped me find my way to the tower as it was a bit difficult to find out how to get up there to begin with.

I didn’t stay out too long on the first day as I knew I was staying in a party hostel so I wanted to make sure I was ready for the evenings antics, so I went back to the hostel around 3pm and decided to have a bit of a chill out ready for the night.

It got to 8pm and I headed downstairs which was when our 2 free drinks began, it was a nice hostel, with a big area for everyone to chill in around the bar, we all sat at the table and were playing drinking games and chatting away, soon the two free drinks went so I paid for unlimited drinks all night for 35RM which is about £7 so not too bad really.

I met a girl called Laura who was staying in another hostel, and 2 others people in her hostel called Sophia and Eric, they were all really nice and they joined us on our table with the drinking games, then we went out back to the why not bar for some dancing and playing pool. By the time we got there I was absolutely fucked out my face and I felt like I was going to be sick!

Luckily Sophia was so lovely and went and got me some water and I sat down and just started drinking that, I eventually sobered up and re-joined the normal people haha, and dancing the night away. It was a good night!

The next day though was a complete write off…as usual! I’m getting so rubbish at all this drinking stuff! So mainly chilling in bed with game of thrones and the hostel cat, and the sofa downstairs, and trying to find out where the hell my laundry was only to find it still in the hostel and never been sent, fucking fat Alex didn’t even send it the prick! Grrrrr!!!!!! But it did finally get sorted after a lot of hassling everyone that worked there about it! And I ended the night with a pizza delivery! Delightful!

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After a long and lazy day and no drinking, I woke up nice and early the next day which was my last full day in Penang, I went and met Laura from the other night and we went on a tour of an old mansion called ‘the blue mansion’.

It was actually really interesting and I would definitely recommend people to pay a visit if they are in Georgetown, it was built a few hundred years ago by a very rich Chinese man and he had many wives and children but said that his children could not sell the house, only their grandchildren could once the last child was dead, so that they could grow up and realise what it means to earn your own money. They ended up losing all their money and rented out the rooms to people to live in and it became somewhere anyone lived, and they destroyed a lot of the house, but once the last child died the grandchildren sold it to someone who wanted to restore it and it took quite a few years and now it is a hotel and obviously a tourist attraction. It really was beautiful.

After the blue mansion we decided to go get some food, and on the way to the food we stumbled across a coffee shop called ‘Selfie Coffee’ which you could order an ice coffee and have your face printed on the top of it. It was absolutely hilarious and has to be the highlight of my time in Penang! I mean come on…..drinking your own face? How can it get better than that? Haha.

After spending a long time laughing at our selfie coffees, we decided to go and get some food and I tried the famous dish of Penang of fried oysters, which was sort of an oyster omelette. It was really nice but a little strange and I have to say I prefer my oysters raw, but still glad I tired it.

Once we had finished our food we decided to go get the ferry over to the train station as Laura was also heading to KL the next day and I told her about the train I was getting, so I said I would go with her to get the tickets.

We got all that sorted and then went back to our hostels to pack up ready to go in the morning, although I still couldn’t pack because my laundry still was not back, which they said that it would be that day! Getting very angry at all of this now, wish I hadn’t even bothered!

In the evening me and Brooke decided to go grab some food and then we met Laura and another couple of people from her hostel and went to a place called Red Garden which was a very strange experience, we sat in the middle of lots of little food carts and there was a stage where people were singing and getting sashes which I presume is if someone tipped them for their singing, and on the TV were lots of shows about animals, including slug sex, which if you have never seen it on a discovery channel I think you should go and search it right now, it is the strangest thing!! There were bulls running into crowds and even more strange animal shows.

It was an entertaining night, but an early one as me and Laura were leaving in the morning.

 

So when I wake up in the morning, I go downstairs to find out about my laundry and it is still not back, I speak to Alex – the dick head! And he tells me it will be back at midday. I tell him that I need it before because I need to pack and it was supposed to be back four days ago. He doesn’t seem to care. I ended up having an argument with him sort of because it was all his fucking fault! He was the one who took it off me and didn’t send it and now I may or may not get it back before I leave! Again he didn’t seem to care, so I told him to go fuck himself and walked away before I got even angrier.

Luckily it did turn up just in enough time for me to shove it in my case before having to leave.

I ordered an uber to pick me up and then went and picked Laura up and got dropped off at the ferry to take us over to the train station, as we arrived the stopped letting people on the ferry that was there so we had to wait for the next one, and we were starting to run late so we were worried we would miss our train.

While we were on the next ferry I decided to turn my case into a backpack which I haven’t used it as yet, and it was massive and really heavy. But I knew we needed to run as soon as we got there.

The ferry pulled up and the gates opened and off we ran to the train, the thought of running and the actual running with this bloody bag on are very different, I could hardly move my legs, but I had to do it! Upstairs and down stairs and along long bridges, it seemed to never end.

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But we got there eventually and almost as soon as we boarded the train it left station! Thank fuck yet again for that! I feel sorry for the old man and his family who were also on the ferry worried they were going to miss the train, I don’t think they got there in time!

Onto KL now for the next couple of days before heading to Bali.

I had a nice time in Penang but I’m annoyed I wasted a whole day in bed hungover when I could have gone to see more of it, but I guess that just gives me another reason to come back and visit the temple and some more of the museums doesn’t it!

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Open Water Scuba Dive Course, Sipadan Scuba

20th September

So I’m back on my own again now, dad just left me to board his plane back home and I am off to a hotel in the airport for the night until my flight tomorrow morning.

It feels so strange being back on my own again, not going to lie…..I’m feeling pretty nervous about it. It’s been a while since I’ve been on my own travelling really and all those silly thoughts come racing back into my head, like “what if no one likes me” , “what if I don’t meet anyone to spend my time with” , “what if people think I’m strange”

And then I have a bit of a breather and tell myself everything will be ok, If I meet people who don’t like me, chances are they are probably a dick and I won’t like them either! So it’s for the best!

If I don’t have anyone to go see things with then I will go on my own, and that way I can decide everything!

And if people think I’m strange then they are probably right! I mean I do own a cloak for goodness sake! Maybe I won’t lead with that but own the strangeness.

Anyways……back to what I did.

I went and stayed at air Asia tune in KLIA 2 which was nice, it was nothing special but did me for the night.

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Then up in the morning for breakfast and then onto the plane to fly to TAWAU, which is on the island of Borneo. As we started coming into land I had a peak across the person next to me out the window and all I could see was green, it was incredible. So many trees!

I get picked up a by a little Malaysian man holding a sign with my name on as I had paid for an airport transfer with the scuba company I picked. He was really sweet and I sat in front with his on the bus as it was just me that he was picking up. He reminded me of the guy she meets in eat pray love, although he was from Bali not Malaysia.

It took about an hour and a half to get to Semporna from the airport, and we mostly drove on roads between palm trees, and the man who picked me up (I feel so bad that I can’t remember his name!) and he was telling me that there are lots of palm trees because there are lots of companies making palm oil here.

When we got to the hotel I checked in and he then took me over the road to the scuba dive shop where I went and got my gear ready for the next day.

After all that was done I decided to go and have a look around, I ended up walking through a small alleyway market, I’m annoyed with myself because I didn’t take a photo but to be honest I felt a little nervous around there as everyone was staring at me.

Then I decided to go for food so I went to an Indian restaurant by my hotel and asked what was good and not spicy, the girl serving me saying something about banana so I just said yes and omg it was a taste sensation! It was like a banana pancake with some kind of sweet sauce, it was oh so good.

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After food I went back to the hotel watched one episode of game of thrones and passed out at around 5pm and didn’t wake up until 7am the next morning!

Day one of scuba baby! Woooppppppp

We went to an island called Subuan Island which was very small but extremely beautiful, and before I knew it I was setting up my equipment and getting into the water, it all happened so fast from getting to the shop and getting in the water, I was worried I wouldn’t understand what I needed to do when we were down there.

But I did and it all went well, I had to do things like flood my mask and empty it, and remove my suit underwater and put it back on.

Then after all the learning we moved into deeper water and did a quick repeat of what I learnt in the shallow water and then went on a ‘fun dive’ where we swam along looking at all the fish, I had forgotten to bring my underwater camera this time – DUH!

We also had lunch on the boat, which was really yummy!

After lunch we did a bit more learning and then another fun dive, where we got completely surrounded by a massive group of small fish, it was crazy! If only I had brought my bloody camera hey!!

Then it was time to head back to the hotel and I had a shower and spent about 40mins trying to comb all the knots out of my hair – damn you sea water! Just damn you to hell!!

Food, bed, game of thrones!

Day 2 of scuba

I got to the shop around 8am, had to get all my kit together and put it outside ready for the boat.

We were off to a different island today where there will be turtle’s baby!! Omg is my dream about to come true? Am I going to get to swim with turtles finally?

As soon as we got to the island that was it, kits on and into the water…..no messing around.

When we get down to the bottom we finish off the learning aspects of the course, seeing what it’s like to be out of air where they turn my air off and I breathe until there is no more air, not a nice feeling!

We do some emergency assents and try and get our buoyancy right which is actually really hard to do.

You have to try and control it with your breathing and your BCD, think I definitely need more practice in that department.

Then it was fun dive time and not long after we begin the fun dive we see some turtle’s! Omg yes yes yes yes yes!!!! I am so fucking happy right now!! I have finally swam with turtles! I love them so much.

Then lunch on the boat and back in the water again for more fun dives and more turtles and other fish, and I remembered my camera so got a bit on film.

Although I wish I had known about different diving filters, as a lot of It looks green the further we go down which apparently I need a red filter for deeper than about 6meters

And then that was it for day 2 of the course which was the last day. So we go back to the mainland and they give me the exam for me to do back at my hotel, so I go back and do that and then take myself for dinner. – Bed – game of thrones again haha.

Day 3

I had completed the course so I just needed to go and hand in my exam and pick up my certificate which I didn’t know I was going to need a photo for, if I had then I maybe would have tried to make myself look a little better haha.

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I was going to go on a jungle tour but it had started raining and by raining I mean like a monsoon so they said it wasn’t safe to go, which was fine, I didn’t mind as I needed to catch up with blog updating etc.

The next day it was time to leave to go back to KL to get the train up to Penang.

I had a great time on my scuba course with Sipadan Scuba, they were great and I felt like I definitely learnt a lot especially as most of the time It was a one on one session which I definitely benefit from having my instructors focus entirely on me – not that I like to be the centre of attention or anything haha.

But they get 5 Bee’s of approval from me.

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Here is my attempt at an underwater video without a diving filter haha

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Malaysia With Dad

Sunday 18th September

We arrived into Malaysia airport around 6am and it was hot hot hot already, and really humid.

I was absolutely knackered because the flight was awful! They put us in the seats right by the emergency exit and while that meant we had all the leg space in the world it also meant that the seats were a lot smaller because the trays fit in the side of the chairs so my butt only just about fit in the seat! – Thankyou donuts!

There was also a screaming baby right next to us so I hardly slept at all even though I had popped a couple of sleeping tablets! So when we got off the plane and into the taxi I fell asleep straight away.

We got to the hotel and paid a little bit extra so we could check in straight away, I had about an hour’s nap and then dragged myself out of the bed so we could go and enjoy the day.

we walked out of the hotel and down to a road with a load of bars and restaurants on called and then at the top of that road was a another road called ‘Jalan Alor’ which had lots of restaurants on and also lots of closed street stalls which opened later in the day.

We walked down that street and went into one of the restaurants for some breakfast and we had absolutely no idea what we were ordering.

You go up to the buffet and point at the things you want and it’s served with rice. Whatever we ended up getting it was beautiful!

We are doing pretty well with all the delicious food we have been having over the past week!

After breakfast we walked to the twin towers using my maps, as I had downloaded the maps for offline use which is a great thing for you to do if you go travelling anywhere!

The system they have there for people walking is great, there was a big air conditioned walkway above all the cars which had different routes to go down and it was all signposted so that was brilliant.

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When we got to the twin towers, there was some kind of science fair going on outside so we had a walk around there and stayed to watch a street illusion act which was actually really good and all in English so even better.

Then we went and got our tickets for the twin towers and as we had to wait a while decided to go and have a walk around the gardens for a while which were really nice.

Then up the towers which was actually really funny as the Malaysian guys we went up with decided that they wanted photos with us, and they ended up taking hundreds while we were waiting to go up, when we were in the lift and while we were up there. Don’t know why they wanted photos of us two! Haha

The view from the towers was amazing, see for yourselves….

After the towers we jumped in a taxi and went over to the botanical gardens bird park, it was great in there as they have most of the birds free to walk around inside with you, and they also had some birds that I have never seen before.

The one downfall about this place was that it was all on a hill so for us it was knackering as we were already feeling pretty dead.

But it was great and really beautiful inside.

Once we had climbed back to the top of the park we decided to get a taxi back to the hotel and have a bit of a chill and a shower before heading back out to ‘Jalan Alor’ the street markets.

The street markets were amazing! We went to one place with lots of kebab sticks called ‘Fat Brothers’ and had a few sticks of fish and also some vegetables which was amazing. There was also a really nice boy selling fresh watermelon drinks with vodka in so we tried one of those and it was delicious.

Later we ended up in one of the restaurants on the side and ordered a few dishes and one of them was a dragon fish which we watched him cook on the BBQ under a bin lid (hopefully clean haha) it was really nice.

On the way back to the hotel we stopped for one drink at one of the bars and then went back for an early night ready for our rainforest tour tomorrow.

Monday 19th September

Today we were going on a rainforest and self-awareness tour with a guy called Happy Yen. I had found him online and he had good reviews about his tour.

When he came to pick us up he was bursting with energy and just seemed like a happy old man. We walked outside and got in his car.

It was just me and my dad on this tour, no one else haha.

So firstly he told us about the history of Malaysia and that they have 3 main settlers, which are Malaysian, Indian and Chinese, so that means that the food here is from these 3 countries and he wanted to introduce us to some of the food here.

He took us to an Indian restaurant out of Kuala Lumpur that was amazing, we had a bread called Poori and some dips to go along with it, it was amazing.

After breakfast we drove for about an hour to a temple where we went and had a look around and Yen was explaining to us how we don’t need to go to a temple to find peace, as the temple is in our minds.

Then after the temple we went to a rainforest, and drove through an aboriginal village, when we walked up through the rainforest we saw more aboriginal houses, there was a lot of rubbish just tipped everywhere too which is such a shame considering how beautiful the place is.

Then onto a stream where dad and happy yen had a bit of a swim (I didn’t because I had covered my blisters up with blister pads and all sorts of stuff so I didn’t want to get them wet) and we drank some milky green tea with water from the stream.

After the tea we walked back to the car and to the stream there to have lunch and we were joined by lots of dogs and big butterflies which was nice. The food was amazing too.

Then it was back in the car onto the next place which was a natural hot pool that gets to over 50 degrees. I again didn’t want to get my feet wet but dad got in straight away and didn’t even need to sing the song that Yen was trying to get him to sing to try and distract his mind from the hot water. After they got in the one pool, the moved onto 2 more which we even hotter and yen picked up buckets of water and began chucking them on himself and said for dad to do the same thing, which he did and Yen decided that he would help him with the last bucket to throw on his back. I was just laughing at all of this because it did look really funny.

Once all the water throwing was done we got back in the car and drove back to Kuala Lumpur to finish our day, we asked Yen to drop us at the train station instead of the hotel so I could buy my train tickets to Penang for when dad leaves, so we did that and had a stroll around the shopping centre under the train station.

We were right next to little India too so we had a walk around there which was quite pretty, and then went back to the hotel to shower and get ready to go out for some food and drinks where all the street food was.

We went back to the kebab guys because they were amazing, and then we got some coconut Ice cream which was absolutely incredible! I just want to eat that every single day! And then back to see the nice boy selling the watermelons.

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Then as we didn’t have to check out the hotel until midday tomorrow we decided that we would go for a few drinks in a couple of the bars, which was nice.

Tuesday 20th September

We woke up around 10am and packed all of our stuff away and then went down to reception and checked out the hotel but asked them to keep our luggage while we went out as dads flight wasn’t until 11pm.

We ordered an uber over to the central market and found somewhere to grab breakfast from around there which was a mix of fish, vegetables and rice! – I’m getting used to this kind of breakfast! Who says you need Weetabix to fill you up until lunch time hey!! Haha

Then we had a stroll around the china town markets where I bought my brother his b’day pressies and also got a pair of hippie trousers (think I need to admit that I just can’t wear shorts anymore!) dad also bought himself a Kuala Lumpur T-Shirt.

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After the market we managed to find somewhere with WiFi so we got an uber over to the Batu Caves  which we absolutely amazing, it is also a Temple, but as you walk up to them and look at those steps up there you feel like you already ache! There are a lot of them and they are very steep too! Do people seriously walk all the way up there to go to a temple every day? Omg!

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We were about to go in and I was wearing some shorts (well old lady shorts that come down to my knees, so not really shorts at all) but there was a woman sat at the bottom of the steps that said I couldn’t go up there like that and I needed to either buy one of her scarves to wrap around me or put some trousers on, lucky I have just bought a pair then isn’t it! So I went and changed into those around the corner in the loos where there were loads of monkeys just eating out of the rubbish and I was thinking how cute they were clearly forgetting my last run in with a monkey when he tried to rob me in Singapore on a tiny bridge over the forest a year ago – (YOU CAN READ ABOUT THAT HERE IF YOU WANT)

Back to the bottom of the steps and we look up, take a deep breath in and begin the climbing! It didn’t take long for my legs to start burning, so we kept having to stop for them to sort themselves out and for me to get my breath.

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When we get up there we see lots of men building and we were wondering how the hell they get all their stuff up the steps? I wonder if they have to carry it up there? It would take a long time!

It was really beautiful up there, although…….monkeys, monkeys, monkeys everywhere and one tried to grab the bag of clothes off dad that we had just bought from the market! Ahhh yes now I remember I actually hate monkeys! The thieves!!

There were so many of them and each of them kept trying to come over to us and everyone else to steal our bags, we eventually held our bottles of water up and went to throw it at them and they went away! – Bloody monkeys!!!

There was a cave called the dark cave up here that we decided to pay to inside to look at and it was really good. We had to wear hard hats and carry a flash light each, but we weren’t allowed to shine the lights up the cave as there were hundreds maybe even thousands of bats up there and that’s all you could hear. We were told not to shine the torches up high as it can disturb the bats and they are very sensitive to light.

The bits we did see though were really beautiful and we did even see a bat that had come close to the ground to die, so that was a bit sad to see a dead bat but hey that’s the fact of life I guess.

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After the caves we got a taxi back to the hotel which cost a fortune! Definitely go for uber where ever has it! So much cheaper!!!

We quickly used their WiFi to find a rooftop bar we could go to have a drink and have a view of the twin towers. We found one called Heli bar and walked there but unfortunately once we had got the lift up to the 38th floor we found out they were closed for a private function, luckily there was another rooftop bar close by called Elysium which said you had a view of the towers so we decided to go there, and I’m really happy we did. The view was great and the bar was empty so we got a good seat. The drinks were very expensive but I guess that’s the same with any rooftop bar! You’re not really just paying for the drinks are you!

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We stayed there for a couple of hours and then it was time to leave for the airport, so we ordered an uber who took us to our hotel and then to the airport.

We went and got dad all checked in and then said our goodbyes, it was a lot easier than last time as its only 2 months until I’m home for Christmas so that was good but I had such a nice time with him I didn’t want him to go home.

 

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