Penang, Malaysia – Another UNESCO city

After 8.5 hours on a bus from Melaka, and a 30 minute Grab ride, I finally arrived in George Town on Penang Island. It was late and I hadn’t eaten all day, so I was a little grumpy and hangry. I had booked another high rise room since I enjoyed the view in KL, and this time, I was on the 22nd floor. When I walked in, it was dark and the city lights didn’t look super impressive, so I was a little bummed. However, after I found some food after walking for about an hour, and got some rest….on yet another concrete bed, I was pleasantly surprised by the view when the sun came up. Later, I checked out the pool and the chill area and found some great lounge swings for the afternoons in!

With a better outlook, I setout to see the city. First, I walked towards the center of town, and came upon all kinds of street art. People generally seemed happy, and it was nice to have some brighter weather and space to wander around and take photos!

Next…eeee, I was so excited!!! I found some cat art which led me into the Heritage Cat! A cat museum with all kinds of amazing figurines, paintings, and miscellaneous art. So, here it is for my cat loving friends…I couldn’t get enough of this place!

The following day, I worked on the computer for a bit in the morning, and then made the ridiculous decision to walk to Penang Hill, 6km across town, instead of getting a ride. I thought I might see some fun stuff along the way, and then be ready to hike when I arrived. Of course, in the midday sun and humidity, I was almost a puddle when I made it to the hill, and instead of hiking, bought a bottle of Gatorade and a train ticket. The train is a one-section funicular railway, which was completely overhauled in 2010. It was a fun and fast ride up the hill, so I’m glad I did it!

At the top of the hill, there is a Hindu Temple (which was fun next to the playground), a Mosque, a nature park, and various snack shops, etc. The nature park was absolutely worth the extra money! It has the world’s longest two-span stressed ribbon bridge, an amazing butterfly park, spectacular views of the island and the mainland, and I was even lucky enough to spot a giant black squirrel!

On the walk to the hill, I noticed a giant temple off to one side, and had to look into it for the next day. It was Kek Lok Si temple, the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia, also known as the ‘Temple of Supreme Bliss’. The pagoda is actually a fusion of Chinese, Thai, and Burmese culture, and is filled with many different Buddha statues, shrines, and the animals of the zodiac.

I absolutely had to return to see this amazing sight and to have another chance at a hike on the hill. I got up early, and started with a ride to the temple. I was the first visitor to arrive which allowed me some quiet time for a meditation and some photos. So beautiful! You can see from the photo in the bottom left corner how big the structure actually is!

After the temple, I walked to the base of the hill, and hitting midday, decided to take the train up and hike down, as I read it was fairly strenuous, and would take at least 3 hours. This was the right decision since it was a scorching hot day, and the hike down was harder than I expected after stopping for photos, getting lost a few times, and conquering the 3000 steps of different sizes and shapes, similar to the Pikes Peak Incline for my Colorado friends! The coolest part was I got to see some of the special dusky leaf monkeys hanging out near the train tracks!

And to bring it all to an end, I spent a bit more time walking around the city. I visited the old Chinese piers, the Esplanade, and found some more art and some super sweet girls on holiday from college that were excited to chat and practice their English. They were all majoring in business and so passionate about their studies.

Penang turned me around and gave me a breath of fresh air! Thanks for hanging with me!

Cheers, Hugs, and Love, Michelle

One Reply to “Penang, Malaysia – Another UNESCO city”

  1. Loved reading your blog on Melaka. We remember the fun trishaws of Hello Kitty. Also great photos of Penang. Looks like you’ve seen a lot. Take care of the heat.
    See you soon. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

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