Work, honestly, why do we even do it? I was shipped to Penang in Malaysia for three months to work. Should I complain? I think not. Paid accommodation, new culture, new people, the best personal training ever and a great pay cheque – perfect.
Staying somewhere for three months is a type of travelling I am new to. Yes I had stayed in Jakarta for some time but I had never stayed in a place for so long as Penang, it almost became a home-away-from-home in a sense.
I worked on the industrial side in another area so my trips into Penang always started with a ferry ride, or a trip across the Penang river via the long go-between bridge. Still, it was only a 30 minute drive into the main area so I really couldn’t complain. On weekends and during time off I managed to stay at a lot of the affordable and nice hotels, as well as contrast them with the backpacker lodges, of which were all closer in to the nightlife. For us, a lot of that nightlife was
accrued in Love Lane, which is promisingly enough the same street as all of the hostels. Love Lane is aptly titled as such for its trishaws with floral decorations and an old British officer with the surname Love falling for a lady. As cliche as it sounds, I fell in love there too – which has inspired me for future travels to the Europe. The story that I heard from a few locals as to the name was that sailors and fishermen with families in Penang would keep their mistresses in hotels on Love Lane. Perhaps my story of the trishaws and the colonial officer falling for a lady sounds better.
If you’re with a special someone, give the Insta Coffee a go. They take a photo of your face and print it in chocolate on to a coffee. It’s expensive as far as coffee goes, but worth the try.
Love Lane branches off the main street, Chulia Street, in Penang and has some of the best live music venues I have ever been to, namely Micke’s Place. Even though it, and the bars next door, were small in spacing, their seating arrangement spilled out onto the street and still had people standing watching the live music. Most nights at these bars were open mic so talented travellers would join in on any jam that would be happening at the time.
The street food on Chulia generally only starts around nine or 10 o’clock at night, which seems late in the western world, but is when Georgetown livens up. One of the best places I frequented was a noodle van only a short walk from the Love Lane corner. Funnily enough, no matter how many or how few a people may be waiting on a meal, the cooks are always yelling and running everywhere – perhaps it’s just ingrained into their living.
Love Lane’s hostels were great places to visit, however one of the more comfortable ones we stayed in was Chulia Heritage Hotel. This was one of the many heritage-listed buildings in Penang and from the outside looked like a five star expensive hotel. Inside was a hostel with shared bathrooms and spacious rooms decked in white, and when I say white, literally everything was white. It was in a prime location to get to all of the sites in the area which will be written on in the following log.
For me, personally, going to Penang as an employee, rather than as a traveller, is a step I had to take in life to push me out of working for other people and move on to working for myself under my own ambition. If I met anyone in Penang, a majority of them were travellers that had decided to up their job and go travelling until they spent all of their money.
I don’t agree with the second part: spending all of your savings on travel. That money could be used to invest in something more beneficial to help you travel for the rest of your life, and make money. Why wouldn’t you want to invest in an idea like that?