A little-ish island off the North West coast of peninsular Malaysia, Penang is far more than what initially meets the eye. This city is much bigger than anticipated with many areas including lush hills to hike and massive malls featuring major labels (and air conditioning!). But my favourite neighbourhood had to be George Town.
George Town is a lively location that’s constantly buzzing with activity, street food, street art, and is a central spot for backpackers. Love Lane, in addition to being a super cute name for a street, houses a number of hotels and hostels ranging from the grungy and cockraoch infested to many nicely restored old buildings, like the Old Penang Guesthouse where I stayed.
Walk out of Old Penang Guesthouse and turn right and a little ways down you’ll find Budan’s Brew, a sweet spot for a light and tasty western breakfast and fresh juices and smoothies.
Turn left and you’ll come across Micke’s Place, a graffiti covered hole in the wall where all who pass sign the walls, tables, chairs, ceiling and where one can get a tasty (albeit slightly overpriced) cocktail.
A short walk will bring you to ChinaHouse, a multi-roomed concept restaurant-cum-bar-cum-lounge-cum-bakery-cum-art gallery (see “TravelAddict Checks Out ChinaHouse” for more on this cool place).
In and around and down alleys are the true gems of George Town; the street art. Any hotel should have a free art tour map to help you navigate the streets in search of these gems (but more have popped up between printing so don’t stick solely to that map, explore). These are whimsical works of art that are fantastic to see and make for great photo opps.