Kuala Lumpur and Penang

5 February 2024

Kuala Lumpur Calling: 3 Days in the Heart of Malaysia

Today, we’re starting on our whirlwind adventure through the bustling streets of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Buckle up as we embark on a 3-day journey from our previous stop in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Chiang Mai Farewell & Kuala Lumpur Arrival

Bidding farewell to the enchanting city of Chiang Mai, we awoke with the sunrise and fueled up for the day with a delicious breakfast. Eager to explore new horizons, we hopped into a taxi booked through the handy InDrive app (thanks for the tip, Bee!), a new online booking system that proved to be a lifesaver.

The airport check-in process was a breeze, and the splurge for priority boarding was well worth it. Settling comfortably into our window and middle seats in the second row, we took off for Kuala Lumpur. The flight was uneventful, but a quick duty-free stop for a small bottle of Sang Som added a touch of excitement (remember to check duty-free regulations beforehand!).

Landing at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 1 pm, we efficiently navigated customs and immigration.

By 2 pm, we were whisked away on the KLIA Ekspres towards the city center. KL Central Station became our arrival point, and a quick taxi ride deposited us at our luxurious home for the next few days – The Traders Hotel. Check-in was a breeze, and by 3:30 pm, we were unwinding in our incredibly comfortable room.

The city beckoned, and with a thirst for exploration, we set off on foot towards the iconic Petronas Twin Towers. The walk took us through the beautiful KLCC Park, a welcome respite amidst the urban jungle. Capping off the day, we indulged in a delectable dinner at the mall’s food court before returning to the hotel for a well-deserved rest in that heavenly bed.

6 February 2024

Day 2 in the City

Daylight painted Kuala Lumpur in a new light, and we indulged in a luxurious breakfast spread at the hotel buffet.

Feeling energized, we ventured out by 11 am, ready to soak in the city’s vibrant atmosphere.

Our exploration led us to a captivating sight – colossal kebab meat rolls, unlike anything we’d ever seen before, weighing in at an estimated 15-20 kilograms! Talk about a feast for the eyes (and perhaps the stomach, for the truly adventurous!).

Next, fate led us to a haven for audiophiles – CMY Audio and Visual. Stepping inside, we were surrounded by the most exquisite record players and sound systems imaginable. It seems the love for vinyl is indeed experiencing a well-deserved revival!

The afternoon unfolded with a leisurely stroll through the numerous shopping malls that pepper the city’s central business district. Each mall offered a unique blend of shops, cafes, and entertainment options, providing endless opportunities for discovery.

As the sun began to dip below the horizon, hunger pangs set in. We stumbled upon a gem of a restaurant offering delectable Briyani and Lamb Curry Sets. The explosion of flavors was a true delight for our taste buds.

With satisfied tummies, we retraced our steps to the iconic KLCC towers. As dusk settled, the night sky transformed into a mesmerizing spectacle. The Petronas Towers, bathed in a kaleidoscope of colours, held us spellbound with their breathtaking light show.

7 February 2024

Unveiling the City’s Heart (Day 3)

Our final full day in Kuala Lumpur promised further exploration, and we embarked on a journey beyond the city center. The convenient Traders buggy whisked us to the KLCC train station, where we boarded a train towards Pasar Seni, the city’s Central Market. Stepping off the train by 11 am, we were eager to delve into the vibrant market atmosphere.

Pasar Seni unfolded before us, a treasure trove of local crafts, souvenirs, and textiles. Leaving the market’s embrace, we ventured into the surrounding area, where a strict sense of order reigned. The sight of parking boots adorning illegally parked cars served as a hilarious (and effective) reminder of the local parking regulations!

Next, we navigated the bustling streets of Chinatown, immersing ourselves in the sights, sounds, and aromas of this cultural enclave. A hidden gem emerged – a treasure trove of stunning murals adorning the sides of streets. These artistic expressions added a vibrant layer to the urban landscape.

As the clock struck 1 pm, hunger pangs set in. A local eatery beckoned, and we savored a delectable spread of Masala Chicken, Chicken Peratal, and fluffy naan bread. The explosion of flavors was a true culinary adventure!

By 2 pm, the midday sun asserted its dominance, prompting us to seek refuge in the cool embrace of the train station. We returned to our hotel, seeking respite from the heat.

As the day drew to a close, the allure of local kebabs proved irresistible.

Zoaq Restaurant welcomed us with open arms, and we feasted on a mouthwatering dinner, the perfect conclusion to a day filled with cultural discoveries.

This concluded our whirlwind 3-day adventure in Kuala Lumpur, tomorrow Penang.

8 February 2024

Penang: A Week-Long Adventure Begins (Day 1)

Our trip moves on with a brand new adventure, this time venturing to the captivating island of Penang, Malaysia. This 7-day will be filled with exploration, cultural immersion, culinary delights, and breathtaking sights.

The day dawned bright and early at the Traders Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. After a lovely farewell from our friendly reception staff, we awaited our pre-arranged driver, Maz. Thank you Aidil, Gary and Idris for being you and making our stay so special. We will see you again.

A quick text message alerted us to a slight delay due to traffic congestion and an unfortunate accident. We used the wait to reminisce about our time in Kuala Lumpur.

Maz arrived shortly after, and with our luggage loaded into her car, we set off for Penang. The highway journey unfolded with a mix of smoothness and stop-and-go sections. A few accidents caused delays, but the heavy traffic remained manageable. The trip proved to be a delightful opportunity to chat with Maz – a single mother of three, who moonlights as an actress and YouTuber!

The iconic bridge marked our arrival on Penang Island. Maz expertly navigated the roads, leading us to our stylish AirBnB apartment nestled on the 25th floor of a building in Georgetown.

With appetites calling, we ventured out for dinner and supplies. A familiar sight greeted us in Gurney Plaza – a Harvey Norman store! The local supermarket offered a surprising selection of Coles brand products, a touch of home amidst the exotic offerings. However, a pang of nostalgia for Thai cuisine struck, and we found ourselves drawn to the Sukhothai Thai Cafe. A delectable Red and Green Curry dinner perfectly satiated our cravings.

9 February 2024

A CNY Celebration (Chinese New Year)

Day 2 in Penang unfolded amidst the festive spirit of Chinese New Year! We opted for a leisurely stroll from our AirBnB apartment towards the heart of Georgetown. Penang’s streets transformed into an open-air art gallery, adorned with captivating street art and murals. Whimsical bicycles adorned walls, vibrant food illustrations tempted our taste buds, and portraits of locals brought the city’s character to life.

The murals even offered glimpses into Penang’s history, with splashes of Indian influence reflected in the bright colors and unique three-wheeled bicycles topped with shade umbrellas. Overhead, strings of colorful umbrellas provided a welcome respite from the midday sun, while red Chinese lanterns swayed gently in the breeze, a testament to the approaching celebrations.

By 3:30 pm, the heat intensified, prompting us to seek refuge in the air-conditioned comfort of Penang Plaza. The cool air revitalised us, and after a refreshing break, we returned to our apartment around 5 pm, ready to relax and witness the sunset.

As darkness descended, the city erupted in a symphony of light and sound. Fireworks painted the night sky in dazzling hues, and the joyous noise of celebrations filled the air. The stroke of midnight truly ignited the festivities. From our 25th-floor vantage point, we witnessed a spectacular spectacle – a sea of colorful fireworks illuminating the night, accompanied by the cacophony of revelers.

Penang’s vibrant celebration of Chinese New Year proved to be an unforgettable experience, a perfect blend of cultural immersion and festive cheer.

10 February 2024

Day 3 – Exploring Culture and Coastlines

Day 3 on Penang presented a unique challenge – our building’s bustling elevators! Determined not to be waylaid by the wait, we opted for a brisk walk down the 25 floors, a refreshing start to the day.

Our adventure led us to the charming jetty area of the city, known for its abundance of murals and intriguing sights. We strolled through Chinatown, where a relaxed atmosphere prevailed, suggesting a collective hangover from the previous night’s festivities (winking emoji).

One location, however, remained vibrant – the Temple of the Goddess of Mercy. Towering incense sticks cast an aromatic haze, and the presence of numerous locals paying homage created a truly spiritual atmosphere.

By noon, we arrived at Lim Jetty. While the presence of fellow tourists was undeniable, a slight disappointment settled in. The area, in our honest opinion, wasn’t as captivating as we had anticipated. Opting to explore greener pastures, we retreated to the familiar comfort of a local shopping center in search of a satisfying lunch.

The afternoon unfolded with a well-deserved siesta back at our AirBnB apartment. As evening painted the sky, the familiar crackle of fireworks filled the air, a nightly tradition that continued to enthrall us.

11 February 2024

Trials and Triumphs

Day 4 on Penang began with a familiar struggle – our persistent elevator situation. Once again, conquering the 25 floors on foot proved to be the swifter option. With a brisk walk and cool breeze energizing us, we set off towards the Gurney Plaza food hall, a haven for delectable lunch options.

Our journey unfolded along a scenic route, revealing a couple of Thai Buddhist temples. While they resembled their grand counterparts in Thailand, a closer look revealed a slight difference in quality, particularly in the finishing touches on the nagas (mythical serpent-like creatures) and the reclining Buddha statue.

Reaching the food hall, we encountered a bustling scene dominated by Chinese patrons. The vibrant atmosphere, unfortunately, came with a challenge – securing a table proved difficult, and the noise level rose quite high. Opting for a change of pace, we ventured upstairs to the familiar comfort of KFC. However, this visit fell short of expectations. Lukewarm fries, an absence of cutlery, and the lack of unlimited drink refills detracted from the experience. In comparison, our previous encounters with Texas Chicken in Malaysia had been far more satisfying.

The return journey led us past the Coffee Tree Boutique, a spot recommended for its coffee expertise. The reality, however, differed from our expectations. This establishment leaned more towards a product outlet than a traditional coffee shop, although they did offer samples of their various coffee blends. While a few were acceptable, the price tag of 50RM per cup deterred us. Needing refreshments, we sought refuge in the Jaya Grocer supermarket located at the base of Gurney Paragon. Replenished and ready for some rest, we returned to our AirBnB apartment.

The evening called for another culinary exploration, and we set our sights on the New World Food Park, located past Giant Plaza. Unfortunately, upon arrival, we found a disappointing scene – many stalls were either closed or offered options that didn’t pique our interest. However, a captivating sight emerged – a vibrant Chinese dragon dance performance unfolding outside one of the restaurants. We paused to appreciate this cultural spectacle before retracing our steps back to the supermarket and eventually, our apartment.

12 February 2024

Conquering Challenges and Cultural Delights

Day 5 in Penang started with a familiar challenge – our persistent elevator woes. By now, navigating the 25 flights of stairs has become almost second nature, though lingering concerns about locked fire exits, broken handles, and dimly lit stairwells can’t be ignored.

The prospect of moving to a new location soon brings a sense of relief.

Undeterred, we set off for Little India in Georgetown, eager to immerse ourselves in its vibrant culture.

Fate intervened along the way, leading us to a captivating sight – a car show/display showcasing a stunning array of 4WD campers, perfect for the adventurous spirit.

After indulging our fascination with these mobile homes, we continued our journey, taking a quick stroll through the colorful streets of Little India. The sights, sounds, and aromas offered a sensory overload in the best possible way.

Our appetites sated, we retreated to the familiar comfort of Penang Plaza for lunch. The afternoon unfolded with a well-deserved siesta back at our AirBnB apartment.

While Day 5 presented its share of challenges, it also delivered unexpected delights. The car show and the cultural immersion in Little India added unique flavors to our Penang experience.

13 February 2024

Coastal Escapade and Culinary Triumphs

Day 6 on Penang dawned with a sigh of relief – a functioning elevator! This small victory set a positive tone for the day’s adventure. By 10:45 am, we were comfortably settled aboard a Penang Rapid Transport bus, embarking on a westward journey along the scenic coastline.

The bus journey wasn’t without its quirks. A 15-minute delay seemed insignificant, but the amusement factor spiked when the driver pulled into a gas station to refuel the bus mid-journey. The fueling process itself proved to be a time-consuming affair, adding to the lighthearted mood.

The coastal route unfolded like a beautiful travelogue, offering glimpses of pristine beaches and lush forests. As the journey reached its conclusion at Teluk, we eagerly disembarked to explore the area. Two rustic jetties beckoned, their weathered charm adding to Teluk’s character.

Hunger pangs started to set in, and with limited dining options readily available, we opted to hop back on the bus and head eastward. The return journey deposited us in the heart of Penang’s CBD, where a delightful culinary experience awaited. Penang Plaza once again proved to be a haven for satisfying our appetites.

After a delicious lunch, we retreated to our AirBnB apartment for a well-deserved afternoon rest. Day 6, despite the initial bus delay and limited dining options at Teluk, offered a scenic escape from the city and a chance to savor a delectable meal.

14 February 2024

A Valentine’s Day Farewell

Happy Valentine’s Day! We hope this special day brings you joy and love. Today’s adventure marks the final leg of our Penang exploration, but fear not, we have a bonus experience to share from yesterday’s journey.

On our westward bus trip, a captivating sight caught your eye – a shopping center named Lotus’s Tanjung Pinang. Intrigued, we decided to dedicate today to exploring this new area.

The sheer scale of the development in this region left us speechless. Towering condominiums, with the Andaman Tower reigning supreme, created an impressive skyline. The ongoing construction of an entirely new island added another layer of awe to the scene. It seems Penang is a place where the future is being built at a rapid pace.

After marveling at the architectural feats, you returned to Lotus’s Tanjung Pinang for a satisfying lunch, the perfect way to conclude your exploration of this up-and-coming district.

Farewell, Penang!

Our Penang adventure reaches its bittersweet conclusion today.