Destination: Island of Penang, Georgetown, Malaysia
We planned to spend a week in Georgetown and that quickly turned into nearly two weeks. The island has a charm to it, with its diversity, having a large community of Chinese, Indians, and of course, Malaysians. We also appreciated its interesting architecture, with me getting excited about the opportunity to snap pictures of unique old doors (something I kind of have a thing for). The city has a bit of unexpectedness to it as well. When you walk down the streets, you see much of the colonial era buildings only to then stumble upon a beautiful detailed temple.
The mix and diversity made us eager to explore and while there are many pedicabs (most decorated in an overabundance of artificial flowers), we preferred to see the area on foot. This allowed us the leisure of being able to sample from various street vendors. I was able to enjoy my first Samosa, which if you are not familiar, is a very popular Indiana snack. It is a triangle pastry filled with vegetables and then deep-fried. Marko enjoyed them a little too much eating nearly 10 and regretting it later.
While in Penang on our first trip earlier this year, we rented a moped and went around the entire island. We took the time to stop and enjoy one of the beaches, and it is not hard to find a stretch of sand with no one else there but yourselves if you take the time to get out of the city.
Penang was an enjoyable town and is a terrific place to go if you need to get a new Thailand visa like we did. The process for a Thailand tourist visa at the consulate in Penang was much simpler and smoother than what we had experienced in Cambodia. In Cambodia, the Thai consulate required that we show flights out of Thailand while at the Thai consulate in Penang did not require this documentation. Also, Malaysia did not require a visa, allowing tourist up to 90 days, which meant it was also less expensive to do our Thai visas from here.