Our first encounter of Malaysia was an interesting one. We found out that the accommodation, in comparison to what we are used to, is more expensive and less comfortable (most places have shared bathrooms so are pretty much a bed in a room not much bigger), but the people are nice and the places seem secure enough, so we can cope with the change in conditions.
Penang itself is quite a large island but we only saw Georgetown as we only stayed 2 nights. The one full day we had we spent 45 minutes on a bus to get to Penang hill where we expected to have wonderful views of the island, however when we arrived it was closed, not to be opened for 3 more days, so that was a waste of time!!!! Oh well, we took the 45 minute bus journey back and decided to walk the sites of Georgetown instead.
Georgetown, like most places in Malaysia has a Chinatown and a Little India and the change between the two (even though they are only divided by the streets) is obvious. In Little India the shops are full of colourful materials and music is coming from all directions. The smell of freshly cooking Naan breads and curries fills your nostrils as you walk round and there's some interesting looking foodstuffs on offer. Not that i'm braving enough to try any!!
Chinatown is so cute, with it's chinese influenced houses which seem run down but believe me they run all sorts of businesses, have their homes and bring up their families in these buildings and with a deeper look you actually realise the quirky, warming atmosphere around you. Here there is also loads of different foods to try and as of night time the hawkers come out and the streets bustle with locals and travellers all looking for a cheap tasty meal. Definitely not to be disappointed.
On a whole we Loved the little place of Geargetown, definitely a nice introduction to Malaysia.