Travel: Georgetown, Pulau Pinang

George Town, the capital city of Penang state, is located on Penang Island in the North-West of Malaysia. It might be Malaysia’s second largest city after Kuala Lumpur, but it’s nowhere near as crazy and in your face as the country’s capital. Especially in its quaint old town centre.

5 Things You Should Explore in Georgetown, Penang

Penang Ferry began its operations in 1920, making it the oldest ferry service in Malaysia. These iconic ferries ply between the Seberang Perai mainland and Penang island, ferrying both passengers and vehicles to and from the island.

The ferries are designed for vehicles to roll-on/roll-off. Some board pedestrian passengers on the upper deck and small vehicles (cars) on the lower deck, whereas some board vehicles on both decks.

The benches for passengers on the upper decks have pivoting backs that can be flipped back and forth so passengers can sit facing in the direction of travel regardless of which way the ferry is going.

The 15 minute ferry ride allows visitors to enjoy the spectacular view of Penang island and serves as a reliable mode of transportation to and from the island.

A fleet of eight ferries, named after the many beautiful islands in Malaysia, the ferries are named Pulau Pinang, Pulau Payar, Pulau Angsa, Pulau Kapas, Pulau Rimau, Pulau Undan, Pulau Rawa and Pulau Talang-Talang ply the waters. Penang Port is unique, in that it is the only port in Malaysia that runs a ferry service, linking Georgetown on Penang Island (Pengkalan Raja Tun Uda) and Butterworth on the mainland (Pengkalan Sultan Abdul Halim)

Important Note:

First ferry from Butterworth to George Town at 05.20 am.
Last ferry to Penang at 00.10 am.

First ferry from Penang Island to Butterworth at 05.40 am.
Last ferry to Butterworth at 00.40 am.

The Penang ferry runs roughly every 20 to 30 minutes, it takes about 15 to 20 minutes to cover the 3km distance.

After 10pm, there are less frequent boats, with just one departure every 60 minutes.

Georgetown Ferry Schedule

nasi biryani briyani kapatan penang

Kapitan’s has made a name for itself and namely, its Tandoori Chicken. Be it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper or those unnamed in-between meals, Kapitan’s, while initially boosted to fame with its tandoori chicken, has since gone on to attracting as many customers for its nasi briyani, naans and a rather eccentric mix of a drink, badam milk (pure cow milk boiled with ground almond, cashew nuts and raisins with sugar).

Another specials that you MUST find for breakfast in Georgetown is the toast. “Roti Bakar Telur Goyang” or in English will be Toast and Poaches Eggs. Nothing can go wrong with this toast as it’s traditional toasted on the charcoal. It is located at Roti Bakar Hutton Lane, GPS will help you to find the place. It’s walking distance from  the street art though.

Roti bakar telur goyang georgetown penang breakfast

Some shot of the street art in Georgetown that’s one of the attraction to take picture with.

 

A little more sightseeing at Georgetown that may attract you and a MUST to see there. There are a lot of museums that you might want to visit, as for our case, we don’t really have time to visit due to limited time. From the Ghost Museum, Penang 3D Art Museum to Camera Museum to whatever weird animal Museum (I couldn’t recall the name) LOL!

 

If you would like to visit Georgetown, I would recommend you to stay within the radius of Armenian Street, Ah Quee Street or Beach Street. It is convenient for you to walk around. So have fun!

 

Hiking: Bukit Saga, Ampang

While there are parts of Ampang’s Bukit Saga or Saga Hill, that are quiet and unspoilt, other parts can feel overly tended and less than natural. Still Bukit Saga is beloved by the community it serves. And the community loves it straight back.

There are many routes to choose from, which start from various sides of the hill. Saga Hill refers to the hilltop nearest the small town of Taman Saga, where the starting point is. Before you are considering Saga Hill, I strongly suggest wear a pair of proper hiking shoe and prepare a hiking stick for this hill.

Hiking Bukit Saga Ampang Malaysia Asia

Saga Hill is a great hike for nature lovers. Mildly challenging trails that will work up a bit of a sweat. Many trails to choose from so be aware of your route or hike with someone experienced and knows the trails. Nice waterfall that will help cool you down.

Hiking Bukit Saga Amapang Malaysia nature  Hiking Bukit Saga Amapang Malaysia Top peak

Once you have reached the peak of Bukit Saga, you may proceed further to reach the roundabout that will lead you to the Hilltop & Waterfall trail. We decided to take the waterfall trail instead of the hilltop. The Hilltop trail is very popular with hikers who are doing their trainings for mountain trekking.

Overall, it was a challenging trail for a beginner but with perseverance and persistence, it was worth it especially the satisfaction of reaching the waterfall. Would recommend everyone to at least have a go at Bukit Saga. As there seems to be some people who are maintaining the trail there, the area is well kept and very clean. Even the waterfall area is rubbish free allowing hikers to just enjoy the natural beauty.

The residents (many of which are more senior and like to climb every day) apparently prefer that climbers don’t park too near their houses, so the suggested parking space is a small park in front of a kindergarten (I think). From there, Saga Hill is clearly visible.

Travel: Batu Caves, Malaysia

temple in malaysia asia

Batu Caves in short also referred as 10th Caves or Hill for Lord Muruga as there are six important holy shrines in India and four more in Malaysia. Located about 13km North of the city centre.

They consist of three main caves and a number of smaller ones. The caves are made of limestone and 400 meters long and 100 meter high. They were discovered in 1892.

batu caves selayang

The climb was made easy by a pile of angular rocks that over the years of wear and tear had chipped off the face cliff (40foot (12m)).

travel to batu cave temple malaysia asia

The Murugan statue was quite a project to build:

  • Cost: approximately 392 830 US$
  • Made of: 1550 cubic meters of concrete and 250 tonnes of steel bars
  • Gold paint: 300 liters

Walk up the stairs and inside the cave, most probably you need less than an hour to explore everything there. And, not to forget to drink coconut on the way down.

batu caves malaysiaThe cave is one of the most popular Tamil shrines outside India, and is dedicated to Lord Murugan. It is the focal point of Hindu festival of Thaipusam in Malaysia. The Thaipusam festival. Every year, on Thaipusam, as many as 800,000 devotees and other visitors may throng the caves. As a form of penance or sacrifice, many of them carry kavadis (literally, “burden,” such as a pitcher or jug). These are large, brightly decorated frameworks, usually combined with various metal hooks and skewers which are used to pierce the skin, cheeks and tongue.

 

cave in asia

Batu Caves is easily reached by Komuter train from Port Klang Route, costing RM 2 for a one-way journey from KL Sentral.