Georgetown has some of the best food in the world. Laksa, Penang curry, char keow teow… so many mouth-watering dishes begging to be consumed! The quality of street food varies quite a lot, so scope out a spot that is busy and has a high turnover of customers to ensure that you’re eating some authentic and truly delicious food.
Fancy eating out? My favourite spot was Woodlands, in Little India. The prices are low, the portions are hearty, and the flavours are fabulous. Grab a few sweet treats for take away, too.
ChinaHouse is a great spot for wine and cakes - with a selection of over 30 different cakes, this gallery-cum-eaterie caters for all palets. In addition to featuring a bakery and cafe, ChinaHouse also houses a bar, an outdoor courtyard, and an art gallery. It does get exceptionally busy during peak hours, so it’s best to book ahead.
Wheelers cafe is my favourite spot to grab a tea or coffee at. Though the prices are higher than some other cafes in the area, but it does have many redeeming features. There is crisp aircon inside, cute decor, and free drinking water available. Side note, Penang has TERRIBLE Wi-Fi. As I work online, it’s essential to have a good connection - Wheelers is the only cafe I could find that had consistently good Wi-Fi in the whole downtown area.
Okay, so you’re bloated from all the delectable food that Penang has to offer. The best way to work off the food baby is take to the streets and feast your eyes on the quirky street art that is idiosyncratic to Georgetown.
Since 2008, Georgetown has received world heritage status and is home to some of the most captivating and iconic street art in the world. The downtown area is extremely walkable, so stroll the streets at your own leisure and discover some funky hidden gems.
This would be an ideal time to unwrap the sweet treats from Woodlands. Sugary biscuits and funky street art, what a great combo!
My personal favourites are playful paintings by Artists for Stray Animals and still-life scenes by Ernest Zacharevic.
Visit Hua Hin Bus Depot
Hua Hin is an excellent space for entrepreneurs to showcase their products to a wider audience - backpackers, locals, and expats all take advantage of the weekly market to snap up some one of a kind bargains.
Every Sunday between 11am and 5pm is a kitsch pop-up market. Sample some flavoursome beverages as you peruse the stalls for some cutesy bric-a-brac and quirky treasures.
Modern street art and installations are the backdrop to the skate park nestled to the rear of the space, so you can watch the skaters perform tricks on the ramps and chat with the locals. The Bus Depot also has a gallery space for art exhibitions and a cafe, so there’s something to do every day of the week.
Wind down at the Clan Jetties
Once a bustling port of access to Chinese immigrants of Penang, the Jetties are now small “floating” villages, resigned to a more traditional way of life. The most popularly visited is the Chew Jetty, but some of the smaller ones tend to remain under the radar by most tourists.
Grab yourself a roti to-go and savour the sweet pancakey goodness as you watch the sun go down on some of the lesser known Clan Jetties.
This spot is great for people watching: I enjoyed observing locals fishing and cute couples on first dates. The backdrop is romantic and the sunsets are striking, making for a fantastic close to an evening.
Rebecca Da Silva is a small business owner (seriously, she’s very tiny) and freelance writer. She is the founder of Zero menstrual cups and spends her time breaking the taboo around menstruation. Visit www.zerocup.co.uk to learn more about sustainable period products. Rebecca enjoys living out of a tiny backpack, calling new places “home” - for a short while, at least - and slow, long-term travel. You can follow her journey on Instagram @_becular or stop by her blog becular.wordpress.com.