Happy Chinese New Year! And hello from Malaysia!
Last time I was in SE Asia, I only flew through Malaysia, but did not stop.
This time, I’m working my way south, from Penang to Singapore (which is not officially part of Malaysia but you know what I mean).
Let’s start with Penang! Known as food heaven, sadly I came at the wrong time to sample more of the delicacies. Chinese New Year was smack at the start of my trip and thus, many of the restaurants were closed.
Chinese New Year is a 10-day celebration, but how long it’s celebrated varies per country. Vietnam can definitely last 10-14 days, and seems like Malaysia does too, due to its large Chinese population. I picked Penang because I was told it was a great spot to visit for it, sadly I think that was poor advice.
The city is still charming and delightful, full of street art and historic buildings but, I do think I missed some additional activities because of CNY. Travel, live and learn.
The main hub of Penang is George Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site that boasts the old world charm and influences of China.
Penang is also hot as fuck. Excuse my language but it is fucking hot here, which I was prepared for but turns out, wasn’t.
It’s tropical. 80-85 degrees during the day with 75-79 dew point so it feels like 105. The sun is relentless and brutal from 11am – 4pm.
While out on my walks, people walk primarily in the shade, chasing shade from one building to another. I did the same.
I have not been this consistently hot and sweaty in a long time. On average, I sweat completely through my clothes two times per day and shower at least twice a day too to hose off.
It’s gross. But my skin is glowing, so I guess you can’t win them all.
Street art is also well known here due to a public art exhibition commissioned in 2017, which lead to a rise of more artists to decorate streets since. I loved seeing the street art around here, and the history and culture of Penang and Malaysia in it.
My journey south continues, sadly with the heat.
Oh, and I got attacked by bugs or bed bugs at a hostel. Total of 21 bites between both legs. In this heat and humidity it is true torture. Not the strongest start to Malaysia 😦