Penang Island – first steps in Malaysia
Early in the morning, what means about 10 o’clock, I checked out of the hostel and set off on foot to the nearby tourist agency, where is a bus stop to the airport. Bus is the cheapest available option to get to the airport in Krabi – it’s several times cheaper than an alternative – taxi. Few minutes of waiting and the bus arrived. One hour later I was already on the airport in Krabi. Trouble-free “check in”, two hours waiting in the departure hall and I boarded almost empty plane to Penang in Malaysia. After landing in Penang we had to get to the tourist center of the island called Georgetown. There were two options – taxi or bus. The first option would cost about 40 RM, the second 2 RM. For me, the choice was obvious, but I had a company – British girl called Trinity (yes, like the one from Matrix!), and she begin to wonder if taking a bus is a good idea. With a little help of a nice old man working at the tourist information on the airport, we convinced Trinity to take the bus. Few minutes later we were already sitting in a bus and heading to Georgetown. It took us about one hour to get to Georgetown and with the help of other passengers we managed to get out on the right bus stop, near our hostel. To tell the truth, I didn’t have any booking, but I decided to check if they have any available rooms in the hostel where Trinity was going to stay.
When we found our hostel called Syok, it turned out that they have available rooms, just the price was a little too high for me – around 50RM per night, But just this one time, I’ve decided to make an exception. For this price I was expecting a private room, but I was escorted to the dormitory like from Harry Potter. I was a little disappointed, but as I have never slept in a dormitory before, I’ve decided to give it a try and I do not regret this decision. On the top floor of the hostel, there was a common room with computers, board games, books and movies collection, so there was plenty of entertainment available. Besides, I met over there many interesting people, among whom was a Chinese guy called Benjamin, who wanted to study in Poland, but never met any Polish person.
Penang is the ideal place for people who like to walk – you can stroll for hours through the streets of the city and admire the architecture, walk along the trail of murals on the walls of Georgetown buildings, go to see the park or hike the Penang Hill, where you can admire a view of the entire island. You can also experience the atmosphere of India, by visiting Little India street, filled with aromas and music from India. Strolling through the streets of Geogetown, I ended in front of Fort Cornwallis. The man selling the tickets at the entrance was taking a nap, so I quietly slipped into the fort and visited it for free. Fort Cornwallis is the historic cornerstone of Georgetown. It is the place where Francis Light landed in 1786 to create a British trading post. The star-shaped fort was the first military and administrative base of the East India Company. Fort was originally surrounded by a moat and to this day, there is a mast with the flag, a chapel, gunpowder warehouse and cannons on the walls of the Fort Cornwallis.