Today I should have been writing a post about how lovely Ipoh is, which would be great…except for the fact that I’m in Georgetown. How have I managed to get these two destinations (which are quite far from each other I might add) you may ask? Well, Joe and I have started hitch hiking- sorry mum.
After doing some research, we found that not only is it extremely safe to hitch hike in South East Asia but it is also extremely easy to do. After watching numerous YouTube videos of travellers doing the same thing we decided to test the waters before going anywhere big and possibly ending up stuck in the middle of nowhere. So whilst in the Cameron Highlands we walked to a spot on the edge of town and stuck our thumbs out like they do in films, unsure of what would happen next. Within 30 seconds a lovely Muslim woman pulled to the side of the road and asked us where we wanted to go. RESULT!! so the next day we thought we’d try hitch a ride 50 miles down the road to Ipoh. Within 5 minutes we were in the back of a pickup truck; heading to a neighbouring town-Brinchang. So far so good..I thought. I spent the next 20 minutes on the side of a road in the middle of nowhere with a tired thumb, an aching arm and was ready to try plan B (what that was I had no idea). Until, a 20 year old Malaysian student who spoke very little English pulled to the side of the road. He didn’t understand where we needed to be, but he was going to Penang. Of all places he was driving 250 km away to Georgetown- which was actually on our list of places to visit, just not yet. The offer was simply too good to refuse; so we drove the 3 1/2 hour journey in stark silence (we tried) with a lovely young man who took a selfie with us when we arrived at out destination- oh and it was absolutely free! We are so incredibly proud of our first hitch.
But, back to Georgetown. When I was researching Malaysia, there was one place I heard about time and time again-Georgetown is amazing, Georgetown is absolutely fantastic. Needless to say, when I arrived here I expected to be wowed… I’m not sure if disappointed is the right word, but I’ve definitely been underwhelmed by this place. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a great time; the street art is wonderful, I’ve tasted some delicious local delicacies- it’s just not what I was expecting. The last Unesco World Heritage Site I’ve been to was Hoi An in Vietnam, so Georgetown was always going to have rather large shoes to fill and unfortunately, for me, it doesn’t fit the bill. The places of worship here are brilliant- I love the Street of Harmony- a Christian Church, Muslim Mosque and a Hindu Temple peacefully co-exist on one street; the rest of the world could certainly learn a thing or two from Georgetown and I adore how diverse it is here. I just simply expected more, I don’t quite know what…just more.
So my advice, would be to definitely visit Georgetown, it is a lovely place and is well worth the trip to Penang. However, clear your mind of any misconceptions before arriving. Toss out all prior reviews and recommendations you’ve heard, and simply discover Georgetown for yourself, that way you’re sure to love it here. Also- go to the Chocolate and Coffee museum, they offer FANTASTIC free samples!