I jumped on a quick flight from Bangkok to Penang. Id 24 hours to kill until my wonderful mother landed. We were due to spend 3 weeks together before we both flew home to the England.

I checked my map upon arrival and saw the hotel id booked was only 2km away. Anything under 3km is walking distance when I’m backpacking so off I set.

Carrying 17kg on a 34 degree day may not have been my wisest move! The walk took forever!

I settled in and relaxed while watching the clock and getting more and more excited to see Mum.

The following morning I opted for a cab rather than walking again and found myself back at the airport.

I set myself up at the arrivals and waited. The previous day I had breezed through security and immigration so I didn’t expect a long wait. 45 minutes later I was starting to get worried. The flight had landed, where was she!!!! Penang only has a small airport!!

Just then out she came! Exhausted but there! Id not seen mum since she visited in India so it was amazing!

We jumped in a cab and set off to George town, Penang’s major city.

Mum had booked a lovely hotel, unfortunately we were too early to check in so we had time to kill. Off we went exploring! Our first stop was at a trick art museum. Id been to one the last time I was in Malaysia, in Kuala Lumpur. Id had a blast so in we went.

We had a lovely walk around and took some really fun photos. We had so much fun we decided to go to another one! 2 art museums in one day, and lots of silly photos to show for it!

We checked into the hotel and mum had a little sleep. That evening was the Play off Final so I was desperate to find somewhere to watch the game, we went in search of a bar and found somewhere that agreed to show the game.

While waiting for kick-off we explored some more and found ourselves in another bar. A few drinks and some dinner later we stumbled back to the 1st bar to watch the game. It was a bore 0:0 game that was settled by penalties. Not in Readings favour.


I was gutted, more so by the celebrating Huddersfield fans in the same bar. Mum and I sent over a bucked of beer in congratulations before skulking off.

The following day I awoke with a stinking headache!

We decided to stick with the museums and headed to a local gold museum. It wasn’t great. A walk around a fake gold mine with an over enthusiastic guide. The high point of the tour was a demonstration of melting and casting silver. This was very impressive and it was bizarre to have over $1000 of solid silver in my hands!

We wandered around the Penang fort, a lovely preserved fort overlooking the bay, before the days heat got to us and we had to head to shelter and the hotel!

Mum was struggling with the heat and jetlag so needed another sleep!

We decided to head out of Georgetown a bit and got ourselves on a open top bus tour of Penang.

We jumped off at a local market, this area is one of the biggest street food markets in Malaysia so we were keen to try the local delicacies.

Unfortunately, due to it being Ramadan, the place was closed in the day!!! So disappointing!!!!!

We hopped on another bus and went up the coast. There wasn’t a huge amount up the coast, lots of posh hotels and stretch’s of beach’s.  The final couple of stops looked interesting, a national park and a spice garden. Time permitted us only visiting one. We opted for the spice garden. Had we another day I think we would easily have spent that exploring the national park!


The spice garden was wonderful. Beautiful flowers and spices crated wonderful smells.

The garden was situated on the outskirts of the jungle, so mum was experiencing her first encounter with the humidity. It was very close in the jungle. Very hot and humid, while I was somewhat acclimatised to this already mum really struggled!

After some dinner in the gardens we headed back to Georgetown and got the train up to Penang Hill. The train was wonderful, it went up the hill at a 45 degree angle and offered some amazing views.

The top of the hill however was a complete let down. While the views were magnificent, the rest was just tourist tat. People selling tat, people dressed up as cartoon characters wanting you to take photos with them, in sure you can imagine the like. Having been on mums must do list I think she was really disappointed. Our tiredness from the long day probably didn’t help the mood!

We got back to the hotel and packed, ready for our early morning flight. First to Kuala Lumpur, then changing to Kota Kinabalu for 2 weeks in Borneo!



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