Oct 28 2013

Review: Joo Hooi Cafe, Penang

Published by under Food

Fiery asam laksa, flavoured with mint, pineapple, chilli and sour tamarind.

When it comes to food, you don’t really get more quintessentially ‘Georgetown’ than Joo Hooi Cafe on Jalan Penang. Not only does it dish up much loved Penang staples, but its low-brow, no-nonsense atmosphere and throngs of diners jostling for space will plunge you head-first and without reserve into the Georgetown gastronomic experience. Let’s be … read the full post

Oct 16 2013

How to spend a rainy day in Penang

Published by under Penang


The southwest monsoon typically dumps close to 400 millimetres of water on Penang during the month of October — it’s the wettest time of the year to visit the island. If you find yourself here during October, therefore, it probably pays to have a wet-weather plan up your sleeve, just in case, so here are … read the full post

Oct 09 2013

What souvenirs should I buy in Penang?

Published by under Penang


Shopping for souvenirs and gifts for loved ones back home when you’re travelling can be a fraught affair. If left until the last moment, it often results in panic buying of things that seem a good idea at the time, but later just leave you asking yourself: Why? Undertaking this task in Penang might throw … read the full post

Sep 27 2013

Langkawi Animal Shelter and Sanctuary Foundation (LASSie)

Published by under Pantai Cenang

Volunteer mission control.

Western animal lovers are often shocked and dismayed at the treatment of animals they might come across in Southeast Asia. It might be due to the high visibility of homeless strays in areas that lack the out-of-sight-out-of-mind shelters that they are familiar with “back home”. The Langkawi Animal Shelter and Sanctuary Foundation (LASSie) was set up by … read the full post

Sep 23 2013

Bukit Genting: the other side of Penang

Published by under Penang

Sunset from the top of Bukit Genting takes some beating.

While most of Penang’s attractions are concentrated in the narrow, built-up strip of coastal belt on the eastern and northern coasts, there is a whole other side of the island to explore. Those who dare to venture off the beaten tourist track will be rewarded with an altogether more relaxed experience of Penang, and the … read the full post

Sep 11 2013

Review: Penang Butterfly Farm

Published by under Penang

With up to four thousand butterflies flying around at any one time, competition for the best nectar can get a little heated.

Advertised as ‘the tropical world’s first live butterfly and insect sanctuary’, Penang Butterfly Farm is a great place to bring the kids and is also a good rainy afternoon-filler. For travellers with a particular penchant for Papilionoidea – that is, butterflies — the conservation centre offers the chance to see a huge number of these winged … read the full post

Sep 05 2013

The changing face of Georgetown

Published by under Penang


The old traveller mantra, ‘Go and see it before it gets spoiled!’ has been used so many times that it’s almost become a cliche. Unfortunately, like all the best (or worst) cliches, it is also enduringly true and for some places it is already too late. Happily, though, Southeast Asia remains home to some places that … read the full post

Sep 04 2013

Alcohol in Malaysia

Published by under Practicalities

The Chinese-Malaysian connection usually works.

For any traveller to a predominantly Muslim country such as Malaysia, the rules on alcohol availability and consumption are handy to know — not only for accessibility but for insight into cultural sensitivities as well. In Malaysia, people from the various non-Muslim cultures represented throughout the country also abide by certain rules so as not … read the full post

Aug 28 2013

Review: Roomies, Penang

Published by under Penang


Accommodation for backpackers in Penang has undergone something of a renaissance in recent years. A slick new breed of affordable hostels has popped up in Georgetown, with dorms styled in the latest boutique hotel trends and kitted out with an attention to detail and comfort that would put many more expensive places to shame. Now … read the full post

Aug 27 2013

Review: Panorama Chalets, Perhentians

Published by under The Perhentians

Lots of shade here.

Panorama Chalets is a backpacker haven on Malaysia‘s Perhentian Kecil, with several room and chalet options. What Panorama lacks in amenities they make up for in conveniences and location. Practically a village within a village, their tree-laden grounds are front and centre of the sandy white shores of Long Beach, with nearly every possible desire a … read the full post

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