Sep 05 2013

The changing face of Georgetown

Published by under Penang

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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

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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

Aug 21 2013

Batu Ferringhi, Penang, on the cheap

Published by under Penang

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Large resort hotels don’t have the best reputations among independent travellers in Southeast Asia. Hogging great lengths of shoreline, and unleashing hordes of package tourists on erstwhile unspoilt beaches, many would prefer to avoid these over-priced, under-sensitive developments. However, when it comes to Batu Ferringhi in Penang, the beach is now so dominated by resorts … read the full post

Aug 17 2013

The Hungry Ghost Festival in Penang

Published by under Penang

Money to burn, from the bank of Hell.

If you’re in Penang and feel like you’re being watched as you tuck into your bowl of asam laksa or char koay teow, you might just be right. The seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar is known as the Hungry Ghost Festival, when the gates of the underworld are opened and a whole host … read the full post

Aug 07 2013

Penang’s Little India

Published by under Penang

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One of the joys of Georgetown is that you never quite know what to expect next. A walk down Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, Penang’s ‘Street of Harmony’, allows visitors to appreciate the wealth of different cultural and architectural influences that make up this town. Within a matter of minutes you are transported from the colonial … read the full post

Jul 29 2013

Free things to do on Penang

Published by under Penang

Penang's beaches may not be the best in the region, but Turtle Beach in the National Park ain't half bad.

Let’s face it: budgeting while you’re travelling can become really tedious. There are times when you just want to let loose, forget about that dwindling current account or mounting credit card bill, and splurge. But what happens if an expensive diving course or a few-too-many all-night benders have left your wallet a bit light when … read the full post

Jul 19 2013

A taste of Ramadan in Penang

Published by under Penang

Stalls piled high with deep fried Indian snacks are quickly depleted when the day's fast ends.

The holy month of Ramadan may not seem like the most obvious time to enjoy traditional Malay food but every evening, once the daylight hours of abstinence and spiritual reflection are over, Penang’s Muslims gather at Ramadan bazaars across the island to break the fast and spend quality time with family and friends. Georgetown’s Muslim … read the full post

Jul 12 2013

Travel in Southeast Asia during Ramadan

Published by under Culture

There's no shortage of sweets at the Ramadan Bazaars.

Ramadan can be a mystery for many travellers passing through predominantly Muslim terrain. Messages of ‘everything will be closed’ are often passed along the backpacking word-of-mouth trail, but rest assured, besides a few inconveniences of finding some businesses closed or perhaps a ferry schedule changed, it’s not too big a deal. The cultural experience alone is worth the … read the full post

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