The night before my flight to Penang, I went online to check into my flight. I was met with an error screen, informing me that I could not check in because I didn’t have sufficient months left on my passport. I had five months until my passport expired – you need six. But I had already bought the flight and my visa expired that day, so I decided to take my chances at the airport.
Luckily, I was only met with disapproving glances at airport counters and a couple wagged fingers as I made my way through customs – until I tried to get my boarding pass to go back to Bangkok. Girl reeeeeally did not want to give me that boarding pass. She even texted the immigration office in Bangkok to check – obviously they said no. As I stood there in tears, planning my new life in Malaysia, my hero Ameril of AirAsia took pity on me and quietly just printed my boarding pass. I hope AirAsia took my glowing review of this kind soul into consideration and threw him some sort of bonus for going above and beyond to help some dumb little blond girl.
For the record – no one said a word about it as I came back into Thailand. However, I do not recommend trying your luck so many times. Just be a better adult than I am.
Despite my logistical nightmare, my time spent in Georgetown, Penang was wonderful. The architecture was charming, the people were warm, annnd…Little India. The curries! The naaaaan! I never really gave a ton of thought to Malaysia before realizing it was a good place to get your visa renewed, but now I can’t wait to go back.
Successful arrival selfie
I’m annoyed with this photo: the light is so cool but my composition leaves something to be desired. Still dig it.
Night light in my room.
I stayed in a minimal little room at the Frame Guesthouse, at the end of the main walking street in Georgetown. They have both dormitory and individual rooms, but it felt more like a boutique hotel than a hostel (minus the communal shower part).
Taking a public bus for a couple cents, half of one of my days was spent meandering around the botanical gardens. Check with the website before you go – most of the smaller greenhouse areas are only open on certain days.
I did see a lot more of the street art but I feel like those are the only photos that show up when you Google Georgetown. I found so many other aspects of this town so much more interesting.
Mhar and his chick magnet…
Sometimes you just stumble upon a random Chinese opera
Random religious ceremony. I felt weird and out of place – like I wasn’t supposed to be watching, but they didn’t seem to mind me. I wish I could give you more background on what was happening, but I can only speculate about what was happening between the trances and setting things on fire…
Morning tour of the Blue Mansion, Cheong Fatt Tze.
So she was just unbelievably adorable
Only guests have access to certain areas, and I liked our guide too much to go against her rules. I did my best to get some snaps of what I thought were the best areas of the house. Too bad staying there is about 4,000baht versus the 500baht I was paying at my place.
^ I realize this is a photo of an art gallery. But China House is many things. YOU GO THERE AND YOU GET THE PIES AND THE CAKES. YOU DO THAT. ^
More people should travel solo. I’ll be honest, I would have loved a companion throughout the majority of this trip. But you learn things about yourself and grow in ways that you couldn’t if you have someone else to rely on or stay in your little comfortable “I already know this person” bubble. During my walks through the city, I talked to many more strangers than I would have if I actually already had someone to talk to. I’m not always good at that, but I’m working on being more open and warm towards those who aren’t already in my circle. I am a major proponent for forcing yourself outside of your comfort zone. Just make sure you have six months left on your passport so you can come back, ok?