Penang, the pearl of the orient

Penang reminds me of Malta. Both are islands formerly occupied by the British, which can be clearly seen in architecture, infrastructure and the language. However, whilst Malta is a complete disaster, Penang is rather nice with its excellent food, more than reasonable prices and beautiful nature thanks to hilly terrain (in contrast, there is no nature in Malta). Malta’s national park is a joke in form of a concrete paradise with some planted trees. While Penang’s national park is proper jungle with minimum infrastructure like occasional steps and bridges. Not as wild as the jungle on Ko Phangan, but enjohyable nonetheless. Both Malta and Penang are heavy on traffic and rather pedestrian unfriendly, but unlike Malta Penang does not feel polluted. All in all, Penang wins all over Malta.
After three weeks of isolated life on Hat Yuan, Penang feels like an indulgence paradise, especially when it comes to shopping and food. All Asian cuisines are represented here with an accent on seafood. No more Thai food from a standard menu for a while. As for shopping, got myself a pair of cheap Quicksilver slippers with funky colours, so hopefully these won’t get stolen/rotated as it happened with black flip-flops.
On a less pleasant note, I got bitten by bedbugs on my first night in Penang. The name of the culprit is Love Lane Inn. The manager’s response, when I confronted him about the matter? “We do not have bedbugs here, it is the guests who bring them”. Stupidly enough I paid for two nights and the manager did not want to refund the second night. Anyhow, room change and some DEET made a second night sleep bearable. A note to self, always google for “hostel name bedbugs” before checking in to a hostel.

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