A Day in the Life is back! Remember when I used to do those? :)
It’s so hard to pick a day that I want to tell you guys about. Each day in Penang is different and exciting. Some days I go to the beach to read and watch the sunset. And some days, it’s to Georgetown for foodie adventures. A couple of times, it’s to the night market with my Airbnb host and a lot of times, it’s just hanging out and chatting with Laia. And even a couple of nights, the day ended with dancing with new friends! I also split my month between 2 locations, which makes picking a typical day even more difficult. Penang provided an endless number of new things to explore and people to hang out with (which is why this blog has been so quiet!).
But I still found myself with mini routines and some constants. So this is a day based on these routines, as well as stuff I want to remember the most and my favorite places I want to share with you.
My days begin with the best view.
During the first 2 weeks in Penang, I lived at the Gurney area in a high-rise condo (get an Airbnb discount here!). Besides having the best host ever, it also has the most beautiful view from the living room balcony. It just makes you so happy to wake up to this. I always take just a few minutes to admire it.
I’m trying to be better at time management these days. So after getting ready, I pack up my laptop and head out to work.
Besides Georgetown, Penang doesn’t really have a cafe culture yet. Unlike KL, there’s not a bunch of cute little independent cafes perfectly equipped for working on a laptop. However, there does seem to be a disproportionate amount of Starbucks here. There are no less than 4 such establishments within a 10 minute walk. Starbucks is never my preferred choice, but everyone knows that they have free fast wifi and plugs.
So I usually go work at the Starbucks. I have to say that their breakfast deal isn’t too bad. A drink + breakfast for just 13 rm. I actually like the lemongrass chicken pastry. But today, its unavailable so I had to settle for a muffin.
After 5 hours of work, I’m dying for a treat. Actually, one very specific frozen treat. I have discovered Llaollao in the basement of Gurney and have quickly developed an obsession. I am not kidding when I say that I go every single day.
Don’t worry, I’m not that much of a pig. Usually, I get just the tiny cup. But since this is for a Day in the Life, I splurge for the medium cup with 3 toppings. The yogurt itself is amazing, but the reason why I love it so much? The sauces! Their chocolate hazelnut sauce is to die for and my mouth is watering thinking about it.
I always take my treat outside and sit on a low wall facing the waterfront. It’s a moment of quiet to myself everyday.
But soon, I need to get a move on and get ready for the evening. At around 5 pm, Laia comes over and we head into Georgetown together. Our mission for the afternoon: China House!
China House is the most amazing cafe on Penang. In my 4 weeks here, I came here 3 times. Let me just show you how amazing China House is:
LOOK AT ALL THOSE CAKES!!
China house has over 50 different homemade cakes. In all flavors imaginable. This place is literally cake heaven! You could spend half an hour just deciding what to get.
Luckily, since we came early before the dinner rush, they have a special. You can get 2 half-slices for the price of one. Which means you can try two different cakes. After a lot of indecision, I settle on a chocolate berry and carrot cake.
It is the most amazing piece of carrot cake I’ve ever had. SUPER melt-in-your-mouth moist. (But you have to make sure you get it while it’s fresh… because I came back to get it again, and it was dry and disappointing.) Other cakes I recommend are the whisky pecan tart, tiramisu, and passionfruit coconut butter.
After a dessert break, we go for real food. One of my favorite places to eat in Georgetown are the night stalls by the Chew Jetty. CL recommended them to me when I was wandering around Georgetown one night looking for food. Almost all locals agree that the food is really good here.
They’re just a couple of short blocks from China House. On the way, we stop for photos with the famous Georgetown street art.
Then we continue on to the jetties. You know you have reached when you see the Chinese temple:
My favorite stall at the jetties is… char kuey teow! Char kuey teow is my favorite Penang food, and this stall here makes one of my favorite versions. The flavor is perfect and they give you a lot of Chinese sausages. Keep an eye out on a “battle of the char kuey teow” post!
After dinner, the jetty is a nice place to walk to and try to catch a sunset. It’s just straight through the Chinese temple. If you’re lucky, you’ll see an incredible sky.
Dark now, we head over to Mugshot Cafe on the lively Chulia Street. Georgetown is filled with cute little cafes with quirky, whimsy decoration. Mugshot is a popular gathering place for travelers and the couchsurfing community.
It’s a Thursday night, which means… the weekly Spanish lesson! Laia teaches a weekly Spanish class for the local couchsurfing hosts. I honestly look forward to this every week. It’s such a fun time of chatting and laughing with new friends while brushing up on Spanish (which I’m determined to re-learn now).
I’m not sure if it’s the nature of couchsurfing hosts or Penangites, but I have met the nicest people here. Everyone is so incredibly welcoming and inclusive. And it really makes this place feel more like home.
By the time the session is over, it’s already past 11:00 pm, and it’s time to go home. We always spend way too much time just chatting and joking around. When I get home, I’m exhausted but happy from this long day. It’s straight to the shower and then bed I go. And I can’t wait to see what adventures the next day has in store.
Total for the day: 42 rm, or just under US $10. Pretty average for a day on Penang, though this is on the higher side with all those desserts.
Have you been to Penang? Which part of this day sounds the best to you?