My First Impression of George Town, Penang


We just returned from Malaysia today so I wanted to quickly give you my first impression of George Town. Driving for long distances and sitting on my rear end made me really tired! Who would have thought that would be the case?!

I admit, I had never heard of George Town, Penang in Malaysia until a month ago when a friend told us it would be a good place to go get a new tourist visa to extend our time here in Thailand.  I didn’t do any research on it before leaving for our trip. I know, I know, I am a horrible travel planner lately. But one thing that having neglected to do research avails to, is having everything about a new destination be a complete surprise. Luckily for me the surprises have been good ones so far. I guess I will start looking into information on the places we are planning to visit when the surprises start being not so good.

My first impressions of George Town, Penang were unique in that it was the first time that we had crossed a border by driving ourselves. Penang is about two hours by car from the Thailand-Malaysian border and it was fascinating to see the countryside change from Thailand to Malaysia. And see the city of George Town from a different perspective that we normally would have if we were flying or even taking a train or bus. We had complete control of how, when, and where we went. It was exhilarating and scary at the same time.

Driving into George Town instead of flying into it, gave us the opportunity to cross the 5th longest bridge in Southeast Asia. It also gave us the pleasure of getting lost a couple of times due to George Town’s one way streets (with so few u-turn areas).The city was clean and busy.  The towering skyscrapers all seemed to be condos or hotels. The homes in between the towers were normal looking well-kept homes, often surrounding a hawker center or a couple of restaurants.  I was shocked when we would drive through what appeared to be a suburban type neighborhood, only to happen upon a row of restaurants right in the middle of them. What convenience!

Crossing the Penang Bridge, The 5th longest bridge in SE Asia.
Crossing the Penang Bridge, The 5th longest bridge in SE Asia.
The neighborhood where we stayed. Bangkok Lane, I thought that was appropriate.
The neighborhood where we stayed. Flanked by skyscrapers.

The people were wonderful everywhere we went in George Town, so helpful and kind. It was delightful. Overall, George Town was a great success and such fun. I have so much more to write, but must sign off for now as my own bed is calling my name. I will be writing more posts about our trip in the next week or so. Make sure to subscribe or follow us to get the whole scoop on our time in Malaysia!

Have you ever heard of George Town, Penang in Malaysia? Have you been there? Would you want to go? Leave a comment and let’s talk (in the morning when I have had my tea, haha). 


  27 comments for “My First Impression of George Town, Penang

  1. Mom
    September 19, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    New adventures all the time. Zoe sure had a good time too. We love and miss you all

    • andthreetogo
      September 20, 2014 at 7:38 am

      We love and miss you too Jeannie! I think Z will always have an attitude of adventure considering how much she has had already. That or she will dislike it and be a total home body. I’m thinking it’s probably the adventurous one though. 🙂

  2. freebutfun
    September 19, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    Not planning is often good fun! Never been to George town so will be good to read moee about it.

    • andthreetogo
      September 20, 2014 at 7:39 am

      I never would have thought I would be okay with not planning, but I am getting pretty used to it and love it now. 🙂

      • freebutfun
        September 21, 2014 at 12:24 am

        I actually love planning too but have no need to stick to the plans 😉 And since life with children seems to be a lot about planning (work schedules, who picks up from daycare, who has what hobby/meeting…) I truly have enjoyed having weekends were we can be spontaneous!

  3. melissajane01
    September 20, 2014 at 1:26 am

    Interesting to see skyscrapers at the end of the street. It would be nice to have restaurants in the middle of the suburbs.

    • andthreetogo
      September 20, 2014 at 7:40 am

      I think that should definitely become a “thing” in the states. You could choose the neighborhood you want to live it by the restaurant offerings. That sounds like heaven to me. 🙂

  4. Sasha
    September 20, 2014 at 9:15 am

    It sounds like such a fun and unique place. I love how their are restaurants right among the neighborhoods! Hope to see more pics!! 🙂

    • andthreetogo
      September 20, 2014 at 11:18 am

      You will definitely see more pics 🙂 I just have to steal them from my husband.

  5. joylovestravel
    September 20, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Looking forward to finding out more!! I overplan all the time, the internet makes this so easy – have almost forgotten that delicious feeling when you arrive somewhere with no idea what it will be like and find a great surprise.

    • andthreetogo
      September 20, 2014 at 7:59 pm

      I have become way too lazy. But it does make it exciting. 🙂

  6. Lani
    September 20, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    I’ll have to live vicariously through you as Penang is out of the cards this time around. So, I’m looking forward to seeing what I missed! Looks interested already!

    • andthreetogo
      September 20, 2014 at 9:39 pm

      It’s pretty cool! I can’t wait to share it!

  7. Bronwyn Joy @ Journeys Of The Fabulist
    September 20, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    Our first trip with P was to George Town, Penang. We missed a lot of kid-friendly stuff, though – he was young enough to just put in a carrier and do our own adult things (then bolt for the hotel when he started having a meltdown because he barely slept the whole time). I’ll be interested to see what you guys get up to because I’ve thought of going back!

    • andthreetogo
      September 21, 2014 at 6:13 am

      I think you all would love it now! I should be able to write more informative and fun posts about it now since I have had some more sleep. 🙂

      • Bronwyn Joy @ Journeys Of The Fabulist
        September 21, 2014 at 8:28 am

        Sleep is good. Look forward to it!

  8. thebritishberliner
    September 22, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    I have heard of George Town, but I have never been to Malaysia? I think the next time I go to Asia (after China), I’ll definitely consider Malaysia as I would like to support positive tourism. I just won’t be flying their airline though. What an unfortunate mishap. 🙁

    • andthreetogo
      September 22, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      No doubt about that! They have had some seriously bad luck recently haven’t they?! Those poor families. 🙁
      We drove, but there are luckily many airlines that fly to Malaysia. We like Air Asia (not sure if they fly from Berlin though.) I really like Kuala Lumpur as well.

      • thebritishberliner
        September 23, 2014 at 12:56 am

        I like Air Asia too. They’re the Easyjet of Asia. I know that they do the Australian – London run but Easyjet and RyanAir have cornered the European market LOL! Air Asia is great, even though they’re a budget airline. I’ve flown them in the past from Vietnam to Bangkok and last month, we flew from Bangkok to Bali with them too. Very comfortable.

        p.S. I feel for the families too. 🙁

  9. thehomeschoolingdoctor
    September 23, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Have you had your tea? What IS the time difference between there and the States (pick your city here)?

    • andthreetogo
      September 23, 2014 at 10:01 am

      I just did (and will continue to for the rest of the day with how tired i feel). There is a 16 hour difference, so right now in California it’s 8pm on Monday and it is 10 am on Wednesday in Thailand. 🙂

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  11. Elle
    September 27, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    How wonderful that you have all these wonderful places, across borders, within commutable distance of you. It just dawned on my I have only ever lived on islands! So to get to another country always involves (/d) a boat or plane. 🙂

    • andthreetogo
      September 27, 2014 at 7:18 pm

      Honestly this was my first border crossing on land as well. 🙂 I am looking forward to taking advantage of others now though.

      • Elle
        September 27, 2014 at 7:20 pm

        I went to Malaysia from Singapore on a holiday, about 10 years ago now. It was one of the islands, Tioman Island, so it wasn’t actually a land crossing, but it was weird and wonderful how close it was!

        • andthreetogo
          October 1, 2014 at 9:16 pm

          They are so close! I have a few friends that have done a road trip from Phuket to Singapore. It sounds like a lot of fun, and a lot of driving!

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