Of course the majority of us see each other daily.
But the moral of the story was: reminiscent of our first trip ever to Perhentian, we got a big group together and went to an Island. This time it was Penang.
As I learned: Penang is the region, it is also the name of the island (I think) and on the Island is the city of Georgetown.
So because clearly I am the only person who is thinking ahead when it’s tuesday and we’re planning on leaving for Penang on Wednesday night! Terese and I were the ones to look for hostels. We booked the first at the Reggae Hostel in Georgetown and then the second got (what sounded like) an awesome deal with 2-bedroom suites at this homestay for 40MYR each!
We had a similar situation this time with buses as we did with Langkawi. So we take the 3PM bus from Tanjung Malim to KL (because obvious the only buses in Malaysia leave from KL and we can never figure out any buses that go from Tanjung Malim)
So we buy a bus ticket for a 5:30 bus to Penang, we get down to the bus at 5:30 and then wait for 30 minutes until a man comes to lead us upstairs. Sound familiar? But apparently in the 5 minutes it takes for the whole group of people to get upstairs, we lose the guy, and everyone else gets on the bus and drives away. Well, we have no idea what’s going on. We march angrily up to the ticket counter and thank god we get a refund with no arguments. (Proving that they probably overbooked the bus and were preparing for people to miss it)
Because I forgot to mention it’s a national holiday. Thursday was labor day and we didn’t have classes, which was why we left Wednesday night for the vacation. So the place is like packed.
We buy another bus ticket for 6:30 with the assurance that “the bus is already here”. Well that is bullshit. We wait another hour in the freaking piss-smelling garage with a lot of other sweaty Malaysians (well this really does sound familiar) until we finally get led to our bus and it leaves about 7.
Luckily we still get to Penang by 11:30 and our hostel is saved for us. We get this lovely little cubbies.
We only really got that night in Georgetown because the home stay thing we had book was over in Batu Ferringhi which was another beachier place about 40 minutes away. Well it would be 40 minutes for people who could properly navigate the public bus system, but of course it took us 2 times that long. It was even longer because once we got to the area the only thing we knew was “Holiday Homestay”.
Well it took us a few calls and texts with the guy for us to realize…well that’s probably just the name of the home stay booking place. So we’re actually just booking a different place. We eventually get that name and end up right across the street from the Hard Rock. Our new place is decent and it has a television and a fridge and separate rooms! There’s also a pool, so it’s easily the poshest place we’ve stayed at.
We sneak to the Hard Rock beach and then get to ride a banana boat! That ride for fun, but wasn’t fun was the banana boat dumped us right into a freaking swarm of jellyfish! We all got stung, ranging from the whole foot to just a small one on our legs. (I was one of the lucky ones). Some Hard Rock vinegar solved that pain problem. First jellyfish sting ever! Whoop.
We went to Hard Rock for dinner that night. That’s me and Lenny powering into the restaurant. I think “excited” was an understatement. It was the bet 60 ringgitt I’ve ever spent at one place. I got a pulled lamb sandwich, fries, onion rings, garlic mashed potatoes, and mac and cheese. And drinks! So $20 well spend I’d say. A small price to pay for my sanity.
The next day we moved to a hostel that Terese had stayed at when she was in Penang earlier in the year, Lazy Boys. Okay this place is awesome! Did I say the name loud enough: Lazy Boys! Best hostel in Penang. The owner was this crazy awesome Malaysian guy named Azlan that was a musician and that night he took us out onto the beach and we had a bonfire.
The hostel had hammocks and was super chill and a great place to hang out.
That day we took the bus to the national park and then took an hour long hike through the jungle to get to Monkey Beach.
Literally. Monkeys stole our Coke and coconuts. These things are feisty. And obviously not too scared of humans. They’ve learned to properly drink Coke. Also we witnessed a monkey fall out of a tree, which was one of the more hilarious things I’ve seen.
We were playing in the water. That was, until Lenny got attacked by a royally giant jellyfish! It’s head was about the size of a softball and then the long ass tentacles were about a meter long! So after that, we were a bit too scared to get back into the water.
That night we overpaid for prawns and underpaid for about 20 satays. Then the aforementioned bonfire on the beach, and we all passed out.
The next day Sarah and I went parasailing (for a discount gotten for us by Azlan).
Checking something off my bucket list! Actually this was so much more fun than I thought it was going to be. It was hilarious when the guy was like “Do you wanna walk on the water?” and we are like “No! Nope! Jellyfish!” Because we had 2 previous days of bad experiences. But of course, the Malaysians never listen to us, so we’re up in the air and then he starts letting us down towards the water and we’re like “No! No! NO!” And Sarah’s like “I see a jellyfish!” So were freaking out and flailing, thinking he’s gonna drop us in a freaking swarm, but we touch the water for like a second and then go back up.
We decided to go back to Tanjung Malim that night because we were all tired. We got to go to the Saturday Night market, buy a lot of fruit and vegetables and (for sleepy Marge) get 12 hours of comfy snoozing in my bed.
Can this vacation please never end!?