I spent last Christmas in Georgetown, Malaysia, where it was too humid for my taste, but otherwise a great trip. I didn’t have much of a must-do list, instead just relying on general recommendations.
Now I have three recommendations for you! Here’s how to spend your time in Georgetown:
1. The Indian food in Penang is nothing short of perfect. Little India is worth at least half a day, but the best food I had was at a small restaurant in the alleyway behind the Northam Hotel, where I stayed. There was no one else in the restaurant, and the woman was more than happy to take us through the menu and load up our banana leaves with enough food for days. I tried to slow down and she yelled at me because more food was coming out, which I always take as a good sign. In fact, the tiny alleys behind the hotel boast a ton of great little places, including That Little Wine Bar and a bunch of French-infused places. These are obviously more expensive but they were great places to lounge when I didn’t want to stray too far from my bed.
2. I totally enjoyed the touristy sites. So this is nothing groundbreaking but just a push to visit if you’re on the fence. The Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion is my far and away favorite, between the colors, architecture and art. The guides don’t mind (or at least don’t say anything) if you fall behind the group to stand and stare and take mental design tips. I also really enjoyed St. George Church since it’s always a goal of mine to get my photo taken in front of as many St. George signs as possible!
3. Local shops also have you covered for souvenirs. I loaded up on everything nutmeg, including a bottle of nutmeg oil that promised to sort out all manner of aches and pains. And it works! I use it on my joints after long bus rides and to sort out tight muscles. A little bit goes a long way; put on too much and your skin will sting for hours!
What are some of your favorite things in Georgetown? Add to my list!