Georgetown, Malaysia, is one of those places that anyone who reads travel blogs has already read about a million times. Its popularity with travelers and bloggers has grown quickly, most likely due to its street art, good food, and UNESCO World Heritage status. After a quick couple weeks going from the south of the main island to all the way north, we decided to settle down in Georgetown for a week and see what all the fuss was about.
There’s the street art.
We had seen the street art so many times on other blogs that we assumed it had been a thing for awhile. Turns out the street art only started popping up a couple years ago. We spent a late morning taking in as much of the art as we could, but it was hot, humid, and so filled with tourists that getting clear shots was a challenge.
There are also beautiful temples.
We never actually visited any of the temples. They were pretty to look at from the outside, but much like spending a lot of time in cathedrals in Europe, eventually they all start to look the same.
There are street fairs and markets.
This is probably just as exciting as it looks
There were a lot of little street fairs and festivals around town while we visited. Unfortunately, a lot of them were quite underwhelming. We went in expecting there to be artisan crafts and food stalls and instead found a mostly empty street with some people riding around on segways in a circular track of sorts and a few people seated on a chairs getting what was called a “knife massage.”
This woman looks like she’s not sure if she’s going to get a massage or going to be “tenderized”
There is a cat cafe.
Well, isn’t that just precious?
I found out about the Purrfect Cat Cafe when we were walking around one afternoon. I had never seen anything about a cat cafe in Malaysia, but was determined to visit since we had missed out on the one in Seoul. I also miss my kitty like crazy.
Shawn didn’t really want to go, so I had to go be the crazy cat lady by myself (let’s face, it’s good practice for the future).
First, you have to make a purchase of at least RM18 (~$5.58) to get in – it doesn’t seem like much, but that’s pretty expensive for Malaysia. I chose the piece of cake above and a latte. Then you go upstairs to collect your purchase and sit on the provided cushions to eat. Once you’re done, you can go into the cat room.
There were 4 other people there – 2 sets of Asian teenage girls. I quickly ate what I could of the cake and drank my coffee, then moved into the cat room to leave the girls to continue texting and giggling by themselves.
There were about a million rules posted about not waking the cats, touching them if they were sleeping, picking them up or really doing anything but staring at them and willing them to come to you. This is pretty much what they did the entire time I was there:
They did get themselves into some interesting sleeping positions
I finally pulled out my book and starting reading. Eventually one cat came over for some love, but that lasted about 2 minutes before she got bored and walked away to sleep again.
This table is apparently much more comfortable than my lap – I tried (unsuccessfully) to not to take it personally
Forty-five minutes was more than enough for me and I had to use the bathroom, so I made my way back downstairs and out the door. I met up with Shawn at a nearby coffee shop and he asked, “How was it?” Awkward, it was awkward.
Thankfully, there was also the food.
Kapitan Indian restaurant was so good we had to go twice
Wonton and bbq pork soup for about $1, available just down the street from our hotel
The oysters – so glad I found this guy when we did since we never saw him open again
My personal favorite was the fried oysters pictured above (no surprise there). But they were so good that even Shawn liked them and he rarely likes seafood.
Curry mee is a dish unique to Malaysia and very spicy
Our biggest splurge, but probably our best meal at Tek Sen Chinese restaurant
We didn’t do much sightseeing here, either. I don’t know that there’s a lot to see, really. We came close to taking the tram up Penang Hill to get a view of the city, but most of the time we were there, it was cloudy and raining. We ate well thanks to the diverse Indian, Chinese, and Malay restaurants, there are plenty of historical sites and a vibrant young community, some decent used bookstores and, of course, the cats. We’re willing to overlook the fact that it’s on an island.