Wow, I can’t believe how over due this post is! I uploaded the pictures to write about this weeks ago but time has gotten away from me. In late August I found myself boarding a plane from Bangkok to Malaysia with not much of a plan. This is definitely not like me…as I’ve told you before I am a meticulous planner, but this time RG and I got caught up enjoying the moment and having fun and it all got away from me. We had met some guys from England in Kanchanaburi, reconnected with them in Bangkok…offered up our apartment for them to crash…and ended up sightseeing and hitting the nightlife for a couple of days. The next thing I knew we were boarding a flight and didn’t have a chance to plan anything. But I have no regrets, this is my favorite part of traveling…meeting new people and the unexpected experiences.
When I initially booked our flights I outlined an idea of where to go and what to see…starting with the small bustling city of Georgetown then heading to the jungles of the Cameron Highlands and on to an island getaway in Langawi. Turns out we arrived on the eve of Malaysia’s Independence Day and everything was shut down for the weekend. We didn’t quite realize this until Saturday morning when we went walking around Georgetown to see the sights and everything was closed, and I mean everything! We probably walked over five miles trying to visit various temples, mosques, museums and other tourist attractions…all to no avail. What we did stumble across though was a cute coffee shop and bakery, Rainforest Bakery. It was right up our alley…I swear it would fit perfectly in Inman Park of Atlanta.
The coffee was the best I had in all of Asia, the food was healthy and fresh and the ambiance was so peaceful. A brick oven to toast the bagels, refurbished wood tables and garage doors opening to the street made me want to stay there all day. We ventured here three times, I would have gone more if they were open past noon!
They even had a fun “mugshot” set-up to snap photos at…we couldn’t resist.
After finding this place we kept our hopes up and continued our journey around Georgetown. We finally find ourselves at Fort Cornwallis…the largest standing fort in Malaysia. I am not sure of the history here but it was pretty cool to see some of the underground bunkers and canons that have been preserved. I do know that the fort was never engaged in a battle. It was only $1 to get in and took us about 20 minutes to make our way throughout. I was happy to wander into here, after nothing else had panned out.
Overall Georgetown was a cute city, it’s too bad we didn’t get to see it on a regular week of hustle and bustle. I loved the architecture…it had a colonial French influence and reminded me a bit of New Orleans. We spent our nights out on Chulia Street, a side street in the heart of Georgetown lined with food vendors and dive bars. We met a group of Australian Army officers who had just come off of jungle training and were ready to throw back a few cocktails. That was a fun night, I love meeting new people and hearing their stories!
Malaysia in general was a slow-paced trip. I was sick most of the time and poor RG had to deal with my hacking and lack of motivation. But we made the best of it and learned about another new culture.