4th of July in Malaysia!
July started off wonderfully with surprise Thursday and Friday off leading up to July 4th weekend. We found cheap flights to Kuala Lumpur and spontaneously booked them! We left on Wednesday night from Phuket and got into KL around midnight. We stayed in a little hostel, slightly rough around the edges, but in a great location. Meg and I woke up early Thursday morning and went to the top of the KL towers and watched the buildings arise out of the morning fog.
We then met up with Kyle and went to the Batu Caves — caves at the top of a 280 step stairway. It was brutally hot but really awesome once you made it to the top (besides when a monkey attacked Meg for her wasabi peas).
Our short KL trip came to an end after we got lunch at the big Market near our hostel. Then we rushed to the bus station, were told to follow a running man down the street, and made our bus with maybe 2 minutes to spare.
The bus ride from KL to Penang was about three hours and absolutely beautiful. The drive over the long bridge to get to Penang looked very similar to San Francisco. It is a beautiful combination of a city and an island with many historical and cultural neighborhoods throughout. We stayed in the capital of Penang, Georgetown, which is colorful, alive and filled with amazing art. It was a total hybrid city with European architecture mixed with a culturally dense Little India and Chinatown. This mixture alongside palm trees and the water made it very interesting and unique. Armenian street had really fun and unique coffee shops and we found some peaceful live music later in the evening in a place filled with bean bags, candles, and cocktails. Georgetown is also a UNESCO World Heritage Sight and we visited an old part of the city that is built upon stilts in the water which was definitely the most tourist-filled spot but held amazing views. Everyone was really kind and warm, the art scene was really great, food was amazing, and while there were a good amount tourists it was also easy to break off the beaten path and simply wander. Pictures/videos below!