Weekend Getaway Edition #1: Cafe Hopping & Street Art in George Town

Two weekends ago, I set off to explore the city of George Town, Malaysia. Four months into my time in Singapore, I figured it was time to fully take advantage of being back in Asia and explore some nearby destinations. This was my unofficially-official experiment to see how possible it is to travel overseas on a regular weekend- 48 hours. (Spoiler alert: it is entirely possible).

So, why George Town as my first destination?

  • A friend of mine said his favourite food ever was on the island of Penang, where George Town is located
  • The unique street art and historic feel of the town (a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • A super quick flight time (an hour and a half)
  • ….a damn good Air Asia sale that I couldn’t pass up

The weekend started off at the number one airport in the world (literally)- Changi Airport. After checking in, going through security and immigration all in the span of under 20 minutes, I could see why. (Yay for automatic immigration!) The beautiful decor, cleanliness, abundance of charging outlets and dedicated “snooze lounges” was an added bonus.

Upon landing in Malaysia, I picked up a 48 hour sim card with unlimited data for $10, caught a Grab, and made my way to my hostel. Let the exploring commence!

Cafe #1- China House

I met a new friend at the hostel who asked if I wanted to get some cake (lol). Since I am 1- always down for some cake and 2- had no plans, I said sure and followed along. With zero expectations- we ended up here. A quiet, laid back and beautifully unique cafe- China House.  Lesson here: say yes to getting cake with strangers.

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The cafe itself spans three heritage buildings and the whole length of one side street street. It’s not until you walk to the very back where you experience the magical pool and patio, where they have live music at night.

….I’m still kicking myself for not trying to caramel cashew cake.

The Streets

I knew there was a lot of street art in Georgetown, but I didn’t expect this much! Around every little street corner you would find colourful, unique and often three dimensional street art. Inviting, almost begging to be photographed or posed with.

Thank you to some kind and lovely strangers for asking if I wanted my photo taken!

I could have walked those streets forever attempting to find new and exciting murals to capture. If I were to go back, I would hire a trishaw (similar to a rickshaw) for an hour. Everyone who I spoke to said it was worth it, as you have a local person that shows you around and knows where all the great street art is. Considering the easily exhaustive heat while walking, this would be an added bonus!

Cafe #2- Awesome Canteen

Not only do I love exploring cafes for their unique ambiance (and coffee), but I find it is the perfect way to recuperate while travelling, especially in hot weather.  A nice little mid-afternoon cafe break is just what I need to refuel, and hanging out in a place that looks like this for a while sure doesn’t hurt.

High ceilings, industrial and rustic walls, a touch of greenery, and natural flowing light. Finding unique spots like this make me happy.

The second story of this cafe is actually a hotel that you can stay in!

Other than cafe hopping and hunting for street art, my weekend was spent trying various street food and getting a little sample of Georgetown’s nightlife. Which was lively and energetic despite the fact that I was there mid-week, since my weekends are Wednesday-Thursday. Patios filled with people overflowing onto the streets, flavoured shisha smoke blowing through the air and cheap, cheap drinks. A lot of things you don’t get to see or experience in Singapore!

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 I would totally go back to George Town for a weekend since I definitely think there is more to explore. However, there are some other new destinations that are calling my name first.

What destination will be up next on the second edition of Weekend Getaway? Langkawi? Kuala Lumpur? Bangkok?

Grateful to be living in a place that offers such ease of travelling to other destinations in Asia!

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