The chat: Waking to hear torrential rain outside we congratulated ourselves on not being on a ferry to Langkawi island right now (as we had initially planned), and headed out for a final day in one of the world’s best cities. A frustrating morning was spent fruitlessly ringing every single guesthouse on the Perinthian islands for accommodation – 10 days in advance. In a lesson which was hammered home relentlessly over the next 4 hours, July and August is peak time for Malaysians as well as Europeans – everywhere, even beachside shacks universally panned by guidebooks and tripadvisor alike, was fully booked – fellow travellers take note! After phoning 40 guesthouses we finally found one with several rooms – and we are now anticipating with trepidation what delights await us.
Penang promotes itself as a city full of culture – just today, in the middle of a month long cultural festival, tonight’s listings include Shakesperean plays, Malaysian stand up comedy, art shows, and experiemental concerts. With such a wealth of offerings, we did the sensible thing and went to see Spiderman 3D at a multiplex cinema instead. It was great.