Who says that we need to always make detailed itinerary whenever we go travelling? Cica (@cicsky) has proved that she can still have so much fun travelling to Penang and Bangkok although she only follow her heart and GPS on her phone. Follow her journey the neighbor country with her friend below.
Text and Photograph by Febriyani Frisca (@cicsky)
First of all, tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi, I’m Cica. I’m not a traveller but when I do travelling, it’s just me spending my paid leave at work, escape from the daily routine, and give myself some small rewards.
How did you end up in Penang and where did you stay?
My trip to Penang was accompanied by a friend from college named Anita. Me and her have a similarity that we are a couple of spontaneous persons. So, when I bought the flight tickets, it was because of the conversation like, “I feel like travelling to Penang,” with Anita. After that, I searched for airline tickets promo then bought round tickets for two.
Two months later, we went to Penang with the flight to Kuala Lumpur then continue with bus and ferry to Penang. We did a road trip style and relying on travel blogs we read before and GPS (Gunakan Penduduk Sekitar/Ask People Around).
In Penang, we stayed at a budget hostel called Ong Court in George Town area. This one was Anita’s duty while I handled the flight ticket. But she did a bad job of finding good hostel because it was so horrible I don’t even want to tell the details on this part.
Tell us about the places you visited in Penang and why are those places special?
To be honest, we didn’t have any itinerary beforehand. We decided everything right after we arrived at the hostel. On the first day, we randomly get on Penang Rapid with the intention of sightseeing the whole Penang with the route I had seen on maps. Unfortunately, the bus wasn’t meant for sightseeing but they have a certain route. We ended up at the end of Penang Island called Batu Ferringhi, a coastal area.
The next day, we went to Penang Street Art area where there were so many murals and painting on the walls and a great place to take some instagrammable photos. Then we visit the Asia Camera Museum, a place where you can find any kind of camera from any era. This is heaven for any photographer, photography enthusiast, or fanboys of certain camera brand. This place allowing the visitors to take photos but not videos. If you want to know every description from the whole museum, this place also provides a guide to accompany you.
After that, we’re back again to Batu Ferringhi. This time, because we arrived before sunset unlike the previous day, we can see the whole area. The beach here was similar to the one in Belitung, it has boulders and in some area still inhabited by monkeys.
How would you describe Penang?
Overall, Penang is memorable for me because as a small island, it has every destination for everyone. One day I will come again because there are many reasons to get back here.
Where should all the foodies go when travelled to Penang?
We did not do any culinary tour. But there are many food vendors along Burma Street. Maybe I will try the food there on my next visit.
Little back story on your last-minute trip to Bangkok?
On the third day, me and Anita went to Bangkok by train. The plan for a road trip to Bangkok has been appeared for around two months after I bought the flight tickets. To get to Bangkok, we need to travel about 17 hours from Butterworth (Malaysia) to Lamphong (Bangkok, Thailand). You can imagine how tired that would be. But they have a train with bed facility for 500 thousand rupiahs so you can rest peacefully during the journey.
How would you describe Bangkok?
Bangkok is very similar to Jakarta. It felt like I was still in our capital city. The traffic and urban planning were no different so it was like walking around Glodok. But it was a good destination for those who love city tour.
What was the thing you discovered about Bangkok that you’re most excited about?
Me and my friend visited Wat Arun. We didn’t know how to get there but on the bus to Wat Arun, we met two local guys who ended up showing us how to get there. They were happened to just spending their free time wandering around by bus with no certain destination.
The route to Wat Arun was very challenging; riding the bus, then walking, before hopping on a small boat. If it wasn’t for the two local guys we met on the bus earlier, I didn’t think we can finally arrive at Wat Arun.
What are the memorable moments while you were in Penang and Bangkok?
The most memorable thing when I was in Penang and Bangkok was I spent most of the time by foot with guidance from Google Maps. I did that to reduce the chance of getting lost. Moreover, I also wanted to deeply feel the vibes of Penang and Bangkok by walking around. It took more time but I didn’t see it as a problem because I believe the experience would have been different if we’re using a bus or any public transportation there.
Roughly how much would it cost to travel for two destination?
Surprisingly it was less than 5 million rupiahs per person.
What are the things you love most about each destination?
Penang has friendly pedestrian space so it was so comfortable reaching anywhere by walking. It also has many exciting tourist attraction so guaranteed you will never get bored while travelling here. The crowd in Bangkok will make you missed Jakarta when you are visiting here.
Any interesting fact/trivia you learned about the destination you travelled to?
The Thai language was extremely difficult that made my tongue twisted.
Some tips for travellers?
Don’t be shy to approach local people. You don’t know if you will be their friend.
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