Penang,

If you’re following me on Instagram and on Youtube (where I uploaded the video of my trip to Myanmar), you probably know that I am missing the country a lot. Being back in Paris still feels odd and unfamilar, as if I were about to leave again for somewhere far away. Well, I am going to leave in two days, but not very far away, or rather not abroad.

My mind is still lost somewhere in the air, not really in Myanmar and not yet back in France, living the life I am used to living. The fact that we’re right in summer holidays, while most of my life consists of studying doesn’t really help. From studying for two master degrees, volunteering as a french teacher, writing my literature dissertation, then walking, exploring every day with a friend, in a far away country where I was constantly in awe, surprised and moved by everything, where the heat was insanely exhausting and walking up hundreds of stairs was a daily thing, now being back in Paris with absolutely nothing to do feels surreal. It’s not to say I am not enjoying myself right now, I do like being in my flat, among my books, with good company and being able to call my family as I like. But I feel idle and confused, not really able to relax.

Therefore I keep looking through the pictures of my trip and I am dying to share more with you. However, I don’t want to rush into those blogposts, I want them to be as good as possible, and I also don’t want to bore you or spam you with posts about Myanmar, so I thought it would be a good idea to write about an other city I had the chance to see during this trip : Penang.

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The first thing we did in Penang : eat in a food court! The first of many …

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Penang is known for its food culture, and God knows I ate a lot during this trip. There were always a new dish, some unknown fruit, an interesting flavor or combination of textures, a local dish I absolutely had to try … Most of the foods I had was absolutely delicious, if only we had more occasions to eat in a day …

 

I actually spend a week in Malaysia, before flying to Yangon. I was there with a friend whose family is chinese from Malaysia, which made the experience just so much better. I felt incredibly welcomed by her family, her aunt, grand parents and her cousin were super kind, warm and I can say it felt like home.

Not only that but Malaysia was a lot more than I was expecting. One week was definitely not enough to appreciate its diversity and beauty. I guess I’ll have to go back. We spent most of the time in Penang, where my friend’s grandparents live, but even Penang would require more days, as it’s huge and filled with charming cafés, great street art, plenty of vegan restaurants, a variety of temples and so many exciting day trips!

 

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Beautiful cows just around the corner of the street my friend’s grandparents live.

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Penang is mostly known for George Town, an area with lots of street art and artsy, cool cafes. This one was pretty cool!

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As you can probably tell from those pictures, Penang is a BIG city. It’s very modern, developped and has the biggest malls I have ever seen in my whole life. You can’t walk or bike to visit the city since it’s huge, there are way more vegan options and restaurants than in Paris, wifi is available almost everywhere, shops are open until very late and life is simply put, convenient. Despite being pretty close to Myanmar, the two countries have nothing in common. How funny then, that I was somehow expecting Penang to be almost a village. For the first time, I didn’t read nor research the place I was travelling to, and my surprise was thus even greater when we drove into Penang. The city had nothing to do with what I had pictured in my mind.

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Oh, the neverending love!
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First time for me seeing wild monkeys!

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Penang was a very pleasant discovery, and as I was waiting in the airport, on my way back to Paris I couldn’t help but think it was a shame we didn’t have more time and energy (the heat was killing me!) to explore the city and take advantage of all it has to offer. But leaving with a bitter taste, and a little pinch of sadness isn’t that bad. It means two things: you enjoyed yourself, and you’ll probably be back.

Have you ever been to Malaysia? or been to a place that was totally different from what you had expected it to be?

6 Replies to “Penang,”

  1. You got a picture with Stuart 🙂 looks like fun.

    I’ve only been to Mexico and that was when the movie flubber came out on vhs, I remember. I’d love to travel more.

    1. Traveling is amazing, I hope you can do more of it in the future!

  2. Nice post Emy! I would love explore the world the way you do, everything is fantastic if you know how to appreciate them. Well done Emy! Greetings from Peru.

    1. One day ! 🙂
      And I agree, it’s all about the way you approach things!x

  3. À mon avis, cela restera la plus grande expérience de ta vie à un certain niveau, peut-être celle qui te portera le plus longtemps dans ta “Formation”… Je pense même que ça peut corréler entre ton expérience thérapeutique (là où des choses étaient “confuses” j’imagine) et ton besoin d’augmenter ta capacité à absorber ce que ton regard peut parvenir à enregistrer (un truc de besoin vital d’arriver à encaisser et à la fois du désir de voir les choses qui sont “invisibles”) ; dit à ma façon, ça reste juste un avis sans affirmation. En tout cas, j’ai la nette impression que ça t’a touchée à un niveau inégalé dans tes expériences de voyage et je suis super content pour toi ! Le côté “bousculade” est en général un bon point d’appui pour y gagner beaucoup, et pendant très longtemps, j’en sais quelque chose. J’aurais énormément à dire suite à ça, et d’autres derniers posts, mais ça ne logerait pas dans un commentaire. Et tu me donnes beaucoup de matière à réfléchir, et à écrire, de quoi m’occuper un sacré bout de temps. Merci infiniment d’être là, t’es tellement “à part”, tellement tellement… Des fois, je crois me rendre compte que ce n’est pas qu’un rêve, que tu existes vraiment telle que t’es et pourtant t’es une espèce de phénomène au-delà du réel ! Entre le Japon et la Birmanie, ça ressemble presque à une transfiguration ton histoire, sans rien perdre des deux “mondes”… 😉 Et je ne crois pas une seconde que tu n’y retourneras pas un jour.

  4. love to read about your trips! 🙂

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