Cameron Highlands to Penang
Georgetown Travel Blog› entry 5 of 9 › view all entries
It's rare we have to wake up in the dark these days and doing so to catch our bus from the Cameron Highlands down to Penang seemed really strange. It brought back nasty memories of the bad old days when we had jobs, eeerrgh. We settled up our room bill and headed of to walk the short distance to the bus station where our 'Super VIP' bus awaited. It was the same deal as on the way up huge comfy armchair style seats more like Laz-e-boys than coach seats. We took a different road down from the highlands; which if anything had even more spectacular views but wasn't quite as twisty or with as many blind corners, so despite the pedal to the metal driver it wasn't the hair-raising experience coming up had been. After a couple of hours we had a short stop at a town called Ipoh which is the gateway to the highlands if you are coming from the north and got some food and snacks for the rest of the journey. A couple more hours later we were in Butterworth which if you are going to Georgetown is the betteer stop as the bus stops miles away and from Butterworth it's only a short ferry ride across.
According to our guidebooks it was either a RM20 taxi ride or a 15 minute walk to the cheaper guesthouse area around Lebuh Chulia and Love Lane so as Malaysia is stretching the budget a little we decided to walk. Big Mistake. The heat was unbearable but being stubborn as mules we ploughed on and to make matters worse the guesthouses we were looking at were easily the worst rooms we have encountered so far. Without exception everywhere we looked had paper thin walls, dank and musty smells and gave the overall impression of being less than clean. Having made a bad decision we were a bit stuck as we wanted to get on with booking things to move us on, so we settled on the best of a very bad bunch and ended up in a nasty guesthouse but dumped our bags down and ater literally wringing the sweat out of our shirts; headed off for a consolation beer.
We booked a return ferry ticket to Pulau Langkawi, exchanged a book and then settled down into a bar which was also the best of a bad bunch and had a few drinks before dinner. Throughout Malaysia we have been spoilt for choice on the veggie food front and more often than not have eaten Indian food which we adore. We followed the Lonely Planets advice and went to a restaurant called Woodlands and had the most fantastic meal. We knowingly ordered far too much but in true gluttonous style managed to polish it all off and find room for a very sweet type of cake for desert.
Reluctantly we headed back to our room where we discovered that despite it having a TV you could only watch the channel the guys in reception were watching as they had somehow linked all the TV's together. Not good either as they seemed to have a taste for the absolute worst R&B/ (c)rap music channels. Good job we needed an early night really.