6/10/18: 2 Boats & 3 Buses to Penang

We had a long travel day ahead of us— we were making our way from the jungle in Taman Negara to Penang island via Cameron Highlands— so at breakfast I took some of the hotel’s free breakfast bread and made almond butter & jam sandwiches with my almond butter from Earth Cafe that I had bought in Bali.

I put the sandwiches in a ziplock bag and felt like such a mom. All I had left to do was cut off the crusts and I might have even convinced myself that I had a child running around somewhere.

For actual breakfast I had fried noodles (with chicken, which I had to pick out) and watermelon. The noodles were the wide flat ones that I love, so I was happy.


I went up for seconds, and as soon as I put the noodles on my plate the cook came out with a big batch of vegetarian noodles. Ugh!! I wish I had known that they were coming out with veggie noods.

At 8:30, we got on the truck to catch the 9 am ferry.


We got dropped off at the Jerantut dock around 11:30 and then waited another hour for our bus to Cameron Highlands.

The bus was actually beautiful. It was probably the nicest bus I’d been in thus far in Southeast Asia. It was super clean and had a nice green interior with spacious seats.

I ate some of the almond butter/jam sandwiches, read, and listened to podcasts.

Fancy bus


We got dropped off at the bus station in the Highlands at 4 and asked two ladies working there if there were any buses going to Penang.

The ladies pointed at a woman sitting near a bus and told us to ask her.

We went up to her, told her we wanted to go to Penang today, and she hurriedly got up and took us to her office to issue us tickets. We paid and hopped on the bus. We got really lucky that we managed to catch the bus minutes before it left the bus station.

We made one stop at Ipoh along the way, switched bus drivers, and continued on our way to Penang.

We got to a bus terminal a few kilometers from Penang at 8 pm. The bus driver told us to get off the bus and get on the public bus parked next to us.

I assumed the public bus was going to take us to the island and that our journey was coming to a close.

The next stop on the bus was the ferry terminal.
Everyone got off the bus.
Oh no.

I guess the public bus was just a shuttle to the ferry terminal. Our journey was not over.

We got in the ferry ticket line, paid 1.20 ringgit (30 cents), and got on the ferry.

I was relieved when the doors closed a few minutes later. I didn’t want to be waiting at the port forever.

We docked in Penang 10 minutes later and proceeded to the hostel. It was only a mile away, so we decided to walk it.

The 3 other backpackers on the ferry, 2 Spanish girls and 1 French guy, didn’t have anything booked yet so they decided to follow us to the hostel.

The Spanish girls split off on the way— I guess they found somewhere to stay— and we kept going.

We walked by a party hostel called Tipsy Tiger and the French guy went in to check if they had any rooms.

Amanda and I kept going. We checked into Ryokan Muntri Boutique Hostel, dropped our stuff off, and went to find food. It was already 10 pm at this point, but we had only been eating snacks all day and were in desperate need of real food.

We walked over to a street with food stalls. A lot of it was meat or noodles. We saw a middle eastern place across the street called Mr. Shawerma. Hummus and felafel sounded really good to me, so we decided to check it out.

We got a hummus platter and a side of falafel.


The hummus was good, but the real winner was the falafel. It was freshly fried, so it was super warm and crispy. The bread was also very good.

I felt like I was in a daze, though. We didn’t do anything all day, yet I was so exhausted. I couldn’t wait for bed.

We were bombarded by people trying to get us into their bars for happy hour on the way home. We told them we were going to bed, and one of the guys said, “Ok, good night!” Which I found really funny and cute.

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