Scary rickshaw rides through Georgetown and mischievous monkeys - all part of the Penang experience

After the disappointment of Kuala Lumpur we caught a flight up to the Malaysian island of Penang.

We found a hostel in the resort town of Batu Feringghi in the north of the island. We intended to stay a few days but we ended up staying for a full week as there was plenty to explore.

After a couple of days rest we visited the main town of Georgetown. Given we had become accustomed to quiet beaches, heading into a busy town took us surprise. We hired a rickshaw to take a tour of the city and we had to hold on tight as we zipped in between traffic.

Having recovered from our Georgetown trip we hired some bikes to explore more of the island. After surviving a loose front wheel we eventually made it to the gates of the Taman Nagara National Park. We had to continue by foot along a forest track, spotting swimming monitor lizards along the way.

Our destination was Monkey Beach, a small outlet named after its residents. As we were relaxing on the sand we heard a kerfuffle behind us. Turning around we saw a couple of them scampering off towards the tree-line with our suncream in hand.

During the week we made a few friends, Maz from Ireland and Theresa and Alex from Norway. It was the latter two who persuaded to join them on a ferry towards our next stop, the island of Langkawi.