Category Archives: budget hotels penang

Batu Feringghi Night Market – Shopped and reviewed by Backpackies

There is just so much to do in Penang( and i mean the island of Penang), over the week end. It was a hard toss between heading out for some 24hour Nasi Kandar Line Clear at Penang Road and then to Upper Penang Road for drinks or head up to Batu Feringghi to check out the famed night market.
After much discussion, we decided to give our livers a break and opted for some wallet damage.  We took the Rapid Penang Bus 101 from the front of 7-11 on Chulia Street.
We were staying at Roommates Guesthouse Penang for this trip and the 7-11 was just like 2 minutes walk out from the guesthouse. Its a really nice guesthouse with extremely friendly staff.
The bus 101 was air conditioned and took about less than 25 minutes to get to Batu Feringghi. You can easily spot the night market which starts daily at 7pm and runs till around 11pm. If you are not sure, then just press the STOP bell at Golden Sands Resort. There is a new PETRONAS and McDONALDS just directly opposite the hotel. The night market starts from this point and stretches for another 2 kilometers.

Its the usual traffic jam along Batu Feringghi Road because it is all single laned

The market has changed a lot since i first been here about 5 years ago. That time, i used to remember that the stalls were sprawling till it overflowed out to the sides of the walk ways of the street. Nowadays with proper and stricter government enforcing, the stalls are pushed further back away from the road side.

You can also cycle up to the market, which will take you a good 45 minute – 1 hour journey

If you have your own scooter or bicycle, then you can always ride up to the market.

some of the converted stalls have air conditioning in them

there are plenty of clothes for you to shop for like batik and beach wear

Fresh fruits and juice are a hit among the tourists

Not so tacky souvenir shirts- these designs have existed some 10 years ago, when i was a kid. Man!! They should do something about these souvenir shirts!


I must admit that im a serious addict. A Watch Addict! I was literally drooling at the sight of all the colorful G-SHOCKs that were on sale. These are of course fake watches, but being water proof and for only RM 50 each. Man im sooo buying 5 ! Oh wait, i only got 2 hands!

Another must buy when you are here is the fake DVD’s. These are Blue Ray and DVD quality DVDs that you are getting for RM 4 each! Now who says, Penang’s shopping sucks?!!

A note to other bloggers: Please do not take pictures of the stall as they will beat you up. These pictures were taken illegally.

The latest addition to Batu Feringghi is the new Mc Donalds outlet and also the petrol station. Back about 1 year ago, you would need to make sure you had enough petrol to drive up and back from Batu Feringghi before you made the trip. But now its so convenient with the new petrol station up there.
Also with Mc Donalds added to the fast food option, eating up at Batu Feringghi is so much easier. (I just use the free wifi! )
There is of course the famous – RIDE THRU service



The night market is a great way to spend your evening. Head up here around 5 ish in the afternoon, head to the beach for a beer or to sun bath, then have dinner at the hawker center nearby, then shop at the market for souvenirs. Then take the last bus 101 back to the hostel. Voila! Mission Accomplished!


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Filed under backpacking, budget hotels penang, Penang, Penang Famous Hawker Food

Roommates Guesthouse Penang April Promotion!

Honestly speaking, this Guesthouse has to be given credit for making the effort to spruce up the backpacking scene in Penang, Malaysia.

Free local palm wine on Wednesdays, Haunted Tours around Penang for the Month of Cheng Beng, and student discounts are among the few things that they have managed to come up with.

Read more-

Magnificent April promotions and events that will guarantee to get your heads bobbing!!

Like them on facebook at > Roommates Penang

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Filed under backpacking, budget hotels penang, Guesthouses Penang, Penang, Penang Famous Hawker Food, Penang hostels, temples in penang

Roommates Guesthouse Penang- Supa Dupa Guesthouse!

Roommates Guesthouse Penang is the newest and latest guesthouse in Georgetown Penang.
Check the video out !! 
It’s the next big thing to hit the island after Ryokan Chic Hotels. Ladies and Gentlemen, let me present to you the ‘Smallest Guesthouse in Penang’!
The land area of this shop is 530 ft2 and features only 2 rooms but sleeps 16 people. When we interviewed the creative team that worked on this project- Quote “Space and comfortability was such a big issue, we had to knock every existing wall down just to create space. The shop is a 18th century ‘straits eclectic’ type of shop lot which they managed to restore including the timber flooring, facade, terra-cotta tiles and the louvered windows.

penang guesthouse

That's how i like it! Music, Smoking and Knitting! 😀

The common area which most guests like to gather around during the evening is the ‘five foot way’ outside the shop. The ‘five foot ways’ were introduced during the British Colonial Times. They were used mainly to shade the public from the rain and sun.

guesthouse penang

Porch outside Roommates Penang

The guesthouse rents bicycles which are an easy way to explore the inner city . You get to ride at your own pace and enjoy the ‘Real Georgetown” which consists mostly of all the non touristy temples, food and attraction.

guesthouse penang

Having dinner at the famous hawker food stalls at Kimberly Street with the other guests.(my new roommates and friends)

The whole guesthouse has an open concept with very little closed spaces. To create space, they used a lot go glass in the structure, to create optical illusions that the place is big.

guesthouse penang

Beanie bags that are just so gooood to sleep in !

roommates guesthouse penang

top view of the 'dance floor' and bean bags from the second floor

Free internet

Free internet stations that come with speedy connection and microphones to make skye easy

guesthouse penang

Jamming session with our permanent resident - Mr Kapok Guitar

Roommates Guesthouse Penang

Staying at roommates is all about meeting and making new friends during your travels

roommates guesthouse penang

Happy hour at Roommates Guesthouse Penang! It all starts with some 'Happy' Juice!

Our dorm beds are made of 3 inch steel and are CREAK PROOF!

roommates guesthouse penang

Enjoying morning breakfast in the lounge.

Heritage cups and saucers are used

And because it is the smallest Guesthouse in Penang, we had to attach a map of where Roommates Penang is located. The colored lines are the routes when you arrive from destinations. Green color route is for when you arrive on a ferry from Langkawi. Orange line is for when you arrive from the Ferry from Butterworth or from the Train. The blue line is for when you arrive by minivan from Thailand.

Map of how to get to Roommates Penang

You can find out more about Roommates by visiting their website > . The difference in staying in this guesthouse is that, on the outside it looks like your average pre war shop lot that manages to camouflage it self with the surrounding heritage city.  But the moment you enter the place, it automatically tones down the mood. The staff is so friendly, the people are great and the ambience is perfect. Makes me want to stay there again. Maybe i will 😉
We hope you find your stay at Roommates Penang as enjoyable as we did! For more free backpacking information please like us on Facebook at >> Backpackies 


Filed under backpacking, budget hotels penang, Guesthouses Penang, Penang, Penang hostels

Chulia Street Penang – Street Food at Night by backpackies

Chulia Street, Penang is famous for being crowded with cheap lodges, visa/ tour agents and pubs famous among backpackers. But what about the street food here? No one has written about the famous Curry Mee, Wan Than Mee or even the Manchester United Burgers that the locals so eagerly flock to feast on almost every night. Or maybe they just want to keep this place a secret? Oh well, its too late now.
Backpackies is here and here is our review of the street food along Chulia Street- Backpacker Central of Penang.
If you want breakfast here, please read this blog >> Chulia Street Penang- Breakfast! with

Chulia Street Food

Chulia Street Penang- Backpacker Central

Chulia Street during the day is madness. This 2 lane road can easily turn into a 4 lane honking insanity. During the evenings, the traffic dies down, and this is when the pubs start its grooving beats, food stalls are pushed out to set up business and tourists roam the streets for food and entertainment.
This place is a small little lane here is called “cheap side” among the locals. It got its name from all the stalls in the day selling cheap hardware and construction equipment.
Somewhere hidden amongst the stalls is the famous Chulia Street Curry Mee.

Chulia Street Curry Mee
Over here, there is Wan Than Mee (springy noodles cooked either with soup or dry) and served with pork slices and rolled up “money bags” filled with minced meat.

Chulia Street Curry Mee

Woman cooking some Wan Than Mee- noodles

Below is the famous Curry Mee stall. Look at the amount of fried bean curd there is in the pot! Its full of it! By the way that, brownish stuff in the pot by his elbow is cockles.

Chulia Street Penang

The famous Chulia Street Curry Mee

Just as the name suggests, Curry Mee is soupy curry based noodles that can be spicy if you add more of the red chilli paste. Usually they use the yellow noodles with a mix of rice bee hoon (another type of thin noodles). The standard ingredients are squid, fried bean curd, cockles and bean sprouts and meat shreds. Over here they add another big sized fish ball in your bowl.

Chulia Street

Does it taste good because its famous or famous because it tastes good?

Well our verdict is, to me being a Penang boy, i think the curry mee is ok for my standard. I have tasted much better ones. But for tourists, this quality is sufficient.
We also tried the fried stuff. Some of them had mixed bits of yam and meat in them,wrapped in dough and deep fried.  The ones with the sesame seeds are filled with either peanut or black bean paste. A sweet treat!

chulia street hawker food

Fried snacks

Another sweet desert you can try is the Apom. Its made out of flour, eggs and sugar. Spread in a thin layer on a hot plate and then rolled up to give it the crispy texture on the sides and a soft chewy feel on the center.

chulia street ah pom

Chinese Pancake

Most locals head over here for the Lok Lok as well. Its a dish where you just stand by the stall, and then choose what you want. The have a variety of food stuff on skewers for you to choose from. Some are un cooked yet and some are already cooked. You get stuff like fish balls, meat balls, squid ball, jelly fish with vegetables where you need to dip into the boiling water much longer. Food like century eggs, spring rolls, crab sticks which are already cooked, you just need to dip in to the hot water to heat up the food.

The hot water pots are communal and so are the different dips. So basically for hygiene purposes, please do not re dip your skewer after you have bitten into it.  Usually the standard dips are chili paste (red), spicy chilli (green) and peanut sauce. The peanut sauce is our favorite due to the nice crunchy aromatic taste it gives.

chulia street lok lok

Lok Lok- Dunking in food on skewers in a communal hot pot

Of course if you can handle the spiciness, you should try mixing both the chilli and peanut sauce together! Awesome.

 chulia street lok lok

Colorful aint it?! 😀

Well we already had our fill for today. We will be back next week to examine and test the Manchester United burgers. We are sure that there are plenty of other food along this street that is worth mentioning. But because we don’t get paid to do blogs and we really review the blogs, eating the Lok Lok alone, we had to try all the different types of skewers just to tell you how this shop fares overall.

So we will save the burgers and others for the next review. Till then, if you have tried anything else that’s really good, or maybe shitty, please do give us a shout here on our comments.

Till then if you have any travel questions, please visit us at or join us on facebook at Backpackies is on facebook.

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Filed under backpacking, budget hotels penang, Guesthouses Penang, Penang Famous Hawker Food

Ryokan Chic Hotels @ Muntri Street Penang reviewed by

Ryokan on Muntri Street, Penang just recently opened its doors to their first batch of guests about 1 month ago. (30th April 2011).
There was a promotion that for the one day only (which is the opening day) they invited 20 lucky facebook fans to have a free stay at the hotel.
Subsequently the remaining fans had a 50% discount of the rooms for the same day.
We unfortunately missed that special day. (To be honest, we missed the FREE STAY more!! :D). But after hearing so much hype about this place, we decided to review it. Of course again, there might be plenty of reviews already of this place online since its such a nice setup. But at backpackies, we try not to bullshit our fans, and of course, we try to take pictures that actually give you the whole feel of what to expect during your stay at Ryokan @ Muntri Street Penang.
So taking out our microscope and V800 “dont take any sh*t” xI3 Faultfinder- We begin to review Ryokan.

Ryokan is located on Muntri Street, just 5 minutes walk from Penang’s Clubbing Hotspot- Upper Penang Road and also Heritage attractions like Kapitan Kling Mosque, Kuan Yin Teng Temple, Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, State museum and many more. And the best thing about it is also, it is walkable some of the famous food stalls in Penang. Hameeds delicious roti canai and sup kambing, Red Garden food court with their daily chinese girl singers entertaining you while you dine, Chulia Lanes Curry Noodles, so please don’t get us started.
Verdict: Location A++

ryokan on muntri street

Ryokan Chic Hotels is the latest chic and fashionable "budget" hotel in Penang

The facade was pretty impressive, mainly because of the nice neon lights and decoration. Definitely chic! We love the combination of cement art and the usage of wood in their front door.
|There are some outdoor seating as well, which are only practical in the mornings and nights because during the day, it gets really hot. And not to mention they use Steel Chairs! Really? In the inside,usually during the day, the air conditioning will be on so it’s not that hot. The living area cum cafe is quite spacious and tastefully decorated we must say.We are impressed.
The bar counter wasnt really ready yet when we were there so there were only minimal drinks and food that you could order.
There was a stage in the cafe so presumably that is for the live band to perform sometime in the future. Well actually during their opening they did have someone sing!

ryokan on muntri street

Lounge and cafe area

The wifi is free but you can only pick up the signal at the very back near the stage. Towards the front, its a bit weak. Its good in a way because, it prevents people from the outside (previous guests) to steal wifi from the road side.

ryokan on muntri street

Nice bar counter made from cement- It was soooo smooth! 😀 ha ha ha

Accommodations are up top. You will need to take off your shoes, and there are some nice racks where you can put them. So this keeps the whole sleeping area clean.

ryokan on muntri street

no shoes inside the accommodation

Towards the back, there is another set of similar looking cabinets.

ryokan on muntri street

heading to the rooms

No its not for shoes and slipeprs! These are the free books and magazines for you to read. There are some bean bags, and lights that is meant to be a reading corner.

The flooring on this whole place is wood, so there is a nice texture when you walk around barefooted, you can feel mother natures grains…..massaging your feet. And of course, since its wood, you can hear people walking about the guesthouse. In olden times, this is a security feature, where the residents in the house could know if there were thieves entering their house through the noise from the wood planks.
The rooms and chillax corner, we will show later. The Loft was still renovating when we were there. So we might need to sneak in again for a free photoshoot next time. Damn the planks!

ryokan on muntri street

This is the chillax area, where there are fans only, and bean bags, lights and books for you to enjoy a good book. Maybe doable during the nights when its not so humidly hot.
All the rooms are on the left hand side of this walkway. And all of the rooms have air conditioning.

ryokan on muntri street
We took the 4 man dorm room which was about 100 ft2 in size. A comfortable size to sleep in. The furniture and bed linen were all white which we love, because with white is, you could actually see if the place was dirty or not by one look. But after we checked it, this place was very clean. (Mainly because it is brand new). The beds were singles (not super singles), but the mattress and pillow were abit on the hard side. At first it felt firm and bearable. But towards the end, it was abit too hard for us. There is a cabinet where you can store your personal items. You will need to bring your own padlock for this.
Also with the bunk bed, you have your own personal light, plug point and small tiny space where you can place small items next to you when you sleep. The reading light was bright and big enough, unlike some places where we have reviewed who uses cheap night lights as substitute. The air conditioning inside comes with the controller, so you can adjust accordingly. There is no fans in the room.
One thing we noticed is that the rooms did not have any dustbins for waste?!

Their room rates are
6 person dorm – RM 35
4 person dorm RM 38
4 Person Girls Only Dorm RM 40
Luxury private room – RM 138

Towel rental – RM 3
Blanket rental – RM 3
(Yes the room does not come with any of these)

ryokan on muntri street

4 pax dorm

ryokan on muntri street

private little space to charge your electricals and hide your valuables but just be careful because it doesnt come with any lock.

ryokan on muntri street

metal cabinet to store your own stuff- You need to bring your own lock

Although blanket and towels do not come with the room rate, they do provide a simple breakfast. The breakfast is still more impressive than some of the other guesthouses. But of course Ryokan’s rates are a little higher as well.

ryokan penang

Breakfast of the day

The coffee, tea and juice is free flow, but the breakfast menu keeps changing for variety. I could count how many baby hot dogs they gave me. The potato chips was a bit soggy. So if you can, its best to drag your lazy butt from the comfortable bed and have breakfast early. Breakfast is from 8-10.30.

Next weeeee will be checking out the toilets and showers. There is a long sink just outside the showers. They provide gel soap which smells nice.

ryokan on muntri street

public washing area - brushing teeth, and washing face

Since this is the only washing area, i guess you can also wash your small laundry items here as well. You just need to bring your own soap powder. You can get them at the minimarts along Chulia Street. The showers were very spacious and well ventilated.
The water pressure was excellent and it came with hot water and cold water. Not that you really need the hot water unless you were doing some sort of private spa session in the showers.  But then again, its nice to have it.

The good thing is, the showers had free fragrant smelling shower gels and shampoo. When i was in the bathroom, i could hear an australian guest comment ” Oh MY GOD, the shower gel smells so nice”. So that actually proves that my nose is still working.
Toilet paper on the other hand was a bit different. They were giving us paper towels to wipe our ass. We find that abit different but at least it wasnt newspapers like they use in China.

ryokan on muntri street
The tv lounge was a great concept. There is a nice mural of Ryokan on the wall, and they had bean bags for seating in front of a huge LCD screen., (Im sorry we didnt manage to check the size) But its sufficient. The sound system from the tv was good enough. But i do wonder how loud and till when can you watch tv at night? Since next to the tv area is actually rooms. Do let us know if you have tried it.

ryokan on muntri street

beanie bags at the lounge

Yups, if there is no one there, you can just lift your legs up (even if you wearing a mini skirt), just relax and enjoy the show.
The tv comes with ASTRO (malaysias only cable service)

ryokan on muntri street
This was the impressive mural of Ryokan we were talking about. This is a close up on the mural. Looks almost exactly like it, dont you think?

ryokan on muntri street
Finally after watching people lift their legs and enjoy a movie, i decided to lift mine up as well and call it a day.

ryokan on muntri street

Till our next review. Ryokan Chic Hotels has certainly raised the standard of guesthouses/ budget hotels in Penang. 5 thumbs up!

If you guys are going to stay in Penang, Ryokan is a good bet.Its clean, its tastefully done up, nicely designed for comfort and look, so there fore
Quality and Comfortability – A+

backpacking penang

Just like the painting on the wall i guess, after you leave Ryokan, you become a monkey (because of the other crap services from the other guesthouses around Penang)?
-Ryokan didnt pay us to say this if you are wondering.

For more information – Visit their Website – Ryokan Chic Hotels Penang
But whatever it is, please do join our travel group on facebook- Backpackies is on facebook!

Dont tell us you dont have facebook har!! Till then have a safe trip and have fun traveling!


Filed under Air Asia, backpacking, budget hotels penang, Guesthouses Penang, Penang hostels

Tune Hotel, Penang- Cheap Cheap!

It was Tune Hotel Penang Downtown’s 2nd Anniversary. To celebrate that they have been open for 2 years now, they had a promotion for the month of April. Rooms were for RM 2!!! So us being Mr Cheap and Mrs Kiasu….we decided to BOOK!!  first….
(weather can stay or not…decide later) Cheap cheap ma! So here is our proof of our RM 2 room! Had to pay the ***$Q#$ .33 cents for tax though.

So here we are again at Tune Hotel Penang. Fear not! Our Super Hero is back to Tune Hotel to Inspect the condition of the hotel!!

Shit….i forgot to wear my eye mask. Now you know who i am. Lucky i deleted my email, contact number and real name. If you see me on the streets, please say you dont know me.
(The underwear im wearing is supposed to bring me good luck. With the fook sign and being red and all. Aiyoo i went to Genting Highlands Casino with it…..i lost money la) Sorry back to topic.

OK, check in is at 2pm. CHECK OUT AT 10am??  We tried to delay as much as we could. They sent someone to knock at my door at 10.30am! Asked me to check out.

The check in was fast because it seems that either not many Penang people as kiasu as us…or …..there simply isnt any one staying here!

They had some massage chairs….but i saw no body sitting on it. So im assuming you have to pay for it!

Free internet stations for guests who are staying at tune. At least they have chairs for you to sit. The Tune Hotel in Kota Bharu Kelantan, has no seats. Having to stand and chat on facebook is a pain in the ass.  God bless you –> manager of Tune Penang.

The lounge still remains as comfy and spacious as ever. Although the hotel was a bit on the quiet side.

Bloody hell! its DURIAN season! Luckily i ate my fill of durians at Lorong Susu before hand. I almost wanted to tapau some back to hotel but i was scared that they would not allow it. Jeng jeng jeng….really confirmed my theory. I saw this sign! But why they don’t allow mangosteens? Maybe its because of the purple color juice that comes out of the mangosteen when you throw it on the floor to break it open to eat?? hmmmmm

OK so after taking the lift up. You have to use the electronic key pass to get in. And you need the same key pass to activate the electricity in the room. When you take the key out, the plug points also go out. Everything goes out!
And NO YOU CANT STICK YOUR POPULAR BOOK STORE MEMBERSHIP card in the slot. It wont just work. bloody Tony Fernandes! Why are you so smart!
The room was big (but i think the mirror on the wall made it look big). I like the fact that the mirror made the room look kinky! Girlfriend here i come!

Ohh and i have to tell you that the Rm 2.33 is for a room without Air Cond. The fan is actually cold enough. I was naked when i slept (without my superhero outfit) so it was pretty decent to sleep in the room.

On Item 1 on the Concept page of Tune
5-star beds- Our Tune beds feature high quality spring mattress beds with pillows, pillowcases, bed sheets and 250-thread count duvets, custom-made for our requirements by bedmakers who supply 5-star hotels – the basis of our promise for 5-star beds!
Verdict: Yes we did jump on the beds…..and used it to the maximum. It was soft and comfortable!

The toilets were the same. Still clean and the same size (obviously).
If you read the Tune Hotel Website….on the concept page. Item number 2 says

Power Showers – Each of our rooms feature en suite (attached) private bathrooms with high pressure, heated Power Shower. So even though you are paying minimal room rates, you are still enjoying premium showers in maximum privacy.

So we gave it a try. And yes, the after 2 years of running, the pipes aren’t plugged. The showers are confirmed still powderful. It was so powerful that at full blast i could not open my eyes in the shower.

So next time you see any promotion for Tune Hotel Penang. Just book it. Weather you stay or don’t stay…its another problem. If you don’t stay but already booked, please leave me a message here!
This concludes our review of Tune Hotel Penang.


Filed under Air Asia, backpacking, budget hotels penang, Guesthouses Penang, Penang

Ali Ferringhi Guesthouse Penang burnt down 2010 – brought to you by Backpackies

Remember the famous Ali Feringghi Guesthouse by the beach up at Batu Feringghi Penang?

ali feringghi guesthouse penang

famous batu feringghi in Penang

Guesthouse Penang

Ali Feringghi Guesthouse Penang was very popular with tourists

Ali Ferringhi Guesthouse Penang is one of the only few places that used to offer comfortable budget rooms by the beach in Penang.

guesthouse penang

Rooms at Ali feringghi Guesthouse Penang

Well it got burnt down together with Shalini Guesthouse Penang in a fire that started in the kitchen of the guesthouse. Luckily all the tourists were out at the beach when the incident happened.

guesthouse penang

Burnt to the ground. Only skeleton is left

guesthouse penang

top floors are all gone

The shitty part was, that this premise was illegal and didn’t have any insurance on the property. The last we heard was that there was an argument from the tourists demanding compensation for their belongings that were lost in the fire. Poor tourists, who had all their clothes, money, passports and id all burnt by the fire.

guesthouse penangThe reading corner on the left was left intact.

guesthouse penang

only 2 of the bottom rooms are still there

This updated news. (January 2011) was brought to you by backpackies.

If you love free backpacking travel tips and advice, then join our lovely travel group on facebook at backpackies .

Our website is still in the process of transferring to a new interphase to make it easier for our guests to navigate. Till then stay crazy, have fun and have a safe holiday!


Filed under backpacking, budget hotels penang, Guesthouses Penang, Penang hostels