During my train ride to Malaysia I changed my mind and decided to get off early at Hat Yai and head for the West coast of Malaysia (sitting on a solid wood bench for 8 hours may have also had something to do with it) I eventually arrived at Georgetown, which is just off the coast on the island of Penang.
Georgetown is busy but still has a relaxed atmosphere. On my second day I ventured to the North West corner of the island to walk in the national park. At one point I heard something above my head and looked up to discover wild monkeys right above me head! The fact that I was walking towards Monkey Beach should have been a bit of a clue but it actually took me by surprise.
I managed to blag a free boat ride back out of the park with an Australian family I met along the way.
There is a funicular railway up to Penang Hill with a great view over Georgetown and on to the mainland. I think I would have melted if I had tried to walk up – I have sweated more in the last 11 days than my whole lifetime!
Tomorrow I need to get up early to grab a ferry back to the mainland and then a train to Kuala Lumpur. I am flying from there to Hanoi in Vietnam on the 14th.