Staycation in Georgetown – Eat, Drink & Best Street Photography in Penang

Staycation in Georgetown Penang Street Photography

It is nice to be able to travel locally again for cuti-cuti Malaysia after being stuck at home in 2021 and able to go for a staycation in Georgetown, Penang. During this trip, my friend Tommy and I explored Georgetown and Batu Ferringhi, which is the most popular tourist spots in Penang.

We decided to go on a staycation in Georgetown because we are not yet permitted to travel to other countries. Let’s find out about my 3 days and 2 nights staycation while doing street photography in Georgetown, Penang.

Day 1: Staycation in Georgetown – Luxury Heritage Hotel Stay in Penang

Check-in the boutique hotel

Staycation in Georgetown, Campbell House Penang - Boutique Hotel Georgetown
I stayed at Campbell House Penang, one of Georgetown’s luxury heritage boutique hotels on Lebuh Campbell, right in the heart of the city and surrounded by popular tourist attractions. I really enjoyed my stay there because there are so many restaurants, cafes, and local food stalls nearby.

I’ve booked the hotel early to get a hotel discount on the Agoda website and it is much better than last minute booking. The housekeepers and receptionists at Campbell House is very friendly and helpful.

There are no difficulties in getting to a car park. Car parking can be easily found by the roadside, just beside the boutique hotel or along Lebuh Cintra. All you have to do is to install the Penang Smart Parking app and pay the parking rate per day for only RM6. It is free parking on Sunday.

Campbell House Penang Car Parking
The hotel’s interior is beautifully decorated with antiques, giving me the impression of being transported back in time. On the ground floor, there is the Bacaro restaurant, and on the second floor, you will feel more at ‘home’ in the library area.

This is an area where you can relax on the cosy sofa and read some books or hang out with friends during a staycation in Georgetown. You should check out the rooftop terrace area since we are all staying under one roof and try not to disturb others.

The wooden flooring sounds a little ‘squeaky‘ because the flooring is made of wood. I have to walk really slowly so I don’t make any loud noise.

Chilling out the Rooftop Terrace @ Campbell House

Rooftop Terrace at Campbell House Penang
I woke up really early in the morning during my trip just to chill at the rooftop terrace at Campbell House Penang and is one of my favourite areas in the hotel.

Located on the top floor, I love to chill in this area with the morning breeze while watching the sunrise from afar as the street begins to get busy again for another day.

What’s good about the rooftop terrace is you can order food and drinks from the Bacaro Restaurant and have a nice meal while chilling out in the area.

Street Foods Penang
The hawker food stall selling Koay Teow Th’ng opens early every morning, and is located just right opposite the road facing the hotel.

Library Area

Library Campbell House Penang
If you’re looking for a nice photo spot at Campbell House for sharing on Instagram, you should check out the library area. This section is a great quiet with a comfy sofa to chill while reading a book, having some wine, taking pictures or hanging out with friends.

As for the room, it is well decorated with wooden tables, chairs and drawers. There are also some Chinese calligraphy on the wall as decoration. The air conditioner was working great, it was really cold when set to 16°C and I had a good night sleep on its comfortable bed for the 2-nights stay at Campbell House.

Exploring Chulia Street

Chulia Street Neon Light New Restaurant
At night, Chulia Street comes alive with street food, live band bars, and pubs. While walking down Chulia Street, I came across this new building with vintage lighting that really caught my attention. Probably a new restaurant still under renovation but the light really attracted me.

We stopped at The Pokok for a while before heading out to find a proper dinner because we weren’t sure what to have for dinner.

It was only a short walk from our hotel. Lebuh Carnarvon is home to a variety of Penang street foods. I end up going to the Lagenda House & Cafe, which is right next to the hawker food stalls.

If you’re looking for a place to drink near the hotel, Love Lane / Lorong Love is the only option for live music and chilled drinks. There are numerous bars and pubs to be found in Georgetown at night, and they are easily accessible by car.

Armenian Street

There are several popular photography locations on the Armenian Street heritage lane, which includes the Overhead Umbrella Alley, and the popular Penang Street Arts, which is located further down the heritage road. We decided to visit this area only after dinner because it was crowded during the day.

We were looking for a place to take some street photos in Umbrella Alley and came across Momokaka, a bar which is located just beside the road. We decided to stop by the bar for live music and spend the entire night relaxing.

Momokaka Bar Armenian Street Neon Light
Maybe I didn’t notice any neon lights in Kuala Lumpur but I do get to see it often a lot in Georgetown, Penang. It was a great time to test out my new CineBloom diffusion lens filter that creates the amazing cinematic glowing effect with the Fujifilm recipes which I’ve recently created for street portraits recipe.

I found out that the custom settings work really well for street photography too.

Day 2: Staycation in Georgetown – Street Photography in Penang

My day 2 was more to street photo walk in Georgetown, taking photos while exploring a few tourist attractions in Georgetown and Batu Ferringhi. I was greedy, for frequently switching between my Yashica camera and Fujifilm X-T4 for some digital and analogue film.

It was my second roll of the Kodak Portra 400 film I’ve used for street fashion themed photoshoot at Pavilion KL before heading to Penang.

Kek Lok Si Temple

Kek Lok Si Temple Attraction
Kek Lok Si Temple Attraction

One of the tourist attractions and places to go when in Penang is the Kek Lok Si Temple. Here are the photos I took with my Yashica film camera and my Fujifilm.

Beachside at Frandy Beach Bar & Restaurant, Batu Ferringhi

Kodak Portra 400 Beach Batu Ferringhi Penang
Yashica Electro 35 GTN / Kodak Portra 400 film

I know that the best time for beach photography is during the sunset, but we have no choice but to shoot in the hot sun in the afternoon and avoid heavy traffic jams. We headed to the beachside near Frandy Beach Bar & Restaurant.

As you walk further down the beach bar, you can find the best spot for symmetry photography near the concrete jetty. Find out how I overexpose film by using the pull film technique I’ve learned and researched online.

Tan Jetty @ Georgetown

Tan Jetty 2021
with my friend @djtommycham

We stopped at a cafe on our way back to Georgetown because it was quite hot outside. Then we headed to the jetty I’d planned to go. I was quite excited for an evening shoot at the Tan Jetty, but ended up the jetty to the temple was closed.

Well, might be due to the Covid-19 restriction. After all, we did enjoy a nice cendol just opposite of the road.

While carrying a huge digital camera, I find myself quite hesitant to take photos in the cafes because I get used to shooting only on the street and portrait? Might be that’s why I rarely have any cafe photos in this blog post. Looks like I have to practice this in some cafes in KL.

In another word, I don’t let my camera eat my food. Perhaps I should learn some food photography first. Yeah, I do wish I have a wife as my subject. Nah, that was way out of topic. 😛

Gudang Cafe

Gudang Cafe Georgetown - Largest Cafe in Penang
Looking for a good place for dinner in Georgetown can be easy yet challenging during the weekends as there are too many cafes and restaurants to choose from. I ended up at Gudang Cafe for some Japanese Chicken Katsu Don for dinner.

After dinner, we explore more on bars and pubs in the area and end up heading back to Armenian Street for a drink at Momokaka.

Day 3: Staycation in Georgetown – Catching the morning light

Street Photography Georgetown Lebuh Campbell
There are many more areas to explore in Georgetown but I’m sure going to be back next round. I did some morning street photography at Lebuh Campbell and tried to finish up my remaining Portra 400 film roll.

After the shoots, we left Georgetown early to avoid the traffic.

Lunch in Japanese Bar in Ipoh

Mad Ramen Japanese Bar Restaurant Ipoh Perak

I went to the popular Concubine Lane, one of the popular tourist attractions in Ipoh. I took some photos, went food hunting, and ended up having lunch at Mad Ramen Bar in Ipoh, Perak.

I was quite attracted to the neon light decoration because I always tested out my CineBloom diffusion filter all the time during this trip and guess what?

I was a big fan of 80s City Pop recently, and this restaurant let me listen to even more of it. I had no idea I’d be able to listen to City Pop in Malaysia on this trip.

My current favorite Japan’s 80s city pop song is Plastic Love by Mariya Takeuchi. Whenever I travelled to, I get to find new music the same as I did during my Phuket trip.

I quickly created a new Spotify playlist for 80s City Pop which can be listened to below.

Conclusion

The most important thing to remember when travelling during this time is to follow the SOPs, wear a mask whenever possible, and stay away from crowded areas.

It doesn’t matter if you eat chicken chop in Penang or Japanese ramen in Ipoh instead of popular street foods, as long as you enjoy the staycation in Penang and have fun, that’s all that matters.

Since my last visit to Penang, this has been one of the most places I’ve visited and explored both during the day and at night. There are many other attractions in Georgetown and most of the locals might be already familiar with Georgetown.

If you are looking for a photographer for travel photos, feel free to book a travel photo shoot with me.

This is my second 2-night staycation in the island after my last road trip to Penang a few years ago. For those who want to explore and looking for a nice Penang staycation, you can check out the places I’ve mentioned above.

I’m sure will be back for another staycation in Georgetown or Batu Ferringhi for more nice photos. Looking forward to the next trip cuti-cuti in Malaysia.

Travel Photo Album

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I use Photobook as my printed travel album, portrait portfolio and also as my photography guestbook collection which I can show to my Airbnb guest when they stayed in my condominium. That’s why I loved it that a lot!

Its friendly user interface and easy editing functions allow one to create photo books of great quality with relative ease. I used its high-quality large 14″ x 10″ landscape size Imagewrap Hardcover for my photography collection.

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I prefer the Premium Layflat Binding because when you flip the pages, you will see the entire page very clearly.

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