Tag Archives: Video

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Checkout Our 360 Degree Panoramas 🏞🏞️🌄🌅

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Using Google Street View and some post processing software, its possible to produce some pretty nifty 360 degree panoramic images from a standard smartphone, without having to splash out on an expensive dedicated 360 degree camera. Having said that, a 360 degree camera is definitely on our birthday wish list (to create some amazing bullet-time videos).

In the meantime, here are some results from our most recent trips…

Sea Kayaking off Koh Lipe, Thailand

360 Degree Panoramic Images from SandSpice


Koh Lipe is a small tropical island located in the southern part of Thailand, close to the Malaysian border. It is a part of the Tarutao National Marine Park and is known for its crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches, and stunning coral reefs. Despite its growing popularity, Koh Lipe still retains its laid-back island vibe, with no cars or motorbikes allowed on the island and a range of small restaurants, bars, and shops scattered along the beaches.

Koh Lipe  is a popular destination for tourists who are looking for a relaxing beach vacation or are interested in snorkeling or scuba diving.

Tanjung Rhu Beach, Langkawi

360 Degree Panoramic Images from SandSpice


On the north-eastern tip of Langkawi, Tanjung Rhu beach bends along the coastline past the Four Seasons resort, and towards a backdrop of majestic rock formations and blue ocean. There are a few small shops selling clothing and batiks as well as several cheap, local restaurants offering delicious Malay dishes.

Although more difficult to reach...  this is a much more relaxing place to spend your time, with far fewer tourists.

Lagenda Park, Kuah

360 Degree Panoramic Images from SandSpice


Kuah stretches out along the coast of Langkawi westwards for around 3 kilometers from Jetty Point. Jetty Point itself is a hub of activity featuring the Billion supermarket, Starbucks, and a few restaurants and cafes. Close by, Legenda Park offers a very relaxing and peaceful oasis, with direct access to an empty sandy beach.

Get there early in the morning...  and join in with the regular walkers and runners on this picturesque 2 kilometer circuit.

Pantai Tengah, Langkawi

360 Degree Panoramic Images from SandSpice


Just south of Cenang beach on the west coast of Langkawi Malaysia, Tengah beach offers another long stretch which is relatively quiet. The water is quite shallow during low tide, but great for a paddle. There are plenty of places nearby to eat, as well as restaurants and cafes on the main road.

However...  when taking a dip at Pantai Tengah around the start of the rainy season - watch out for some monster jellyfish!

Koh Lipe, Thailand

360 Degree Panoramic Images from SandSpice


Koh Lipe is an island paradise in the South Andaman sea off the coast of Thailand, famous for it’s white sandy beaches and turquoise blue waters

This picture was taken...  from the inside of The Steak House, looking out onto Pattaya beach.

Skull Beach, Langkawi

360 Degree Panoramic Images from SandSpice


A hidden gem on the north eastern coast of Langkawi, Skull beach (also known as Monkey beach) is a great place to relax and swim in a natural sheltered bay. It’s very popular with the locals in the afternoons and weekends, so get there early!

Best rent a car...  to reach Skull beach. Otherwise you might wait a long time to get a Grab to pick you up from here

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360 Degree Panoramic Images

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Georgetown Penang

Georgetown Penang 🧨 A Cultural Smorgasbord

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Georgetown is a captivating destination in Penang where cultural diversity and heritage merge to create a true smorgasbord of experiences. This UNESCO World Heritage city in Malaysia is a treasure trove of historical curiosities, vibrant street art, and a diverse culinary scene.

Join us on a journey through the colorful streets and rich traditions of Georgetown, and discover why it’s a must-visit for travelers seeking an authentic cultural immersion. From mouthwatering street food to ornate temples and colonial architecture, this cultural melting pot promises a feast for the senses you won’t soon forget.

How we got to Penang

Following our island hops through Phuket and Langkawi, we planned to spend 7 days on the southernmost island in our itinerary – based in Georgetown Penang.

Although it is an island, Penang is connected to the Malaysian mainland via a very long and narrow 13.5-kilometer bridge. We would travel across this bridge a week later on our way to Melaka.

For the time being, we were arriving by boat from Langkawi and were curious to discover what Penang had to offer.

Georgetown Penang

Getting around on foot?

We were staying in the capital – Georgetown – at the the Neo+ Hotel, but our first challenge was to reach the hotel.

Penang is pedestrian-unfriendly. Georgetown in particular is a nightmare to wander around on foot. If the lethal car drivers and bikers don’t run you down, you’ll be tripping over broken pavements or into open septic ditches.

If you value your health you’ll spend much of your time in Penang waiting for the green light at pedestrian crossings (and you’ll wait a LONG time).

Don’t expect drivers to give way to pedestrians. That isn’t the mindset in Penang.

Getting around using buses and ‘Grab’

A safer option is to take a bus or hail a ‘Grab’. You’ll still spend a lot of time sitting in the heavy traffic, but at least you won’t be risking your life.

You’ll probably want to head around the north coast where the sandy beaches are, as well as the expensive condominiums and startlingly high tower blocks.

All your hotel options in and around Georgetown

It’s Chinese New Year!

Although a multi-cultural city, Penang’s ethnic mix is massively dominated by the Chinese. This is hardly surprising considering the amount of construction visible everywhere – with inflated apartment prices that can only be aimed at foreigners.

Chinese New Year is therefore the biggest event in the calendar year. In fact, Penang prides itself on having the largest Chinese New Year bash in Southeast Asia. This is a fortnight-long cycle of celebrations – a bit like Christmas Chinese-style – with canned musak gaily playing away in every retail establishment.

… but it’ll take longer than 2 weeks to get those squeaky little tunes out of your head 🙁

Penang Malaysia - Welcome to China

Georgetown Penang – Malaysia’s Cultural Smorgasbord

Georgetown Malls & Supermarkets – Deal-maker or breaker?

Due to the large percentage of foreigners living in Penang, there are a good number of shops and supermarkets that cater to foreign tastes. There’s even a Tesco’s … but don’t get too excited just yet.

This is like no Tesco’s we’ve visited in Europe. Many of the brands were unrecognizable to us. Other than a few very basic international Tesco offerings there was little of interest, and we left with an empty shopping cart.

We found it best to stick with the local food, of which there is a huge diversity ranging from Malay to Indian, Thai, Japanese and Chinese.

The centrally-located Prangin Mall quickly became one of our favourite shopping venues. The supermarket also has a good-sized non-Halal section. It’s just a pity this isn’t all duty-free – like Langkawi.

Penang Malaysia - Welcome to China

The Prangin Mall – in central Georgetown

Eating Out in Georgetown Penang

Everyone raves about the food in Penang, but here we encountered some of our most dubious eating experiences in Malaysia.

Not that it was bad, just that it was highly forgettable (or memorable for the wrong reasons). The local soups were OK, but nowhere near as good as equivalent soups in Hong Kong.

Penang Malaysia - Welcome to China

Streetfood in Georgetown – This is where it’s happening

Many foods are artificially sweetened to please local palettes – a case in point being the ubiquitous laksa. The street food is predominantly deep fried (and sweetened). All of the attractive and multi-colored ice-drinks are sickly sweet – we found it was better to stick to water.

You really must try the Chendul!

Chendul? … anyone?

We were strongly recommended to try one of Penang’s absolutely favourite treats – Chendul (or ‘Cendol’) – from a specific stall in the center of Georgetown.

This is an iced sweet dessert made from a mixture of coconut milk and palm sugar syrup, with red beans and droplets of green rice flour jelly. There were also some other unidentifiable elements floating around in the mix.

For a foreigner, this is a dish which really messes with your expectations, and absolutely requires a sweet tooth.

Penang Malaysia - Welcome to China

Tasting Chendul in Georgetown … let’s just say it’s an acquired taste

What the Duck?

The What the Duck? restaurant  – 40, Nagore Road – comes highly recommended (if not cheap) and provides a welcome change from a local diet that’s high on fried chicken. When we visited (during a torrential downpour) we had the place almost to ourselves.

The place itself is a little clinical, and not too cozy.

We tried their Cured Salmon Crispy Duck Salad, Balinese Crispy Duck, Duck Magret with Mashed Potato and Red Wine Sauce, some sparkling water and a bottle of house red.

We were a little underwhelmed with the duck, which was over-cooked and a bit dry.

The bill came to RM 140 (€31), more than half of which was the cost of the wine (as we mentioned before, Penang isn’t duty-free).

The staff were very considerate when we left, giving us umbrella-coverage as we raced through the rain to the taxi (it was still pouring down).

The Mugshot

If you’re more into snack bars than restaurants, then Mugshot on Chulia Street is the place to go. Catering more to the Western taste, they make great pastries, sandwiches and coffees and provide a chilled-out break from the sweltering streets.

They also do great juices for around RM 13.

Penang Malaysia - Welcome to China
Penang Malaysia - Welcome to China
Penang Malaysia - Welcome to China
Penang Malaysia - Welcome to China
Penang Malaysia - Welcome to China
Penang Malaysia - Welcome to China
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‘Heritage City’? …we just don’t get it

Although Georgetown boasts itself to be a Heritage city, many of the areas we visited on foot more closely resembled inner city Mumbai or Manila, albeit on a much smaller scale.

You can find old and dilapidated colonial buildings in these cities too, surrounded by the flotsam and jetsam of a chaotic and noisome street life.

Street art (up-market graffiti) is one of the vaunted attractions of the town. Much of this is quite good, and adds some color to an otherwise bland backdrop. You can also find this on a smaller scale in Kuah, Langkawi.

Get to Penang from Kuala Lumpur

The locals – Some really nice people

We really liked the people we met in Penang. Very friendly, helpful and welcoming. The ethnic mix of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Western really makes for a cosmopolitan all-encompassing lifestyle, with a much faster pace than it’s sister island Langkawi.

Penang Jewelers – Buying Gold in Little India

We couldn’t leave Georgetown without purchasing some precious souvenirs, and Little India seemed to be the right place to do it. Here we found whole streets just dedicated to the sale (and purchase) of gold and precious stones.

We opted for two custom-made 22-carat gold rings. These were made from the bright yellow gold that is so popular with the Indians.

On the day of our purchase, gold was priced at Rm 163 per gram (€32.6). We chose very simple 4-gram and 6-gram gold rings. After selecting the ring types and having our fingers measured, we paid a deposit and were told our rings would be ready in 2 hours time.

We were pleased with the results. In total, our customized rings cost us Rm 1,800 (€360).

Georgetown Penang – Schoolgirls enjoying afternoon PT

Moving on south down the Malay Peninsula

After just 7 nights in Penang, we were again on our way to the next destination.

We planned to take a bus across the Penang bridge and then south down the coast to Melaka (Malacca). We already had a hotel booked for 3 nights, after which we would head back up the coast to Port Dixon.

All your hotel options in and around Georgetown

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Georgetown, Penang - Malaysia's Cultural Smorgasbord