It’s no secret that going on a vacation with friends can be extremely daunting. You’ll get to see them at their very best, very worst, and everything else in between.
A carefully planned itinerary that is perfectly in tune with what everyone wants to do can help minimise conflicts, so long as all parties involved are mindful about the agenda. Plus, you can never underestimate the ability of fantastic food to put aside petty tiffs.
Drive or fly in early to start your day right with a truly Penang brunch. Forget all-day breakfasts. Penang’s all-day meal of champions is its world-famous char kway teow. Fortunately for us, some of the best char kway teow stalls on the island are at Lorong Selamat, a short walk from Tune Hotel Penang.
You could either drop your bags off at the hotel first, or hack your check-in by booking your stay via the Tune Hotels website which offers early check-in at 11am (and late check-out too, what what) when you book direct.
Now you’re ready to put that char kway teow fuel to good use! Head to ESCAPE theme park located in Teluk Bahang, a little further up from the tourist central of Batu Ferringhi. While the theme park is ‘suitable for all ages’, some of the rides will get your heart racing including a slide ominously named ‘Mega Drop’. As they say, friends that scream together, stay together.
If that affair didn’t knock the wind out your sails, it would be the perfect opportunity to drop by Bora Bora bar. A local beachside hangout with a relaxed atmosphere, a visit to Bora Bora is an invitation to stick your toes in the sand, sip on RM10 beers, and watch the sun slowly dip into the horizon.
You could grab a simple meal there, but we say celebrate your moment in Penang over a steaming bowl of spicy prawn noodles locally referred to as Hokkien mee. The Hokkien Mee at Green House on Burma Road is one of the best on the island and unfortunately for your diet, it’s open until 3:30am. Perfect for a late dinner, and just a short walk down the road from Tune Hotel Penang.
And that’s what we call a satisfying wrap to the first day.
First agenda? Breakfast, naturally. Get up bright and early and eat like a local at one of the many hawkers in the city. Eng Loh Kopitiam is one such spot, where you can choose from a range of stalls to quell any cravings. That’s the beauty of hawkers, isn’t it? Roti Canai Transfer Road is another indulgent breakfast option that is a short walk away from Tune Hotel.
Load up, and maybe even pack some food with you, because Day 2 is just as action-packed as the first. Head back to Teluk Bahang and make a beeline for Penang National Park where you’ll be hiking through forests in order to get to some of the island’s most secluded beaches. The hike that will take between 2 – 3 hours (or less, if you’re quite fit) is easy without any extreme elevations. Spend an hour or two there, before getting a speedboat back to the starting point. You can book your boat at the park’s entrance, before you begin the hike.
But if the body doth protest, no sweat. Exploring the Heritage City space is a much gentler way to ease into the day. Apart from the hallmark murals, there’s so much more history and culture waiting to be discovered. A number of old colonial buildings, dripping in history, have been converted to museums so you can spend the hottest part of the day soaking up serious #throwback vibes. It’s also brimming with food opportunities that aren’t on any ‘must-eat’, ‘must-do’ list. Just keep your eyes peeled for restaurants packed with locals for a discovery you can brag to your friends back home about.
Regardless of what you prefer, it’s really not necessary to do exactly the same thing all the time when you’re travelling with buddies. It is so much better for team dynamics to do what you want to do, and regroup back at the hotel to freshen up for dinner. A 10-minute walk from Tune Hotel Penang is New Lane Street. What are actual roads by day become a barricade of mobile culinary stalls as the sun sets, transforming the street into a veritable buffet of Penang’s finest local fare.
With bellies full, there’s no better time to hit up Penang’s nightlife. Like endless #adultproblems, there’s no stopping the bars that are popping up, each boasting interesting drinks with equally eclectic themes. Picture a bar hidden within the refrigerator door of a true-blue cafe aptly named Out of Nowhere, Manchu’s classic Shanghainese heyday aesthetics, or bathed-in-millennial-pink Golden Shower by Chin Chin’s Instagram-friendly vibes. Barhop till you’ve had your fill, then it’s just a short Grab back to the hotel when you’re ready to call it a night.
After a long night, you deserve to sleep in. Make the most of Tune Hotel’s late checkout (until 2pm!) to roll around in bed before grabbing breakfast nearby. There’s an endless list of local and cafe fare surrounding the Tune Hotel locale.
If you have time to cram one last experience on your agenda, make it an educational one. Since earning its status as a World Heritage Site, the museums in Penang have been really stepping up their game. For all things creepy and storied, the oft underrated and purportedly haunted Penang War Museum offers a look at what WWII would have been like. But if that’s not your cup of tea, the Pinang Peranakan Mansion is equally informational and significantly less goosebump inducing.
The itinerary in a nutshell:
- Lorong Selamat Char Koay Teow
- ESCAPE Theme Park
- Bora Bora Bar
- Penang Hokkien Mee Green House
- Eng Loh Kopitiam OR Transfer Road Roti Canai
- Hiking and beach at Taman Negara OR Heritage Walk
- New Lane Hawker
- Bar hopping @ Georgetown
- Cafe or local breakfast
- Penang War Museum OR Pinang Peranakan Mansion
Whether you meet your pals every other week or every other year, a getaway is a powerfully fun way to reconnect friendships. Plan an escape that is all in Tune and book your stay at Tune Hotel Penang.