To be honest this is actually one of the more fun places to be when it comes to your fitness, because there is almost only outdoor stuff to do. We did a few different things and we had a lot of fun with it, so let’s begin with the hardest challenge we did!
Penang Hill hike is a 5 km uphill hike with a lot of very steep sessions of around 30 % incline, and let me be honest with you guys, I was feeling the pressure from the get go. Don’t start on the road up, go into botanical garden and find the ‘secret’ entrance to the stairs. The entrance is easily found if you stay left when going into the garden, walk about 500 meters and its going to be there on your left hand side. If you can’t find it, then just ask someone, but it’s pretty easy to find so don’t worry.
From here the hike kicks off with steep stairs, taking you through lush jungle with monkeys and other animals. It’s pretty hardcore and if you are not in decent shape, you will definitely feel it straight away. The stairs will take you about 1/3 of the way up, and will join with the road, when you hit the road just keep going up. you will have to walk around 3,5 km to the top on asphalt, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
This walk will burn around 2500 calories if you weigh 80 kg, so bring lots of water at least 1,5 liters per person. We made the mistake of only bringing one to share, cause we thought it would be an easy hike, and we ran out half way through and that sucked a lot!!!! When you finally reach the top, you are not quite sure how to get to the activities up there, but just take the small road going straight and there will be a staircase taking you up to all the lazy people who took the train:)
Once up there, you can buy food and drinks, enjoy the view and there is quite a few activities to do if you feel like it. For food I really recommend the to Indian guys standing with their little booth selling buttered sweetcorn and chickpeas with vegetables. This is the cheapest, most satisfying meal you can get there, and it is also good for you, unlike the deep fried ‘Mecca’ inside the owl museum. They sell cheap water in a small shop up where the Hindu temple is, for your hike back down!!
If you are too tired, you can take the tram back down, i believe it is around 15-20 ringgits. This hike is an absolute must, if you are on Penang, it’s fun and challenging at the same time as beautiful, so don’t cheat yourself out of a fun way to stay fit!
Bicycle around town
Georgetown is pretty flat, so a great way to get around, and save money on taxis and buses, is to simply rent a bicycle. They have bikes for rent everywhere in town, so you won’t have any trouble getting a hold of one. We rented 2 bikes from the place right next to the 7eleven on the corner of love lane and chulia street. And payed 20 ringgits per bike for 24 hours, I don’t know if they overcharged us, but i got a sweet ‘fat bike’, and that took the streets like a boss!!
Once on your bikes, then ride around the city, see the street art, go to the different malls, and enjoy the coffee. You can see my Penang eating guide here, so you have an idea of where to go. Also check out the malls and do a bit of shopping, go see the sleeping Buddha and get blessed by a monk. You can even cycle all the way to the botanical gardens:)
Take a walk, most of Georgetown is pretty pedestrian friendly, with narrow sidewalks under the buildings, that way you also get to check out a little more of the real Georgetown life. You also find a few hidden stores that you might want to visit, they might have that tool you are missing, or a spare part for your backpack or tent. Don’t forget, walking burns of 1 calorie per kg of body, weight per kilometer you walk, so walking makes you able to eat a bit of naughty food for lunch:)
Hit the gym
I trained at Penang fitness, and it was super fine. All the machines and weights where new, so no worries there. Only problem is that the biggest dumbbell is only 30kg, but the cables made up for it. The place is great just to stay on your gains or the work on your fitness, and I believe it was around 15 ringgits for a day pass which included a post workout protein shake.
The place is easy to find, located right in the heart of town at the Komtar walk, where the highest building in town is:)
That’s all for the Georgetown stay fit guide. Don’t forget to leave a comment if you feel like i left something out, or if you just wanna ask a question:)
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