I am in Penang right now and one of the things I love about the place and Malaysia in general is the food. You have the choice between Indonesian, Malay, Chinese and Indian. It is a real melting pot of cultures with Muslims, Indians and Chinese all seemingly living together in harmony. People seem to mix languages between English/Chinese/Malay. I even read that some young Malaysians now only speak English.
I love Indian food and you can get a tandoori chicken set with nan bread and some curry and a softdrink all for US$2. Hainanese chicken and rice, another one of my favorite dishes is also about the same or cheaper.
The people also some genuinely friendly and many people speak English well. They call Thailand the “Land of Smiles”, but it is hard to know if people are genuine or they just want you to spend money in their business.
I am catching the ferry to Medan on Friday. I thought it would be a good chance to visit Sumatra, particularly Lake Toba. I always like traveling overland or by boat rather than flying, but now with the discount airlines, flying is usually only a little more expensive. The plane and ferry were actually the same price, it just the extra charges you need to pay that makes it more expensive.
Long bus/ferry trips can sometimes be tough, but sometimes I believe the fun and most memorable experiences are in the journey rather than the destination.
Anyway it should be a bit of an adventure.