Category Archives: Blogging

From Algarve to Penang: A Trip Report


Ok, here’s the deal on Penang (or Pinang). It took us awhile to get there (17 hr flight to Hong Kong, a 5 hr flight to Singapore, and an hour-plus puddle-jump to the island) but when we finally did arrive, we knew that the adventure would be worth the effort. My brother Jake and I made the decision to go to Penang over a beer in the Singapore airport, really. We had a couple of days to kill – so why not go to Penang?



Penang Is Here


As soon as the airplane door opened in Penang, we were overwhelmed by a wave of heat and humidity. It’s the first thing you notice about this smallish island off the coast of mainland Malaysia. Moving a bit slower now that the bulk of the traveling had concluded, we gathered our luggage and headed to the information booth to thumb through a well-worn photo book of local hotels. We decided on the Shangri-La Hotel in George Town, the main city of Penang, which turned out to be a pretty good deal. I think the room cost us about $60 USD. It was about two thirty or three in the afternoon when we finally popped out of the cab in front of hotel – and after quick showers all around to wash off 24 hours of travel residue, Jake and I hit the streets for our first taste of Malaysia (and, needless to say, Malaysian beer).

We didn’t really have any idea what to expect from Penang. The only preconceived notions that I had came from Hollywood’s version of the city in the 1998 remake of “Return to Paradise,” starring Vince Vaughn. So on the plane ride in from Singapore, all that I could picture was a sea of people pushing and pulling tattered mules overburdened with bizarre and exotic fruits and vegetables through muddy streets as chickens screeched from under rickety wooden wheels. I expected the sound of distant music rising with the steam above the bustling din of the market. I imagined a few moist, paunchy European men dressed in white three-piece suits and matching fedoras conducting their sordid afternoon affairs over small glasses of clear liquor in the street-side cafes – and a handful of dirty, charming and colorfully savvy children hawking their goods at our feet using well-worn snippets of near-perfect English. That’s what I expected, not what I got.


Typical Street

As you can see, Penang looks like a modest Asian city – it’s got mopeds, shops, hotels and KFCs. Nothing too remarkable at first glance. But we were eager to see what this funny-sounding distant little island had to offer – so we set out in the afternoon heat. As we planned only a brief (1D1N) stay in Penang, we knew our self guided tour would have to be expeditious. We straggled by the old cannons of Fort Cornwallis, a meandering seaside park, the government building district, and the touristed shopping area. After moving through the city at a pretty good clip, the heat dictated a rest.  So we settled into a nearly empty street-side café.


Just as we collapsed into the pink and green plastic lawn chairs, a rather dodgy looking barkeep extended his hand and introduced himself as Danny.  Danny was a little low on teeth – to the tune of, say, 25.  Sizing us up as thirsty (I wonder if my now see-through sweat-soaked shirt was a giveaway?), Danny offered the daily special: six locally brewed Carlsberg-Malaysia beers in a slushy bucket of ice – all for the very reasonable price of about 15 Malaysian Ringgits (approx. $4 at the time).  What a bargain.  In this heat, it’s a deal at 150 Ringgits, so we gladly accepted and set to work.  As we were finding our centers in the Carlsberg, Danny sidled up to our table and entertained us with rather incredible banter.


Budget Eats for Students in Algarve

Algarve is one of the nice places in Portugal. There are a lot of things to enjoy there.  Rental24h Portugal under 21 car rental makes you freely roam around the place under the pretty sunshine by taking a walk or savor their delicious food in their best restaurants. If you are trying to look for a budget meal but desire to have a taste of their good food, there are plenty of budget meals they have. It is true that Algarve is famous for its local food.

Eating on a Student Budget

Students around Algarve are so delighted by these budget meals. Student loves anything as long as it’s a “budget something”. They are glad that even they are still students, no stable income yet to buy anything, still, they are able to enjoy the delicious they have.


Stopping by to eat is wise. It creates good memories with you and with that person you are with as you visit the place. There are a number of restaurants that offer budget eats for students in Algarve. These restaurants are as follows:

  • Rusty ‘co Bar e Restaurante – they have the best burger in the place. There is a homemade meal that is so affordable especially for students.


Grilling salmon


  • Vai e Volta – this restaurant offers affordable foods for students, too. They have their grilled fish. It is even considered as the best fish restaurant in the place. Because of its very affordable price, tourists love to eat here. Their place is just so simple but looks very clean and creative.


  • Ol’ Bastards – this is another fish restaurant that offers affordable prices for the menu. Their menus are simple but look well cooked. This place is famous for its OI Bastards fish. They also have a good quality of service from their crew.


  • Alef Burger Bar – this is a burger restaurant that also offers great meals at a very low price. Their burgers come with a fries. Their Vegan burgers are the best.


taro burger


  • Cafe Odeon – this restaurant also serves burgers. This is considered as a healthy restaurant since they offer some gluten-free meals. They have vegetarian menus, too.

General Budget Eating Advice

Aside from these restaurants mentioned above, there are still a number of other restaurants in Algarve that offer budget eats. Local restaurants attract many tourists because of the kind of the taste of their foods. They are also very accommodating. There is even an Eat-all-you-can restaurant, and that is a fish restaurant. Sardines are very common during summer. Most fish restaurants offer menus on sardines. There are also who serve chicken and quite impressive. Fish that are freshly caught are the healthier but it is just quite high the price.

Copenhagen Kebabs

It is not only the students who want to spend cheaper for food. It is not only them who wants to save more money. Tourists and other travelers also want to save more from their expenses. Wherever you go in Algarve, you will never miss the fun. You will surely enjoy especially with the food trips they have. Their food is just so addictive that you do not want to stop eating and stay there whole day just to eat.