If you are looking for budget accommodation in Penang, you would be pleased that there are still a good number of guesthouses priced below $20 per night. Shoestring travellers should be forewarned that as with budget accommodation anywhere else, in Penang the lower the price goes, the more basic it gets. So it is entirely a personal decision when selecting budget accommodation.
At the most basic, a bed may cost no more than RM10, if you don't mind sleeping in a dormitory with others. My suggestion is to come to Penang, then explore the backpacker haven of Lebuh Chulia. Select one that is suitable to you. The Google Map on this page provides an idea of their location. Make sure you copy out their telephone numbers.
One of the benefits of staying in budget accommodation, apart from the obvious cost savings, is that you are almost certainly near and right at the heart of town. This is especially true for the accommodation at Lebuh Chulia and Love Lane. Of the two, Lebuh Chulia is a bustling thoroughfare while Love Lane is much quieter. If you appreciate a little peace at night, then the accommodation at Love Lane may be your best bet. How does Love Lane gets to be called Love Lane? Hmm, I'll leave you to figure it out yourself.
Hutton Lodge, Hutton Lane (6 May, 2008)
If you want a little more comfort, check out the 2-3 star hotels along Jalan Penang. These include Hotel Continental and Hotel Malaysia along Jalan Penang; Waldorf Hotel and Cathay Hotel along Lebuh Leith, to name a few. If you stay at Waldorf or Cathay, your room will probably face Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, a boutique hotel which won a Unesco award for restoration. A short distance down the road is the century-old Eastern & Oriental (E&O), the ultimate luxury hotel in George Town. Neither the Cheong Fatt Tze nor the E&O qualify to be in the budget category, but you will at least be rubbing shoulders with their guests.
Unlike hotels which provides everything, many hostels and guesthouses expect you to bring your own towel and toiletries. A good place to get these - if you don't bring any from home - to at any of the 24-hour convenience stores such as 7-Eleven and Happy Mart. It's also a good place to get mineal water, soap, toothbrush and a light snack for the two o'clock hungry pang. Here's a list of all the 7-Eleven Stores in Penang, including a map showing you their location, so you can find one nearest to where you are boarded up.
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