I travelled down to Penang from the southern Thai city of Hatyai. The whole journey took four hours by minivan and cost a bargain 300 baht, around six quid.
Georgetown is the capital of Penang state, situated on Penang (or Pinang) island (though technically not an island because it has a road onto it). It is a very attractive city, full of old colonial buildings, a hangover from British rule (the city was named after George 3rd).
It’s a beautiful city to wander around, guidebook free, and just discover stuff.
Little India is nearby. Good for food and also lots of sparkly costumes.
I stayed in Chulia street, which is packed with backpacker hotels and very vibrant.