You'll easily be able to fill a week in Georgetown. Do some research to find out what it is you want to see and do, and you'll definitely have no excuse for not having a fantastic holiday.
We love staying in Georgetown, it is great to just walk out the front door of your hotel and be right in the midst of the action. It's easy to get anywhere else on the island from Georgetown using the great Rapid Penang bus system. There is an abundance of choices for food. Many many sights are within easy walking distance, and if you don't want to walk there is a free shuttle bus service.
One website we often recommend for all things Penang is http://www.penang-traveltips.com/ - the author, Timothy Tye, has put a LOT of time and effort into this page, and it is truly an awesome source of information.
For accommodation, with a budget of $50 you're looking at around RM150 per night. Depending on what you need in terms of accommodation, two places we can recommend that come in well under your budget are:
- Hutton Lodge ( http://www.huttonlodge.com/ ) has rooms with shared and ensuite bathrooms. A private double will set you back RM100 per night which includes a light breakfast (though there is a great Nasi Kandar restaurant across the road which is a tasty breakfast choice). Rooms are air-conditioned, very clean, but compact. They don't include a fridge, TV or in room safe, and aren't serviced daily. Hutton Lodge is in a restored colonial mansion. It is a beautiful building, the decor is simple, and the hostel is very clean. It's in a great location in the heritage buffer zone (only a couple of minutes walk to Penang Road including a bus stop that most buses to various parts of the island stop at). Plenty of choices nearby for food, shopping, and close to the heritage sights. This is a link to a review we posted after we stayed at Hutton Lodge: tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g660694-d101…
- Hotel Mingood ( http://www.hotelmingood.com/ ) is a great little hotel and is now our choice in Georgetown for location, comfort, and price (it's about 3 minutes walk from the aforementioned Hutton Lodge). You can get rooms for RM80 per night through http://www.hostelbookers.com/ - cheaper than booking through the hotel's own website . The room rate includes a simple breakfast, and free wifi internet. Rooms are large, clean, include a fridge, in room safe, and TV. The furniture and fittings are rough around the edges but clean (eg. the towels are grey through repeated washes, but they're clean). If you're lucky your room may even include a small balcony! The hotel also has a rooftop "garden" and a pool table in the dining room (also on the rooftop). This is a link to a review we posted after staying at Hotel Mingood: tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g298303-d616…
Regarding apartment rentals, you can get cheap accommodation on week days at the Sri Sayang building on Batu Ferringhi as mentioned above, but keep in mind that the cheap rooms are the managed apartments which generally get terrible reviews (as opposed to the privately owned apartments which are more expensive, but of a much higher standard). We've stayed in apartments owned by two ladies which were absolutely lovely, however they are beyond your budget (and we believe once a budget is set, sticking to it is kinda important as you don't want to get home from your holiday and be stressing about how much you've spent).
To help out with research on apartment options, here are some other sites you can check out:
- Villa Renters: www.villarenters.com/searchresults.aspx…
- Self Catering Breaks: self-catering-breaks.com/Properties/Malaysia/
- Holiday Lettings: www.holidaylettings.co.uk/penang-island/
Also have a look at:
- Hostel Bookers (they do hostels and some hotels, no booking fee): http://www.hostelbookers.com/
- Hostel World (as above, hostels and some hotels, though note Hostel World charges a booking fee): http://www.hostelworld.com/
- Agoda: http://www.agoda.com/
- Hotels.com: http://www.hotels.com/
- AsiaRooms: http://www.asiarooms.com/
- Wotif (bookings up to 6 months in advance): http://www.wotif.com/
Good luck planning your holiday :o)
Lise & Sabrina
Edited: 9:25 am, October 10, 2012