This is a short story of how a plan to stay in Penang for a day turned into over a month - thanks to the amazing crew at Syok.
Came across Syok whilst finding my way to a place that had been recommended. Syok caught my attention because it is a pristine building with beautifully restored shutters. It just looked so lovingly restored that I had to go in.
I was persuaded by Kati, it's amazing manager to take a tour of the place despite my reservations about the idea of a shared dorm (was looking for a single room and didn't realise it is a hostel. It has 2 single rooms but they were booked). After seeing the:
Spotless spotless toilets
Shiny rain head showers
The breezy roof terrace
The totally chilled lounge and
The heritage style (wooden floors, exposed brick, terracotta tiles etc)
I was persuaded!!
However what I have never experienced nor did I expect was the incredible incredible kindness of Karen, Kati, Patie and their amazing Syok troops....
::Want soya milk with your breakfast cereal? Done!
::Need train tickets? 'We'll get them for you"
::Breakfast at 4am because you leave early? Noooo problem!
Nothing is a problem, nothing is too much. All with genuine smiles from the heart. I had to pinch myself 'cos this was meant to be a hostel, not a 6 star hotel. The genuine care and attention to detail and your needs far exceeded anything i have ever experienced in all the business trips I have made staying in fancy hotels.
One night there was movie night at Syok and Kati 8 months pregnant was so concerned to make sure we all saw Life of Pi that she went hunting a PC-plasma screen cable solution that took her to 3 shops with her ending up getting a specialist network card. I happened to be passing the first shop when I saw her and was simply amazed at her intent and interest in solving this need for the benefit of the guests...whilst 8 months pregnant! Who would bother learning about network cards whilst 8 months pregnant? That night we were all treated to homemade popcorn madd by her. I mean is it possible to care more?
Another really cool thing about Syok is that is seems to attract really interesting people. I met travel writers, a google exec, someone travelling through all the countries between Asia and Europe, a cyclist that cycled across America and Australia etc. It is one big happy family at Syok. The management and staff are so friendly it seems to rub off on the guests! It attracts totally groovy and chilled people.
The management and staff at Syok are firm friends for life. I'm off again as my visa is nearly up but I have left a bag with them because they really are part of my life and Syok will now be my hub for transits and further stays in future.
Oh btw...Kati surprised me yesterday night with a goodbye cake - she took the time away from her newborn to say goodbye. I mean, what else can I say....yet again my heart is so moved by my experience at Syok. So so so many times I would shake my head in amazement at the kindness of Syok. All at Syok really have time for you in ways that will amaze you.
Oh, one other thing Penang is great. Nature, heritage, culture, food.
Thank you Karen, thank you Kati, rhank you Patie, thank you Sheila, thank you Elia, thank you Chris. I thank you from the bottom of my heart with little tears of happiness in my eyes.
A little thank you poem:
A day in Penang was the plan
That was until I met the crew of Karen Tan
She and her Syok crew are simply the best++
So much so one day became one++ month of happiness and rest++
Thank you all SO much.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- SIOK HOSTEL has a capacity of 64 persons including separate dorm for females. Rates are inclusive of tax and breakfast, free wifi. They are air-conditioned, come with personal secured lockers,personal sockets and personal reading lights, super single size bunk beds with spring mattresses and bathrooms with rain head hot showers and all bathroom amenities. SIOK HOSTEL provides a Lounge area where guests can enjoy complimentary coffee/tea all day, watch TV, enjoy the collection of DVD's, magazines, dart board, foosball table, board games, free WiFi. Located at the heart of the city Georgetown, UNESCO heritage area, 458 Chulia Street, 10200 Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia. SIOK HOSTEL is located at the junction of Leith street and Chulia Street. There are a number of restaurants nearby. Right on Penang street, which is just across SIOK HOSTEL, there are many shops selling cloths, souvenirs. trishaws, taxis and busses are easy available. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- SIOK Hostel, Penang George Town