From one unique heritage hotel to a vibrant hostel, that was how my stay in Penang was. Syok at Chulia, a hostel under the same management as Spices Residence, is a hostel located in the heart of Georgetown in Penang. Chulia street is a lively part of town, where the food vendors are always ready to please your appetite and the hidden aisles are teasing playfully at you to be discovered, and lucky for me it was also where Syok at Chulia is at.
The bright and modern entrance screams young and fun with a touch of heritage with its old tiles decorating the floor. A giant map of Georgetown highlighted the room, an amazing piece of art as well as a useful piece of information needed by every traveller staying at the hostel.
The warm and homey atmosphere of Spices Residence never left as I was greeted by Boon How, one of the staff at Syok at Chulia. The same doze of friendliness embraced me and I certainly didn’t complain, instead I welcomed it with open arms. Syok at Chulia is a hostel with many choices of room. A mixed dorm, a female-only dorm and private rooms. There is a common room with super comfy cushions and sofas with a 24-hours coffee and tea ready to relax you after a day of sightseeing. The toilets and showers are not only clean but has a certain character that you won’t be able to forget.
I made my way to my room, and as an art lover, I was amazed at the paintings on the wall by the stairs and especially an Anne Frank quote “think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy”. What a perfect quote because all I could see around me was one beauty of a hostel.
In most hostels, personal is a term that is unheard of. However, Syok at Chulia knows how to personalize your stay. In front of each room, there is a board where it lists all the “owners” of the bed. My name was on it! I was so thrilled!
Now back to what I call the toilet with a character. Ok, it’s a toilet, how can a toilet possibly have a character. Well, Syok at Chulia has the Wall of Confession in their toilet. Basically in each toilet you will find a pen and a piece of paper where you can write any confession you like. It will remain anonymous and the staff will put it on the wall of confession. It was a fascinating experience for me to read the confessions put there, I read one every time I pass by or go to the toilet. I have not yet seen a toilet equipped with a wall of confession. Did I write on the wall? It will remain a mystery 😉
Now, let’s move over to the common room. This is where breakfast is served and where people can feel comfortable and read their book. Here, there is also a huge board where people write the things they want to do before they die. Isn’t this place full of personal confessions and comfortable places to hang out? To add, I slept tight every night knowing that I was being spoilt at the best hostel in Penang.
While in Penang, I had so many places listed that I wanted to see and I had a little hiccup with one of my plans as Timothy and I wanted to experience the Thaipusam celebration while we also wanted to bike around Georgetown for street arts and go trekking at the National Park – we only had two days left to do all that. I wanted to do it all, and I didn’t know that there would be the Thaipusam celebration. Tim, one of the staff, saw my frustration and helped us both out on our plan. He showed us a bike rental (he actually TOOK us there!), then helped us maximized our plan where at the end we ended up doing all things. What a trip saver!
My trip to Penang was a big success and I have to give my biggest gratitude to the team at Syok management. I have loved all the new things I saw in Penang and the new friends made, most of all they made sure I had the most comfortable place to catch a night’s sleep. Syok at Chulia is my recommendation for budget travellers wanting an accommodation in the heart of Georgetown filled with a heart-warming atmosphere.
By the way, if you’re wondering what “Syok” means, it is a slang commonly used by Malaysians (and also Singaporeans) when something is super awesome. An example of using it is “This hotel is so SYOK!” – go on, say it, it’s fun!
SYOK @ Chulia Street Hostel
458, Chulia Street,
10200 Penang, Malaysia
Office : +604 – 263 2663
Fax : +604 – 261 3018
I was a guest of Syok at Chulia, but of course, all opinions and silly jokes are my own.