George Town - Penang

Jun 30, 2014
Malaysia was one of those countries that took us by surprise and instead of staying only about a week there, we could've easily spent more time traveling around this culturally rich melting pot. We had planned to have just a quick visit in Georgetown, Penang, but even that was cut short because we missed our ferry in Langkawi. Hence, our quick visit turned out to be even quicker. That was unfortunate since this city has quite a lot of interesting things to offer and we only got a glimpse of  them.  

It's often said that Penang is the food capital of Malaysia and that it has a particularly wide variety of multicultural street food. Surely this was something we didn't want to miss out on and the first thing we did after dropping off our stuff at the hotel was sampling the hawker food stalls. We found this food court that had several different stalls and this middle-aged lady was kindly serving or rather advising us since we had no idea what all these menus on the walls were about. All kinds of dishes from Malay, Indian and Chinese cuisines and barely any pictures or translations, so it was good to have someone to recommend the good stuff! Also, she took us around the stalls to show what was there to choose from...and we did end up having such an original meal trying out so many different specialities and in the meantime she kept us pretty entertained throughout the dinner! I think already back then we were hooked on the food of this country and knew we would spend a fair amount of time eating ;).

The next morning we had to make an effective plan to get around the town to see whatever we would have time for before heading to the airport and Kuala Lumpur. We decided to get a taxi for the hours that we had on hand and asked him to show us around the main spots. We visited the Pinang Perakanan mansion that showcases a beautiful architectural mixture of Chinese, European and Malay styles and also tells a story about a Chinese immigrant family and how they reinvented their lives over in Malaysia. There are actually a couple of different mansions similar to this one that are turned into museums and they all represent the multiracial cultural heritage that this city and country is all about.  

Another nice place to visit was the Chew Jetty. It's one of the many settlements once built by the Chinese who lived off the sea. Nowadays it's considered as a historic site, but at the same time there are still people who live in those buildings. It's quite an intriguing and unique place - an entire village built on a pier. Other than these couple of places we didn't have much time to get around the town's "sights" but rather just drove around the downtown to see some beautiful British colonial buildings out of which some were better maintained than the others. 

We would've definitely stayed a day or two longer if we didn't have to get Denis' parents to their return flight back home. But regardless of our lack of time, Penang really was a nice welcoming to Malaysia. A country, where so many different cultures, traditions and people all come together as one. And we were thrilled to further discover this colourful nation...

Pinang Peranakan Mansion

Chew Jetty

Colonial Architecture

{All pictures © Voyages of Discovery}


On here

General Information
- Great page for all kinds of information about the area.


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