The colors of George Town
Architecture and UNESCO
Penang is Malaysia’s only “island state”. There are approximately 2 million people of diverse ethnicities, cultures and dialects living here.
It reminded us of Singapore and what Singapore was probably like 30 years ago. It still has the charm of the well-preserved heritage homes, where Singapore has knocked them all down and replaced them with modern apartment complexes.
It was in 1786, when Captain Francis Light took possession of the island on behalf of the East India Trading Company that the state truly began to flourish and George Town was established. The city became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008.
Tiles of Georgetown
I was really intrigued with the mixing and matching of patterns on the tiles on the houses. They were placed on the floor of the front porch and halfway up the front. The tiles come from the Chinese.
In 2009, the city had Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic create a series of beautiful 3-D street art paintings of children across historical Georgetown. I am not sure why they selected a Lithuanian artist?? There is a map available showing you where the art is located and it gives you a wonderful walking tour of the city. There are over 30 paintings - to see more of this fun street art, visit my art blog - Ma Vie Trouvee.
Georgetown is diverse in ethnicity, culture, language, and religion. A resident of Penang is known as a Penangite. There are three main ethnicities – Chinese, Malays, and Indians.
The Kapitan Keling Mosque, Penang’s first mosque and built in the 19th century, is also the largest in town.
Bahasa or Malay is the national language, but English is widely spoken due to the long period of British colonial rule.
Penang is famous throughout Malaysia and Singapore for having the best food on the Malay Peninsula. People come to vacation to Penang just to eat. Sounds like our kind of place! We had THE BEST carmalized Pork at this little restaurant.
Penang is called "Hawker's Paradise". Hawker stands are strongly supported by locals, who find it easier and cheaper to eat out, much like Singapore. We enjoyed watching this young man cook at this Chinese stall.
For those who are not familiar with a true wok burner, this is what the flame is like in any real Chinese kitchen. The burner looks like the back of a jet engine and puts out a flame that is much, much hotter than a normal gas stove. This is why using a wok at home bears little resemblance to one used on a professional stove.
Hanging with the locals.
Peanut pancakes - there is nothing like them when they are hot off the grill!
We stayed in a charming boutique hotel called the Campbell House, originally built in 1903 as a hotel, but in the late 19th century and into the 20th century was a brothel. They advertised themselves by hanging red lanterns at their doors. In 2011, it was lovingly restored to the beautiful hotel it is today.
There is no elevator so they deliver your luggage by rope!
Of course D had to give it a go.
D had read about an awesome optometrist (Patrick at Vision First), who had very contemporary frames at a fraction of the cost you would pay in the US or Singapore.
D ended up with 5 pairs and I got two! And yes the price was unbelievable for what we got and Patrick, the owner was excellent at what he did. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to George Town.