Welcome to GeorgeTown! What’s crossed my mind when I heard about this city was the UNESCO Heritage Site where the old Chinese shop houses can be found in Georgetown. GeorgeTown – Penang is located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia, by the Strait of Malacca.
There are many ways to get to Penang from Kuala Lumpur, you can rent a car, take a bus, travel with plane or by train.
For me, as I only had so little time, I took affordable flight with AirAsia from KL to Penang and in less than an hour I touched down at Penang International Airport. From the airport, I waited for public bus to George Town. It took only one hour to reach George Town. Arrived at near Komtar Tower I asked for direction to Noob Hostel at Jalan Lebuh Pantai. As always, I was surrounded by good people. A local man kindly showed me the way to the hostel. What a warm welcome in Penang!
The Noob Hostel is also one of the Chinese Old Shop House and it’s in the tourist area of George Town. After checked in, I went to grab a lunch at CF Food Court. Located only walking distance from my hostel, CF food court presents various kinds of mouth-watering foods. From char kway teow to rojak, tom yam to dim sum and many many more. I had myself confused for almost 15 minutes deciding what to eat. Finally, I chose a big bowl of Tom Yam with noodles, squid, meatballs and bok choy. It tasted so fresh, sour and simply good. For drink I picked cucumber juice since I saw it’s quite famous among the visitors 🙂
Done with my lunch, I went to Lebuh Chulia, one of the famous streets in George Town. From there I started a treasure hunt for murals. I had a map of Georgetown with hints on it. Before I continue, the murals drawn in this area are made by a Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic. The murals are about life of children of historical George Town. First mural captured by me was the boy and girl looked out of a window attracted of dim sum basket in a bicycle. The paint is so real and alive, and tourists were busy posing with it.
The second Mural was a siblings ride a bike. I could feel the joy of the murals. Then I met Esther, a solo traveler from Singapore. At first we helped each other taking pictures and then we went hunting murals together. We found the trishaw man, the kung fu girl, Bruce Lee and many more. On the jetty, there were 3 little girls singing Chinese song with plastic guitars, they wore glasses and flower crown. These 3 girls were so entertaining yet adorable since. They knew how to win hearts and making money.
While strolling around, we stopped at The Camera Museum at Muntri Street. The entrance fee was RM 20. Inside the museum we learned the history of photography that displayed on the wall. Collections of old cameras are also shown here. They had dark room as well and again, unique murals completed museum perfectly. They provide café and souvenir shop at the first floor and no entrance fee required. This place is recommended especially for photography lovers.
After an interesting visit at the museum, we were starving. So we headed to jalan lebuh Kimberly. There were plenty of food stalls and people were lining to order the food. We ordered noodles and see guo th’ng for dessert. The taste of noodles here in Georgetown are the best I ever had in my life. I will come back to Penang for the FOOD! As it has range of mouthwatering foods to try.
Our tummy was full. Both Esther and decided to get back to hotel. On my way back, I feel like I was living in the 60s. The colorful old beautiful shop houses lighten up with street lamp simply took me back to the past life. I wished the time passed slowly, so I could drown and engage with the moment.
Early in the morning, I went to street market. I want to experience the shopping culture of Penang and also grab some “local” breakfast. The market was located in a street which is blocked only for stalls. Here you could buy fresh fish, vegetables, fruits, clothes, kitchen ware and of course foods. I approached to pork porridge stall. It’s managed by an old man with his daughter. I ordered a bowl of porridge and the taste was never go wrong. I also bought a traditional cake called Kee Ya Kuih to sweeten up my breakfast time.
Done exploring the market, I continued to visit some temples and took pictures around the area. Then I stopped at the house of Mr Lee- Penang’s traditional Josh Stick maker. While Josh Stick is now produced in big factory, Mr Lee insists to make by hands with natural ingredients. Mr Lee smiled and showed me the making of Josh Stick. Watching him formed a stick was interesting and seemed easy but unfortunately it’s not. The demand for his product is quite high. He exports the Josh Stick to India, Australia and even Europe. Mr Lee has been featured in Discovery Channel for how he preserves the tradition.
As the day was getting hot, I ordered an ice ball at the Dragon Ice Ball. With the size of a tennis ball, It’s perfect to cooling myself down. What made this ice more delicious is that it is filled with ice cream, nuts and dried fruit. Next thing I ate after it was mee goreng! God, how I really want to eat Penang’s mee goreng right now. It just perfect, even though its sold next to the street. Please put mee goreng on your list when visiting Penang. Before heading to the airport, I ended up my journey with the best beef noodles in town and chamomile tea!
It’s a huge fun for me wandering around Penang, but I felt a bit sad because I only have 1 day and 1 night there. There were so much to explore but so little time. PENANG,,, I promise I’ll come back 🙂