Penang

Penang is small island off the Western coast of Malaysia, famous for its colonial capital Georgetown and for its street food.  Malaysian cuisine is a conglomeration of Chinese and Indian, plus Penang has it own unique “Nonya” cuisine. It is supposed to be one of the best places to eat in the world.  However, the fact that a noticeably high proportion of the locals’ cars are displaying “McDonalds Drive Thru VIP” stickers rather undermines this.  Our food is perfectly palatable but nothing special.  Now, Hoi An – that’s a city with great cuisine.  My mouth still waters at the very mention of it.

On our first day we start off with a walking tour of the capital Georgetown, checking out the colonial buildings, mosques, temples and Chinese clanhouses. The highlight is Pinang Peranaken House, which used to belong to a wealthy Nonya (Malay-born Chinese) trader. The guide was very enthusiastic and insisted on our posing by the opium bed.

P1030573

The next day we went to Penang National Park. We hiked through the forest for a couple of hours to reach a beautiful beach (some other people were also on the beach having got there by boat – the cheats!).

P1030596

Turtles lay their eggs on this beach, so bits of it were cordoned off and there is a conservation centre where you could see some of the babies.

P1030602

We also saw lots of wildlife in the forest, which can be divided into;

Animals which frightened Mr Beet:

Macaques

P1030586

Big spiders
A lizard that looked like a snake
What we thought was a crocodile, but turned out to be a water monitor -it was huge!

Animals which did not frighten Mr Beet:

Baby turtles
Mudskippers

P1030593

Ants

P1030590

On our final day we went to Kek Lok Si Temple, built into the side of a hill overlooking the city. The temple is huge and designed on the principle that “more is more”. Since preparations for Chinese New Year were underway it was “even more is even more”. There were, at a conservative estimate, a gazillion lanterns decorating the temple.

P1030642

P1030619

Mr Beet hanging a prayer ribbon wishing for safe travels.

P1030625

More pictures of Penang on Mr Beet’s flickr page.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s