Georgetown, Penang

Arrival in Penang

Penang is an island in Malaysia once colonized by the British. The British settlement of Georgetown is now the largest city on the island and in the greater metropolitan area including the mainland settlement of Butterworth. Malaysia is at heart a very multicultural place — the main populations are Malay, Indian, and Chinese. Malay people are Muslims who historically migrated to Malaysia from Indonesia. Malaysian Indians are mostly Tamil, brought as laborers to Malaysia by the colonial British. The Malaysian Chinese are historically businesspeople, merchants and traders. One of the first things we noticed in Georgetown is the mostly harmonious interaction between these ethnic groups. On the same city block you can find mosques, churches, and Buddhist and Hindu temples.

2013-11-27 16.22.14
Penang International Airport
2013-11-27 16.22.02
Disembarking the Plane
2013-11-27 16.22.07
Our Little Plane from Phuket
2013-11-28 11.02.09
Our Hotel, Heliconia
2013-11-27 19.00.28
View of Georgetown from Our Window
2013-11-27 20.13.04
Stall at a Malaysian Hawker Food Court
2013-11-27 19.51.58
Asam Laksa, a Tamarind and Fish Soup and Hawker Food Specialty
2013-11-28 11.21.50
A Very Malaysian Breakfast: White Coffee and Kaya Toast
2013-11-28 11.05.00
Walking Outside Our Hotel
Campbell Street

Campbell Street is a major street in old Georgetown. There is a busy open market there when the weather permits, and there are many Chinese medicine shops and jewelry stores. Since we were in Georgetown on Thanksgiving, we went out to a nice Italian restaurant, Il Bacaro, on Campbell Street for Thanksgiving dinner. The restaurant is owned by two Italian brothers and the food was so good that we went there several times during our stay.

2013-11-28 11.50.28
Entrance to Campbell Street
2013-11-28 11.50.42
Looking Down Campbell Street
2013-11-28 11.52.59
Chinese Medicine Shop, Campbell Street
2013-11-28 11.53.31
Mystery Items for Sale at the Chinese Medicine Shop
2013-11-28 11.58.21
Produce Stall on Campbell Street
2013-11-28 12.00.44
Li Hing Mui Cart, Yum!
2013-11-28 12.03.03
More Produce
2013-11-28 12.10.48
Chinese Medicine
2013-11-28 12.11.34
Durian Chips
2013-11-28 12.22.31
Buildings on Campbell Street
2013-11-29 11.05.38
Il Bacaro Italian Restaurant, Owned by Two Italian Brothers -- We Ate Thanksgiving Dinner Here
2013-11-28 19.18.50
Real Italian Pizza!!
2013-11-28 19.18.54
Amazing Gnocchi
2013-11-28 19.18.59
2013-11-28 19.38.05
2013-11-30 20.28.02
Campbell Street at Night
2013-11-29 20.37.28
Il Bacaro Had the BEST Italian Food... So We Came Back Another Night
2013-11-30 20.53.46
...and Got Linguine
2013-11-30 21.16.31
2013-11-29 20.56.39
...and Chocolate Lava Cake!
Kapitan Keling Mosque

Kapitan Keling Mosque is the oldest mosque in Georgetown, founded by Indian Muslim traders. The land was granted to the mosque by the East India Company in 1801. The beautiful current structure was built in the early 20th century.

2013-11-28 12.37.59
Kapitan Keling Mosque
2013-11-28 12.36.17
Minaret at the Kapitan Keling Mosque
2013-11-28 12.41.51
Kids Studying at the Kapitan Keling Mosque
Little India

While visiting Georgetown’s Little India, we stopped into an Indian music shop. The guy working at the store was very passionate and knowledgeable about music and recommended to us several CD’s to practice yoga with.

2013-11-28 12.47.56
A Hindu Temple in Georgetown's Little India
2013-11-28 12.49.49
Flowers for Sale in Little India
2013-11-28 12.51.55
Thank You, Namaste!
2013-11-28 13.10.40-1
Indian Music Shop
Elsewhere Around Town

Georgetown has gained recent fame for its innovative street art. We saw giant cats, painted kids on a real bike, and many other art installations. There are also informative wrought-iron murals that explain the history of each city block in the old city.

2013-11-28 13.21.08
You Will See Street Art All Over Town Explaining the History of Different Parts of the Old City
2013-11-30 18.53.50
Mugshot Cafe Quickly Became a Favorite Coffee Shop
2013-11-28 17.04.11
The Mugshot Cafe -- Best Bagels, Ever. They Toast Bagels in a Special Woodfired Oven
2013-11-28 17.04.06
Coffee from Mugshot
2013-11-29 11.17.35
Jackfruit Yogurt from Mugshot
2013-11-28 17.01.49
A Mugshot Cafe Mugshot
2013-11-29 11.11.24
Lots of the Chinese Shops in Old Town Have These Shades Out Front
2013-11-28 13.22.39
Another Typical Chinese Storefront
2013-11-28 13.40.56
Manapua Style Bread
2013-11-28 13.43.34
Chinese Food
2013-11-28 13.40.14
More Chinese Food
2013-11-29 11.11.48
And Old Advertisement for Chinese Medicines
2013-11-30 11.47.35
Ukulele Shop
2013-11-29 18.44.35
Moustache Houze Coffee Shop
2013-11-28 21.05.41
Inside Moustache Houze
2013-11-28 20.24.46
The Coffee Has a Moustache...
2013-11-28 20.25.11
...and So Does the Tea
2013-11-29 14.26.14
Blacksmiths at Work
2013-11-29 14.40.08
Kid on a Chair
2013-11-29 18.26.11
Pork from the Famous Tek Sen Restaurant
2013-11-29 18.26.23
Tofu from Tek Sen
2013-11-29 14.35.48
This Man Hand Carves Traditional Chinese Shopfront Signs -- the Letters are Covered in Gold Leaf
2013-11-29 14.36.41
This is What a Finished Sign Looks Like
2013-11-30 14.01.41
A Hostel Somewhere in Georgetown
2013-11-30 14.02.50
Georgetown Shop
2013-11-30 14.08.12
Linley in Georgetown
2013-11-30 14.33.28
Street Food
2013-11-30 17.17.36
Banana Leaf Rice Street Food Stall
2013-11-30 17.19.18-2
Banana Leaf Filled with Rice and Meat
2013-11-30 18.34.44
Micke's Place, Malaysian Cuisine
2013-11-30 17.59.45
Chicken from Micke's
2013-11-30 18.00.08
Micke's Place Curry and Rice
Armenian Street

Armenian Street is in the heart of the UNESCO Heritage Zone of Georgetown. We saw lots of colonial architecture, souvenir shops, and just watched Malaysians living their daily lives.

2013-11-29 12.43.53
A Really Well Restored Chinese Shop on Armenian Street
2013-11-29 12.43.55
Another Chinese Shop on Armenian Street
2013-11-29 12.44.08-1
Jawi House, Restaurant Owned by a PhD of Women's Studies and Prominent Malaysian Islamic Historian
2013-11-29 13.33.00
Jawi House Entrance
2013-11-29 12.53.35
Fruit is the Best Snack on Such a Hot Day
2013-11-29 13.14.52
Roti Jala ("Net Bread"), a Malaysian Specialty
2013-11-29 13.15.41
Roti Jala with Sauce
2013-11-29 13.36.10
Homecooked Nutmeg Juice and Dried Plum Stand
2013-11-29 13.39.24
Bike Shop, Armenian Street
2013-11-29 13.41.43
Bike Shop Mural
2013-11-29 13.46.45
Lin on Armenian Street
2013-11-29 13.47.30
Armenian House Coffee Shop
2013-11-29 13.59.20
Street Parking
2013-11-29 13.59.25
Quilt Shop
2013-11-29 14.00.03
Buddhist Temple, Armenian Street
2013-11-29 14.01.42
"Two Kids on a Bicycle" Street Art
2013-11-29 14.07.21
Yarn Cat
2013-11-29 14.07.15
Another One!
2013-11-29 14.08.04
Giant Kitty
2013-11-29 14.09.15
What's With All the Cats in This Town??
The Clan Jetties

Seven clan jetties were built in Georgetown in the late 1800’s. Since then, one has burnt down — leaving only six. The jetties were built for loading and unloading ships, and each jetty came to be controlled by a Chinese clan. The rival clans were often not on good terms with each other, so they each needed their own place to do business. Over time, houses, temples, and entire small communities were built on and around the jetties. We visited the Chew Jetty, where people still live and work.

2013-11-29 14.13.20
Buddhist Temple at the Entrance to Chew Jetty
2013-11-29 14.13.43
Chew Jetty
2013-11-29 14.14.00
Hey Tourists, People Still Live Here!
2013-11-29 14.19.41
Fishing Traps Hanging at the End of the Jetty
2013-11-29 14.22.21
Jetty Signage
2013-11-29 14.22.23
Looking the Other Way Down the Jetty

One thought on “Georgetown, Penang

  1. Mom

    Glad to see you are still writing. Love all your pictures, especially the one of Linley in Georgetown against the blue wall.