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.
Penang International Airport
Disembarking the Plane
Our Little Plane from Phuket
Our Hotel, Heliconia
View of Georgetown from Our Window
Stall at a Malaysian Hawker Food Court
Asam Laksa, a Tamarind and Fish Soup and Hawker Food Specialty
A Very Malaysian Breakfast: White Coffee and Kaya Toast
Walking Outside Our Hotel
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.
Entrance to Campbell Street
Looking Down Campbell Street
Chinese Medicine Shop, Campbell Street
Mystery Items for Sale at the Chinese Medicine Shop
Produce Stall on Campbell Street
Li Hing Mui Cart, Yum!
Buildings on Campbell Street
Il Bacaro Italian Restaurant, Owned by Two Italian Brothers -- We Ate Thanksgiving Dinner Here
Real Italian Pizza!!
Campbell Street at Night
Il Bacaro Had the BEST Italian Food... So We Came Back Another Night
...and Got Linguine
...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.
Kapitan Keling Mosque
Minaret at the Kapitan Keling Mosque
Kids Studying at the Kapitan Keling Mosque
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.
A Hindu Temple in Georgetown's Little India
Flowers for Sale in Little India
Thank You, Namaste!
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.
You Will See Street Art All Over Town Explaining the History of Different Parts of the Old City
Mugshot Cafe Quickly Became a Favorite Coffee Shop
The Mugshot Cafe -- Best Bagels, Ever. They Toast Bagels in a Special Woodfired Oven
Coffee from Mugshot
Jackfruit Yogurt from Mugshot
A Mugshot Cafe Mugshot
Lots of the Chinese Shops in Old Town Have These Shades Out Front
Another Typical Chinese Storefront
Manapua Style Bread
More Chinese Food
And Old Advertisement for Chinese Medicines
Moustache Houze Coffee Shop
Inside Moustache Houze
The Coffee Has a Moustache...
...and So Does the Tea
Blacksmiths at Work
Kid on a Chair
Pork from the Famous Tek Sen Restaurant
Tofu from Tek Sen
This Man Hand Carves Traditional Chinese Shopfront Signs -- the Letters are Covered in Gold Leaf
This is What a Finished Sign Looks Like
A Hostel Somewhere in Georgetown
Linley in Georgetown
Banana Leaf Rice Street Food Stall
Banana Leaf Filled with Rice and Meat
Micke's Place, Malaysian Cuisine
Chicken from Micke's
Micke's Place Curry and Rice
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.
A Really Well Restored Chinese Shop on Armenian Street
Another Chinese Shop on Armenian Street
Jawi House, Restaurant Owned by a PhD of Women's Studies and Prominent Malaysian Islamic Historian
Jawi House Entrance
Fruit is the Best Snack on Such a Hot Day
Roti Jala ("Net Bread"), a Malaysian Specialty
Roti Jala with Sauce
Homecooked Nutmeg Juice and Dried Plum Stand
Bike Shop, Armenian Street
Bike Shop Mural
Lin on Armenian Street
Armenian House Coffee Shop
Buddhist Temple, Armenian Street
"Two Kids on a Bicycle" Street Art
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.
Buddhist Temple at the Entrance to Chew Jetty
Hey Tourists, People Still Live Here!
Fishing Traps Hanging at the End of the Jetty
Looking the Other Way Down the Jetty