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George Town @ Penang, Malaysia

Wandering around George Town (27/11/2012-1/12/2012)



I always like old towns and love wandering around an ancient town, just to lay-back and enjoy leisure. So George Town is like perfect for me (except for the heat). The whole town is an UNESCO world heritage site, with core heritage area and buffer heritage area. But you can't really tell the difference between the core and the buffer area when you walk around the town, since all the buildings in George are so ancient.

It just feel so good in wandering around George Town. It is a small town, so the tourist spots are very concentrated, all in walkable distance. It is amazing to see the Chinese Temples, Indian Mosques and Churches sitting side by side in such a harmony. The architectural and cultural townscape is so uncommon that you can rarely find it elsewhere.

What I like most about George Town is its vitality though. George Town is still the city centre of Penang and people are still working and living in the town. You can see the number of people on the streets and the cars on the road when it's during the peak hours in the morning and in the evening. Not saying that I like traffic jam, which I don't at all, but I love the feeling that the old town is so alive and vivid. The whole town would lose its charm if there are just ruins.

With the old buildings around, wandering around George Town is like going back to the past . There aren't just old stuff in the Town though, There was a great mix of old and new. The Penang government had added pieces of artistic wall paintings on the old buildings, which is of cause another attractions.

It just feels so good in wandering around George Town. I am just loving it.

PS. The weather there was HOT though, not quite suitable in wandering around the town in the day time under the sun. Morning and evening are indeed very comfortable, with the wind breeze, you do not necessarily need to turn on the air conditioner. However during the daytime, it is like 3x degree and I can hardly walk around under the sun for long. My itinerary was therefore to wander around the town in the morning and in the evening, and go back to the hostel to rest and escape from the heat in the afternoon.


Posted by fon 01:29 Archived in Malaysia Tagged town malaysia penang goergetown Comments (0)

Hokkien Mee @ Penang, Malaysia

30/11/2012 (Day 4, George Town to Pulau Tikus Market)



I am an absolute foodie. Food is one of the best part of travelling. Penang was ranked one of the Asian cities with greatest street food, for sure I have to try its local food. Penang State Tourism Office has a food map of Penang available in the Airport, listing out all the must-try food and the addresses of the associated restaurants. It is awesome and gave us good reference of what to eat when visiting Penang.

I personally, however, prefer asking the locals for the great local food. The food for locals and for tourists can be completely different and trying the local food can give you a much better insight of the local life. I always like to talk to the locals about good food and they are usually more than welcome to share me the good places they have been going.

Hokkien Mee, also known as Prawn Mee, is a all-time dish in Penang, from breakfast to supper. It is a bowl of yellow noddles and rice vermicelli drenched in thick broth made by prawns and pork. I heard from a local old man that there was a really good one in Pulau Tikus market and for sure have headed there to try it out.

The place was on Jalan Burma (Burma Road), right opposite the Police Station in Pulau Tikus and there was a bus stop right in front of Police Station. You can take Bus No 101 from George Town over there. The bus ride took approximately 15-20 min. There are 2 restaurants side by side so don't get into the wrong one. It is right opposite to the Police Station and and is named "Swee Kong 瑞江茶室".

I was there around 8:45am and the place was full of local people. Awesome :) The place is a tea house selling drinks like tea and coffee. The Hokkien Mee counter is in the tea house. It is separately owned and you are welcome to eat in the tea house as long as your ordered your drinks there. So you can have the Mee from the Hokkien Mee counter, or even bring your own food there. (There are usually lots of different food counters in a tea house but in this one, there are only 2 food counters: the Hokkien Mee counter and another counter selling Wan Tan Mee.)

The Hokkien Mee and iced coffee I had costed RM3.5 and RM1.5. You order when you get in and pay when the food is served. The Hokkien Mee is so good. Though as a foreigner, I may not be able to tell why or how good they are, they are very rich in flavour.

PS. I went there early in the morning since the place only opens in the morning! Per the old man, it only opens for breakfast and may be closed sometime around 9:30am. There is a small wet market nearby and you may go walk around after having your Mee.


Posted by fon 01:48 Archived in Malaysia Tagged food malaysia penang goergetown Comments (0)

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