Apologies about my image bomb last night, with no explanations! I was feeling a little under the weather and couldn’t be bothered to really type anything lengthy out. But I still wanted to share some pictures of my Penang trip so……
Penang is an island as well as a state in the country of Malaysia. Some of my older readers will know that I was born and raised in Malaysia, so once a year or so, I go back to visit my parents and do a little bit of travelling. Usually when I visited Penang in the past, I would just go to the beach resorts and go swimming and tanning and whatnot, but this time, we stayed and looked around the Old Town of Penang, which is a UNESCO Heritage Site.
On top of its Old Town vibe, there is a new wave of artsy people, so the old town is dotted with vibrantly painted and adorably kitschy stores.
The food of Penang reflects its heterogenous population; since a long time ago, many Chinese and Indian migrants lived on the island, next to their fellow Malaysian neighbors. After hundreds of years of mixing together, the island has its own very unique culture, which is a blend of all three demographics.
We stayed at the Yeng Keng Hotel, which is right in the middle of the heritage zone. According to their website, the hotel is “a 20-room restored heritage boutique hotel located in one of the oldest surviving and intact 19th century buildings in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage City of George Town, Penang.” Originally built in the 1800’s as a private residence, the hotel rooms all feature original vintage furniture that reflect the mix of cultures.
One of the places that we visited included the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, locally known as the Blue Mansion. It was the Penang residence of self-made millionaire Cheong Fatt Tze at the end of the 19th century, and its unique indigo blue color makes it a very distinct building. It also starred in several movies including “Indochine”, “The Red Kabaya”, and “Road to Dawn”, among others.
Our final destination was the Kek Lok Si temple. Said to be the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia, the now-heavily commercialized temple is a blend of Mahayana Buddhism and traditional Chinese Buddhism.
There was also a turtle pond, but it was depressingly crowded, and the turtles just looked really sad to be there 😦