Monday, June 9, 2014

George Town, Penang

One of the good things about all this travel is that I sleep very well. There is not only the physical energy of getting myself from A to B to C but the mental energy of constantly experiencing new things. I woke early, had a shower and went down to breakfast. The bnb owner had put out some bread and a toaster so I had about four slices as well as a cup of coffee. After a few weeks of Asian food, I am beginning to crave western food and the toast really helped.

Steve, the bnb owner had given me a pile of tourist material so I set off to visit the Historic Enclave of George Town which is a World Heritage Site.

The bnb is named Pedal Inn and is the place with the awning. My room has been quite comfortable and the owner has been very friendly and helpful. It's a short walk to the Enclave.

The street markets are a little easier to navigate here than say Hanoi because the lanes are a little wider and there aren't as many scooters. 

I haven't tried durian yet but I don't find the smell off-putting.

A column of tri-shaws passed by. These are one of Georgetown's famous sights.

The sun is quite merciless, even in the morning and I seem to have lost my hat in Bangkok. Or it has got lost in my luggage. I consequently used the shady side of the street a lot. It's about time I got a new sun hat anyhow and they are plentiful in Oz.

All sorts of stuff for sale. Shops here tend to be a bit more tidy and organized than other parts of SE Asia.

Many of the streets are lined with colonnades which provide good cover from the sun and presumably from rain as well. If you have never visited tropical areas, you cannot appreciate how strong the sun can be.

The predominant religion in Malaysia is Islam at 61% of the population. You might notice the rain clouds in the background. I was expecting a downpour but nothing happened.

George Town has a significant population of Indian descent and there a many Indian restaurants

One of the many Indian restuarants. My bnb host has recommended another one for me to go to this evening which is not too far away.

The gutters are quite deep and obviously designed to cope with heavy downpours.

I eventually came to a park area near the Strait. Years ago when the British ruled the area, I suspect they played cricket here but I could see no sign of any cricket pitch in the middle.

The Town Hall.

The City Hall is right next door. I couldn't work out why they needed both a Town and City Hall.

War Memorial.

Next to the War Memorial is a separate monument that lists the various wars in recent Malaysian history. 

The harbour area off in the distance.

The walls of Fort Corwallis which was built to control the strait.

It only cost 60 cents to visit so I wandered inside.

I don't want my cremated remains to be stuffed down the barrel of this cannon as some contribution to fertility.

The Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower. It was about 30 minutes slow.

This is the outside Pinang Peranakan Mansion and there will be a separate blog for the inside.

It was getting close to noon and I decided to go back to the cool of my air-conditioned bedroom and drink a few glasses of liquid. My host has a refrigerator with cold drinks at the ready including beer, but I decided to try a sarsaparilla instead. Sars was my favourite soft drink in Australia when I was a boy.

I decided to skip buying a goat's head or the burger.

The Swiss guest (blinked at the wrong moment) and Steve, my host. My theory behind staying in a bnb was to be able to meet a local who could tell me more about the city than somebody who stood behind a hotel counter. It has worked very well and I can recommend it.

I mentioned to my host that I liked Indian food and he suggested that I go to a restaurant a few hundred yards away that was really good. They serve you your food on a banana leaf. Out came the leaf and four blobs of stuff.

I had ordered a mutton dish which arrived in a dish and then a very large blob of rice. Three small bowls of different curry sauces arrived next. It was one of those wow meals. Possibly even better than the Chefs of Tandoori in Adelaide. I wish now that I had more time in George Town to go back and try some other dishes. My bill for the meal and a bottle of beer was about $7.

You can read more about the restaurant here. I went to the New World version.


  1. The latest romance novel from Harlequin:

    "He was a traveler from a foreign land...she was a banana leaf...they would never forget The Passions of Kerala!!"