Malaysia is a popular holiday destination for Singaporeans because of its close proximity and good food. There are many ways to get to Penang from Singapore. Depending on time and budget, you can choose to fly, take a train or bus, or even drive.
What I didn’t know prior to this trip was the fact that Penang is actually an island. All I knew was that Penang is located in the north-east of Malaysia, but never thought of it as an island.
If you have been to Penang, I’m guessing you love the food and culture as much as I do. Penang, in my opinion, is very different from the other Malaysian states. It has retained much of what the British left behind in the second world war, and these buildings you see around George Town today adds to Penang’s beauty and charm.
Stark black and white colonial houses juxtaposed with red and opulent shop houses, George Town is surely my favourite spot in Penang. Every corner and alley tells a story of history and life. And in almost every corner, there’s food. Food glorious food!
Eat // Street food
Popular favourites such as Char Kway Teow (fried flat rice noodles), Penang Laksa (rice noodles with sour tamarind broth), Chendol (coconut cream with green jelly and red bean) are widely available around George Town. There’s so much food around and only that much stomach space. Thanks to a dear friend’s grand list of good eats around Penang (with star ratings, no less), I managed to zoom in on the best of the best food!
Do // Peranakan Museum
I visited a Peranakan museum in George Town to take a break from all that eating. Peranakan Chinese or Baba-Nonyas are unique to Penang and Malacca, and Singapore. ‘Peranakan‘ refers to the local descendants with mixed Chinese or Malay heritage. Many Peranakan Chinese families have strong Malay influence because of its heritage. The Malay influence is evident in Peranakan cooking, clothes and language!
My maternal grandma was a Peranakan, so I’m glad to say that I have some Peranakan blood flowing in me! Grandma used to tell me stories of her growing up in a typical Peranakan family, and it sure wasn’t all fun and rosy!
See // Historic buildings
As you walk into different shophouses, don’t forget to look at the floor tiles! I like how every bit of the shophouse is being preserved so that we will never lose the connection between past and present. Penang is a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
See // Street Art and Murals at George Town
George Town is also an arts town. As you walk along the alleys, you’ll find a lot of street art that reflects the culture of Penang. One of the most popular mural at along Armenian Street is ‘Little Children on Bicycle‘. Half of the bicycle is mounted on the wall, so have fun posing with it!
Penang, I’ll be back again soon!
Have you been to Penang or any parts of Malaysia? Share with me your favourite eats below! 🙂