George Town, with streets full of old, mixed cultural, faded colours and crumbed walls of shophouses, temples and buildings. Featured by elderly Chinese shopkeepers and residents, Indian food stalls, uniquely-decorated trishaws, homeless citizen, backpackers and tourists from around the world that suddenly appear at glances of your eyes. I bet a lomographer could not stop firing the shutter once step into these historical streets blended with faded colours and unexpected instruders!
This impromptu half day walking trip was happened during last Chinese New Year, and the only participant is ME! Well, I guess you guys will have no interest on how this could happened, but please let me briefly introduce this beautiful island.
Penang or ‘Pulau Pinang’ was founded by Captain Francis Light of the British East India Company on 11 August 1786. The island was originally a part of the Malay Sultanate of Kedah, but it had been gifted to Captain Francis Light after his marriage with the Sultan’s princess and his promise to provide protection to Kedah from Siam’s attack. At that time the island was renamed as Prince of Wales Island. During British colonial ruling in Malaysia, together with Malacca and Singapore, they formed the Strait Settlements.
Penang has a warmful and sunny tropical rainforest climate that attracted visitors from the four-seasoned countries round the year, and this yield tourism as one of the main economy now, despite the island is once one of the largest electronic manufacturing bases in Asia. The island is the only non-Malay dominated state in Malaysia, with 41.8% of Chinese, 40.3% Malays, 10.8% Indians, other smaller races and expatriate population especially from Britain and Japan, forming its distinctive population. The island is also once flourish with the Peranakan or Straits Chinese culture, however the clan had extincted today. At such, all these elements created the distinctive and unique architectural, culture and delicacies, which you could not find similar place elsewhere in Asia.
Most of the historical architecture is located centrally in George Town, the capital of Penang. On 7 July 2008, George Town, was inscribed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The capital is decorated by rows of over 100 years-old shophouses and colonial villas. Thus, Penang was the best venue for several historical movies such as Anna and the King. By strolling around George Town, your eyes will be juiced by the old, mixed cultural, faded colours and crumbed walls of shophouses, temples, schools, bungalows and buildings. Featured by elderly Chinese shopkeepers and residents, Indian food stalls, uniquely-decorated trishaws, homeless citizen, backpackers and tourists from around the world that suddenly appear at glances of your eyes. I bet a lomographer could not stop firing the shutter once step into these historical streets blended with faded colours and unexpected instuders!
Besides that, Penang is also named as the ‘Food Capital of Malaysia’, the delicacies comprises of the Chinese, Malay and Indian mix of Malaysia, but also influenced by the Thailand and Peranakan’s cuisine. In addition, the island is especially famous for “hawker food” and was recognised as having the Best Street Food in Asia by Times Magazine in 2004. For example, the Laksa, Hokkien Mee, Char-Kuew-Tiaw, Ais-Kacang and Nasi Kandar. You could enjoy these affordable and delicious street delicacies anytime to reload films/slides into your beloved lomographic cameras.
Stop waiting and start planning your next trip to Penang, Malaysia!!