Penang, A Malaysian Vacation
We spent a week on Penang, the western island state of Malaysia. It was a belated follow-up of our first honeymoon, 31 years ago. Parts of the island had been transformed beyond recognition, but thankfully Georgetown’s quaint old quarter remained intact. What struck us immediately are the super-high condominiums that have sprung up around northern Georgetown and stretching along the Ferringgi coastline; nearly all of them over 30 floors.
We spent a day moving around Georgetown’s World Heritage site, and saw some beautifully restored homes, at least their exteriors, the vibrant art scene accommodated in old terraced houses, and savoured the island’s famous dishes like chendol (iced dessert with cooked beans, local brown sugar and fresh coconut milk), laksa (spicy noodles with sardines, lemongrass and onions), and char kway teow (local fried noodles). The constant sea breeze kept the slight haze, due to forest fires in Indonesian Sumatra at bay, while the overcast skies, brought some respite to the humid and hot season. It was a free and easy trip that ended far too soon.
Credit: Zheluo Cai