A Travellerspoint blog

Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

Street art & trishaws


We'd heard a lot of great things about Georgetown from fellow travellers and hoped it lived up to our expectations... it did!


We caught a direct bus from the Cameron Highlands to Georgetown. Technically Penang is an island, but there's a huge bridge connecting it to the mainland so no need to faff with ferry journeys. We thought we'd try and give Jason's mum a hostel experience... a short walk from our bus terminal we arrived at Wassup Hostel. As far as hostels go it was pretty posh; our own bathroom, air con, hot shower, modern and no dog bed.


We got straight into our sightseeing and spent the afternoon walking around the city. I think we managed about 50 metres before Debbie went on a spending spree and purchased a whole new wardrobe (no encouragement needed). If only I could buy new clothes... I definitely can't carry anymore!


There's lots of street art around Georgetown, infact it's on almost every building in sight. The afternoon soon passed us by as we got distracted by colourful graffiti, iron cartoons, colonial architecture and cultural diversity. I tried my best directing us and reading out information from our guide leaflets.


We treated ourselves to a lovely meal in the evening and me and Jason indulged in a glass of wine (none for Debbie as she says she can't handle her drink at her age before bed... He he).


Debbie treated is to a cup of tea and breakfast in bed... I could get used to her as our travel companion. We were all prepared for our busy day... First stop... more shopping! This time for souvenirs and a stroll through a busy Chinese market.


Then we walked along the sea front where you can see the town hall, old fort and posh cruise liners docked up in the city port.


The Eastern & Oriental Hotel is of historical importance in Penang because it used to be owned by the Sarkie brothers, the wealthy businessmen that owned other Asian hotels such as Raffles in Singapore, and has an extensive celebrity clientele history. We'd read that no trip is complete to Georgetown without a lunch here to try tiffin. Tiffin is a style of lunch that comes in tin tiered pots; ours included a fruit punch, soup starter, spiced vegetables, chicken curry, fish, salad and banana fritter. Of course I had to try their signature cocktail, an E&O sling (Cointreau, gin, crème de menthe)...I was the only one that liked it. The setting was beautiful; a luxurious and exclusive courtyard overlooking the sea.


We finished our lunch just in time for a guided tour around the Blue Mansion. It's a restored home that used to belong to the wealthiest man in Asia. I would recommend anybody a visit here, we had an excellent guide who was evidently very enthusiastic about the property and its history. He explained that his mother used to live here when it was split into rental rooms for some of the poorer families. We were particularly impressed with the floor tiles that Cheong Fatt Tze, the Chinese owner, had had shipped from the UK, Stoke-on-Trent. The tiles were in original pristine condition because they had been covered by a layer of dirt for years, as nobody had been bothered to clean them when the house was in a state of disrepair. Me and Debbie raised our hand like geeky school children to inform the guide that we were from Stoke-on-Trent...to which he said that it's his wish to visit there one day. All in all its a very beautiful home with a very informative guide... much enjoyed.


We had a lovely evening in Georgetown. We firstly enjoyed a happy hour cocktail, frozen marguerita, and it was huge!


And then found ourselves two trishaw drivers to take us around the city by night. We had a slight disagreement about which trishaw drivers we wanted because we'd promised our business to one, who then couldn't be found again as we'd started to negotiate with a different one... Oops! Mine and Debbie's was named Mohammed, he was lovely but unfortunately couldn't speak much English, so we had to have a run through of what Jason had learnt from his driver after our tour had finished. We were taken through Little India, China town, past colonial buildings and then small markets. It was such fun... although Mohammed was sweaty after cycling us two around for over an hour.


We weren't that hungry after our huge tiffin lunch, so called in at a local food stall for duck noodle soup (its not been my favourite dish, but it filled a hole).


After that jampacked day I was certainly in need of some beach time.


Posted by bloorsontour 08:07 Archived in Malaysia

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents


Very envious! Love the quirky artwork and mega margueritas. Looks like a great time was had by all!
NB Not only is Stoke on Trent famous for it's ceramic tiles, it also has a tiffin restaurant which we're now inspired to try after seeing your lovely feast! Xxx

by Ma and Pa

I can certainly recommend tiffin. Xxx

by mutsi

Amazing street art.Did you know that tiffin is an Indian word. In times past your mother or wifw would cook your lunch at home and the tiffin wller would deliver it to your place of work at the appropriate tim! xx

by the wrinklies

Oops! should be "wife" and "tiffin waller2 and "time"

by the wrinklies

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.