Lion dance ceremony
I was in Georgetown just before the Chinese New Year and preparations for the festival were already under way. I wanted to see some traditional lion dancing and was fortunate enough to find it happening at one of the Chinese temples.
What I didn't realise was how important the ceremony before the actual dance is. The chap in the photo worked himself into a trance-like state as he blessed the danced and annointed them with some kind of paint.
Away from the big cities it is noticeable how much friendlier people are. Wandering around, I noticed a young chap with 5 girls, who he was photographing. I stopped to chat and discovered he was an amateur photographer with some friends acting as models for the day. They were a pleasant bunch. I took some photos using his camera and gave him a few tips. His having five girls and me having none didn't seem entirely fair so I tried to convince him that I should have two and he could keep three (I'd already picked out which two). My cunning plan didn't work though and eventually I walked away empty-handed. As usual ....
George Town - Armenian Street
Lebuh Armenia got its name because of the number of Armenians living here in George Town.
This narrow one way street has many heritage buildings including the former residence of Dr. Sun Yat Sen, the founder of Modern China when he was based in Penang as well as the famous Acehness Syed Alatas Mansion which is now turned into the Penang Islamic Museum.
Lebuh Armenia was turned into a street in Bangkok during the filming of Hollywood movie "Anna and the King" complete with elephants and Oscar Winner Jodie Foster and Hong Kong heart throb actor Chow Yuen Fatt.
The World Heritage Penang capital, Georgetown.
"A brief history of Georgetown."
The history of modern Penang can be traced back to 1786 when Francis Light managed to persuade the Sultan of Kedah to cede Pulau Pinang ("the Island of betel nuts") to the British East India Company. Light landed at the site of the present Esplanade and the Fort Cornwallis. The island was originally named Prince of Wales Island and the settlement that soon grew up was named Georgetown after King George III.
In 1832, Penang formed part of the Straits Settlement with Malacca and Singapore. Penang, and most so Georgetown, flourished and grew to be a major trading spot for the lucrative trade in tea, fruits and spices, china and cloth. Later also in tin.
Penang remained under British controle until 1957 when Malaya got indepence and in 1963 formed the now existing Malaysia.
"Imposing temples dominate the scenery."
Georgetown has a lot of interesting and beautiful temples, as well as mosques and some churches. Among the temples you will find the only Burmese Buddhist temple outside of Burma (or Myanmar as it is nowadays).
"A World Heritage man."
Encounter this remarkable man, in my tips. At the age of 81 he is still making joss sticks by hand.