To the number of places of worship can be seen that in Penang different religions are practiced. The Kapitan Kling Mosque, in the street with the same name, was built in the early 19th century by Muslims from southern India. On the same road is the temple of the goddess of mercy, built in 1800. Not much further is the Sri Mariamman Indian temple, which was built in 1883 and is abundantly decorated with images of the Hindu pantheon. The statue of Subramaniam, used in the procession to the temple of the waterfall during Thaipusam, is richly decorated with jewels.
The fort, which was built on the spot where Francis Light first set foot on Penang (1786), still exists, complete with his guns. Originally it was made of wood, but in 1804-1805 it was replaced by a stone building, which was erected. By forced labor The courtyard of the fort is now a park where concerts and other performances are held. Near the souvenir shops, the model of a traditional Malay house. You must take off your shoes if you want to go inside.
It is good to see this unique boat shaped restaurant back to business again, after it was vacated in 1996. This restaurant Loke Thye Kee is one of the oldest restaurant in Penang. Why it was named House of Happiness, yeah, i read in the newspaper it was a good venue for matchmaking, where couple of arranged marriages came here for discreet viewing in the olden day. If both parties like, then confirm an engagement. Hmmm...so lau beh!! and thats how this restaurant got its name..House of Happiness..
Another heritage of Penang - POST BOXES!! These post boxes are some of the British colonial post boxes still used so well till today. You may be surprised to know some of the post boxes dated during the Victorian Era (1837 - 1901) and some ages between 60 - 92 years.
I found this post box in Penang Hill during a trip with my cousin, the cipher inscription of VR on the post box stand for Victoria Regina. If with GR then it stand for Georgius Rex (King George V). Another trip to Penang Hill, I'm going to sent out Postcard using this post box, hopefully it stamped Penang Hill on the stamps.
Penang has the most postboxes than other places in Malaysia. :-))
While eating at New World Park, be sure to visit OHL (Ong Hock Lye) Gallery, who has achieved so many awards on water color & batik paintings, ice sculptures, too many awards to be named here. You can see masterpiece creations on wood cravings and a big statue of Sir Francis Light, standing at 2metres high and more collections of the olden days Penang, such as the tricksaw, horse cart, a chinese wedding sedan) and many gifts and souvenirs.
Just imagine after seeing Picture 1, Georgetown in 1700s and 1800s, fulls of coconuts trees, betel nuts trees, almost swampy area, few small churchs around the area. Its not a surprise to see many road in Georgetown have english names, they are the names of old colonial administrators. I do not have old pictures of Georgetown to put here but a picture taken from "A gallery of the Chinese Kapitan".
Pic2,3,4 & 5..new Georgetown.
There so many interesting things to find along the roads in Georgetown, and I found this Antique shop along Lebuh Carnavon. If you are an antique lovers, then you should pay a visit to this shop, selling so much antique clocks, lamps, telephone, old record, silver and bronze wares, old watches , hmmm…so much to see….:-))
What make Georgetown unique? I would vote the Roti Man. You can still find Roti Man (or Bread Seller in English) around Georgetown area, in the morning and during tea time. Why the Ting..Ting...Ting...? If you are Georgetown, its very common to hear this sound that the Roti Man is coming, shout as loud as you want ...ROTI..ROTI..Hmm..the Roti Man will stop and open his Pandora Box..so much varieties of bread, tidbits and the most famous small bun with sweet Kaya. Taste excellent, I will have 2 pcs for tea time, please.
At Transfer Road in Georgetown area, you can find a few famous Benggali Roti Bakeries. One bakery shop opened since 1928 and they still produced everyday their famous soft Roti Benggali Loaf. :-))
When you are in Penang, its a must to see the beautiful wall paintings by Ernest Zacharic.
Will write more later.
Picture 1 : The Awaiting trishaw Paddler Mural at Penang Road, Georgetown
Picture 2 : Boy on bike at Ah Quee Street, Georgetown
Picture 3 : Little Boy with Pet Dinosaur Mural at Ah Quee Street, Georgetown
Picture 4 : Little Children on a Bicycle Mural at Armenian Street, Georgetown
Picture 5 : Reaching Up Mural at Cannon Street, Georgetown.
I have 6 postcard of these beautiful wall paintings, if you want the postcard, please vtmail me your address. I be glad to sent you a postcard. Don't be shy :-))
The Nagarathar Sivan Temple is a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. It's a temple of South-Indian style. It is regarded as a male temple and as such, it is customary to have a separate entrance for the goddess. In this case she is Shakti, the consort of Shiva.
The gopuram (we should perhaps call it tower) in this temple comprises five tiers of figurines. Each figurine represents the various incarnations of the god and characters from legends associated with the period when the temple was built. Sculptures in Hindu temples shall remind devotees of the physical and ideal worlds.
Kek Lok Si is the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia. It sits high on the hillside, above the little city Ayer Itam (= Black Water).
The construction of the temple began in 1890 and was inspired by the chief monk of the Guan Yin Temple in Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling. The construction works lasted for almost 20 years.
In 1930, the seven storey main pagoda of the temple, known as the Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas, was completed. This pagoda combines a Chinese octagonal base with a middle tier of Thai design, and has a Burmese crown.
Inside the temple area you will find a very overcrowded turtle pond, a newly built 30 m statue of Guan Yin made in bronze (a cable car will take you to the statue), several shrines and mini pagoda set in a fish pond, among other things. You will of course also find a large souvenir shop, and a vegetarian restaurant.
Opening hours 9.00 to 18.00 everyday.
One of Penang's and Georgetown's most popular attractions is the Tropical Spice Garden, which is located in Teluk Bahang, a few minute's drive from Batu Feringgi.
You will find landscaped trails and natural pathways, waterfalls and stream crossings while walking around exploring and learning about all the spices you have used yourself or just heard about. There are all together more than 500 varieties of flora from Malaysia and the neighbouring countries.
The garden is divided in several rooms and trails so it's easy to choose what you want to see. It might be a little too much, in fact, to try to make the whole garden during one visit.
There is also a Visitor Centre which include a Spice Museum, a Garden Shop, a Spice Café and a Gift Shop.
A little about one of the most common spices we have - cloves.
Cloves were used for their medicinal effects as early as 1721 BOT! They can be used for upset stomachs and diarrhea, respiratory infections, nausea and vomiting. They have been used to prevent bad breath, and to ease toothache and throat inflammation. This valuable spice have been the reason for many expeditions from Europe and have been the root cause of many wars at sea. In the early 17th century the Dutch incurred the wrath of natives when they destroyed cloves trees that were outside of their colony in order to monopolise the trade.This caused a lot of anger with the natives as it among them was a tradition to plant a clove tree upon the birth of a child and the lifespan of the tree was believed to have a direct correlation to the child’s longevity.
What we use as the spice is actually the unopened flower buds of an evergreen tree, a member of the myrtle family. The clove buds are handpicked just as they turn pinkish. They are then separated from the stem and carefully dried till they turn brown.
Opening hours 09.00 - 18.00 everyday (last admission 17.30).
Entrance fees: adult self-guided /guided tour 14/22 RM, children (4 - 12 years) 8/8 RM, and family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children) 35/55 RM.
To get there you can take the public buses No. 93, 202 or U101.
Komtar is an abbreviation for KOMpleks Tun Abdul Razak. It is a 65-storey building which contains departments, offices, shops, restaurants, theatres and, on the 55th floor, a viewing platform.
Underneath the complex there is a bus station.
The Dhammikarama is the oldest Buddhist temple on the Penang Island. The stupa, which is the oldest part, was inaugurated in 1805. Since 1838 it is now enshrined within an outer stupa.
This is the only Burmese Buddhist Temple outside of Burma.
Opening hours 9.00 to 17.30 everyday, entrance free.
This is a unique Buddhist temple combining Thai, Burmese and Chinese architecture. It is famous for the Reclining Buddha, a 33 m long gold-plated statue which is one of the longest Buddha statues in the world (some say the third longest).
The niches behind the statue house urns containing the ashes of devotees.
Here's a link to the map.
Unfortunately there were restoration works going on when we went there so the statue can not be seen in full.
Opening hours 10.00 to 18.00 everyday, entrance free.