Penang’s Street Art
An Attraction of Its Own Wednesday, 26 September 2012 14:18
In conjunction with Penang’s Georgetown Festival, Lithuanian artist, Ernest Zacharevic was commissioned to paint a series of street art in a project called “Mirrors of George Town”
The project consists of more than 20 large-scale wall paintings strategically placed within the core heritage zone of George Town, Penang. To date, there are more than 20 playful paintings depicting children, and everyday life in Penang. Zacharevic’s artworks are cheeky, funny and fascinating, attracting many locals and international visitors to George Town, Penang. His works had also been highlighted in many international magazines including the Wall Street Journal.
This cannot be really classified at Off the Beaten Path as it can be found in numerous spots in Penang and even Peninsula Malaysia.
Durian is the king of the fruits and most locals love it. It has a rather pungent smell that turns many tourists away from it. However, once you get a taste of it, the desire to have more is unstoppable.
On roadside footpath, you can locate one of these pushcarts stalls with small quantity of durians. You can order the durian and eat it on the spot where there are tables and chairs setup for it. Ask the vendor for recommendation and price before ordering. Seat at the tables and it will be opened and delivered to the table. There are mineral drinking water available on the water.
Nowadays, there are many varieties of the durian available and each has it own unique taste and fragrance. The stall holder would be able to advise which is more palatable to you. He is, usually, knowledgeable as he has limited stock and he purchase from farmers and middleman with full knowledge.
After the meal, there are washing points to wash your hands.
I paid RM$28 for 1 durian and the taste is excellent.
Durian is considered as a heaty fruit and many customers takes mangosteen with the durians. Mangosteen is said to have cooling effects.
There are still six Clans and one non-clan Heritage Jetties in Penang, all the clans jetties are along the Weld Quay just as the Penang Island Ferry terminal. The first one along the stretch from the ferry terminal is the ONG Jetty followed by LIM, CHEW, TAN, LEE, Mix Surname and finally YEOH Jetties. All the jetties are more than one hundred and fifty years of history
During the early 1800s when the Chinese emigrate to Penang from China, they started their livelihood as laborers known as 'coolies' at the British Pier along the Quays. As always, the Chinese gathered together when they just came over from China with their clansmen to help each others and built a strong representation for any problems they faced in their era as coolies, boatmen, fishermen etc..Most of these immigrants are from Fujian China. That's why they built their own clan jetties and seldom socially mix during their era, because they compete fiercely among themselves for territory. At that time organised secret societies are very strong with powerful backing from their fellow brotherhood their territories will spread out and opportunities of getting coolie contract will increase. Among these seven jetties the ONG and LIM jetties are the most busiest jetty for handling sea cargoes activities Ong jetty has no dwellers and the shortest, Chiew jetty is the most populated and Tan jetty is lease populated, Lee jetty is most organised jetty and the strongest in land coolies contract.
In all the Jetties, CHEW Jetty is the most densely populated and the only jetty that are involved in fishing trade and servicing ocean vessel passengers from Thailand, Burma, Indonesia, and today is the most visited by the tourists to witness the lifestyle at the jetty [houses were built on stilts out in the shores]. The ONG Jetty is the shortest and has no dweller from the beginning till now. This is because the ONG clansmen stayed on the land opposite the jetty. Due to development, most youngsters have moved out of the area and the younger generations are no longer in the coolie trade. The most properly planned Jetty is the Lee Jetty with a total of 24 houses. There are two rows of 12 houses. Today most of the dwellers socialize freely among all the clans and there are many intermarriages among the various clans people. There is a beautiful newly built house at the end of New jetty which they also put up for rent as a Homestay house.
If you walk into Penang and look around for a true typical Malay house, the chances are you will see a modified or modernized Malay house. Today there are not many left. Here I wish to share with you one of the most famous and respected local idol from the 1960s. He has a legend of its own, he was knighted a" Tan Sri "after his death for his contribution to the Malay Music & Motion Picture.
His maiden name is Teuku Zakaria Bin Teuku Nyak Puteh was born in 22nd March 1929 in Penang at this house and was made famous by the Shaw Brothers Malay Movie producer of Singapore in 1948 and become famous through out Malaya and named himself as P. Ramli in the movie & music world . Until today his movie is still showing in the local TV station during the Malay festivals. Most of the Malay's house has only one room and a kitchen with the big living room. Most, if not all of the Malay houses are small, est. 16' by 25', covered with Palm leaves on the roof and an uncovered ground floor. In the olden days the house can be carried and move to other places, and most of the younger siblings will sleep in the ground open space.
The Muka Head Lighthouse is perched atop a 242 meter (793 ft) hill in the Northwest Corner of Penang Island. It can be accessed through Penang National Park and may only be reached on foot. From the Park HQ it is 4.6 km (2.8 miles) one way to the lighthouse with the last bit climbing the full 242 meters in a short distance. It is pretty steep and with the Malaysian heat it will be a bit tough for most.
The lighthouse itself if 14 meters (45 ft) and if you can make it there during visiting hours you can also climb the stairs to the top. The view up here is wonderful!
Penang National Park is a 2500 hectare park in the northwest corner of Penang Island. It features 9 isolated beaches, forests and several lakes. It even has a Lighthouse. To access the park one starts at the visitors center near the town of Teluk Bahang. From there you can either pay for a boat to take you directly to one of the beaches or you can choose to hike into the park. The boat will drop you off and you can explore or you can choose to have the boat pick you up after your hike also for a fee (best to organize ahead of time).
Once in the park you can explore many miles of trails The most common would be to Teluk Duyung -Monkey Beach. It is about 1.5 hours walk from the HQ to the beach and the trail is a little hard to follow at times. From monkey beach you can go a little further to Muka Head lighthouse. It is a bit steep to the top but the views are well worth it.
*If you are an early bird, you can visit this market which is in the town center opp the Penang Road Police Station. In this market you can see lots of activities of the locals doing their marketing. Besides this, you can also enjoy the local delicacies and various types of local breakfast.
Beside the morning market there is also a Bazaar which is the only left in Penang. It used to be very popular during the 70s and 80s, now not many young people visit the Bazaar. This Bazaar still holds the British Name called Piccadilly Bazaar.
*This is one of the most important meeting place of a world's major Political uprising in Penang. From 1906 to 1911 Dr. Sun Yat Sen came to Penang to build a Tung Meng Hui Secret Society. The house 120 Armenian Street, Penang.120 Armenian Street.%L
*The Rickshaw was the major mode of transport for the local business man during the 1800s - early 1900s. Many of the rickshaw was damage during the 1941 Japanese raid in Penang. In the 1800s it only cost 1/4-1/2 cents to have a ride.
*As Penang has been awarded the UNESCO WORLD OF HERITAGE City, the government is doing their best to encourage and supporting the conservation of the old buildings. To views all the heritage site is best done with a trishaw which will save a lot of your travelling time and will allow you to enjoy the street views lifestyle and unique Penang.
Many people know this famous land mark called 'Kek Lok Si' Temple in Ayer Itam and my Tip is to see the Chinese New Year Special lighting of this Temple. It only lit up during the 1st day to the 15th of the Chinese lunar calender "15 days of the Chinese New Year" and it holds special meaning to others. If one like to lights up a light in this temple one has to pay alms to the temple and it can cost a few hundreds to thousands Malaysian Ringgit each.
Birch House is a heritage building along Dato Kramat Road in George Town, Penang. It was built to serve as the office of the tin smelting plant of Escoy Smelting (Formally known as Eastern Smelting Co), known in the late 20th century as Eastern Smelting. The 5.3 hectare site of the tin smelting plant is now developed as Times Square, Penang and Birch House is being retained.
Birch House was built around 1908. It was named after Sir Ernest Woodford Birch, the popular British Resident of Perak between 1905-1909, who was a moving force in the development of the tin smelting works in Penang.
The tin-smelting plant itself was founded by Lee Chin Ho, who started it in 1897. Tin mined in the peninsula from North Malaya all the way to southern Thailand was transported to Penang for smelting.
The myth behind the house is "A Small a little statue, a Chinese deity riding a horse and carrying a Bow and Arrow facing the opposite Indian Temple, Why!
During the early 1900s, after the Indian Temple was built in front of the smelting plant for the Indian communities , it is the dawn of the myth. This rise hell for the ESC, every year there are deaths, accident, fighting in the smelting plant. After many consultations and new rules applied, but there is no peace. With the locals story they say that the "Ang Mo Lang" the British consult the "Fung Sui " Master, the Master advice them to place the "Si Jin Kui" a taoist god that carry bow and arrow with the focus straight into the temple. With the picture you can witness the statue which is still exist today, "WHO DARE TO REMOVE THE STATUE"???? You can see the statue to believe.
This is the least visited place even for the locals. Once upon a time it was a quarantine island for Tuberculosis and Leprosy patients in 1911 and the island is Taboo to some locals. After the success of fighting these diseases, this island was turned over into a maximum-security detention center for Malaysia's most wanted criminals from 1969 to 1993. Today, they still preserved two blocks of the buildings. Many memoirs that were written by the inmates still existed.
Now, visitors can enjoy the peaceful environment with no outside vehicles and there are five Trails that you can enjoy namely "Balqis Trail", "Razak Ridge Trail", "Hill Trail", "Dipterocarp Trail" and "Prison Trail". Beside these Trails there are various types of accommodations and restaurants . All these facilities are operated by Ancasa Hotel & Spa. For visitors who do not wish to stay overnight they can get the ferry schedule at the departure jetty. It's a good opportunity for those who wish to experience Tropical Rain Forest, get more info at Jerejak
I saw this KFC by chance. It is located on Jalan Larut, opposite Dorsett Penang Hotel. This has got to be the most unique KFC building I have ever seen in Malaysia. I mean unique in a good way. The remodeled old classic building is turned into a fast food restaurant. You don't see this everywhere. Only in Penang!
I tried to go up to the bell tower, but it's not allowed.
Though it's a wee bit off the beaten path, the Penang Butterfly Farm is a must do as it's the world's first tropical live butterfly farm and the most impressive one I've seen in a long time. Landscaped to look like a tropical Monet's garden, they have many beautiful species flying in the open as well as a collection of other unusual insects. Words cannot describe my wonderment. Perhaps my pictures can.
2 butterflies, deep in a drink of nectar.
Where:Penang Butterfly Farm, 830 Jalan Teluk Bahang, a little beyound Batu Ferringhi. See weblink for more details
Cost:RM15 ( steep but well worth it )
Sikh Gurdwara Temple is located at Jalan Gudhwara. The road is easy to start from Gama shopping mall, tourists can easily find where Gama is and to walk from Gama to the temple is approximately 15 minutes.
GURDWARA SAHIB (SIKH TEMPLE)
No. 87 Jalan Gurdwara
(Jalan Brick Klin)
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