Georgetown in Penang is full of contrasts, sounds, smells and sights.
We are here for 8 days before heading to Cambodia and back to our original schedule. Last time we were in Penang, we stayed outside Georgetown but this time we’re at the very heart of it all.
Georgetown is busy, but we’re on a very quiet street with just the squawking of birds. It is full of lovely old colonial mansions that sit right next to some not so pretty high-rise flats & hotels. There is a finely designed Tao Chinese temple in the same street as a mosque, a buddhist temple and a church. There is street-art everywhere.
This is the place to stuff your face with spectacular Chinese, Malay, Japanese, Indian and Western food. We have had a delicious local speciality, Laksa, that cost us less than £2 each at the lovely Laksalicious. We’ve treated ourselves (at only £12 each) to huge amounts of fresh sashimi, sushi and perfect tempura prawns at Zanmai. There are places selling Wagu steak for £50 upwards and, for those craving a taste of home, there’s even highly-rated bangers & mash available at the nearby Irish pub.
There are fantastic clothes markets tempting Allan to buy shirts for less than £3, but also air-conditioned huge shopping malls that have high-end shops (Rolex etc.) that successfully tempted Chloe to a pedicure. The mall we went to today was hosting a competition where, as part of Penang Food Week, 30 competitors raced against the clock to create the best artwork on top of a café latté for a prize of £500.
Underneath this tourist friendly place is other serious businesses. Penang is known as “the other silicon valley” where, amongst other tech, almost all microchips for Intel are manufactured.
We are here for eight days and doubt whether we’ll run out of things to do in this most fascinating of places.