Friday 3rd December
Georgetown is one of Malaysians most visited
cities. Founded in 1786 by Captain Francis Light as a base for the British East
India Company in the Malay states, the town, which was named after the Prince of
Wales soon developed into the state's economic and cultural hub. Georgetown has
a great feel, with it's traditional wooden shophouses, well preserved colonial
buildings, and the Malays, Indians and Chinese living in harmony, there is a
lively, colourful, electric vibe to the city.
Our morning was filled with sight
seeing, there were many temples and mosques as well as
interesting, quaint little streets with shophouses tucked here there and
everywhere. First stop was the Kuan Yin Temple. Dedicated to Kuan Yin, or the
goddess of mercy, this temple was originally constructed as a shared Hokkien and
Cantonese temple and community centre. Its foundation stone was laid in
1800, making it one of the oldest Chinese temples in Penang. Kuan Yin is perhaps
the most worshiped of Chinese deities, and also much revered by Buddhists and
Taoists. Associated with peace, good fortune, and fertility, she is portrayed
with 18 arms.
offerings........Breakfast in a side street
Kuan Yin Temple
Incense sticks burning at the
We bought four birds and set
them free as it's good luck
A short walk along the road and
we came across the Masjid Kapitan Kling, the oldest and best known historic
mosque in Penang, founded around 1800 by Caudeer Mohudeen. He was a prominent
member of the island's Indian Muslim community and bore the title Kapitan Kling,
or Captain of the Klings. Kling was a term employed at that time to describe
Tamil Muslims, also called Ghulia, who formed the bulk of Penang's Indian
Masjid Kapitan Kling
On the opposite side of the road
from the mosque is the Sri Mariamman Temple, a typical southern Indian temple
with elaborately carved and painted gopuram, or tiered entrance gateway of a
Hindu temple. Dedicated to the deity Mariamman, or Great Powerful Mother, this
is Penang's oldest Hindu temple. Artisans were brought from Madras to create
images of the goddess Mariamman in all her aspects. Subsequently a 23 ft high
gopuram was added, with sculptures of about 38 Hindu deities.
Sri Mariamman Temple by
We took a walk along Campbell
Street for the boutiques mentioned in the guide book, but unfortunately most of
the shops were closed. One stretch of the road was dedicated to Gold shops so
there were armed guards out on the street. We had a bit of fun with them, posing
with their guns and checking to see if they were loaded, which they were. I
think they enjoyed it as much as we did, a break to their daily routine.
There are colours
The shophouses or 'Five Foot
Ways' were originally used by builders from Guangdong in China. This style of
Chinese shophouse has long been associated with the former Straits Settlements
of Singapore, Penang and Melacca. The widespread presence of five foot ways in
Singapore and urban Malaysia is attributed to Sir Stamford Raffles, who decreed
that all shophouses should have verandas that form continuous and open passages.
Characterised by load-bearing gable walls and massive roof beams that span the
building, these shophouses extend over the narrow sidewalks forming a sort of
covered walkway and providing shelter from the sun and the monsoon rains. The
sidewalk can be further shaded by lowering split bamboo blinds.
After walking around for hours
exploring Georgetown but also looking for somewhere to eat we ended up back at
Sri Ananda Bahwan and once again the restaurant was jam packed! A taxi driver
later asked us how we knew to go there, apparently it is the best place to eat,
where all the locals go. Lucky us!
sign, placed just under the menu - 'Please do not spit'!
All sorts of nuts for sale on
A few new outfits were
purchased from the t-shirt shop.........A hat, a fan and sunglasses in one, what
more could one want!?!
Komtar, the tallest building in
We stumbled across a jumble
sale out on the streets
Reminders of home!