Aug 14, 2013

2 When in Penang - Walk, Feel, Eat

Jen and I decided to spend our nights in hotels near areas where we wanted to visit most. It was a brilliant move. We didn't have to depend on public transport and the hassle that came with. 

Going on foot opened our eyes and hearts to many things that could have easily slipped by us had we been going around by car. There is history in just about every corner of Penang! To drive is to miss these hidden treasures.

Sightseeing, to me, isn't just about rushing to cover a place for the sake of ticking it off the must-do list. It's about taking the time to experience new things, it's about bringing "Dora the explorer" alive in us....and most importantly, it's about blazing our own trail and enjoying the moment. The last thing I want to do is follow the footsteps of another traveler in entirety.  

"You must go here, arh. Stop by that building. Eat this, ok. Make sure you try that. "

I don't know about you but these sentences smack of dictatorship to me. Haha. It is as though people didn't want us to discover something new.

Our first night was spent in Lebuh Queen (Queen's Street). As we strolled along the side of the road, old buildings, beautiful murals and creative art pieces coloured our walkabout.  Each one depicting a little about local life. We took our time to appreciate what we saw. Unashamedly, we never stopped clicking our cameras!

And if there's one thing I've learned, it is that it pays to explore small lanes with quaint entrances. In one, we were led out to the Cheah Clan Association's ancestral temple and discovered a mural of cats by Artists For Stray Animals (ASA).

Doorway to Cheah Clan's Temple. Spotted this mural in front of the temple grounds.

The weather in Penang is always h-o-t and humid. We were sweat drenched. Our cheeks pink from the afternoon sun. Then, we saw it - a blessing! The 70's Ice ball stall was a welcome sight. Didn't hesitate to order one for ourselves. Crunch, crunch, crunch...euphoria. Ice balls are what I would call the 'ice-cream' of olden era - a taste of the past, that's what we had.

Here, somewhere along Armenian Street was when I realised that Penangites are an artistic lot and I'm not just talking about the murals.

Mango flavoured ice ball and a work-in-progress mural!

Above the ice ball seller was a lamp shade made out of cassettes.

Cassete Lamp Shade

Next door, a pair of old jeans was used creatively to plant a small tree. Further down the road, we saw shoes being recycled into flower pots..if that's what it can be called.

Creative Planting

We stopped for a drink at a soy bean drink shop that had recycled tyres into neat coffee tables. At the end of the wall is another mural or should I say an illusion, a picture of a passageway painted to make it look like this was located along a row of shops...not that it wasn't in the first place.

Chilled soya, a relief for this sun barbequed soul. Wait a minute, is that ....?

I plonked myself onto a chair to rest. that another street art thing. Through the bars I saw....the famed interactive art piece "Little Children On A Bicycle" by Ernest Zacharevic -  that awesome moment of realisation.

Little Children On A Bicycle by Ernest Zacharevic

And this was just a "small" part of our adventure in Penang...

Jen says, "..aahh, my poor feet". Not just tired, there was an obvious suntan. Hehe. We rested, overloaded with a sense of achievement. You should have seen our contented smiles.


  1. You're amazing, Sharon! Penang was just too hot for us to roam. We stayed mostly in our hotels on the end, but we had a great time relaxing there...

    1. The heat was killing me, Shirley. It is not for the I think I'll stick to sightseeing very early in the morning the next time I'm there!


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