Penang

The Charms of Penang and George Town

From Kuala Lumpur, I took a bus going to Penang immediately after I arrived midnight in Kuala Lumpur taking the Cebu Pacific flight. So from the Low Cost Terminal, I took a bus going to the KL Sentral. From KL Sentral, I took a cab going to the bus terminal bound for Penang – Butterworth.  The bus departed at around 2AM and was full of tourists. The bus I took goes directly to George Town.

We arrived George Town about 6AM. I took a cab straight to Love Lane where I booked my hotel. I was told that Love Lane is strategically located for a good walking tour in George Town. There are many stories where the street got its name but this is what I got from a street post along Love Lane.

George Town is the City Capital of the State of Penang. Penang is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (similar to Vigan City) because of its multi-cultural living heritage.

Yes, it’s a living heritage and that is why I am visiting George Town. This place is perhaps one of the places (if not only) on earth where people of different religions live in perfect harmony with each other for many hundred of years now. Houses of worship representing the world’s great faiths of Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Taois and Confucianism stand side by side – testifying to a tradition of peaceful co-existence. A living museum indeed.

I have also explored by foot some of its tourist attractions. Fort Cornwallis is an old star-shaped fort located on the northeastern coast of Penang. Fort Cornwallis was built by Captain Sir Francis Light after taking possession of the island from Sultan Kedah. There is entrance fee here of 3 Ringgit.

The City Hall is two-storey building situated at the Esplanade in the state of Penang and has a significant historical and architectural value. It is believed that the building was specifically built to house council/municipal offices in the early days.

The Town Hall was once the center of the Penang socialite. Declared opened by Sir Fedderick Weld, the Victorian architecture was used for various purposes, including theatrical performances, church services and the birth of the Penang State Library.

Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower is located near Fort Cornwallis at King Edward’s Place. The 60-foot clock tower was Penang Millionaire Cheah Chen Eok’s symbol of wealth and opulence, built in 1897 to commemorate the 60th year of Queen Victoria’s reign.

St George Church was the initiative of the Penang Colonial Chaplain, Rev Robert Sparke Hutchings The Church has come to be a symbol of religious harmony in Penang, coexisting with other religious edifices along the intersecting Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling.

Masjid Kapitan Keling Mosque was built at the start of the 19th century. It came to represent the Indian Muslim community of George Town. It s present structure was renovated twice, with the facade of the building and its interior decorated in Islamic geometric design.

And got some more sights to behold.

And did I say Penang is a food haven?

Penang is lovely. It is perhaps one of the best cities I have seen. Very friendly people. Very walkable city. Excellent food. Rich history. Old buildings. Not expensive. A must-see indeed.

 

 

 

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