Last year we spent some time in Penang, an island state off the Northwest coast of Malaysia. Penang was Britain's first possession in South East Asia, and has a colorful colonial history.
Today, 'The Pearl of the Orient' is a melting pot of diverse cultures, and Georgetown, it's capital city, is utterly hip. 19th century Chinese mansions have been transformed into boutique hotels and art galleries, and rows of old chop houses are now homes to funky bars and restaurants - all protected by the city's UNESCO World Heritage status.
You can get a real sense of Georgetown's bohemian vibe from it's quirky street art. I captured all of these shots on one short afternoon walk, which just goes to show how vibrant the streets are!
HIGHLIGHTS & RECOMMENDATIONS
- We stayed in the Heritage wing of the Eastern & Oriental Hotel, in all it's colonial grandeur, which also hosted Hermann Hesse back in the day.
- Kebaya Dining Room is aesthetically stunning with colorfully tiled floors and blue porcelain dinnerware, and the fusion food is fantastic.
- China House is made up of 3 heritage buildings that have been transformed into an eclectic hub of art, culture, music and dining hangouts. It's a great place to while away an afternoon.
- Malaysia is arguably the most gastronomically exciting country in South East Asia, and the Nyonya cooking class we did at Penang Homecoming School exceeded our expectations. I'd never cooked (or tasted) food like it.
We're now planning a trip to Malacca to explore another part of Malaysia. We'll be there in a few weeks! Has anyone been to Malacca? I'd love to hear your tips and stories!