Penang- Malaysia

Penang:

It is located on the north western coast of Malaysia. Its capital city George town is one of the oldest towns in Malaysia and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As you move around the town you will at times feel like you took a time travel into the past. Some of the buildings are very old with some not having been restored yet still in use.

Highlights :

1)History and culture

George Town

George Town

I love all things history and culture and Penang shared the two. As one walks around the town you get to see many ancient looking buildings on most streets. The government has tried to restore some but in some areas they are as they were when built. You will also appreciate why it is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Look at how ancient that room looks

Look at how ancient that room looks

 

2) Sweetenham Pier Cruise Terminal:

Harbour

Sweetenham Pier Cruise Terminal -Isn’t that a beauty

This place is a beauty to behold. This is both the entry point and exit points of those travelling here over water. The pier handles millions of passengers yearly from the public ferries that travel to/from Langkawi/Pulau Payar and Medan in Indonesia or private ships and cruise ships. Even if not travelling I would recommend a visit as you can relax at the restaurants there as you watch ferries and ships as well as the sunset.

3)Batu Ferringhi Beach:

At the beach

This is the first time in my life that I went to the beach- to sun bask…lol yes,even I am in shock. I cannot believe my friend convinced me to do it and I was actually quite impressed though not an activity I can partake for long periods. Africans do not generally go to sun bask as we do not need a tan-we have a natural one. The beach here isn’t very clean thus there was no way I was going to swim in it. However, it has lots of water sports you can partake in-I just watched. So carry your beach towel,your sunscreen , sun hat ,sun glasses and lay back and relax-and you should be good.

4) Enjoy Wall Art :

Cute artwork

This town has such cute pieces of art either drawn, painted or constructed on the walls. It was as if walking though an art museum on most streets especially towards the streets with old architecture. Take time to look for them, read them and appreciate the messages as some are actually educational while most will definitely bring a smile to your face.

5) Culinary expertise/Food:

Red Garden

The diversity of culinary options available are never ending. They have a vibrant street food option, restaurants or the famous food courts. On the streets their mobile food industry is vibrant and anywhere is a potential restaurant.It was interesting watching mobile kitchens being set up-a cyclist would stop, unload a mobile mini-kitchen from the back of his bicycle and start cooking. You are assured that the food is fresh as it is prepared right before your eyes.

I also got to visit Red Garden and again the variety available and the friendly prices will have you sampling almost everything.

6) Penang National Park.

If you love the great out doors, hiking, nature trails etc you have to visit here.Wear comfortable shoes-no heels ladies.Worry not, there are no animals here,apart from a few Monkeys you will see at  Monkey beach.You will walk/hike through a nature trail and end up at Monkey Beach and then hike up to the lighthouse.The scenery is beautiful the whole way through.Be warned though, getting to the lighthouse will drain you of all the energy left in you.(Ok, it drained me). I would highly recommend you visit this place early, so that you leave early. It is not the safest of places as it is isolated you may walk long periods of time before meeting other adventurers. I also had one of the scariest moments in my life here. We arrived back from the light house to Monkey Beach  and found this group  of young men having a party. They engaged us in small talk as we took time to rest but soon their conversation turned to not only being crude but at best- life threatening. Their crude remarks were directed at me as I was travelling with a friend who was Caucasian and according to them, African women only hang out with Caucasians if they are their prostitutes and the men the client. One even dared to proposition me  and trust me, it was not only demeaning but also very scary to say the least .We didn’t need to rest any more and practically ran all the way to the gate which meant running through the forest, the bridges without stopping or looking back. Thank God nothing beyond this happened.

 

 

 

Transport:

I traveled from Kuala Lumpur and took a bus from KL Sentral. This is a major bus stop and I had one of my worst experiences here. First, I had my first actual face to face racial discrimination happen here. As I passed by the buses at the entrance of the bus park-some of the bus conductors referred to me as “Nigger.”. Next up when I got in and went to purchase a ticket at the official offices, they not only again referred to me as “Nigger” but went on to make crude remarks. Kindly note, this isn’t a casual of handed insult on the streets, it was happening at their Kuala Lumpur Sentral-which is a major bus park housed in an official building. Last but not least, I purchased a luxury bus, and VIP tickets as what was reflected on the ticketing office window, lo and behold when I went down stairs to where one then boards the bus- only to find I would be riding in one of the oldest buses I have ever seen. The government really needs to intervene, rope in the unprofessional companies as well as discrimination among some of its citizens.

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