It was my first visit to Penang, the renowned ¡®Pearl of the Orient¡¯ and I was impressed and overwhelmed at the tenacious spirit of the locals and distinctly old world charm of its eats and streets.
Penang blends east with west, Chinese with Malay, Indian with English and with such harmonious splendour and sumptuous magnificence.
A small island on the northwest coastal peninsula of Malaysia, Penang overlooks the Strait of Malacca and is a major industrial harbour servicing South East Asia and other commercial hubs worldwide.
According to our guide from Discovery Overland Tours, Penang is considered ¡°one of the dragons¡± of the Malaysian economy.
Penang delights the senses with sights, smells, sounds and tastes. Culinary experts the world over have ranked Penang as ¡°the food capital of Malaysia¡± and once you¡¯ve sampled some of the cuisine, you¡¯ll be jumping on the bandwagon.
An eclectic, ethnic mix of Malay, Nyonya, Chinese, Indian and others come together to support one another and, for lack of a better word, feed off each other; gaining insight, inspiration and ideas for new recipes and to help establish traditional temptations.
Hawkers and street vendors can be found in the UNESCO heritage-listed capital of Georgetown, where churches, mosques, museums, temples, hotels and other tourist attractions, such as Fort Cornwallis are easily accessible and equally interesting.
Chew Jetty, a spectacular floating water village, is home to Chinese clan families and annually celebrate the Chinese New Year with an impressive fireworks display, dragon dances and food worship.
Penang can be enjoyed in true party style, maintaining a thriving bar scene and ever-popular night markets; or it can be savoured and soaked in slowly, sunbathing on the beach, strolling through town or sipping cocktails by the pool in the afternoon sun.
A three-lane, 13.5 kilometre bridge connects Penang to mainland Malaysia and Penang International Airport services major Asian cities such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei and Bangkok, as well as regional hubs.
You can discover so much in Penang, but it¡¯s the welcoming smiles, the palatable flavourful sensations and over-the-top service that will have you returning time and time again to experience the joys and wonders of this heavenly multicultural island retreat.
Monday, May 14, 2012
Penang, Malaysia: A m¨¦lange of cultures
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T