After traveling to quite a few places in Asia, if you were to ask me where I would choose to live in Asia outside of Japan, my answer would be Penang. We came here knowing nothing about this island but so glad that we found this gem! There are way too many good reasons to fall in love with Penang. It is diverse, cosmopolitan, and exciting! It embraces modernity while retaining its traditions. Its foods are phenomenal and its nature is abundant and easy to reach.
George town is no doubt the Pearl of Penang. It has a multicultural history full of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and European influences. No wonder it’s inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our good friend, Dan, hosted us for a few nights, introduced us to his circle of amazing people, showed us around the island, and brought us to a whole line up of events and festivals in town. We extended our stay here from three days originally to one week, and even that was not enough.
Our visit falls on the days of George town’s UNESCO World Heritage Site 7th anniversary celebration. This year the theme is “Eat Rite”. The festival showcases George Town’s multicultural, traditional, and ritual foods that have been passed down through generations. There are classes, workshops, free talks, and food stands all over the town. Penangites (People in Penang) are passionate about their foods! Blending Malay, Chinese, and Indian elements, the foods here are diverse, original and exotic.
We went to another weekend festival held at a Chinese temple. There were dragon dance, lion dance, Wing Chun martial arts. I was deeply touched, even in China we can hardly find decent cultural events like this anymore. How amazing that the young Chinese Malaysians still embrace and are proud of their own heritages.
Dan guided us to some tasty treat tours around the palatable Penang everyday. The abundance of superb and authentic delights here is phenomenal. Eating is Penangites’ favorite pastime. The reason I love the food scene here is because the locals don’t fancy luxurious restaurants but instead they opt for the humble eateries and stalls that line the streets. Go around the town to sample the local delicacies is one of the best way to get a real taste of Penang’s life.
We certainly didn’t take enough photos of food, how did we miss to capture the famous durian!
If you're still not convinced how amazing Penang is, these captivating street arts will speak for the island! Each piece has a story behind it!