Last March, myself and my the7ph co-founder Maan went to Penang, Malaysia for a 4 day sojourn with another good friend of ours, Steph from The EconoMommy. It was a trip full of heritage touring, shopping , coffee tasting and food - really, really good food! Read on about what we got up to in Penang and why you should make it your next stop!
Penang is a really pretty and interesting place. We stayed at Georgetown - one of the most charming and quaint towns that has a lot of heritage sites. It also has a really laid back vibe and everything was so near. Getting around in a Grab was really cheap. It was super hot so that's why we took a Grab everywhere. You can walk around too if you're not afraid of the sun!
We stayed right at the heart of Georgetown, which is an UNESCO world heritage sight. I love that they were able to preserve a lot of the old buildings. There are many pretty heritage houses and mansions but we decided to visit just two - the Penang Peranakan Museum and the famous Blue House. Both were picturesque and had many photogenic corners. The Penang Peranakan musuem even had a section where they displayed lots and lots of gold Peranakan style jewelry. It was amazing to see so much GOLD in one place! Our hotel itself was also an old house. You can actually find many old houses converted into commercial establishments. It really added a lot of charm to the whole town!
The Blue Mansion / Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion
Ground Floor, 14, Leith Street, George Town, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
After this trip, I think I can safely say that Malaysian food is one of my favorites. So much good stuff! We tried Satay, laksa, Char Kway Teow and Peranakan cuisine Even if you eat in the roadside at some random street, the food is still sure to be good. We went around Chulia Street and Love lane and found a lot of these roadside eateries that had some of the best satay, prawns and noodles I've ever had. I've also discovered that I love Peranakan cuisine. It's a unique blend of Malaysian and Straits Chinese cuisine. Penang also had a great coffee culture and had so many great cafes - this will be talked about in a separate post by Maan.
Lamb satay Found in one of the stalls in Chulia Street
Though we didn't mean to shop - we ended up buying a lot of chocolate and beauty stuff. Their malls are very modern and they had a *insert gasps of wonder* Sephora. You can imagine our delight. There are also several chocolate factories and Malaysia is known to produce their own local chocolate. We went to the one beside the Blue Mansion. There are also markets but to be honest we didn't find much there - just some batik and nutmeg balm.
Cakes in China House
If you're wondering why I did not include this in the food portion - it's because I think it deserves its own category. For one, it's probably the longest cafe in Penang (and the longest one I've ever been to in my life!) and two, it had like hundreds of different cakes to choose from! I am still dreaming about the Macadamia and oat cake we had. Gaah. I am drooling thinking about it.
To-die-for macadamia and oatcake from China House.
153, Beach St, Georgetown, 10300 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
From China House we took a walk and somehow just stumbled upon all these places that we had in our list. One was the Penang Chew Jetties, a historic jetty that overlooked the city and the waters. It was interesting because locals still lived there and it was just a pleasant walk and ofcourse another photo opportunity. We ran into many of the famous street art dotted around Penang. We checked out Batu Ferringhi - their beach side and the location of the most famous night market. You can actually skip this as we didn't really find anything remarkable here and it's pretty far from the city.(Our grab bill was NOT cheap!). We also checked out the Temple of the Goddess of Mercy and a nice looking mosque and also a hindu temple in one of our walks. As mentioned, we ate most of the good food at Chulia Street - you can find a lot of the street food here. Just off Chulia is Love Lane where there was an active night life filled with bars and pubs.