“They came to Penang from all over the world”, Europeans, Armenians and Jews, Japanese, Ceylonese, Javanese, Burmese, Siamese, Achinese, Minangkabons, Buginese, Indians, Chinese and Malays in search of gold and richness.
As J.W.Clark once said “The spell which makes those who never been, wish to go there, those who live there want to stay, and fills those who have spent their appointed hours or two with a longing to return.”
It seems that it was the place on earth where everybody hoped to find his personal paradise. And many did, united in their goals and ideas, living side by side in a no man’s land where everybody was equal, regardless of beliefs, traditions, or ethnicity. A land of peace and prosperity, thanks to the trick of one man with an extraordinary idea. It was an English trader of the East Indies Company who saw an untapped potential in the geographical location of the place.
Even after all this time you can spend hours walking on the uniquely charming streets of Penang, and if you ever visit there are places you should not miss. Penang Peranakan Mansion (entry: 10RM/person) is one of them. As the many Buddhist temples, Chinatown and Little India - which is for me hard to admit due to the recent events.
Almost every street is worth wandering about, since Georgetown is truly wondrous place. Easy to visit, and best seen by walking which is an extra cherry on top for all its gifts and little secrets revealed before your feet.
It’s easy to walk around for few days, bathing in the sun rays ever so often which we did around Christmas time. AND it was splendid .
It must be said that the visit would not be complete without some time spent at the State Museum (entry: 1RM/ person) which presents the story of Penang in an incredibly impeccable manner.
There is so much knowledge to be found, so many words to be read and so much beauty to be discovered. The museum can help you, it can open your eyes to all the charm and differences mixed and perfectly blended together. It can help you to see what otherwise might be never discovered.
Other places I would put on my “must see/visit” list while wondering around Georgetown:
- Goddess of Mercy Temple
- Hainan Temple or “Temple of The Heavenly Queen”
- ever so amazing Lebuh Armenia street
- and as a little excursion, seeing the Kek Lok Si temple is a wonderful addition to the list.
However if you have time, I would advise you to have a walk around and try to get a taste of all but one, the Christian cemetary (see the note) … it’s worth it!
Note: the Christian cemetary, avoid it if you really do not HAVE to see it. I got bitten there by dozens of tiger mosquitoes. I was in pain, aching with great discomfort, swollen spots and redness for 5 days.
List of places that we visited during our stay:
- Queen Victoria Memorial clock tower
- Fort Cornwallis
- War Memorial
- City Hall
- Town Hall
- Convent Light Street School
- Court building
- State Assembly building
- Cathedral of the Assumption
- Penang State Museum
- Goddess of Mercy Temple
- The Pinang Peranakan Mansion
- Little India
- Lebuh Cintra
- Lebuh Campbell
- Lebuh Kimberley
- Residence of Xu Din Ku Meh
- Christian Cementary
- Saint Francis Xavier Church
- Hainan Temple
- Lebuh Armenia
- Lok Si Temple