It’s been just over a month since I got back from Penang but I can’t believe how much has happened in that short amount of time. Big Life Stuff. I feel like almost like a different person, yet definitely more ‘me’ than before. I suppose all of that makes this post a little bit strange to write now, but I made some fabulous memories in Penang. I was so inspired by the architecture, the culture and the cuisine. Looking through these pictures again has definitely made me want to have another adventure and get a few more passport stamps very soon.
Did you see Part One of my Penang adventure? Click here to check it out.
Kek Lok Si Temple
One of my favourite parts of the trip was visiting the beautiful Kek Lok Si Temple (Temple of Supreme Bliss), which is one of the most well-known temples on the island located in Air Itam, a short taxi ride (about 30 ringgit/$10) away from Penang city. I literally took hundreds of photos in the few hours we were there. Everywhere you looked there were beautiful and ornate architecture and statues, beautiful gardens, rich vibrant colours and textures.
After exploring the temple, we walked down to the bottom of the hill to find some lunch. But first, some fresh coconut juice to beat the heat. The guy expertly hacked off the top of the coconuts, filled them with ice and delivered them to our table. I was lucky enough to catch it on film too.
This Char Kway Teow was a little different to the others we tried on our visit, as it was much lighter in colour and didn’t have as much ‘wok hei’, yet the prawns were nice and plump. Again it was interesting to me to see the amount of variation in so called ‘signature’ dishes of the region, depending on where you got them. The Hainanese chicken was beautifully cooked and so flavoursome.
George Town Street Art
George Town is full of surprises, like this incredible interactive and 3D street sculptures and painted murals. I would definitely recommend either taking a guided tour or following a map like this one to explore them for yourself. Georgetown is a great city for wandering and you truly see so much more of it this way. We didn’t find all of them, but this was still one of the highlights of the trip.
My favourites were by 25-year-old Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic, in the project called ‘Mirrors George Town’ as part of the city’s biggest festival in 2012. Some of these murals are combined with 3D elements like the bike above which is located on Armenian Street, making it interactive. I saw dozens of people taking photos, and putting their own spin, with the street murals like this.
There is also a series of these quirky melded iron artworks scattered around the city, depicting parts of the town’s history in caricature form, making it easy (for visitors especially) and humorous to get a bit of insight into the history of this vibrant city. We visited a week before Malaysia’s election, so there were blue flags absolutely everywhere, including adorning the sculptures!
Various locations, George Town, Pulau Pinang Malaysia
On our last night in Penang, we visited Tek Sen restaurant, famous for it’s double roasted pork belly, aka pork candy aka pork crack. It has been raved about on various blogs and even in Gourmet Traveller, and now I can see why. Crunchy, sweet, fatty, a little bit spicy and totally amazing. This place gets so busy, and is popular with locals and tourists alike! We arrived quite early and were seated right away, but we noticed a line out the door and down the street start to form very soon after that.
The stir-fried eggplant with pork mince, fermented bean sauce and dried shrimp doesn’t really photograph well but it was so delicious. And I got to eat it mostly on my own since the boy wasn’t a huge eggplant fan. Win! Another fabulous dish was the Oatmeal Chicken, which is similar to Cereal Prawns that appear on quite a few Malaysian restaurant menus in Sydney. I totally loved it. The chicken was juicy and perfectly cooked with a super crunchy coating.
18-20 Carnavon Street, Georgetown, Penang Island, Malaysia
Related Post: 15 Best Penang Street Food Dishes