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Discover Penang-The Pearl of the Orient

Discover Penang-The Pearl of the Orient


Old Jul 16, 18, 6:51 pm
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Originally Posted by Annalisa12 View Post
Wonderful trip report. I've been pondering going to Penang.

No way in heck would I walk over that glass look out.
Thank you.

Penang is really a nice place to visit.
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Old Jul 18, 18, 10:14 am
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Excellent trip report and right on time! Headed to Penang in 2 weeks, via train from Thailand, and looking forward to it! Thank you for the preview of what's to come!
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Old Jul 20, 18, 2:10 am
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It was our 2nd last day in the island and as usual, we began our day by having a good breakfast. We had our breakfast in another Mamak restaurant known as "Ros Mutiara" which located next to Penang's Little India.

We had Puri/Poori, a golden deep-fried unleavened bread that has crispy yet soft in the inside texture. Best served with Curry or Dal.

We did a quick visit to the Little India next door after we done with our breakfast.

The Little India is a colorful enclave that covers 3 streets which serves as the main commercial and cultural activities for the Indian community in the island. It is said that the place will become more lively during the yearly Hindu celebrations such as Thaipusam and Deepavali.

Just like any other Little India elsewhere, most shops and business activities here are dominated by Indian merchants selling various goods related to their community such as traditional clothing, accessories, decorations, spices and prayer items.

From Little India, we walked back to the Armenian Street to check out the street arts. The most famous street art here is this mural known as "Children on a Bicycle" which painted by the multi-talented Lithuanian street art artist, Ernest Zacharevic.

Since its creation, the mural has become a new cultural icon for Penang and it has appeared in almost every tourism ads for the island. Anyone who would love to take photos with this mural is strongly advised to come here in the morning to avoid a large crowd.

From the street arts, we visited another Penang's well-known cultural landmark, the Kapitan Keling Mosque.

Founded in 1801, the Kapitan Keling Mosque is 1 of the most historical and iconic mosques in Penang Island. It is also 1 of the 2 prime mosques which located within that area.

Named after a well-respected leader of Indian Muslim community, the Kapitan Keling Mosque incorporates a blend of Mughal, Moorish, Gothic and Roman architectures in its design. Tourists of all faiths are welcome to visit this mosque at specific times of the day. A guided tour is also can be requested from the mosque's information center.

The mosque's minaret.

There is a small burial ground located at 1 side of the mosque.

Unknown tombs.

An ancient cannon located within the mosque's front yard.

After a visit to the Kapitan Keling Mosque, we wanted to go to the "Penang Dark Mansion". And rather using the usual Grab or Taxi, we decided to get there in a more traditional way by riding a trishaw or "Beca". Luckily, there were few trishaws available outside of the religious site.

We had to take 2 trishaws as each trishaw can only accommodate up to 2 maximum passengers at a time. Of course, the trishaw is not the fastest nor the cheapest (the charge is really not cheap!) option for you to get to 1 place from another, but it gives you an experience of riding a vintage metal which is totally priceless. After all, no one knows until when the trishaw will still exist on the Malaysian road, so better to catch it before it's permanently gone.

The trishaw ride was calm and relaxing, but it got a bit scary when we entered a bigger road filled with other vehicles including lorries and buses.

The scary feeling didnt last long as our attention quickly diverted to the beautiful sights of countless historical buildings along the way.

That is Komtar.

Most trishaws in Penang are beautifully decorated by their respective owner to make them looking more attractive, albeit not so fancy as those trishaws in Melaka.

Few minutes later, we arrived in a street named "Lebuh Kimberley" where the Dark Mansion is located.

The Dark Mansion.

Dont be afraid as this Dark Mansion is not a Ghost House or a haunted place, but rather a fun 3D museum which glows in a dark. It is the first and currently the only 3D glow in the dark museum in Malaysia where it incorporates both Science and modern technology that able to transform a 2D painting into 3D image. To differentiate itself from other 3D art museums, the Dark Mansion also added a special "glow in the dark" effect to all of its paintings.

Once we purchased the ticket, the museum's staff on duty briefed us about the attractions available in the Dark Mansion and gave some tips on how to take good quality photos of the exhibitions.

At the time of our visit, there were 5 exhibition areas of different themes featured in the Dark Mansion.

"The Stars & Moonlight" area features several galaxy-themed 3D paintings.

The most famous attraction in the Dark Mansion is probably this huge 3D painting known as "Water & Fire". It is an artwork of German illusionist street painter, Edgar Müller. This masterpiece is certainly 1 of the (if not the biggest) glow in the dark pavement painting that has a day-to-night transition effect.

Entering "The Infinity Room" where countless of colorful glittering creatures which seems like Jellyfish hanging on the ceiling.

The "Mysterious Tropical Pandora" is the most beautiful attraction in the Dark Mansion Building where visitors will be surrounded by many beautiful exotic plants and flowers that usually depicted in the fairy tale stories.

A Pumpkin Carriage inspired from the fairy tale Cinderella.

We exited from the exhibition area through this Sunflower Forest.

This Sunflower Forest lead us to the museum's gift & souvenir shop. We did some purchase and went out from the Dark Mansion building to head back to our hotel.

We booked a Grab for the return ride and it took us only 3 minutes to reach our hotel.

Last edited by airways91; Jul 20, 18 at 2:19 am
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Old Jul 26, 18, 1:12 am
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i like the pictures and your article, especially the Pumpkin Carriage.
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Old Jul 27, 18, 2:04 am
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As it was near the lunch time, we decided to go straight to the restaurant rather than our hotel room. We had our lunch at the Kapitan Restaurant for the 2nd time in this trip. We simply cannot forget and resist the deliciousness of its Chicken Biryani. We also had other foods from the restaurant's menu such as the Lamb Biryani, Cheese Naan and Tandoori Chicken. All these other foods were equally superb!

That day was Friday, so we had to prepare ourselves for the Friday Prayer that will be held later in the afternoon. We got back to our room, took a shower and changed our clothes. My mum didnt join the 3 of us as only Muslim men are obligated to attend the Friday Prayer.

Our hotel is located within a walking distance to not only 1, but 2 historical mosques. The first one is the Kapitan Keling Mosque that we visited earlier in the morning.

And the second one is this Acheen Street Malay Mosque where we chose to perform our Friday Prayer.

Also known as "Masjid Melayu Lebuh Acheh", this mosque was founded in 1808 by a wealthy Achehnese spice trader, Tengku Syed Hussain Al-Aidid who was also a member of Acheh royal family of Arab descent. Just like the Kapitan Keling Mosque, tourists of different faiths are welcome to visit this mosque everyday at selected times. Both mosques will be closed for non-Muslim visitors during the Friday Prayer though.

The mosque as seen from the other side of entrance. Its design is inspired from Moorish and Chinese-style of architecture.

The mosque's minaret.

Entering the main prayer hall of the mosque. It is very small compared to many other modern-day mosques.

Inside the Acheen Street Mosque. Unlike church, a mosque is not equipped with chairs and all worshipers have to seat on the floor. Chairs will only be provided to those who are unfit to seat on the floor such as the disabled, sick and elderly people.

Some worshipers performing the optional Sunnah Prayer while waiting for the summon to start. The Friday Prayer took place after the religious summon ended where I had to put my phone into the silent mode and joined the rest of the worshipers to pray.

After the Friday prayer was over, many worshipers started to leave the mosque and it quickly filled by a group of non-Muslim tourists who had patiently waiting outside for the whole time we were praying. Before we left the mosque, I made a quick visit alone to an ancient tomb in the small cemetery located within the mosque's compound.

It is the tomb of Tengku Syed Hussain Al-Aidid, the founder of this Acheen Street Malay Mosque. The ancient tomb is surrounded by a wooden enclosure which has some Arabic calligraphy on it.

Visitors can get a better view of the tomb through an open window in 1 side of the wooden enclosure.

The cemetery is also served as the burial ground for some of Tengku Syed Hussain's family members.

I met with my father and nephew at the main entrance of the mosque and we walked back to our hotel. An hour later, we were already in the hotel's lobby waiting for Mr. Ali to arrive. We booked him for the whole evening on that day. As requested, he drove us to the "Counter Hall Road" now known as "Jalan P. Ramlee" or P. Ramlee Street where this attraction is located:

The P. Ramlee's Birth House.

Born as Teuku Zakaria bin Teuku Nyak Puteh, P. Ramlee was a legendary Malaysian artist who started his acting career in 1948 and rose to fame in the 1950s. According to the National Archives of Malaysia, the late P. Ramlee was born in this traditional Malay house which was built in 1926 by his father and uncle. Many years after his death, the house was converted into a museum gallery. The P. Ramlee's Birth House is 1 of 2 memorials dedicated for him in Malaysia (with the other 1 is the P. Ramlee Memorial Library in KL) and it is 1 of the few attractions in Penang with a free admission. Despite underwent some renovation, the house still preserved most of its original forms and elements including the interiors.

Visitors are required to take-off their shoes before entering this classic house which 100% made up of wood.

A very humble living room.

Almost every corner of this house is filled with P Ramlee's and his family's personal items.

Into his bedroom.

His bed.

A portrait of young P. Ramlee

The kitchen area with full of traditional cooking utensils.

P. Ramlee's vintage bicycle.

Located next to the traditional house is this more modern-looking building belongs to the Penang's Ministry of Tourism & Culture.

And there is also a gallery dedicated for the late P. Ramlee inside this building where more of his personal items and history information are displayed.

During his lifetime, P. Ramlee was married for 3 times. His last marriage was to a sensational singer, actress and fashion icon, Saloma.

Some film posters of movies that he starred.

His Violin. As an artist, P. Ramlee was not only talented in singing and acting, but he was also a great composer, script-writer, film maker and director too.

After a visit to P. Ramlee's Birth House, we got back into taxi and asked Mr Ali to drive us to Balik Pulau, an agriculture town located in the Southwest of the island. Our mission was to find some Durians there as Balik Pulau has a wide reputation in producing good quality Durians. But after circling the Balik Pulau town for quite some time, we couldnt see any stalls that sell the King of Fruits. Perhaps, we came at the wrong time and season. We finally gave up and requested for Mr Ali to bring us straight to the restaurant for our dinner.

We chose to dine in Pen Mutiara Restaurant as recommended by 1 of our family members. Located in Batu Maung area and not far from the airport, this restaurant serves a wide array of local Malaysian, Thai and Chinese cuisines with the Penang Fish Head Curry as its main specialty. The restaurant is attached to a hotel which is owned and managed by the same group of company.

The restaurant's dining area is so spacious and fully air-conditioned.

We had some seafoods such as this deep-fried flour-coated Squids.

And the real highlight, Penang Fish Head Curry.

Close-up look to the Penang Fish Head Curry.

That evening, we experienced a heavy traffic during our return ride which caused us more than an hour to arrive in our hotel. We spent the rest of the evening by watching TV and relaxing in our room.
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Last edited by airways91; Jul 27, 18 at 2:22 am
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Old Jul 27, 18, 2:16 am
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Originally Posted by choklit View Post
Excellent trip report and right on time! Headed to Penang in 2 weeks, via train from Thailand, and looking forward to it! Thank you for the preview of what's to come!
Thank you for your compliment. I hope you will get some valuable tips and info from it.

And of course, there are more interesting attractions, things to do and places to eat in Penang than what I featured here.
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Old Jul 27, 18, 2:17 am
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Originally Posted by wr000 View Post
i like the pictures and your article, especially the Pumpkin Carriage.
Thank you and I hope you enjoyed reading it.
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Old Aug 15, 18, 9:54 pm
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It was our last day in the beautiful island of Penang. Of course, we had to start our day with a hearty breakfast and our choice was in another Mamak (Indian Muslim) restaurant known as "Ramzan".


Sardines gravy, Fried Mee Hoon and the dark-colored stuffs are Fried Chicken Livers.

Done with our breakfast, we called a Grab to bring us to "Fort Cornwallis", 1 of the main historical landmarks in Georgetown. While waiting for the Grab car to arrive, we spent our time by taking some photos with these unique arts on the walls of Ramzan Restaurant's building.

Not long after, our Grab arrived and we headed to Fort Cornwallis.

The Fort Cornwallis is actually located in Padang Kota Lama or "Esplanade", the same place where we had our dinner on the first night. The view was so much better during the daytime as we managed to get a clearer view of the beach and the sea.

Our Grab driver was not able to drop us near the main entrance as the road was closed, so he dropped us at this spot where we had to walk to reach the Fort Cornwallis' main entrance.

While walking, we found this food court that serves some local Penangite cuisines. We decided to look into it and order some light meal.

We ordered a plate of Char Koey Teow to be shared by the 4 of us.

Then, we continued our walk towards Fort Cornwallis. Along the way, we saw many beautiful colonial buildings that surrounded the Esplanade area such as the Penang City Hall Building that we have seen in the first night.

The Penang Town Hall Building.

Located across the street from the field is this Penang State Legislative Assembly Building.

Another prime historical landmarks which located close to Fort Cornwallis is this Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower.

Also known as "Jubilee Clock Tower", it was commissioned by local Penangite millionaire, Mr Cheah Chen Eok in year 1897 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee or 60-year reign of Queen Victoria.

Located next to Fort Cornwallis is the Swettenham Pier that attracts many leisure cruises from all the world. A huge Marella Cruise was docked at the terminal when we were there.

Reaching the Fort Cornwallis. Named after the then Governor-General of Bengal, Charles Marquis Cornwallis, Fort Cornwallis is 1 of the earliest European structures in Penang. It was built in 1786 by Captain Francis Light, the founder of British settlement in the island as a defend from the attacks of the pirates and other enemies even though it was used more as an administrative center than for a military purpose.

Initially, the fort was just only a simple stockade made up of Nibong (a type of local tree) palms. Few years years later, Captain Francis Light rebuilt the Fort Cornwallis with bricks and stones in a star-shaped layout.

1 of the 2 main entrances for Fort Cornwallis. Visitors are required to purchase the ticket first before they can enter the ancient fort. The ticket fee for an adult (Malaysian citizen) is RM10.

Entering the Fort Cornwallis. There were some conservation works by a group of local volunteers going on.

Among the prominent structures that can be found within the Fort Cornwallis is a chapel, prison cells, skeletal steel lighthouse and this gunpowder magazine.

The gunpowder magazine which resembles a pillbox was built in 1814 and was used to store the explosives.

Entering the gunpowder magazine.

Looking to the outside view from the inside of the magazine. The funnel of the Marella Cruise can be seen.

The fort also features many ancient cannons that can be found in almost every corner.

And the most famous one is this "Seri Rambai Cannon". It is a 17th-century Dutch cannon given to the Sultan of the state of Johor by the Dutch East India Company as a gift. In the past, local folks believed that the beautifully-decorated cannon could treat infertile women by placing a flower in the cannon barrel.

I guess this is how they aimed and shot their enemies' ships in the past.

The skeletal steel lighthouse.

This lighthouse was built to give the direction to any ships that passing and approaching the Fort Cornwallis in the past. It was formerly known as "Fort Point Lighthouse" and later renamed to "Penang Harbour Lighthouse" in 1914 after underwent some renovation works.

Located close to the other entrance of Fort Cornwallis is a bronze statue of Captain Francis Light.

In 1786, Light leased the Penang Island on behalf of British East India Company from Sultan Mukarram Shah of the state of Kedah as their new naval and military base to rival the French movement in South-East Asian Region.

After we took several photos with the statue, we decided to leave the Fort Cornwallis area and it was the final attraction that we visited in our 4-day trip to Penang. The details of our return flight from Penang back to KL will be published in the next trip report.

In the meantime, feel free to check out my previous trip reports:

To The Paradise With Malindo Air
Discover Port Dickson: The Army Town of Malaysia
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Last edited by airways91; Aug 15, 18 at 10:02 pm
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Old Jan 10, 19, 10:48 pm
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What I realised after re-reading this report was that there are many places I haven't been to in Penang, so thanks a lot!
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Old Jan 25, 19, 1:56 am
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Originally Posted by SQTraveller View Post
What I realised after re-reading this report was that there are many places I haven't been to in Penang, so thanks a lot!
Your welcome. There are so many things to see & do in Penang. You can spend a week there by visiting new attraction each day.
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Old Feb 1, 19, 8:32 am
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I honestly think Georgetown should be removed from the World Heritage List. It has been so damaged by development and chocked by traffic as to be almost unsalvagable.

Thanks for posting though!
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Old Feb 3, 19, 2:04 pm
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God, I miss that food so much. Thanks for the memories and showing some new things.

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Old Feb 4, 19, 7:22 am
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Thanks for a great TR. Love all of the photos.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 11:40 pm
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Originally Posted by grandgourmand View Post
God, I miss that food so much. Thanks for the memories and showing some new things.

Not a prob! What a pleasure to share my experiences with all of you here.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 11:41 pm
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Originally Posted by useless View Post
Thanks for a great TR. Love all of the photos.
You are most welcome. Thanks for your compliment!
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