Whirlwind ASEAN Day 21: Georgetown

It was an exciting first hour on the bus from Cameron Highlands to Penang (32 MYR). There were several stops in which people were shooting at each other, trying to board the bus, getting kicked (literally) off the bus, and getting hit some more once the bus had left them in the street. The bus driver later told us that the guy unceremoniously removed from the bus was a thief. As to what it was he stole I have no idea.

Then while navigating the zig zag roads, some passengers started to feel uncomfortable. It became clear to me at that point why there were plastic bags provided for each seat. After the first wave of discharges, a second wave started from those who were empathetic with the first batch. This was not the best environment to try and get some rest. Good thing the road started turning less curvaceous after that first hour and stomachs settled down.

4.5 hours later, we arrived in Penang about 9km from Georgetown heritage town. I followed the locals and got on bus 401 bound for Komtar bus terminal in Georgetown. This was the central hub for busses in Georgetown. Good thing my guesthouse was just a few minutes walk away. Very handy for catching busses to the airport, Penang Hill, Kek Lok Si temple and any other destination outside Georgetown.

I grabbed one of the free tourist maps from the front desk and started walking around the old town. Surprisingly, I was able to visit most of the sights in 4 hours. I wasn’t able to go inside a few of them after 5 PM and some of them were closed due to the holiday today while others were under renovation. Still, if ever I don’t come back early enough tomorrow to visit these places then at least I saw their facade.

Temple of the Heavenly Queen

Temple of the Heavenly Queen

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion

Stolen picture of the courtyard

Stolen picture of the courtyard

Cathedral of the Assumption

Cathedral of the Assumption

St. George's Church

St. George’s Church

Town  Hall

Town Hall

City Hall

City Hall

Cenotaph at the bayfront

Cenotaph at the bayfront

Fort Cornwallis

Fort Cornwallis

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Francis Light

Francis Light

One of two intact structures in Fort Cornwallis

One of two intact structures in Fort Cornwallis

The legendary floating cannon

The legendary floating cannon

Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower

Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower

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Thean Hock Keong Temple

Thean Hock Keong Temple

 

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Kuil Sri Mahamariamman Kuil Sri Mahamariamman

Masjid Kapitan Keling

Masjid Kapitan Keling

Khoo See Tong Keng Tong Kongsi

Khoo See Tong Keng Tong Kongsi

These murals probably attract more tourists than anything else in Georgetown

These murals probably attract more tourists than anything else in Georgetown

Masjid Melayu Lebuh Acheh

Masjid Melayu Lebuh Acheh

Muzium Islam Pulag Pinang

Muzium Islam Pulag Pinang

For dinner, I ventured some distance from the old town to the Nyonya Breeze. This was the most expensive dinner I’ve had this whole trip but it was worth every cent. Since the person who recommended this was a Penang native, I had no doubts about its authenticity. A great way to end my first day in Penang!

Pork Ribs Curry (something Bak Kut) and Nasi Ulam!

Pork Ribs Curry (something Bak Kut) and Nasi Ulam!

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