I think an afternoon tea at Suffolk House is a lovely way to start your adventure in Penang.
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Whenever I travel, I’ll try to drop by at local bookshop from a fancy one (usually big company located in a mall) until the indie type of bookshop. Indie or independent bookshops are more interesting, especially when they have rare books. First, we visited Book Xcess bookstore in the Gurney Paragon mall. A big store, two-levels with floor-to-ceiling book rack which, apparently, become an impromptu ‘selfie studio’ of so many young visitors. I just learnt that Malaysian government have tax exemption for buying books (print materials). That’s nice.. would help people in education or raise people’s interest in reading.
Then we visited Gerak Budaya and Hikayat bookshop. Gerak Budaya in jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, an indie bookshop and sister company with Hikayat bookshop in Beach street. Both are in George Town. Gerak Budaya sells more fiction and poetry. In Hikayat, I found the rare books. Yaaayy...!
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A green house with gorgeous iron work of the gate and a small temple on the side of the house on Church street looks stand out from other houses. Rumah Agam Peranakan Pulau Pinang or Pinang Peranakan Mansion is a museum of peranakan heritage. Peranakan means Baba and Nyonya, Baba is a Chinese man from mainland as the husband and married the local Malay, also known as the Nyonya. It is an acculturation from the original Chinese culture that adopted local Malay ways and the British colonial lifestyle. These influenced its rich culture, customs, cuisine, language and lifestyle that are still evident in Penang today. The mansion was built at the end of 19th century, owned by the Kapitan Cina, Chung Keng Kwee.
As coffee aficionado, of course I’ve got to try the coffee shops. I must say, we had no trouble at all to find good coffees. We visited Gayo coffee just across the street from Hikayat bookshop. Their dessert (cakes and pastry) also delicious. And serves with a smile. I felt their warm hospitality inside the coffee shop balancing the cold raining weather outside that afternoon
Is the waterfront area and large green field located in the north-eastern tip of Georgetown. On the side of the field are two grand old buildings of the City Hall (white building) and the Town Hall (yellow building). And the North side of the green field is the waterfront walkway following the coastline from the edge of Fort Cornwallis, to the Esplanade Food Court as you walk away from the Fort.
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If you go along side of the coastline, to the East side and to the South, you will find the fishing village clan jetties of Penang. There were so many jetties, you could pick one to explore. we chose Chew's Jetty. You’ll experiencing walking on a narrow aisle on a wooden board on stilts over sea water, passing by traditional village of rustic houses, some of them are turned into eateries and souvenir shops. At the end of the path is the dock with beautiful view of the sea
Walking around Georgetown cannot be finished in one day. Even I haven’t seen all the places there after several days. So, in one of those exploring days, I passed this abandoned-look building, but people coming in and out through a front door. Out of my curiosity, I followed the last person got in, and.. who would’ve thought to find something like this inside the old building. It was like finding an oasis in the middle of sahara. A cool place to chill avoiding the sun heat for an hour or two. To another of my surprise, they have unaju in their menu. Oh this is a cool place! One thing that I regret is I haven’t try their coffee yet. I was already full with the yummy unaju.
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Nurul Ikan Bakar, Gelugor.
Once again, we have to thanked our friend, local Malaysian, who brought us to this seafood heaven. The place is big with many seafood restaurants. You need to know which one is good. And Nurul Ikan Bakar is good! I know I haven’t try other restaurants for comparison, but let me tell you.. when other restaurants are only have few visitors almost empty and only this one is full with customers, what do you think?! Regardless of the number of visitors, all the menu we ordered were delicious no exception; the clam, the crab, fish, shrimp, also the stir-fry vegetable. The area of this seafood is in Gelugor, you go to the South direction after the Jetty. I took the picture (above) after we're done eating, and it was around 9 pm. So there were not as many people around at that time. Not as many as when we arrived.
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Across the street of Cheong Fat Tze’s Blue House, you will spot a pretty well-preserved antique house / mansion. I was passing by, Lebuh Leith (the name of a street) in Georgetown, and cannot resist to enter this building. It turn out to be a boutique hotel, called The Edison. The antique building have quite interesting story before it became The Edison. It has been used several times as hotels, but also once turned this beauty into a gambling place, and in between changing usage, it has turned into brothel house. A hotel staff was in charge to bring visitor for a tour around the hotel and explain these exciting historical background of the building. I think it was a nice touch to make people attached with the place. The building was built in 1906 as a residence for a Hakka tycoon named Yeo Wee Gark.
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When you’re driving from Gurney drive to the East (to Padang Kota Lama direction), you will pass a restaurant with beautiful two storey white heritage building. It’s called Hardwicke House. Located on the junction of Pangkor road and jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, side-by-side with Gleneagle Hospital (famous to many Indonesian people), we went for a lunch. The food and the service was just as nice as the interior of the restored antique building. Managed by Vouk Hotel Suites who located next door on the same area.
Always been a lovely experience everytime we visit Penang, only because our dear friend has welcomed us warmly. Thank you for your excellent hospitality, Ms. Khairul. We wish we could extend the vacation but Shraya Residence already calling for some work. Hahaha.. Terima kasih. Sampai jumpa. SK.