For my first stop in Malaysia, I stayed for some time in Georgetown, the capital of Penang. As the northwestern-most state of Malaysia, Georgetown is right next to Thailand, and quite accessible once I left Thailand. As a UNESCO world heritage city, Georgetown has a lot of history!
But the real reason why I stayed more than a day in Penang, is that it is the hawker food capital of Malaysia! While staying at an amazing guesthouse near Chinatown, I discovered this huge hawker center near the guesthouse, and resolved to stay until I had eaten every single food at the hawker center.
I stayed here for an entire week. When you can get two or three delicious dishes for about $3 USD, it’s hard to walk away.
As an UNESCO world heritage city, Georgetown has a lot of history, such as:
I think that covers all the major religions? There was also a Christian church, but I didn’t bother to visit. I just really liked how you got all of the world’s major religions with major followings here in Georgetown, cooexisting peacefully.
Georgetown also has this interesting architecture – there’s this public recession on the first floor of each building, allowing pedestrians to remain dry during downpours. Given that I visited during the rainy season, this was very much appreciated.
I still felt very silly, falling for this tourist trap – before going in, I strongly suspected it was a tourist trap… but owls! I couldn’t risk it not being a tourist trap.
And finally, food! I have no idea what half of these dishes are – I would stroll up to an interesting looking hawker food cart, start talking in half English half broken Chinese, and eventually I would get some kind of food.
Interestingly, here I learned that I am a mosquito magnet – sitting in the guesthouse with my friends, I would be the only person to get mosquito bites. Coming back from adventures around the city, I would be warmly welcomed back, since mosquitoes would not bother anyone else while I’m present.
After finishing eating my way through this city, I traveled to the Perhentian Islands of Malaysia!