Annie’s extended family on her father’s side is from George Town, Penang, and every time we’ve gone to visit, we stayed with family. Usually, that meant staying with Annie’s godparents, her uncle and aunt. They are such hospitable and kind folks, and we always loved spending time with them.
Staying at their place is pretty cool because it’s in a relatively quiet neighborhood, but with quick access to some main roads if we want to go somewhere. We could be sitting at home, chatting (usually about where we want to go eat) and the next minute be on our way out for some assam laksa, char kway teow, or nasi kandar.
The neighborhood itself is very walkable. Many times I just take my camera and go wandering off in one direction, looking for neat stuff to snap. It was on one of these jaunts that I came upon a fence that was completely covered in this dense vine, bearing these incredibly blue flowers:
Blue Pea / Butterfly Pea Flower
Is it really possible to do Penang on a budget?
A Hundred Ringgit and a Map of Georgetown, Penang
The Ministry of Tourism Penang Office and Project Penang invited me and 9 other bloggers to Penang to highlight that Georgetown *is* doable on a budget. To show us how affordable it was, we were given only RM100 (about USD 30) to spend over the two days we would be visiting Georgetown. This would cover our food and also our entrance fees to several heritage sites around this city of contrasts. We were also given a bus pass for a week for the local bus (Rapid Penang) which we took advantage of a total of two times on this trip.
Old / Modern.
Satellite dish on a Penang shophouse
Prosperous / Budget.
Bustling, noisy, energetic, dirty / Quiet, peaceful, meditative, clean.
Late. Frustration / Early. Satisfied.
These are all adjectives I would use to describe my time in Penang recently. Penang is such a city of contrasts that sometimes it is hard to put your finger to what makes this city work so well. When I was here this time, I came looking with different eyes.
And what I saw gave me a new perspective on this city that I love.
The historic Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion in Georgetown, Penang served as the venue for the next part of Annie’s cousin’s wedding, a traditional Chinese wedding game called “Fetching the Bride”.
Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion Doorway