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.
Following my sister’s Hawaiian-style wedding reception, Annie and I had an intimate dinner for 2 at the venerable Alan Wong’s Restaurant to celebrate her 40th birthday.
Alan Wong’s is one of the most recognised, award-winning fine dining establishments in Honolulu. It was noted as one of the Top 10 best restaurants in the nation by Gourmet Magazine in 2006. Presidents and chiefs of state dine there. Chef Alan Wong himself, credited as one of the founding fathers of Hawaii Regional Cuisine, garnered the James Beard Foundation award for Best American Chef – Northwest in 1996. It has a well-deserved reputation.
Annie has long wanted to go to Alan Wong’s but we never got the chance to during our previous trips back home to Hawaii. So when we started planning for this latest trip for my sister’s wedding, she made her wish very clear: “You better take me to Alan Wong’s!”
About a month before we left, I called them and made the reservation.