We caught the 11:30am train from KL Central Station to Butterworth, this would be a 4.5hr ride through the countryside, that said we didn’t see much as both sides of the track were thick with vegetation which limited the view more often than not.
We arrived in Butterworth around 4pm where we disembarked and walked over the shuttle bus that took us to the ferry terminal ready to catch the 5pm ferry to Penang.
The ferry ride was uneventful and took approximately 20mins. Once in Penang we took a taxi to our hotel located close to Komtar; the tallest building in Penang. We used this as a landmark which we could see from wherever we were in the city to get back to our hotel. We stayed at the Hotel Areca, this a historic building and was at one time stores with accommodation above but has since been converted to a hotel but keeping the exterior intact.
First evening we just wondered down Campbell Street Mall and the associate side streets and alleys till we found a corner pub called Fidalgo that sold draught Guinness & Tiger, we settled for a couple of beers before continuing on to find some dinner, checking out the street food along the way.
Catherine had settled on sate skewers at a small stand, she was just about to place here order after standing in line when the two ladies running it very quickly packed up and started pushing their stand towards the nearest side alley, coals burning and all! We stood there wondering if it was something we had said LOL!!!
It turns out the immigration police had just turned up and the ladies were hiding from them as they were from Thailand working illegally.
After this excitement we found a small restaurant that grilled lamb and chicken sate skewers severed up with peanut sauce, salad and rice.
Next morning, we decided that we would stroll around the city making note of things/places we would like to come back do/visit. At the end of the day we found a little restaurant that specialized in noodle dishes called Yeap Noodle House. Catherine ordered a dish that had a little spice to it. Stewart ordered a spicy noodle dish, the owner saying it was spicy and asking are you sure you want it? Stewart said yes as he likes spicy food. Well, Stewart’s was exceptionally spicy, he say’s it is the hottest thing he had eaten in the last 20years, way beyond spicy!!!
Next day we decided to visit Fort Cornwallis and the Chinese Jetty’s. But first we had Roti Chenai for breakfast
Just before we arrived a Fort Cornwallis we came upon a Malayan Cenotaph:
Fort Cornwallis is a star fort in George Town, Penang, Malaysia, built by the British East India Company in the late 18th century. Fort Cornwallis is the largest standing fort in Malaysia. The fort never engaged in combat during its operational history.
It is named after the then Governor-General of Bengal, Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis, who had also been involved in the American War of Independence. (Wikipedia)
The Jubilee Clock Tower, in George Town, Penang, Malaysia, is a Moorish-style Jubilee clocktower at the junction of Light Street and Beach Street. Built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s 1897 Diamond Jubilee, the tower is sixty feet tall, one foot for each year of Victoria’s reign. A corner of the wall surrounding Fort Cornwallis is situated behind the tower.
The clock tower is slightly tilted, a result of bombing during the Second World War. (Wikipedia)
The Clan Jetties of George Town are the traditional settlemenst created by Chinese immigrants who share common historical, geographical and lineage origin. Today there are still six clan jetties along the waterfront, and they are as follows, from north to south, as written in Penang Hokkien:
Lim, Chew, Tan, Lee, Mixed Clan and Yeoh.
Chinese coolies working at the harbour also built clan-based seaside settlements at the southern section of Weld Quay. Now known as the Clan Jetties, the wooden piers built by the Chinese were divided between the different surname-based clans, such as Lee, Yeoh and, the most famous of all, Chew. The Chew Jetty has become one of the focal points of the Chinese New Year celebrations in Penang in recent years. (Wikipedia)
Clan Jetty Entrances:
The Chew Jetty was the most commercial the others were mainly residential. On noodle soup restaurant sold bowls of soup which were more communal than family as they were huge.
From here we continued walking around the local streets, we were surprised to come upon a Canadian flag at a historic monument especially as it was Canada back in Canada.
By this time, it was late in the afternoon and started heading in the direction of the hotel. We had seen signs near the hotel that read “Laluan Sahala”. As we walked back we continued to see more of these signs pointing in the way we were going so knew we were heading inn the right direction even though we could not see Komtar from where we were stood.
Well it took us a while to figure out what this sign was saying. It finally dawned on us that it meant “One Way” LOL!!!
We decided to go to the Red Garden for dinner, we had passed it the night before and thought it would be a good place to go. The Red Garden is an area where there are between 20 and 30 small independent restaurants, all with different food offerings, like in a North American shopping mall but were all variations on Malaysian street food. We found a table then took it in turns to go and order items from the various stalls who delivered your food to your table after they cooked it, you paid upon receipt. Then there were waiters walking around taking drink orders which included beer. This was the perfect setup. They also had big screen TV’s scatted around the place where we watched live games of the World Cup.
We soon made short work of that.
Next: Penang Part II