The island of Malaysia and the state of Penang offer a very contrasting stay to visitors. Arriving at Penang Airport on the south of the island in Bayan Lepas, I traveled by bus to the capital city of George Town through cs travel. When buses cluster along the road to the state capital, the area becomes more developed, and palm trees fade. George Town is a strange mix of old Malay buildings, colonial buildings, and heavy industries. During World War II there was a terrible air strike from Japan and finally fell in 1941, when British troops retreated to Singapore. Many Chinese people were slaughtered. It remained under Japanese rule until it was released by the British in September 1945.
Although urbanization developed from this area, George Town stood well against the wishes of the developers and refused to allow the destruction of older buildings. In 2008 George Town was awarded the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to conservation efforts that had protected pre-War homes. Now officially recognized as having “a unique architectural and cultural city landscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia.”
Without a doubt, one of the many reasons to visit Malaysia is because of the food. This is one of the best in the world and does not disappoint. Amazing street food and the quality that can be purchased at meager prices are extraordinary. Penang “snacks” as they are known to be as good as I eat in many restaurants in other cities. Laksa acid is a fish broth rich in noodles, seasoned with tamarind and galangal which has an excellent sour taste. Char Kuay Teow is the Malaysian version of Pad Thai. Using flat noodles fried in a pan as eggs, seafood, sprouts, chili, and stirred soy sauce. Indian and Muslim influences on the island have produced Nasi Kandar, the most famous dish in Penang sentral. The white rice base is served with a variety of fish and vegetable meat curries — the best food.
When I wander during the day, I enjoy small roadside restaurants along one of the main obstacles. The whole city was calm and happy when the locals walked around, without anyone seeming in a hurry to go anywhere. I expect a feeling that is entirely different at night when that place will light up and come to life like a city. It just darkens and maintains a relaxed charm. This is not the kind of capital of nightlife in the world. The travelers I talked to were charming and enjoyed chatting like locals, which led to an enjoyable evening.
I moved around the island for three days, and wherever I went, I was treated very well. Hotel accommodation is very cheap. Some hotels are very basic but clean and safe. Even though it doesn’t give visitors wild nightlife in Bangkok or Hong Kong, this place is an attractive place to relax and unwind. A ferry operates from Weld Quay every day for anyone who feels the need to return to land, but I am more than happy to use a causeway link.