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Our first 3 ports on our South East Asia cruise out of Singapore was to its neighbouring country, Malaysia. We stopped at Penang, the island of Langkawi and Port Kelang (Kuala Lumpur).
I had travelled previously to the capital city of Malaysia, KL on a stopover enroute to Thailand, 7 years ago. However it appears that there is so much more to Malaysia than its major city.
After setting sail from Singapore we cruised through the night and the following morning where we docked at the port of Penang. The largest and most populated state in Malaysia, Penang is located on the northwest coast of Peninsula Malaysia by the Strait of Malacca.
The capital is George Town which was once a British outpost. The island was successfully developed under British rule and became a naval base for the British to protect its interest in the Far East spice trade from the Dutch and French.
Once an important Straits of Malacca trading hub, the city is known for its British colonial buildings, Chinese shophouses and mosques.
We set off on foot with a map in hand and explored some of the sights of George Town and the Old City, which features Malaysia’s best preserved colonial buildings.
Not far from the port was this interesting clock tower, called the The Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower, which is a testament to Penang’s royal connections.
Fort Cornwallis is one of Penang’s most well known landmarks. Within its ten-foot-high walls (which are laid out in the shape of a star), you can see a 17th century chapel, some prison cells, ammunition storage area, and some old bronze cannons.
Built in 1801 by Penang’s first Indian Muslim settlers (East India Company troops), the Indo-Moorish Kapitan Keling Mosque is another Penang landmark.
Sri Mariamman Temple is a Hindu temple in Georgetown’s compact Little India district: built in 1833, the temple is dedicated to the Hindu god, Lord Subramaniam.
Wandering around Little India you will see many colourful market-type shops selling items from fresh produce to gaudy clothing.
Chinese Kongsi (or clan houses) are a must see in Penang. Many were built in the 19th or early 20th Century and are heritage sites in George Town.
George Town’s Chinatown was a burst of vivid colours in preparation for the Chinese New Year celebrations.
Six Clan Jetties form part of the Penang Heritage Trail. Billed as one of the last bastions of old Chinese settlements on the island, this waterfront society is home to houses on stilts of various Chinese clans.
As for the rest of the Old City there is evidence everywhere that this place was a British colony from the style of the architecture of the old colonial buildings.
Our visit to Penang was on a Sunday, a holy day, hence the city was pretty much closed down to celebrate this day. This also meant that a lot of the restaurants and eateries were also closed, so we never did get to sample a famous Penang curry.
Penang was a colourful spectacle with Chinese Lanterns adorning the streets and there was a perfect harmony of varying cultures and history. You could easily spend more time here.
Linking up with Travel Photo Thursday
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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