Since I have a week of free time on my hands, we decided to bring the boys to Penang to enjoy the street art and to eat some good food. As you all know, Georgetown Penang was awarded UNESCO Heritage status almost 7-8 years ago but we as locals, haven’t actually made a visit there yet but have been to a few UNESCO Heritage worldwide. Shame.
Georgetown Penang is a UNESCO Heritage Site
It took us 6 hours of driving to reach Penang and when we were crossing the Penang Bridge, it started to rain. Rain is the enemy of all travels. Luckily, the gods answered our prayers and by the time we pulled up at our first stop, the sun was shining.
Cafe Heng Huat (Lorong Selamat CKT)
If you have done your research prior to your visit here in Penang, you would have read about this famous Char Koay Teow stall with the Santa Claus Hat auntie and her fiery temper. Although many would swear that it is a tourist trap nowadays, but it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try.
The thing about Penang food is that there will be lovers and there will be haters. For every stall/food that you suggest, there will be people with other opinions about it, but since this was one of my old haunts when I used to travel to Penang during my University days, it was a visit that I had to make again. Just for old times’ sakes.
A word of warning, if you don’t intend to order drinks, don’t be surprised that there will be a surcharge per head. Applicable to almost all restaurants in Penang. Sad.
When I last had the same dish about 5 years ago, it was RM7.50 per plate. Now, it is RM10 per plate. For that price, this is what you will get:
It doesn’t seem like much and definitely not a stomach filler but you do get 3 very huge prawns, comparatively to the other CKT stalls dotted around this little island. It appears oily but not sticky and it still retain the charcoal smell in which the auntie uses to fry her Char Koay Teow.
I would not put it as a must try because of the price, but if ever you are in the vicinity of this shop then by all means, do give it a try. Char Koay Teow stalls are a dime a dozen in Penang, and you could say that once you have tasted one or two, you have tasted all. But hey, for authenticity sake, try it at least once at whichever stall that you prefer. Even the least famous ones.
We checked in at our hotel — Armenian Street Heritage Hotel, which is just across the street from the Georgetown Heritage Incorporated building where you can find a lot of data about the Heritage status of Georgetown itself. To give you a glimpse of what it means to be a Heritage site, the local council erected huge placards with regards to the history of each street name in and around the city itself.
It is a rare occurrence to have all three local languages and English all on one signboard. Kudos goes to the people behind this idea. It is a long time coming to have equal respect to all languages spoken in this country without having it being politicised.
The reason I chose this hotel was its location, it’s just 100-200m away from the famous ‘Brother and Sister on a Bike’ street art, and within the vicinity itself there are numerous places to eat and there is even a park for the boys to run around.
A Quick Walk
Since the boys were sleepy from all the excitement, I took the time out to visit the neighbourhood. This was also to highlight the fact that we are actually living in racial harmony even back in those days when the city of Georgetown was founded. And this couldn’t be more different than what we are seeing nowadays. The evidence is already there, on a long straight road in Georgetown, lies a mosque, a Hindu temple, a Chinese temple and a church.
Another place where you can find cheap accommodations would be at Love Lane. And here is my try at street photography.
(to be continued)