Footing at UNESCO’s World Heritage Zone in Georgetown, Penang
Exploring the UNESCO’s World Heritage Zone of Penang by foot can give you a different experience and some personal touch and special memory to you. You may start your first visit to Kapitan Keling Mosque which is situated along Kapitan Keling road which is famous with money lenders companies. This mosque was built on 19th century with very unique shapes, without any curve or rounded domes.
From the mosque, you can walk to Beach Street which will head you to Little India of Penang. At this street you can see many stalls and hawkers selling Indian savouries such as Vadeh and Samosa besides snack such as Maruku.
From Beach Street, go ahead to Queen Street where you can hear loud Indian song played from nearby DVD or CD shops. Along this street you may see many Indian shops selling Indian traditional costumes, fancies accessories, gold jewelleries, and decorative items. This area is very photographic and you should not miss any of the view as you never know what you will see in each corner.
Walk further until the main intersection, you will see more colonial building which was beautifully restored and many of them were remained as original. Walking along King Street, you will see many buildings which was dated around year 1800s which is really beautiful for photo-snapping.
Chinese and Baba Nyonya Culture
After a long walk passing the Little India, next you can take a short break to have drinks or foods. There are many Chinese stalls or hawkers and you just choose according to your taste buds. There are selections of well-known famous Penang foods such as Laksa Penang, Char Kuey Teow, Hokkien Noodle, Prawn Noodle and Chicken Rice for you to choose. After a short rest, you can go ahead to explore some Chinese culture such as Chinese Opera and worshipping places.
Walking further, you will find a Penang Peranakan Museum which you can learn about the history of Baba Nyonya culture. Initially, this place was abandoned at first before a wealthy businessman bought it and renovates it as a museum. After the renovation and restoration works done on early 90s, the museum is open to public on 1996 with affordable entrance fees.
At the frontage of this Peranakan Museum, you will see the building painted in green which match with gold and white colour wood trimming. You also will see a British phone booth standing awkwardly near the Museum door besides two trishaws as a decoration item. Inside the museum, you will see various halls with different styles and some European’s intermix cultures. A huge ancestral photo was hung in the middle of the main hall besides a dining table lavishly in place.
At upper level of this museum, you will see a Baba Nyonya wedding room, porcelain collection, complete relic item and Baby Nyonya costumes. In short, visiting this museum will give you one of the best experiences to understand about the existence of Baba Nyonya community in Malaysia.
Walk further to the end of Chulia Street, you will find Chowrasta Market which is very popular for Malaysian, Singaporean and even Indonesian tourist. In this market you can find snack and pickled fruits as a souvenir for your friends and family. One of the most popular stuff here is Penang’s Dragon Ball Biscuit which was deemed as the most popular with various flavours such as Pandan, Durian, green bean and even Prawn Sambal. If you look carefully, there are some items which are not really available in other market in Malaysia such as pickled nutmeg, balm and many types of biscuits and crackers to be grabbed.
Last but not Least: Street Dessert
Before you end up your foot journye, walk to another of Penang’s famous street dessert which is located not really far from Komtar, the tallest building in Penang. Located at Penang Road, you will find a very… very… very… famous Penang Road Chendol or people call it as a thirst quencher which consisted of mixture of shaved ice, coconut milk, brown sugar, red beans and pandan curd. There are some stalls nearby the original store. The original store is located exactly outside a coffee shop here and you will see a lot of people will queue for this RM1.80 per bowl Chendol.
If you are new in Penang, this on foot trip is very interesting to understand the habit of Penangite besides exploring this wonderful UNESCO World Heritage site. You will see the diverse culture of Malaysian and learn about how they can live as one nation in this independent country.