No text. Just photographs of an old port city with multiple histories.
A few highlights from today.
Tracking down more street art murals. In this mix is Brother and Sister on a Swing and Children Playing Basketball by Louis Gan, a Penang-born artist and The Real Bruce Lee Would Never Do This, a piece from the 101 Lost Kittens project.
If you happen to be walking down near the wharves, it’s not hard to tell that a new cruise liner has arrived in town.
And a Georgian house, restored to its early 19th century state. The restaurant upstairs in Suffolk House caters for lunches and afternoon teas.
We ventured further than Georgetown today and took a Hop On Hop Off bus on the beach route, where a whole new world of high-rise apartments lines the north coast of the island. We stopped off at the Tropical Spice Garden for a walk around and had a mid-afternoon lunch of Thai food at the cafe on the grounds.
A morning visit to the Penang Museum to absorb some more information about the history of Penang and its diverse cultural mix. These photos include some Nyonya clothes and an opium bed, just in case you’ve ever wondered what furniture to use while smoking.
On in the heat to the Pinang Peranakan Museum (aka The Green Mansion). A very rich merchant family owned this 19th century house which, as it happens, turns out to be a good venue for wedding photographs.
Little India was going off around lunch time on this first day of the weekend. The Thali trays were coming fast and furiously out of the kitchen of Woodlands Vegetarian restaurant as sari-clad ladies who lunch caught up for conversation over food. One is definitely spoiled for choice in Penang with Indian, Chinese and Malay specialities easily available throughout the day and night.
This morning, we took a guided tour of the UNESCO World Heritage site, The Blue Mansion, an impressive house built by the wealthy and influential Cheong Fatt Tze in the late 19th century. The house was built on Feng Shui principles and is predominantly designed with Chinese features, with the exception of stained glass windows designed by the Scotsman, Rennie Mackintosh and tiles imported from Stoke-on-Trent in England.
And a few more photographs for luck including an iced pearl tea to keep one going in the heat.
This morning’s street art hunt was a hot one. As I write thunder is making its presence felt, so we’re hoping for a drop in temperature of a degree or two this evening.
Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic’s mural art is the most distinctive of the street art in and around Georgetown on Penang Island. The Boatman in the photos below is by Julia Volchkova.
From the 101 Lost Kittens Project, some feline art action.
The steel cartoon art is seemingly everywhere you turn. Today’s samples include a nod to Jimmy Choo who apparently started his interest in shoes in his early years in Penang. Works by Baba Chuah, Tang Mun Kian and Reggie Lee.
A morning flight from Kuching, a hotel check-in and time for lunch already. No better start to our Penang visit than to wander down the road to Hameediyah Restaurant in search of roti. We each had one roti canai (stuffed with chicken, onions and spices) with a side serve of red onions and sauce. Two iced teas to top it off and we walked out of there A$5.00 poorer.
Over the next few days, each of the Penang posts will feature some of the amazing street art that’s in Georgetown (and food – don’t forget the food!)
Fifty-two steel rod sculptures hug walls around the town. They depict the characters, history and humour of Penang and were in a project led by Tang Mun Kiang and a group of cartoon artists, namely, Baba Chuah, Reggie Lee and Lefty.
Twelve artworks make up a series of murals in the 101 Lost Kittens Project created by a team of artists calling themselves Artists for Stray Animals.
Today’s post features Gedung Rumput – Bad Hay Day; Retail Paradise, and Love Me Like Your Fortune Cat.
We haven’t yet seen any of the murals by Lithuanian artist, Ernest Zacharevic. Watch this (wall) space.
Our first walk around was relatively short given the considerable heat and humidity. Here’s a taste of what’s to come.
You need to look up to catch the shopfront features.
The view from Chew Jetty where mid-19th century houses still house families and their businesses. The UNESCO World Heritage site is open to visitors from 9am – 9pm daily.
Semenggoh Nature Reserve was the first stop this morning. The reserve opens for two sessions a day so that people can watch some of the forest residents come in for a feed. It’s not news that these animals are endangered. And it’s not surprising, given the amount of old forest land that is now cultivated with palm oil trees. Orangu-tans and palm oil do not mix.
We drove out to Gunung Gading National Park, on the off-chance that the parasitic Rafflesia Tuan-Mudae was still showing off its large flower on the floor of the forest. The helpful Ranger said we were about 3 days late for the flower’s peak condition, but he gave us directions to find one specimen that was still holding on, before it fully deteriorated. They flower for 4-5 days. We were there on Day 8 and fortunate to catch it in this state.
It was a long day in the air on two flights from Sydney yesterday to Kuching, via Kuala Lumpur and a near miss on the connection. We’re here in Sarawak province on the island of Borneo in the hope of seeing orang-utan and other local wildlife.
Today we familiarised ourselves with Old Kuching and the diversity that its different cultures and histories have contributed to the city.
The old Courthouse has been turned into a community arts hub with music, and art spaces mixing it up with cafes.
This display is a nod to a horticultural feature of Sarawak. Two hours away in the Gunung Gadang National Park, the Rafflesia tuan-mudae – a large parasitic plant is flowering. We haven’t the time to go see it and apparently won’t miss the smell of this so-called corpse plant.
This is the Textile Museum. No photographs allowed but there are examples of all kinds of crafts relating to costume and other functional fabrics including the use of shells, dye and beads. Silver and puppet crafts are also featured. The most unusual object was a vest made from anteater ‘shells’.
We also visited the photo-free Sarawak Ethnology Museum where the majority of people were ignoring that rule. This is an orang-utan skeleton.
Around lunch time on this humid Sunday, there were few eating options open. Fortunately, the Indah Cafe was in full swing. They make superb roti dishes and cool drinks. It also boasts a gallery and art workshop space upstairs where I found these great old Sarawak tourist posters.
We walked back along the waterfront to our digs with a stop for coffee/tea and cake to rack up the calories we’d walked off in the heat.
Kuching is full of cat statues given the Bahasa Malay word for cat is kucing. This is one of the less kitsch pieces.
Tomorrow morning we’re off up the river to Bako National Park where we hope to see proboscis monkeys and wild boar and other creatures of the forest.