in Malaysia/ThailandComments Off on Pinang


The most notable landmark in Penang is the roadbridge joining the main town, Georgetown, to Butterworth on the mainland.

the bridge is 13.5 km long, we had to pass beneath it to get to the Tanjung Marina. It’s by the ferry terminal, which is the other connection between Pinang Island and the mainland

The marina only opened a few months ago,

and is adjacent to a newly re-furbished old ferry terminal

just over from the oldest part of town.

The facilities were good, the staff helpful, but there were still unsolved problems. Notably it was subject to swell from the ferries coming and going, in the nearby berths yachts had suffered damage, they could not be used.
Less damaging, but also unpleasant was the never-ending flow of rubbish through the berths. With each change of direction of the tide the marina was flooded with all the floating trash of the city. A team of workers were busy every day in an un-ending effort to keep it clear.
Neither problem seems easy to fix, both being basic faults of the marina location…

That didn’t stop our enjoyment of Penang however and those problems are really just a reflection of the way of the whole island, -it’s messy and disorganised, much of it dilapidated, but it’s still a great town to visit.

Like Melaka, it is one of the old ‘Straits Settlements’ but is the oldest and has a disproportionately large Chinese population among the Malay Muslims; that mixture of both known as Peranakan and the Indians who came as labourers.
However, whereas, old Melaka has undergone a coordinated restoration programme and has an aggressive tourist drive, in Georgetown the approach is more laid-back,

it’s still waiting for it to happen.

The central city which is Chinatown and Little India,

is old and mostly original shop-houses, many in disrepair.

But it’s still beautiful, however, the beauty is in the detail.

The shops are full of colourful and fascinating Chinese ‘things’;

the houses have nicely decorated upper levels

and almost invariably, interesting front entrances

where there are the trappings of everyday life in Chinese Penang,

and assorted ‘good-luck’ charms, religious symbols, offerings and shrines to the many dieties those superstitious Chinese have in their lives.

The doors themselves are typically substantial

and often intricately decorated

given a level of care and attention far beyond the rest of the house!

Next page :-)

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