Sunday, August 10, 2008

Penang

Less than 24 hours after arriving from Tokyo and while still on Tokyo hang-over, L. and I left for the city of Penang in Malaysia, a world heritage site.

First, our hotel. 

The Eastern and Oriental Hotel is the oldest and most famous hotel in Penang. The hotel offers only suites, and each room has a butler on call.

I liked this hotel, but the only downside is you had to pay for internet access. Bah.

Second, the sites. Penang has been described by many people as "a more authentic Singapore," pretty much because, well, it is. It looks older, more multi-racial, and less organized (making it more believable). As with Singapore, it has its fair share of Mosques (this is the Acheen Street Mosque [1808]):

 
Churches (this is St. George's Church, the oldest Anglican church in Southeast Asia [1818]):
and Buddhist Temples (this is the Kek Lok Si Temple [1890, but some parts still in construction], the largest Buddhist Temple in Malaysia):

Also impressive was Khoo Kongsi [1906], a very extravagant clan house: 


Finally, the food. The primary reason we went to Penang was to eat this kind of Chinese-Malay-Indian food, L.'s favorite cuisine. In contrast to our Tokyo experience, L. and I ate only at the hawker centers in Penang (believe it or not we survived on less than US$200 for the entire trip for both of us, excluding only the airline tickets and hotel charges). The food looks like food from Singapore, but with some slight variations.

This is my favorite, Laksa assam - tamarind broth based noodles and vegetables with a dollop of shrimp paste (bagoong!):


Char Kway Teow:


Mee Sotong:

Mutton Soup (sup kambing) and beef soup:


and of course, my favorite drink while in Penang, Seasons Chrysanthemum tea:



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