As a native to Penang and having lived overseas for half of my lifetime, I am still drawn back to this beautiful island of Malaysia. The unique feature of Penang is the colourfulness in its people, food, culture, tradition, architecture and festivities blended in harmony in the diversity and distinctiveness of its different races and religions.
Since part of the city in George Town was inscribed into the world heritage by UNESCO in 2008, the city is going through rapid changes in the restoration of old pre-war dated shophouse terraces turning into boutique hotels, art galleries, restaurants and cafes, and other interesting retail shops. The gentrification of these terraces are pushing out some of the oldest living family tradition that has been practicing their trades in the same premise for generations in George Town. There is a cost in introducing this changes to revitalise the city. But there is also a sense of renewed pride and patriotism among the locals for a new look of George Town - amazing street arts using derelict and distressed concrete walls as a canvas by the artists, and narrow streets and laneways are becoming pedestrian and bicycle friendly.
I am passionate of this beautiful island. I am here to share my travel experience and knowledge with you - everything about Penang.
All photos published on Penang Insights (previously known as InSight Penang) are taken by me. They are authentic to Penang. Like many beautiful places in the world, the uniqueness of the island of Penang is a photographer's dream, to capture the liveliness and colourfulness of the diversity of a true multiculturalism of Southeast Asia.
The architecture is unique and inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. Walking along the streets and alleyways of George Town, capital city of Penang, is a living testament of its diversity and colors of the centuries old colonial era and its straits settlement of its east and west seafaring route.
There are several prominent architectures in Penang. The neoclassical style, which can be seen in public buildings with massive Doric columns modelled after the Parthenon of ancient Greek. The Chinese Clanhouse, a self sustained community with its own enclave of temples, mansions, residences and lecture halls. The pre-war dated Straits Chinese double-storey terraced shop houses with the lower level business floor and a veranda to keep pedestrian sheltered from the sun or rain, while upstairs the family maintained a residence. The terraced shop houses were influenced by the Chinese, European as well as Malay, Indian and Arab, which have created a lively and colourful street facade. These buildings have undergone changes and evolved over time, going from transitional to neoclassical and ArtDeco.
Penang is a favourite food destination with Malaysians and Singaporeans. It is a potpourri of colours, flavours, aromas and textures from the different culture and background influenced for many centuries. Lonely Planet has ranked Penang as the number 1 destination for foodie to visit in 2014. The world is slowly discovering Penang as a foodie haven. Renowned world celebrity chefs - Anthony Bourdain and Rick Stein, has travelled through Southeast Asia and endorsed Penang food as a destination hotspot in their travel program.