Saturday, November 5, 2011

Penang By Foot - Day 1



Day 3 in Penang started as lazy as it can be. It was 8 a.m. and it was drizzling - perfect for chilling mode. Not a good start for me. My mom and aunt didn't want to go out so I decided to go on a solo-roaming-around-penang-by-foot day. I grabbed the very cool and helpful Penang city map I have and "planned" my trip. Armed with my camera, a few Malaysian Ringgits and an umbrella, I went on with my plan to visit the historic city of Georgetown and the outskirts of the city. I read about the Rapid Penang bus schedule and fares on the internet which was very helpful on my trip.


Just a little background, Georgetown is currently the capital city of Penang (an island-state in Malaysia). It was founded 200 years ago and named after a British King - George III. It was declared to be UNESCO's World Heritage Site last July 7, 2008. The city has an impressive collection of historic buildings representing the cultural heritage of Penang's various ethnicities: Chinese, Indians, Arabs, Malays, Achehnese, Siamese, Burmese and Europeans.


******


This is a very long post and some are going to be featured on a separate blog post. 
The time indicated were according to the camera used by the author. 
The excerpts in yellow fonts were from the city map I have.


******

10:31 a.m. - First on the list was the Burmese Buddhist Temple. I went down on Gurney Plaza mall because it was the closest bus stop from the temple. And then I found the Sri Sakthi Durga Amman Temple. Picture this, I was holding a camera on my right hand, umbrella on my left hand and a sling bag around my body. I was braving the rain to capture this little temple along Kelawai Road. And it started my journey around the town.


Sri Sakthi Durga Amman Temple
******

10:51 a.m. - The sun showed up at this point and thank goodness that I can use both of my hands to hold my camera (I have the littlest palm and hand). I scanned the map and saw that I was near my target spot - the Dhammikarama/ Dharmikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple located along the Burmah lane.


Dharmikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple 

DHARMIKARAMA BURMESE TEMPLE - Located on Lorong Burma, this Burmese temple is favoured venue for the Songkran festivities - Thailand's traditional New Year Day - which is celebrated in April. The temple's serene surroundings feature a Bodhi tree, wishing pond and pagoda. 

Opening hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Tel. #: +604 - 226 9575


******

11:37 a.m. - Just across the Burmese temple is the Wat Chaiyamangalaram Thai Buddhist Temple. I went inside and noticed how busy it was inside. I finally saw what everyone was raving about - the Reclining Buddha (photo not shown - wait for a separate post).


Wat Chaiyamangalaram Thai Buddhist


WAT CHAYAMANGKALARAM - Wat Chayamangkalaram is a Thai Buddhist temple built in 1845 on land granted by Queen Victoria as a gesture of goodwill to Thailand. The temple has one of the largest Reclining Buddha statues in the world. Spectacular to behold, the statue is completely gold-plated and measures 33 metres in length. You can also appreciate the magnificent craftsmanship in the exquisite statues of Devas and other mythical creatures located in temple grounds.

Opening hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Tel. #: +6016 - 410 5115


******

12:40 p.m. - I continued walking and found myself entering another temple along Jalan Perak. This time it was not on the map but I still went inside to observe the Budhhists. It was the Buppharam Buddhist Temple (Wat Buppharam) and I went in to check it out. Its name, Wat Buppharam, means 'Flower Temple'. This temple is known for its 'Lifting Buddha' and other religious figures from Hinduism and Taoism beliefs.


Buppharam Buddhist Temple







******

1:07 p.m. - Moving on, my feet led me to Jalan Macalister. I was walking when I saw an eatery along the road and decided to grab a quick bite. I checked the time and got hungry when I saw that it was already 1:07 p.m. Maybe I was too excited to bother about my physiological needs. The food I ordered (Sambal Rice) was great but the Kopi-O (iced coffee) was phenomenal. Both for RM 4.70 (66 pesos).

Sambal Rice
******

1:45 p.m. - I was still lingering the taste of the iced coffee when I decided to just walk towards Jalan Burma without even looking at my map. I then saw a Methodist church and I was so happy to see one in Penang - I was born a Methodist by the way. It was a Sunday and I was hoping for an afternoon service but they didn't have one. 


Methodist Church


******

2:36 p.m. - I walked afterwards to reach the KOMTAR tower which happened to be the tallest building in Penang and sixth in Malaysia. All Rapid Penang buses merge here so if you have to go to a certain place and don't know where the bus stop is, just go to KOMTAR. There's a Cubao-feel to this place, I dunno why.



KOMTAR from Campbell street
KOMTAR - Built in 1978, Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak (KOMTAR) is Penang's tallest building rising 65 storeys. Named after the late Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak bin Hussein, the complex is a shopping mall, business hub and the home to the Penang's State Government.


******

2:51 p.m. - I was walking along Jalan Penang and saw Campbell's archway towards the street. Lebuh Campbell/Campbell street is very famous for its Chinese knick-knacks and is very famous as a shopping street. It's like our Binondo here in the Philippines but with a much cleaner streets.



CAMPBELL STREET - Campbell street is well known for its traditional Chinese medicinal shops, Indian boutiques and other stores selling merchandise. The famous Campbell Street Market, built in 1900, is where you could procure fresh fruits, seafood and meats.


******

3:02 p.m. - When you reach the end of Lebuh Campbell, you will find the Lebuh Buckingham and towards the end of the road is the Masjid Kapitan Kling/ Kapitan Keling Mosque. This was built in the early 19th century. The mosque is used by the Muslims five times a day, seven days a week. 





I was hoping to get inside the mosque when I read a notice to visitors. I went inside and asked for some assistance for the guided tour. I was then asked to wear a robe (abaya) before I went inside. I was also asked if I have my period at that time 'coz it's prohibited for a menstruating woman to get inside. Taking photographs are also prohibited inside the mosque. We went on with the tour along the corridors inside the mosque. The tour guide was so gentle and we have to speak in a very low-toned voice. It was a quick tour but I felt the calmness, the serenity and the Muslim's commitment to their faith. It was a very unique experience for me.


 I wore one of this while I was inside
tourists were very kind enough to take a photo of me
KAPITAN KALING MOSQUE - Founded in 1801, it is the largest historic mosque in George Town. Designed in Moghul architecture, it features beautiful minarets and domes. 


******

3:15 p.m. - After the mosque experience, I went to Lebuh Ah Quee to look for some temples on the map when I saw this old-looking building. I still don't know what it is up to now. 




******

3:17 p.m. - Next was the Kew Leong Tong Lim Kongsi which is a clan temple by the Lim clan. 'Kew Leong Tong'  means 'Hall of NIne Dragons' in which the clan is associated with. I didn't get to see what's inside the gate 'coz it's usually locked and is only open to the public during the Chinese New Year.




******

3:20 p.m. - After that was the Nagore Dargha Sheriff which is a shrine for Muslims. It is located along Lebuh Chulia and it is one of the oldest Indian Muslim shrines in Penang. It's located at the corner of the Little India neighborhood.


Nagore Dargha Sheriff

******

3:22 p.m. - Located in the middle of Georgetown is the Little India neighborhood. It is located on the streets of Lebuh Queen, Lebuh Chulia and Jalan Pasar. A shopping experience awaits you once you stepped into this fascinating place. Indian food, music, clothes and accessories are some of the famous must-buys here. It can be compared to its neighboring Chinatown but with a more festive mood. I get to buy a little Indian dress for only RM 10 (140 pesos) and a bunch of bangles for RM 8 (112 pesos), it was both on sale. 


Little India


LITTLE INDIA - This little quarter of South Indian culture is where early Indian immigrants settled down to make Penang their home. It is the island's epicentre of Indian music, savoury cuisine, exotic spices and authentic goods.


******

3:54 p.m. - After the Little India neighborhood, I was then looking for the Sri Mariamman/ Mahamariamman Temple. This little temple was really hard to find. I asked someone but we can't seem to understand each other. I went to different streets just to look for this one and after asking a street vendor who understood and speak English, I was led to the temple. It was closed at that time and I can only appreciate its facade. It is considered as Penang's oldest Hindu temple which was built in the 1883. Hindu temples are very impressive no matter how big or small it is. 


Sri Mahamariamman Temple


MAHAMARIAMMAN TEMPLE - Built in 1883, it is the oldest Hindu temple in George Town. It began as a humble Hindu shrine dedicated to Sri Muthu Mariamman. A distinctive feature of the temple is its gopuram with 38 exquisitely carved Hindu deities.


******

4:04 p.m. - I went back to Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling and saw the Kuan Yin Teng or the Temple of the Goddess of Mercy. It is one of the oldest Chinese temples in Georgetown, built during the 1800s, which honors Kuan Yin of the Kek Lok Si Temple, still in Penang. It is located along a busy street but the smoke from the joss sticks were very much noticeable and deserves a second look. I didn't even noticed that this was the temple I'm looking for because of its unpretentious look outside.  

Kuan Yin Teng


GODDESS OF MERCY TEMPLE - This popular temple is dedicated to Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. The first foundation was laid in 1728 by Chinese settlers and completed in 1800.


******

4:09 p.m. - St. George's Church was next and it is also along Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling and Lebuh Farquhar roads. This Anglican church was built in 1818. The bad news here is that you cannot enter the church's premises. Not even the gates. It was locked and a guard was there to make sure that the area was secured.  





ST. GEORGE'S CHURCH - Built between 1817 and 1818, it is said to be the oldest Anglican church in Southeast Asia.


******

4:14 p.m. - Penang State Museum/ Muzium Negeri Pulau Pinang was next and it's just right beside the St. George's Church along Lebuh Farquhar. This was the ONLY place I went into that had an entrance fee, it was RM 1.00 (14 pesos). I was mistaken to be a Malay when I paid the entrance fee. The receptionist talked to me in Bahasa Malaysia, I looked perplexed so he asked for my nationality. He said that I looked like a Malay or maybe Indonesian but not a Filipino. I didn't asked him why.  

Taking photographs inside the museum is prohibited and as a good citizen of the art world, I followed without even trying to snap a stolen shot. You have a choice of whether to tour around with a guide or explore it on your own - I did both. Once inside, you will definitely learn more about Penang's colorful history. Penang's very diversed culture, the people, food and important artifacts were some of the highlights. If you want to learn more about Penang's history and culture, might as well make the Penang State Museum as your first stop. 

A new exhibit was installed and it was about Penang's Traditional Games. There were 3 games featured there; the Batu Seremban (which uses stones or fruits a-la 'kara y krus'), Dam Aji (much like 'dama') and Congkak ('sungka'). There was an area for playing the games and this made me long for a companion. For more info about the museum, try to visit their website listed below.





Once again, I asked a staff to take a photo of me on the museum's entrance.
PENANG STATE MUSEUM - Almost destroyed in World War II bombing, this building houses a plethora of Penang historic artifacts.

Opening Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (closed every Fridays)
Admission: Adult - RM 1.00
                     Secondary School Students - RM 0.50
Tel. #: +604 - 261 3144
Email Add.: muzium@po.jaring.my
Website: www.penangmuseum.com
                www.penangmuseum.gov.my


******

4:55 p.m. - Church of the Assumption was just beside the Penang State Museum and just like the St. George's Church, it was not open to the public during that time.





CATHEDRAL OF THE ASSUMPTION - The Church was established by Father Garnault along Church Street. It moved to its present site in 1861. In 1955, it was awarded the status of a Cathedral.


******

5:02 p.m. - Cheong Fatt Tze mansion was next on my list and I walked along the Lebuh Leith to reach the mansion. You won't fail to notice it because of its bluish-indigo color. I didn't get to tour inside the mansion because there was a schedule for that. Too bad for me.


Cheong Fatt Tze mansion gate



CHEONG FATT TZE MANSION - The 'Blue Mansion', former home of tycoon Cheong Fatt Tze, is a famous location to film movies and television series. 

Guided tours are available daily at 11:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Admission: RM 12.00 per person


******

5:10 p.m. - I was about to call it a day when I saw the Chocolate Boutique or Butik Coklat. It's on the same street as the Cheong Fatt Tze mansion and tourists flock inside. I was so curious if what's inside so I went in. I was given a number-sticker which I have to put on my shirt. I was also assigned to my own tour guide (there's a guide for everyone - all nationalities and languages alike) for a quick tour around the store. Taking photos inside was prohibited but I asked for just one shot inside (but it was blurred). 

The tour went on and there were so many chocolates to choose from. There were different levels of dark chocolates, there were coconut-chocolates, spicy chocolates and other varieties. There were also some hot chocolate drinks. It was a store full of chocolates. If you're a chocolate lover you'd be glad to just be inside this store. And the best thing about it is that you get to taste all of the chocolates for free! 

After the free tour and the free taste, you can proceed with chocolate-shopping. As for me, the free taste was enough and the chocolates were kinda expensive so I just thanked the guide and went out of the store empty-handed but with a full stomach and happy hormones inside me.



that one blurry shot inside
******
5:24 p.m. - As I was about to hail a bus, I saw the Hainan temple along Lebuh Muntri. It was built in 1886 and was completed in 1895.








******
5:50 p.m. - Last on the list was the Penang Hill. It is located on Air Itam which is 6 kilometers away from Georgetown. I didn't get to ride the funicular train uphill because of the long queue. It is one of the famous spots in Penang and it is the oldest hill resort in Malaysia. The rates and schedules are on their website listed below.






PENANG HILL - Penang Hill offers a panoramic view of the city. 830 m. above sea level. Getting to the top is half the fun with a choice of hiking or traveling in a funicular train. At the summit, there is a flower garden, a mini bird park, bungalows and guest houses.

Tel. #: +604 - 228 8861/ +604 - 228 8859
Website: http://www.penanghill.gov.my/


******


Total expenses: 
                           Fares - RM 4.80 for three rides (I walked most of the time)
                            Lunch - RM 4.70
            Little India stuff - RM 18.00
 Museum entrance fee - RM 1.00
                   Iced coffee - RM 1.20 (afternoon snack)
                          TOTAL- RM 29.70 (415 pesos)

If I didn't buy some stuff in Little India, the total would be RM 11.70 (164 pesos). Who says traveling is expensive?                          

So that ends my almost 8-hour walking trip around Penang. - whew! The rain stopped after the first few spots I visited and I was so happy for that. I did experience a lot of 'firsts' and it made me realize many things. Diversed cultures never fail to amaze me. I had fun on this solo thing so I decided to make a new plan for the next day. When I got home I still had the energy to have dinner and told my mom and aunt about the trip. After that, my bed became my best friend.

18 comments:

  1. Amazing pictures. I miss Penang. Sayang ang Penang Hill, di naexperience.. Hehe.. Anyway, may mga free taste pa rin po ba sa chocolate boutique? nakaka amaze ang mga flavors ng chocolates nila.. Did you visit Khoo kongsi temple?

    ReplyDelete
  2. you made me feel so guilty about taking a snap inside penang state muzium, hahaha! i admit im a sinful citizen of the art world (nakkiki-art world sa 'yo bigla!)
    hehehe.. :)

    ang husay ng walking tour mo, carla! a day well-spent; i am happy you enjoyed penang. sadly, few of our co-workers here do not appreciate its beauty. ewan ko ba, to each his own siguro. at least i am not alone in my views and opinion about this malaysian state. probinsya man, maganda din naman. pero syempre, iba pa din ang pinas!

    i wish i took those photos of yours of queen street temple in little india! you take photos so good, turuan mo nga ako!

    ReplyDelete
  3. wow, very detailed walking tour. bet ko ang mga temples na yan.

    i craved for that rice and tea. kainis! at ang sarap ng chocolate tour mo, for free. wagi!

    ReplyDelete
  4. thanks guys!

    @suroy - pagbalik ko na ang penang hill and yes, may free taste pa din sa choco boutique.. i didn'y get to visit khoo kongsi eh..next time ulit..:)

    @doc - actually i was also tempted kaya lang may cctv eh, saka ang tagal ko sa loob nakalimutan ko na rin magnakaw ng photos...

    meron pang part two yang walking tour na yan..di kinaya ng 1 day..relative din kasi ang "beauty" eh, so mahirap maki-argue pero ako natuwa naman ako sa penang talaga...

    and sa photos..grabe naman! parang nahiya naman ako bigla eh mas mabangis shots mo..hihi..thanks doc!

    @chyng - wagi talaga lahat ng free stuff noh! and also, ibang klase ang mga fried rice nila, tama ka, mahirap mag food blog dahil ang "masarap" eh "masarap"..di ko na ma-explain further.. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. great pictures..beautiful place..

    ReplyDelete
  6. Blow by bloy account! I haven't been to Penang :( Wish ko na talaga makavisit.

    ReplyDelete
  7. natawa ako sa cubao. hahah! Grabe carla temple overload. Ang gaganda ng outfit diyan. Nakita ko yung sayo dun sa isa mong post. Di pa lang ako nagcocomment. mamaya raransakin ko yun. Para ka na ring nag solo travel nito a. At ang smile sa picture, pa-girl ha hahah! Bawal ba ang wacky pose pag wala sa pinas? hahaha!

    ReplyDelete
  8. blow by blow account nga!

    after ko makalabas ng ph, parang gusto ko na rin i try yung mga nasa neighboring countries natin!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Parang mas nag enjoy pa ako mag-lakad sa Campbell St kesa sa Batu Ferringhi, di ka mabobore sa amoy at kulay na nakapaligid sayo meron pang Bollywood music as background di ba :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. @gay - sinipag lang.. hihi..

    @maricar - eto yung time na nag dress sown ako kasi ayoko ng commotion... nhuks! may ganun? at siyempre kailangan ganun ang smile kasi nakikisuyo lang naman ako :)

    @christian - yes yes yes! lesgow asia na! libre naman jan.. hihi

    ReplyDelete
  11. hi claire! oo nga, enjoy talaga ako sa area na 'yan kesa sa batu feringgi.. at gagawan ko ng separate posts ang chinatown and little india - parang ramdam talaga ang bollywood theme noh?

    ReplyDelete
  12. off topic : i'm the type of blogger who returns back and see if my comment gets a reply (may pagka-OC ano?) thanks for the reply, at natuwa naman ako sa term mong "mabangis" ...mukhang magkakasundo tayo sa mga terminologies, haha! panalo! salamat maam, carla!

    next post, please!

    ReplyDelete
  13. and yes doc! i do reply... kasi konti lang naman po eh.. haha..

    nakakapressure naman ang next post na yan... quota na to eh, pang 2 weeks..hehe :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Parang solo trip lang din! Ang cool ng walktour mo, cge lang i p-pressure pa kita sa next post mo... haha!

    ReplyDelete
  15. ganda talaga ng colonial buildings sa penang.sayang ang layo niya from kuala lumpur

    ReplyDelete
  16. @gladys - onga, yun din ang lumabas, nag solo ako dahil mga thunders ang kasama ko, pero happy :)

    @chris - oo nga, ang layo nga nito sa KL, 1 hour pag airplane pero pag bus more than 7 hours ata..

    ReplyDelete
  17. Grabe, karir na karir ang paglalakad! Pero infernez, okay ang ginawa mo! Sulit na sulit ang isang araw :D

    ReplyDelete
  18. hi nina fuentes! at buti na lang tumigil ang ulan. kung hindi ang laking hassle nun. i love walking :)

    ReplyDelete

chalkboard

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...