“Where is your favorite place in Malaysia?” I asked my Malaysian friends. More than half of them answered “Penang”.
I never made it to Penang during my first and second visit to Malaysia. It was marked on my guidebook, but I was captivated the beauty and comfort in Malacca. Penang was the last stop of my third Malaysia visit. By the time I was heading to Penang, I just couldn’t wait to go back to the heat after four days up in the wet and cold Cameron Highlands.
“Don’t forget to grab a food map in Penang.” was another tip we got from our Malaysian friend. That’s right, Penang’s food is so diverse, you need a map to figure out what to eat and where to go. It was the perfect place for Malaysian food lovers like us. The small town was concentrated with food. It was amazing to see how many food stalls are in Penang, and how those were full with people all the time. Seemed like people are just eating, nothing else.
That’s what we did for three days in Penang. Stephen mapped out all the different dishes and restaurants for the each meal. We had wanton mee, curry mee, char kway teow, Penang laksa, prawn mee, cendol, nasi kandar, almond milk, starfruit juice (just because I love starfruit so much), samosa, sesame ball, yam ball, chicken rice, chicken noodle soup, and many cups of teh tarik. Yet, we still missed many foods on the food map.
But Penang was more than food (although food was the best part). Its architecture was quite fascinating. I enjoyed touring at Cheong Fatt Tze mansion. An hour of an extensive tour covers his personal stories and the Chinese culture in Malaysia. Peranakan Museum was interesting. In fact, it reminded me a lot about Sultan’s palace in Java Island, Indonesia. Must be the foreign influence during the Dutch period.