Friday, July 31, 2009

And if you’re tired of walkin’ around …

… just take a teksi (or a rickshaw).

Thursday, July 30, 2009

In the streets of Georgetown

A walk in the streets of Georgetown is an experience that should not be missed. All you need to do is to give a little patience and perspiration and you'll be rewarded with a multitude of encounters with the history and culture of a vibrant and culturally diverse city. Be sure … you’ll meet lots of nice people there.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Nasi Goreng

There are a lot of Malay food stalls here in Penang. And as you know, I like to taste everything. And of course I tried the Nasi Goreng too.
In Malay, ‘nasi’ means ‘cooked rice’ and ‘goreng’ means ‘fried’. Nasi Goreng is very popular here, many Malaysians eat Nasi Goreng for breakfast, often using leftovers from the previous day's dinner. The rice used to make Nasi Goreng is cooked ahead of time and left to cool down (so it is not soggy), which is one reason to use rice cooked from the day before.
Nasi Goreng Ikan Masin (or Fried rice with salted fish) is my favourite. It's ready to go (if you want to tapau), hot from the wok, appetizing (salted fish?! Oh yeah) and it has all the vitamins too (hmm..). Most Malaysian eateries from mamak stalls to big 5-stars resorts serve Nasi Goreng Ikan Masin and every place has their own unique taste (Chinese, Malay, Indian), that's why I would say this dish will never go out of style. It will always be my personal favourite!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Fort Cornwallis, Penang

Today, I visited Fort Cornwallis which is located of the north-eastern coast of Penang.
Fort Cornwallis is the largest standing fort in Malaysia.
If you think the man you see behind me is Sir Selamat Datang, you’re wrong. ‘Selamat Datang’ is Malaysian and it just means ‘Welcome’. In fact, the man behind me is
Sir Francis Light, who was the founder of the British colony of Penang (now Malaysia) and its capital Georgetown in 1786.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Jubilee Clock Tower

To commemorate Queen Victoria’s 1897 Diamand Jubilee, this Jubilee Clock Tower behind me was constructed in George Town, Penang (at the time a British Straits Settlement).
It was built in a Moorish style.
The tower is sixty feet tall, one foot for each year of Victoria's reign.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Durian, The King of Fruits

It’s durian season here in Penang, Malaysia and there are durian stalls selling this thorny fruit every corner you turn. While a lot of people consider the smell of durian as ‘stinky’ and ‘repulsive’ – so much so that they are banned in hotel rooms in Malaysia! – I love this king of fruits. Some of the best durians in Malaysia come from the durian orchards in Balik Pulau, Penang, which is on the less-developed side of the island of Penang.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Flag of Malaysia

Today, it’s Belgium’s national day. But since I am in Malaysia, let’s talk about the flag of Malaysia, also known as the Jalur Gemilang (‘Stripes of Glory’). It comprises a field of 14 alternating red and white stripes along the fly and the blue canton bearing a crescent and a 14-point star known as the Bintang Persekutuan or Federal Star. The 14 stripes, of equal width, represent the equal status in the federation of the 13 member states and the federal government, while the 14 points of the star represent the unity between these entities. The crescent represents Islam, the country's official religion; the blue canton symbolizes the unity of the Malaysian people; the yellow of the star and crescent is the royal colour of the Malay rulers.
Yeah … it’s clear that they seriously thought about all this! Nice flag after all.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Kapitan Keling Mosque, revisited

Here some more pictures of the 'Kapitan Keling Mosque' I visited last Friday. The name "kapitan keling" is used to denote the headman or leader of the South Indian Muslim community.
And yes, although I am in a mosque now, in fact t
he term 'keling' is derived from the ancient Hindu kingdom on the Coromandel coast of South India, and the local Hokkien community corrupts the word to derive 'keling-na' for Indians in general, particularly those from South India (The North Indians are pooled together with another term, 'banggali', though they are not necessarily from Bengal).

Yep, the Indian atmosphere is all around here ... and yes, I love it!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Kapitan Keling Mosque, Penang

Although until now, I mainly sojourned among Hindus here in Penang. But Malaysia sure is a multi-religious society. In fact, Islam is the offical religion. Approximately 60 percent of the population practices Islam, about 20 percent Buddhism, 10 percent is Christian, 6 percent Hindu and 3 percent practices traditional Chinese religions.

Yesterday, I decided to start with the majority. On Friday, the day of public worship in mosques, I visited the beautiful Kapitan Keling Mosque where I was welcomed by a very friendly Muslim woman.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pancakes, Penang style

One of the reasons why I love to travel is to try new dishes, and Malaysia is a perfect place to do that.
Georgetown, Penang they serve pancakes stuffed with various sweet and/or savoury fillings. The dough is cooked into a thin, crepe-like skin (but crispy), filled, and folded like a taco. The traditional filling is creamed corn and peanuts, but you can buy it filled with ham, chocolate, bananas, tuna, etc. Yummy yummy ...
It was fascinating to watch the vendor at work.
If you want to see one too, just have a look at Sumi, the pancake man.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pretty woman, walkin’ down the street …

Didn’t I say these women wearing those nice saris are quite pretty?
Quite pretty? They are smashing !!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Saris in Malaysia

Although I am in Malaysia, ‘Little India’ looks quite Indian … The streets are full young pretty women wearing nice saris. It’s a pity men don’t wear them, I would prefer it instead of this red scarf of mine.
It not so easy to wrap a sari. If you want to know how to do it, watch the instructions.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

"Little India", George Town, Penang, Malaysia

Malaysia is a country that consists of 13 states and 3 federal territories. Penang is one of these states and that is where I am now … more precisely in Georgetown, the capital of Penang.
The inner city of George Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sandwiched between Beach Street and Masjid Kapitan Keling (Pitt Street) and between China Street and Chulia Street is grid of small shops and restaurants fondly known as "Little India".
There is a colorful bazaar like atmosphere with the sound of Indian music and smell of spices and curry. You can get DVD of Indian movies and CD of Indian music. There are also many jewelry shops and money changers to choose from.
Mmmm … smells good, I like the exotic atmosphere here …

Thursday, July 09, 2009

2 years 2 late ...

Hello Folks, here I am back again … Sorry, it’s exactly one month ago since I published the last picture on my blog. Sorry mom and dad … but ‘old rats never die young’ so don’t worry too much about me. I am always comin’ back again.
Of course, I’ve been busy all the time ... I travelled from
Daytonaback to Tokyo, Japan. It was real fun to be back in Japan. I love the country and its people. But unfortunately I lost those pictures along the way … maybe we’ll find them later, so I might publish them at some other time.
But in the meanwhile I arrived in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Quite an exotic place to be … although, as you can read on the rickshaw, I arrive here two years too late. Malaysia celebrated it’s 50th anniversary as an independent state in 2007.

Rickshaws ... nice vehicles to travel in. I love them and I admire the rickshaw drivers.