Penang – Pearl of the Orient

Penang-1 As I mentioned last week, I’ve been a traveling fool so far this year. And, back at the end of January, I kicked off an around-the-world trip with a visit to the island of Penang, Malaysia. Located on the western coast of Malaysia, a few hundred miles south of the border with Thailand, Penang is an island of about 400 square miles and is home to both a booming manufacturing industry as well a a small but interesting agricultural segment.

Penang is an interesting place, with deep ties to British colonialism as well as its roots of Malay, Thai, Indian and Chinese culture. Once known as the Pearl of the Orient for its beauty and tranquility, Penang today is a juxtaposition of modern technology and industry with ancient and primitive traditions.

Penang is one of my favorite places in the world, due to its variety of cultures, interesting and often eclectic mix of new and old, and especially its food!

Indeed, the mix of cultures is very evident in the unique food, which is vibrant and exciting. The Chinese food borrows from Malay, the Thai borrows from Indian, they all mix and match and the result is something to be enjoyed! Street food, or “hawker food,” is excellent, the best in Asia in my opinion… Seafood is bountiful, and the sign at this hawker stand say it like it is:


Some food, however, may be best left to only the most adventurous eaters:


I’ll leave you with a few more pictures, and next time I’ll talk a little more about the Malaysian people – a friendly lot!



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