Friday, April 29, 2011

A few more images from George Town...

Kapitan Keling Mosque

Teochew Temple

Street Of George Town

Corner shop

Chinese Quarters

On July 2008, George Town was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. Founded 200 years ago, the city certainly has an impressive collection of historical buildings representing the cultural heritage of Penang's various ethnicities: Chinese, Indians, Arabs, Malays, Siamese, Burmese and Europeans.

We are surprise at the differences between the pristine colonial buildings and the Chinese Quarters with their narrow streets, lack of pavements and open sewers. At times, the noisy, busy streets and the varied smells are quite overpowering.

Further walking through the street of George Town before we find the spot to catch the bus back to the hotel. A nice swim in the pool to finish the afternoon off, then we get a bit adventurous and decide to take a ride on a jet ski. What a thrill, well worth the 60RM.

We go back to our little café for our tea, as yesterday the service is great and so is the food.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

More images from George Town...

One of Fort Cornwallis many cannons

Penang Channel

Clan Jetty
A unique Chinese settlements along Weld Quay, with homes built along wooden piers that extend to the Penang Channel. the residents of each clan jetty are descendants of Chinese immigrants.

Clan Jetty

Statue in front of temple

Yap Kongsi Temple

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 8...

Today after a hearty breakfast, we decide to take the bus to George Town to have a look around. It only takes ½ hour to get there and cost 2RM each. We start the Heritage Walk by the residence of Ku Din Ku Meh (1848-1932), a Kedah Malay who was the administrator of Setul.

Residence of Ku Kin Ku Meh

As we walk along Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shad, we come across Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, a grand and intricate estate built by one of the wealthiest tycoon of the turn of the 20th century. The mansion is a fusion of Oriental and Western architecture.

Cheong fatt Tze Mansion

We walk past the Cathedral of Assumption, Penang State Museum and St George’s Church.

St George's Church

Then turn into Esplanade Road to checkout the Town hall and City Hall.

Town Hall

Quietly walking along the seaside, we come closer to Fort Cornwallis. This fort was built by Francis Light after his landing on the island in the early 19th century; it served as military and administrative centre of the British east India Company, then was used by the Sikh police and now is a well looked after tourist attraction. We were surprise that the admittance cost was only 2RM each.

Clock Town seen from the wall of Fort Cornwallis

That is all I have time for tonight. I will be back tomorrow with more photos of our walking tour of the historic city of George Town.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Day 7...

Today we are leaving Singapore. We are getting picked up nice and early to catch our flight to Penang.  Another stamp on our passport and we are off. Smooth flight and great service once again. More security check and eventually we get to our driver, who is waiting to takes us to our hotel “The Flamingo” which has great rooms with awesome views and a great pool.

View from our room

We take a walk down the street to get our bearings and get a few things from the shops. The streets here, are certainly not as clean as in Singapore. The traffic is quite heavy and the pavements are not very wide; there are plenty of little roadside eateries, but I am not sure I would be happy to eat at any of them. The standing of hygiene is not quite the same as ours. We walk back to the hotel, taking a detour by the beach where to our surprise there are fishermen’s shack laying all along the beach, with their boats just anchored off shore.

Walk along the street

Fish hawkers on side of road

The hotel's pool

We go a short way down the road to grab some tea from one of the café along the street, not quite the cafés we are used to but it smells good and food taste delicious. 
Another short walk along the beach to watch the sun set, then back to our room for a well earned rest.

Our favorite place to eat

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day 6...

Early start today as we get picked up at 8.00 am to go to the Zoo. The bus ride is quite comfortable and our guide is very knowledgeable. As we drive along, we get a chance to look at some of the areas of the city we haven't walk through. The zoo has a fantastic set up, as most of the animals are kept in near natural environment. We first take the tram around the zoo to get an idea where the animals are kept.

The tour allows us plenty of time to have a good look at everything and spend time to take shots of not only the animals but also the beautiful orchids that can be found around the place.

Instead of going back to the hotel we asked to be taken to the flyer. 150 m in diameter, the flyer is an amazing engineering feast. We get on board for a smooth, slow ride around to the top for an incredible view over the city then quietly back down again.

The Singapore Flyer

View from the Top

A thunder storm comes over and we have to take cover for 15 minutes before the sky clears up again. We, then walk across the bridge to the Marina Sand Hotel for a ride up to the Skypark.
We purchase our tickets and ride the elevator to the 56th floor. A very quick and quiet ride to the top. The view from up there is amazing. It’s a shame that the weather is now a bit grey, but it still worth it, and I think it would be great to stay here for just one night so you could get to swim in that swimming pool and look over the edge.

Pool with a View
Marina Bay Sands Swimming Pool

Friday, April 22, 2011

More Photos from Day 5...

Birds Of Prey Show
Julang Bird Park

Julang Bird Park

One Of Chinatown's Street Markets

Sri Mariamman Temple

A Varied Skyline

View from our Hotel Room

We are off to the zoo tomorrow so stay tuned.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 5...

Another great start to the day with breakfast at the hotel. Everything is so well set out and organised. There is plenty of food to choose from or you can even get the chef to cook a fresh omelette or some French toast.
We have decided to take a taxi to the Jurong Bird Park. It’s about ½ hour away from our hotel and the taxi rides are cheap here.


What a lovely place it is with such a great variety of bird life. There are over 4,600 birds across 380 species and the park is one of the world’s best in the conservation and display of birds in its natural settings.
We sit down to watch the Birds of Prey Show. Eagles, falcons and hawks are let loose to show their natural predatory instincts in simulated hunt. What a wonderful sight, hope the photos come out ok. Then onto the African Waterfall Aviary with its man made waterfall, the Lory Loft and finally catching the end of the Birds and Buddies show. It seems like we have been walking for miles, looking over this amazing place and it is now time to catch a taxi back to the hotel.



Some quiet moments spent in our room, looking over the photos I took, some did not come out as well as I hoped. Never mind.
We again take a leisurely walk down to Clarke Quay; it is such a lovely area by the river with plenty of shops and restaurants to choose from. A little further and we again end up in Chinatown. After another good look around and spending some money, we go back to our favourite little Chinese man on Temple St for our $5 plate of noodles and seafood, Richard even tries out the Malaysian Tiger Beer.
More photos tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day 4...

Another very appetising breakfast before our driver picks up right on time at 8.45am. Only takes 45minutes to get to the airport, so we have plenty of time to get our bags and flight organised. Stopped in to get a coffee and hot chocolate, then went on through to security to get to the waiting area for our flight. Again, we didn’t have too much to wait till we had to board. A short and sweet flight to Singapore, those ear plugs that I purchase back in Adelaide are certainly doing the job, my ears have not given me any trouble this time.

We get taken by our transfer driver to our hotel, “Hotel Miramar”. Our fantastic room is on the top floor with some great view over part of the city.

Singapore River, not far from our hotel

After a revitalising cup of coffee, we take a walk down to Clarke Quay along the Singapore River, then on towards Chinatown to look around the markets and have something to eat.

Clarke Quay Plaza

Skyline Reflections

Along the river

This place is quite different from Kuala Lumpur; everything is so clean and much roomier. Despite the small size of the island and the number of people living here, there is an open feel to the city. Lots of high-rise buildings, some under constructions, and lots of nice green areas with the streets and highways beautifully decorated with tropical flowers and plants.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 3. cont...

Inside the Chinese Temple

We drive through the Portuguese Settlements where Portuguese descendants still live and then proceed to the gateway “Port of Santiago” and the ruins of St Paul’s Church.

Port of Santiago

Fort near St Paul's Church

We have a nice lunch at a local restaurant then go on to further explore the place, next comes a visit to Cheng Hoon Teng Temple – the only place where you can find 3 major doctrines of local Chinese belief under the same roof, ie Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. We then take a stroll along Malacca’s Jonker Sreet, which ends by the banks of the Malacca River near the Christchurch plaza. Being a Saturday the Plaza is a hive of activities and plenty of tourists are taking advantage of the tri-shaw to get around. Our final stop before our return trip, is at the full size replica of a Portuguese Galleon which exhibits the varied maritime history of Malacca during its seven eras; Malay Sultanese era, the Portuguese era, the Dutch era, the British era, the Japanese era, the British again and finally the Malaysian Independence in 1957.

Jonker Street

Malacca River

Decorated Tri-shaw

A quick stop, at the request of one of our fellow passenger, at a market stall, to give all of us the opportunity to try a Malaysian fruit known as durian, not that pleasant to smell or taste. All in all, a very pleasant day spent in very good company visiting a lovely, busy and at time loud place.
We are moving on to Singapore tomorrow, so after our dinner at our little cafe down the road, we return to the hotel for a well earned rest.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 3...

Today we are going on a tour of Malacca.
We get picked up right on 8.45am and quickly make our way onto the main highway to Malacca. Our driver has us speeding along, following miles of palms and coconut tree plantations. Everything is so green and lush. Two hour later we find ourselves into the old city of Malacca

St Peter's Church

Making our way through narrow streets, we first visit the church of St Peter (1710) – the oldest Christian Church which is still in use now. We then, travel towards the largest Chinese Temple and cemetery outside of China, which is located at Bukit Cina (Chinese Hill), a quick stop to check out the temple and the Sultan’s Well and climb the small hill to view some of the old graveyard site.

At Bukit Cina, Chinese Temple

Inside the courtyard

Cemetery at the top of the hill