Once an island only known for its Betel trees (because the Betel tree fruit, the Areca nut, from where the island is ‘legend’ to have first got its name) so we are told by our wise guide, ‘Norman’.
Knowing that the original birthplace of Penang is George Town, we decide to spend our last two night here in the heart of an area known as Little India.
In the daytime, it is an incredible place filled with colour and fragrance, but as we head out at night we see the street is moving.
We spy a few rats scurry into the gutters and drain pipes – and I confess I did squeal when I saw the first one and felt totally creeped out.
But to make matters worse, thousands of tiny shadows seems to dart around all over the pavement – eek!
Giant COCKROACHES !!!!
This is totally gross!
I need to use the ATM (and it is located to the side of an outside bank) and we decide it is best to keep our feet moving lest these pesky critters decide to crawl over our feet, or worse, up our bare legs! I feel itchy just at the very thought, and it makes my skin crawl.
Especially as we are wearing flip-flops (or as Australians call them ‘thongs’).
We find ourselves ‘stomping’ as we walk down the street!
In all our travels to over sixty countries, I’ve never seen an infestation like this.
Our hotel is also of a standard we did not expect.
So for once there is no review about that from me.
The receptionist was a really helpful and nice man.
The extremely few antiques were lovely including the antique day bed in the reception area which was really a great feature.
The toilet paper was a huge roll!
And that is about the only three positive things I could say about this hotel!
We do know that the area is very old and the buildings are quite historic, but this place was in my opinion very sub-standard.
So, rather than share our negative experiences, we shall just not promote this property to you.
As the wise old saying goes “If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all”.
But as we are here in George Town to see the Street Art, or the George Town Graffiti as it is also known, we decide to make the best of it.
I do wonder as we wander if this boy is standing on a chair on his toes (in the painting above) is because of the rodents and pests that crawl on his feet?
The two Street Art paintings above are by the Swiss Hotel and there is a gorgeous hotel opposite that is old and looks lovely. Why did we not book one of these two?
The George Town Street Art depicts a lot of local life, and also the Penang ‘way of life’.
Note the props that are real, and the art that reaches to it. Very authentic.
Penang is famous for food, so of course, it has to incorporate some street food fare.
Cats, kids, and cycles seem to be the main features.
I love this giant piece of art. What do you think?
George Town Street Art is a mix of old and new, and children are a big part of life here.
There are also many forged and metal signs that make up art pieces in the street. you will find them bolted to many of the walls.
It is best to pay and have someone show you around the streets.
We used a trishaw for about 1 hour and it was worth it.
The rider gets plenty of stops and he knows where to find all the art pieces.
Way better than walking in the hot sun drinking copious amounts of water and getting sunburnt. A few Malaysian Ringgit well spent.
If you head to Penang, make sure you spend a day or two in George Town.
There is a lot to see and do as we discovered.
I have way too many photos to share!
We ended our last day wandering down one of the Clan Jetties and learning about the family history over a nice fresh juice.
This is the Tan family and there are several jetties. This is a hidden place to eat and you can almost miss it as you walk through the house verandah to get here.
As we walk back at night I am shocked by the number of homeless people sleeping on the street.
I had helped a blind man earlier in the day with some of my small money, but there were many who seemed poor in one part of town.
I was touched by a poor Trishaw rider who slept in the street. It made me realise that the people we give our money too in the day we know nothing about.
I was glad we could be back to an area where we could genuinely help people with our random acts of kindness.
When we travel we try to help those who can never repay us. Not the fake beggars; and rarely the drug or alcohol addicts, but the genuinely needy ones.
There is joy in giving, and I find myself addicted to it.
As we leave George Town, I am glad our hotel was not fabulous. But I am more thankful that I am not sleeping on the pavement where rats and cockroaches run all around me. What an unimaginable life that must be!
‘I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content in whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.’ Philippians 4: 11-13
Life is not always fabulous. Life is not always grand. Things go wrong.
When we experience the bad, we make time to remember the good, and it helps us to be thankful.
I think it helps me to raise Explorason to be accepting and not always expect the best, but rather, we that can make the best of the worst situation.
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