Penang has often been called the food capital of Malaysia (or even Asia, depending on who you’re talking to) because of its unique, rich mix of Malay, Chinese and Indian cuisine. The former colonial town has more street stalls and tasty dishes than you know what to do with, but beyond the food, what else is there? Plenty.
In 2008, Penang (an island situated near the southern tip of Thailand) was named an UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the island has managed to hold onto its old world charm, traditions and culture.
Like most places, the best way to explore Penang, and get a feel for its culture and people, is to walk it. The government has even helped you out with a street art project installing 52 iron rod sculptures in the Georgetown area (on the northeast side of the island) depicting historical facts, explanations and scenes of everyday life that help give Penang its local flavour.
In between your stops at the food stalls, spend some time wandering around to try and find these clever sculptures. While some are clearly visible on main roads, others are hidden on little back streets and alleys – you never know when you’ll spot one and get another insight into Penang’s past.
Note: You can access a brochure with a map detailing where to find each sculpture, along with several other street art installations on the Penang tourism website.
About the Author: Alana Morgan is an eccentric expat living in the artistically stimulating city of Chiang Mai, Thailand. To learn more about Alana’s travels, adventures, and musings check out her incredible blog: The Paper Planes Blog.