Great grub in Georgetown

Trip Start Aug 09, 2010
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Trip End Feb 01, 2012


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Where I stayed
Banana Guesthouse
What I did
Ate and ate and ate!

Flag of Malaysia  , Pinang,
Monday, May 30, 2011

Hello all you beautiful people!

Well we have almost achieved the impossible and caught up on this blog! 

It was very straightforward to get to Georgetown from Langkawi. It involved one boat ride that took about 3 hours. When we disembarked from the boat and jumped in the taxi we were met by the world's most energetic taxi driver! In the short time that we were with him he managed to tell us where to eat, the most expensive places to stay and what sights to see. He had this infectious spirit that had us excited before we had even checked in to our guesthouse. 

His information proved to be spot on too! We were in Georgetown for 10 days in total which is a long time for us. What did you do in those 10 days? I hear you ask. Well apart from catching up with this blog all we did was eat! I am not joking. Georgetown is out of this world for food. From our 20 pence banana pancakes for breakfast to 2 tandoori's for lunch to 3 roast duck for dinner every meal in those 10 days was a joy. I would actually be in bed thinking about what I would eat the next day and get excited. We went to so many places it is hard to remember them all but I am sure Karen will have a go. 

The other great thing about Georgetown are the beautiful colonial buildings and old Chinese shop houses. Where ever you walk you are surrounded by beautiful restored hotels, cafes and shops. As the old town is not very large it easy to walk around in a day. One minute you are walking through Chinatown with Confucian temples and street stalls full of roast pork and duck, the next we were in little India with bollywood shops, Hindu temples and the smells of curry filling our noses. All this while the Muslim call to prayer is being transmitted. Georgetown is a perfect example of Malaysia's multi-cultrism. You also have the old British side to it all with manicured lawns and stone wash administrative buildings where they still stop for afternoon tea. We loved the place! Hence why we stayed there 10 days. I will pass you on to our resident food writer: Karen Sargent. 


One of the frustrating things about travelling on a budget is that you can't always sample the best restaurants a place has to offer, unless you're willing to sleep on the streets and walk to your next destination. Not in Georgetown though. The best places are hawker stalls and open air canteens. If they're open, then they're good. The people of Penang are the ultimate discerning customer when it comes to food, and if a place's food isn't up to gastronomic scratch then it will find itself empty very quickly. I'm sure that if I look long enough into my family tree I will discover I've got roots in Penang. This place was heaven for me. 

The food here is so important and popular with visitors that the most popular tourist brochure is called the food trail. And it's a great little gem which shows you pictures of local delicacies and more importantly, where to get them. You'd normally find one or two things that are popular in a region. In Penang you get 20...and we sampled them all! 

Every single lunch and dinner we ate in Georgetown was a culinary adventure. We sought out and found, the best makers of Char Kuay Tiew (fried noodles with prawns and cockles), Asam Laksa (fishy, spicy, noodle soup) Veggie Popiah (rolls filled with turnip, onion, chilli and some other wonderful stuff), Crispy duck with rice, Honey roast pork, Murtabak (a pancake filled with minced beef and onions) Loh Bok (divine pork wrapped in bean curd and deep fried)...the list is endless. We visited one food hawker centre, called Gurney drive which has a hundred and five different food stalls. We found our favourite sellers of satay sticks and char sui buns which we visited regularly. This place is proper foodie heaven. If food was a god, Georgetown would be it's Mecca and all foodies would make a pilgrimage here at least once in their lifetime. 

And we haven't even mentioned the people. Everyone here greeted us with a warm smile and a huge welcome. One hawker, a sixty year old guy nicknamed Joe Ben sat with us for about 20 minutes. He taught us the four most important strings to play on a guitar, the secret to good Char Kuay Tiew (alternate low and high heat) and even the secret to life (fear god). He was such a lovely inspiring guy, full of life with a real twinkle in his eye who would burst into a Beatles or Cliff Richard song every now and then.

Ah we only left Georgetown 3 days ago and I'm already feeling nostalgic. 

See you on the beach in the Perhentians!

Lots of love
Karen and Paul
xxx


 
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Comments

mom on

Sounds wonderful please take me there x

MARY TSITEROU on

HI GUYS IT SOUNDS WONDERFUL U GAVE ME A GOOD IDEA AS WHEN IN THAILAND IN PHUKET AFTER 2 MONTHS WE HAVE TO GO OUT AND COME BACK FOR VISA PURPOSES, WE WENT TO LANGAWI AND KUALA LUMPUR TWICE IT IS GREAT WE LIKED IT AND NOW U GAVE US THE IDEA TO VISIT PENANG TOO I WILL KEEP THIS BLOG SO WHEN I WILL GO THERE WE GO FOR SURE WHERE ELSE TO EAT ! ! ! THANKS A LOT BEST OF LOVE

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