Monday, February 9, 2009

Even more of Georgetown, Penang...

Back to talking about our trip to Malaysia over the Chinese New Year's holiday, and our time in Georgetown.

We were up bright and early, around 10:00, so that we could be sure to enjoy breakfast and still make it over to the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion (their official site seems to load slow - if you care try the Wikipedia site) in time for their 11:00 tour. It's an great place brimming with all sorts of old artifacts and the tour explains how the whole place was designed for optimum feng shui.
The only downside to visiting this place is that they do not allow photographs inside, so we can't share with you what we saw - we do recommend taking the tour or even staying at the hotel they have there - it does seem that amazing.

After that hour plus tour we stopped at a local English pub for a pint and some snacks and then off to the Protestant cemetery. This old cemetery was used from 1798 - 1892 and is the burial site of Francis Light, the founder of Georgetown and Penang.

From there we hopped in a taxi to head over to Penang Hill so that we could take the funicular up to the top of the hill and enjoy the sights.
Only problem with that plan was that when we arrived there at 15:30 the first tickets up that were available were for the 17:45 trip. We took a taxi back to our hotel with the plan of getting up early and making sure to get tickets the next day. Our taxi driver explained how it was a bad system and that there are lines in the morning for the tickets and how he could have one of the girls that sells t-shirts buy tickets for us and he could pick us up the next morning and take us back up to the hill. The extra cost for getting these tickets far outweighed the cost of our time waiting at the hill so we agreed to see him again the next day and pay extra for tickets to be waiting for us when we got there.

So, the next day was planned -what to do now? Wander around and take pictures of more of the architecture...
We wandered west from our hotel, past some old ruins and up to the beach, where we stumbled upon a fully restored building that housed the restaurant 32 which had been highly recommended to Tina - so inside we went to make reservations for dinner.
From there we strolled across the street to the ruins of the Shih Chung Branch School where we easily spent 45 minutes wandering around taking photos.
It looked like it used to be quite a school, but it is hard to find a lot of information on it over the web. Apparently it started as a mansion sometime in the 1880's and changed hands several times. I found this blog from someone that graduated there in 1988, but really not a lot of postings. It would be sad if something like this ends up being torn down, but we can't even begin to imagine the amount of money that would be required to properly restore it.

More of our wandering in Georgetown....
Then after an incredible dinner we wandered over to Upper Penang Road which is just a closed off pedestrian way of bars with outdoor seating. Tina made a group happy when she tried to sneak over a get a photo that they were all lined up posing for....And that was our second full day in Georgetown, a couple of quick drinks and we were off to bed so we could be up the next morning to meet our taxi driver....

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