Travel to Penang Malaysia
Welcome to the amateur traveler. I'm your host Chris Christensen. Let's talk about paying. I'd like to welcome the show ruth from Vancouver and that's not the one in Canada but the one in Washington and that's the state of Washington. DC. WHO's come to talk to us about Penang? Malaysia Ruth Welcome to the show. Thank you. Glad to be here and some of you met ruth. If you traveled a with me to Morocco ruth was one of the people on that trip and we're friends from long before that and you have spent the last. Three years up until the coronavirus down in southeast. Asia's that have I got. The timing writer was longer than Well, we had three years in Singapore. And then we were into our just pass our first year in Penang when the covert virus and I actually was here in the states and got stranded here as the movement control order went into effect inning and I wasn't able to get back into the country. So we're now home back in the state of Washington and Yeah. But Penang was our home for about a year. Will, and when we get to the point where we can, why should someone go to Penang? Penang is just a very interesting piece of as. You have three distinct people ethnicities who make up panning opening is one of the thirteen states of Malaysia. It's the second smallest. It's the only one that has a island plus mainland components, and the island is the part that we are familiar with. That's where we lived. We lived in Penang Island Penang. Island. Has Like I say three different distinct groups. There's the Chinese, which are about fifty percent, which is more than the most of Malaysia, your Chinese percentage, and then you have forty percent Malay- and about nine percent of the Indians who are mostly Tamil speakers so there from southern. Yup and then we have the expert groups and in particular, there's one large group of experts that now reside in Penang as a result of Malaysia's M. M.. Two H. Program, which is Malaysia my second home. So quite a few people have actually retired they've made it their permanent home. So it's a very eclectic group of different ethnicities and different cultures and they do not intermixed very much. So you really do have these distinct. And distinct foods and distinct ways of living and languages, and you can do it all in a very small space and people have been to Singapore Penang. It's about the third of the size of Singapore. And only has about fifteen percent of the population of Singapore's on the island about seven hundred thousand people that makes it much more spread out. You're not just in these big crowds of people and yet you're experiencing the same kind of cultural mixing and interaction that you might get in Singapore. I like to think of Penang sort of like Singapore before Lee Kuan Yew came in and modernized and sanitized. Everything, so Penang gives you that old feel I think of what Singapore would have been like. Before everything was cleaned up and so and not to say that it's dangerous or unhealthy to be there but you just get that kind of older. Feel you have people cook it on the streets for food and things like that. So the I highly recommend going just because it's different than a lot of other places you might go in Asia will in terms of Malaysia we're on or just off of the mainland portion of Malaysia in the. West Coast in the north. So we on cow before we're south of that which is way up by the border with Thailand and then we`re Two thirds the distance from Kuala Lumpur up to the type border. Yes yes. Like you say we're to the west of the mainland and very close actually up. I think there's only one one state may be two that are above pinning on the mainland before you get to. Thailand. So it is still pretty close to time. There is some influence of Thai Culture Thai food. In. What is in Penang Yeah I? Think you're forty miles from Thailand. yes. Yeah and what's interesting about pinning to is, and we'll talk about this a little bit more but you came and visited us when we were in Singapore and we went to the parental museum to remember that in singer. So Penang is one of three places in that Malaysian Singaporean area that has Parana Akin Chinese or also called the Straits Chinese also called the bubble Nokia's so they are located in Penang Malacca and in. Singapore. So I've actually been to all three places. I've been to the museums in each of those places and it's a fascinating culture. People from that culture came from China from mainland. China many years ago. treaters remember correctly yet and they came in and adopted many of the Malay Practices and cultures, and some of the foods and sort of turn them into their own. They were usually very very wealthy and their homes were extravagant and their furniture was lavish and carved, and they also incorporated some of the colonialism of the British. So they had fancy dinner ware and fancy glasses and mirrors and their homes were just beautiful and in Penang you can go onto Church Street, which is down in Georgetown and there is a Paranthan Museum there for Twenty Ringgit. which is almost nothing that's four ringgit to a dollar. So it's five dollars you can go in and get a tour of the product museum there, and it's fascinating. It was owned actually by a gangster. A Chinese gangster and his family I and It's now part of the state I believe as a museum and they do try to preserve this product can culture because it is only really in these three distinct places.