Georgetown, a suspiciously nice brochure … Beware!

View of Georgetown from Penang Hill, Malaysia

We decided to go to Georgetown, Penang Island, because of the very nice booklet of the tourist office. It was promising : multicultural gastronomy, museums, temples, beaches and sea! So we were expecting a lot!

Coming to the island by ferry is really nice, and the view let you see the 13km long bridge. We are welcomed by beggars, the first we have seen since a really really long time. And by a particularly hot weather.
Everything is closed on this Saturday, 3 pm! We finally find a place to eat. Dishes have been exposed for hours to the sun, we are the last customers.

Georgetown, Malaysia

Nevertheless we were still eager to discover this marvelous city, and we began to look for an hostel. Few minutes later we encounter a small indian-family hotel. Very basic, but cheap. We take it (usually we try at least 6 different hostels), vanquished by the hotness.
Alas, at this moment we couldn’t know how difficult it would proved to sleep here, due to the fondness of the other guest for socializing in corridor till 1 in the morning, their energetic wake-up (and us with them) at 6 in the morning, children crying all night long, and a mad women screaming to her shadow in the mirror “Leave me alone !!! Stop looking at me in the mirror !!!”. And God made the earplugs!

Food center, Georgetown, Malaysia

Same kind of deception for the food. We didn’t find the delicious dishes which were pictured on the booklet! Not so fresh satay (brochette), oily and cold “pasembor” (unidentified fried things), bad cendol (green sticky spaghteti usually delicious) … How disappointing! But we discovered an idian retaurant which saved the city with absolutly delicious indian classic, like a tender and savory tandoori chicken. Delicious!

Food center chinois, Georgetown, Malaysia

With this kind of hot weather, it’s wise to seek shelder in climatised area, like shopping malls (the “Kompleks Komtar”)! More seriously, we really enjoyed the state museum, with its heavy in text exhibition about the history of the island (used by different traders, then British …), notably during the Japanesee occupation during the 2nd World War. Here is a funny anecdot : the British had a local radio staring local Malay groups who played by ear the trendy music : swing! After arriving, the Japaneses forbade western musics (something about it having a bad influence), but the local orchestras kept playing swing songs, simply changing the lyrics to Malay!

Another good British invention : the Hill station at Penang Hill. It is so good to cool at this 800 meters above the sea level. Of course they used to go there carrie by 2 men, but soon after a nice funicular railway was built. Saddly it was raining.

Anglican Church, Georgetown, Malaysia

Chineese Temple, Georgetown, Malaysia

What marked us the ore about Georgetown is the mixity of culture. Literally in the same street you see successively an Anglican church, a Chinese temple, a Mosquee, an Hindou temple! But don’t be naive, they don’t mixe that much: in our indian managed hotel guest were indian, and in the “food center” in Chinatown, only Chinese.

jetty clan, Georgetown, Malaysia

The conclusion : sometime the booklet is too good to be true …

6 comments for “Georgetown, a suspiciously nice brochure … Beware!”

  1. …Il faut toujours vérifier les dates d’éditions des brochures…!!!Pour les boules Quies il y a pourtant des pharmac(y) qui gèrent toute sorte de silence..!!
    Restez au frais,et pensez à boire de l’eau!!Big big bisous.

  2. @Mumcocci : la brochure datait bien de 2011… 🙂

  3. Un petit moment musical pour mes globe-trotteurs préférés, avec “Im a walker” de Cascadeur.

  4. @Babo : c’est triste cette chanson… 😉

  5. Pour une fois, ça ne fait pas envie ! Il ne reste au crédit qu’un poulet tandori, c’est mince !UW5B Buvez du bon thé (l’eau est bouillie….). Bises aux Voltigeurs.

  6. @ Mamounne : Faut bien qu’on montre un peu l’envers du decor de temps en temps. 🙂

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