Cultural Overload At Penang

As my leaves pile up every month of service and to replace the legal holidays whenever I come to work, it was the time to burn some of these last month. The first time I was in Penang was when I was in transit from Thailand way back May. I didn’t have the time to enjoy its scenery because I just slept the whole night after I arrived at the main city and prepped myself to the airport the following morning. Choosing wasn’t that hard because I have heard a lot about this lively island from food, cultural events and landscapes.

I have a number of pictures I would like to share but this would be a very lengthy post if I compile it in a blog post, maybe I can add them later when I get home; i’d rather choose the relevant shots. If you want to see more, they are available on my Picasa or Facebook profile.

Let us start from the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was a good timing because they were celebrating their month celebration of World Heritage from June 15 to July 15. The moment we arrived there, with newly found friends, the people were astounding – there were a lot of tourists and also the locals themselves are preserving the pristine culture of Penang.

Penang

World Heritage Temple

The music players, draw, pastel and charcoal artists, singers and dancers were scattered throughout the narrow streets.

Penang

Arts By The Road

Now, let us go to the Kek Lok Si Temple. You would never miss this spot because it is one of those mostly visited places especially during Chinese New Year. Practically hiking up through an indoor staircase would give you a feel that has been developed for tourists. It was this time that I was feeling that I was being presented with too much oriental culture. I have never seen such beautiful carvings in Mandarin and Buddhist statues.

Penang

Kek Lok Si Temple

Heading up to the highest peak of Penang, the Penang Hill: For tourists, you have to pay 30 Ringgits especially for foreigners. Such good differential pricing that they can maintain an eight-Ringgits fare for the locals.

At the peak of the hill, you will see one side of Penang facing the island that goes back to Butterworth. We were not able to stay long because there’s really nothing there except for the exquisite Penang skyline.

Penang

Penang Skyline

Would you imagined that I performed all of these trips within a day? And yes, there is one more! We went up to the northern part of the island where the beach is located. Batu Ferringhi is not really that good when you talk about clear turquoise water compared to Redang or Perhentian. The beaches accommodate mostly the foreigners and the hotel fares are pretty hefty if you would consider it for a normal local tourist. Nevertheless, I am always astounded by the beauty of the of beach sunset setting, so I stayed for quite some time to experience its golden setting.

Penang

Golden Sunset

All of these pictures I posted were taken in high dynamic range. Sorting, combining three photos, mixing to the most vibrant tonal range without oversaturating everything and converting them to a computer and human readable pictures are very time-consuming, but seeing these pictures especially in print brought a big smile to my face.

I am set to return this November to attend the annual running marathon hoping for another chance to take more photos and focus on what the island has to offer in terms of its food specialty.

56 thoughts on “Cultural Overload At Penang

  1. I'm quite impressed with your trip to Penang, let alone the artistic photos that you've captured. Your snapshots have truly made an emphasis on Penang's artistic and cultural background. Would definitely love to see the Heritage Temple in person.

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  2. Ana Karen says:

    very colorful pix… 🙂 I just wonder about the arms of the images on picture 2 (right part). The place really always talk so much about their culture. 🙂

    Like

  3. Beautiful photos. I also enjoyed the video of the music player. The old man is lucky to have be able to practice his music skills and earn from it. I hope that we practice that also here in the Philippines.

    Like

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