Archive for January, 2012

A Warm Welcome: Georgetown

Georgetown From Ferry's Perspective

When I came to Penang 6 years ago I could hardly recall anything. The only thing i could remember was Parasailing in Batu Feringgi beach. I didn’t think it was impressive at all. But I was finally back on November last year and it stroke me that Penang has so many to offer, particulary to this notes; Georgetown.

Georgetown generally known with its famous food. Hundreds of street delicacy’s scattered all over the town. The mixture of three major ethnicity traditional dishes; Malay, Indian & Chinese is  an epic combination for those who love to challenge their gastronomical senses. Apart from it, Georgetown also has the cultural and historical credentials to match with any asian top cities. And the people, don’t ask me, probably one of the most hospital I’ve ever met.

I was fascinated with the city right away after this trip . I have been telling everyone who comes to KL to make a decent  few days stop in Georgetown. Thou I didn’t have the luxury of convenient timing going around, but I managed (again)  to get the highlights of  it and as predicted, there were many amateur snapshots taken by me depicting the beauty of this city.

Gurney Drive

One Of Many Stalls at Gurney Drive

It’s a surely crowded place, it is also surely a strong magnet for most tourists who visit Georgetown, perhaps this place is a to do list in everyone’s itinerary. But for me that was the most fun part of it. Queuing with many people just to have a signature penang fried char kway teow, and being offered by so many hawker seller while wandering around. Satay, Sotong Kangkong, Pesambor, I could just go on and make your mouth becomes really watery, but I guess everyone has just to go there to prove it.

Some Chinese Dishes (couldn't recall its name)

Penang Peranakan Mansion

The glamorous mansion of former Penang Rich Man or what they called “Baba” in the 19th century is probably one of the most interesting highlights I saw when I was there. The meticulous interior design of the house, antique collectible items orchestrated with the decoration inside, as well as its architecture reflects the chinese strong presence with mixture acculturation to Melayu sense and british colonials. This mansion perhaps can give you a glimpse of extravagant lifestyle of Baba’s rich family live in the past and what legacy that he has left to his generation.  Entrance fee is RM 10.

Gazing at the back entrance

Interior Superior

Chow Rasta Market

What’s  a trip to Georgetown without visiting Chow Rasta Market and buy some of those exotic fermented fruit? For most local tourists, this place is a typical agenda when they make a visit in Georgetown. Chow Rasta Market sells variety of savoury of signature fermented fruit or locally known as “Jeruk”. The colorful fruits arranged nicely on those container box is probably one of the strongest attracting factors for visitors.


Old Buildings 

Time constraint was the reason I didn’t have much exploring on the old buildings part of Georgetown. There might be probably tons of it. I didn’t go to many places nor I could go inside of those buildings I stopped by. However, I still managed to capture the preserved old buildings and to visit the old british cemetery remaining in the heart of this historical town.

A Typical old shophouses

Even bars incorporated a historical architecture

City Hall

Eastern Oriental Hotel Since 1885

Convent Light Street

The Graveyard

The Church

In case you decide to go to Malaysia, don’t be afraid to fancy Georgetown because it is always tempting.

Siem Reap: An Archaeological Park Adventure

As soon as i finished the immigration clearance I saw a tuk tuk driver holding paper with my name printed on it. The tuk tuk driver was ready to pick me up, a free service from the hostel I stayed.

It came to my surprise that on my way from airport to the hostel, I saw a long stretch of  many hotels in one street. The longest stretch of Hotels in a single street I might have seen. That clearly tells Siem Reap now is a progressive tourism option for traveller both western and Asian.

I was really lucky that the manager of my hostel “Hak” took special attention to each and every of his resident. He gave me considerably important information about how to maximize my 3 days 2 night trip without missing out the highlights of Siem Reap. He also told me to hire his designated tuk tuk driver, only cost me USD 12 for whole day. It would have been better if i was with the group to share the cost, because maximum it can take up to 4 passengers. but since the cost was not that expensive, It wouldn’t hurt to pay extra.

Walking tour (Old Market)

Flood Around My Hostel

Old Market Just Dried Out From Flood

Siem Reap was covered with flood few days before I came, and   water just dried out in the old market area. But it did not stop people from carrying on their activities and it surely did not stop me from going there. Old market consists of many shops offer typical cambodian souvenirs.  Wet market and bar street are part of the old market area as well, where options for cheap and decent dining are distinctive. I found a t-shirt cost only USD 2.  Quality? highly comparable to those t-shirt you find in malls. Bargaining is a common but don’t be too hard. Those people need business too. Fine dining in one of those restaurant will not rip your money off. It costs around USD 2-3 for one proper meal, and 50 cents for a glass of draft beer on happy hour

War Museum

War Museum

I had quite high expectation on the museum. I normally found that nation that was ruled by dictator regime has official war museums as way of looking back, respecting the people who were the victim of the war, just like saigon has with its War Remnant Museum. But after entering the museum, I didn’t feel it was like museum, because first it was outdoor , and most of the properties are not maintained well. Only few visitors sighted there. The admission ticket is  USD 5 but I think it was not worth going.

Purchasing Angkor Wat Tickets

Hak suggested me to buy the ticket a day earlier around 6 pm just to avoid the queue next morning.  Interesting point about the ticket is, your picture will be taken on the spot and printed on the ticket which definitely become great memorabilia to collect. I also understand that local is allowed to enter the complex for free. I could have pretended to be a cambodian since when I did walking tour in old market, there were many people talk to me with cambodian, but i remember that I don’t speak their language. I was afraid that if they would find out, it could become troublesome. So it didn’t happen :). Another gimmick that was informed by Hak when purchasing a day earlier ticket is I could get a free entrance to witness the sunset in one of the temple, Pnom Bakheng. A beautiful one indeed with rainbow appeared in the sky at the time of my visit.

Pnom Bakheng

The Famous Angkor Temple Complex

Most of tourists will try their best to see the sunrise at Angkor Wat temple. It is pretty heard of anywhere that sunrise watching there is something that shouldn’t be missed. But for me, waking up by 4 am in the morning was not as easy as i thought it would be. Especially because I did not have much sleep the day before. But, when you were to see the silhouette of the sun that gradually comes from behind the Angkor temple like you’ve seen in postcards, You sort of forgetting how heavy your eyes was. The sunrise was spectacular as it is told.

Since the complex is huge, the tuk tuk driver is allowed to drop you in any place within it. It is pretty convenient to do the temple hopping that scattered around the complex. After the remarkable sunrise watching, I went to most of the major temple located there namely Bayon, Elephant Terrace as well the famous Ta Phrom where tomb raider movies was shot. And  I was again amazed with how the government of cambodia with the help of UNESCO try to preserve the sites.

Angkor Wat Sunrise

Angkor Wat Complex

Angkor Wat - 3 Main Tower

I Couldn't remember the name of this temple

Also this


Ta Phrom

Angkor National Museum

The closure for my whole day archaeological adventure ended in Angkor National Museum. A newly built museum with a combined modern and traditional  Cambodian architecture.  Admission ticket is USD 10 inclusive the audio device help. I was not allowed to take picture but the museum is so empty that I managed to take some inside picture. The museum mostly tells you about the kingdom in the past and buddhist establishment in Cambodia.

Angkor National Museum

The Siem Reap trip is definitely one of my favorite. It brought me to a realization that what remains from the great establishment in the past is still celebrated there and people care so much about preserving it. Well, it is always good to see how history of a nation has broaden your perspective. It is also a good reminder for us that we should be able to respect our own history and learn how other nations has taken good appreciation and care of theirs.

For more picture you can search in my facebook, just type my name “abdureza muhammad” and find it in my photos page.