As I watched the going-ons of the street below my room, I can’t help but marvel at what Penang and especially George Town has given me. This atmospheric city tugs at my heartstrings and continues to show me, almost daily, the joys of living albeit sometimes amidst the trials & tribulations!
Since its founding in the 1780s, Penang became home to the peoples from all corners of the world. The earliest Chinese immigrants (mainly men) interacted with other local inhabitants, giving rise to the subsequent generations of Chinese Peranakans(or local born). Unlike their immigrant forebears, the Chinese Peranakans or Baba-Nyonyas espouses a life that integrated other cultural influences into their own(Chinese) culture. By the mid-1800s, the Baba-Nyonyas became the prominent economic, political and cultural force in Penang. Much of George Town’s history, culture and food can be seen as a narrative of the Chinese Peranakan (aka Baba-Nyonya) milieu of Penang.
“Penang, Food Paradise” – It Is True! Street food abounds as are restaurants of various ‘persuasions’ from unique Nyonya cuisine to Malay & Indian cuisine to food of Chinese dialect groups and the Eurasian community, etc. There are famous George Town “food institutions” and less known ones. Penang food is incredibly varied & good (yes we are biased!). As foodies, we love them all and this blog will give readers our personal take on many dishes! In George Town, Foodies rejoice – you have nothing to lose but your waistline!
Perfectly located, Betel Nut Lodge is inside UNESCO’s World Heritage site, the area of George Town with great historical and cultural significance. Within this heritage precinct, lies many heritage buildings from different architectural styles and era. But, apart from the architectural gems, visitors will also come across an incredible mix of Intangible Heritages of traditional crafts, rituals and cultural practices. Much of these places of interest are within the vicinity of our hotel and walking around is the best way to enjoy a visit to George Town.
Follow this link to some of George attractions:
Looking at downtown George Town with only a few patches of greenery, visitors can be forgiven for seeing Penang as an urbanised state. Unbeknownst to many, 10 km as the crow flies lies a whole series of forested hills and nature trails. Indeed, at least 50% of Penang island’s land area is covered by tropical forest. So, nature-loving visitors can expend those extra calories (from all those delicious street food!) by hiking the many Natural Heritage trails that criss-crosses the island.