Our day started early, despite staying up late the previous day. We were just too excited to explore Penang! We had complimentary breakfast at the hotel then walked to our first destination: Pinang Peranakan Mansion. It took us around 10 minutes to get there, very convenient.
Pinang Peranakan Mansion is a museum which shows a typical rich Baba+Nyonya house in 19th century. More about the place and its history can be found here. We had to pay a small amount of money to get in and included in the admission fee is 10 minutes guided tour. Don’t worry you can still explore the place even after the guided tour has finished. I have to admit I have minimal knowledge of Peranakan culture, but after my visit to the Mansion I became very interested and will spend time researching on the culture! It’s just amazing to see what’s left in the house; everything was so pretty, with a lavish mix of Chinese, European, and South East Asian cultures.
After spending some time in the Mansion we left and went to explore more parts of George Town. We passed by Armenian Street again in hopes to found Khoo Kongsi open, but still it was closed. We searched for George Town’s famous murals for the sake of pictures before finally went on to our next destination, Love Lane. What a name, isn’t it?. It’s basically a small street full of backpackers’ hostel and cute cafés. It’s also where I took most of my doors and tiles pictures posted on my instagram account.
While we were there, we managed to stop by 23 Love Lane, a boutique heritage hostel which initially we wanted to book but was full at that time. The front desk office kindly let us in and allowed us to take pictures on the lobby area.. ah, so many #instagrammable spots!
Then came lunch time. We had an appointment with my friend’s parents and wanted to have Peranakan meal. Our Google search led us to Auntie Gaik Lean’s – a Peranakan restaurant in Bishop street so we wanted to eat there. It took a while for us to reach because it was quite far from Love Lane and it was striking hot.. and surprise surprise, the restaurant was closed when we got there! Huhu, it was supposed to be open according to Google :/. Anyway while we were walking to find the restaurant we realized that streets were empty.. businesses were closed! At first we thought because it’s Sunday. But then we asked our reception at the hotel, she said it’s because of Chinese New Year celebration so people stayed at home with their families. Oh.. another thing we did not know!
After another Google search we found a restaurant that was open. To be honest I do not remember the name now as it was not that special. I think it was one of the very few peranakan restaurants that were open so it was very crowded while we’re there.
We then went back to our hotel, rested for a while because the heat made us verrrryy tired. In the afternoon we left for Kek Lok Si Temple, home of the biggest Guanyin goddess statue in South East Asia. We took Uber for around 20 minutes journey. The temple was huge, located up in the hills, and magical as it was decorated with lots of lanterns and lights. Since it was not dark yet when we arrived, we still managed to see the daylight view..
Of course the view was even more beautiful after dark. If we did not feel hungry, we would have stayed longer! We had to walk down the hills to find the bus stop to the city, no complaints, hahaha.
We were so hungry when we reached George Town and glad that we found Restoran Kapitan near our hotel. Again it was an Indian/Malay food because well, the Chinese/Peranakan restaurants were closed for Chinese New Year. Still it was delicious! I was too hungry when the food arrived so I did not take any pictures of the food this time :p. But I can tell you, their Claypot Briyani is a must try!
Because we were too tired and we realized that a lot of businesses were closed already, we went back to the hotel and stayed up to see Chinese New Year fireworks from our hotel room, right at midnight.
That’s how my second day in Penang went and I’ll be back with story of day three.. last day in Penang!