This post was written on a rainy Sunday afternoon in a coffee shop. I was feeling chichi. My words were flowing happily creating one long post, which I divided into two parts. If you want, you can read, do your stuff and read the rest of our second day in Penang another time 😉
Yesterday we didn’t have much fun in Penang, so we wanted to embrace it today by hiring a tour guide, Raff. We met Raff in a taxi stand at Komtar. In the road, between songs from radio, the male bonding (Hulk and Raff) and my coughs, we agreed to meet up today.
The places Raff took us around in Penang for RM150:
Such a guy! the first place he took us to was a war historic site. Fort walls, prison bars and canons. I wasn’t too happy about this. What could I see in this fort? It looked rusty. Gah..
I don’t like wars nor bunks, but on the other hand, Hulk was really enjoying it. He wanted to touch the canons, take pictures of it, take pictures beside it. He talked about reliving some parts of the battles. I was reluctant to tell him I read it somewhere that there was never a battle happened here. He looked so excited so I kept quiet. Being my boyfriend, it was a rare occasion that he could (and would) put his happiness on top of mine. I was fine to give him half hour of that.
While exploring and sulking in the hot sun, I found a chapel. First I thought it was a house but apparently not, built over two hundred years ago, people got married in this chapel. I wondered whether people still can get married here because that would be awesome. This place could be transformed into a beautiful evening garden wedding venue, with lots of paper lampions and flowers, overseeing the sea and the light house. How romantic..
The Peranakan Museum (my favorite!)
This museum showcased an old time Peranakan house complete with its furnites and tid-bits. It’s definitely worth to visit when you are in Penang.
I loved the decor the minute I entered it. Vintage, colourful and rich in culture.
The museum was divided into a few main areas. First ground had a living room, a kitchen, a jewellery exhibition and a temple. Second ground had bedrooms and balconies.
First we explored the living room. Few things there reminded me of my grandparents’ house like the figurines, mirrors and wardrobes. I also remembered not appreciating it that time when I saw it at theirs houses. Now I flew few hours and paid a tour guide to see the similar things. There was a pinch of irony. At least it happened only for me. Hulk, although very fascinated by these, wondered what some things were for. Different places of growing up.
Then we went to the jewelleries section. My oh my ! Sparkly things !! Gold and Jade in elaborate designs. I would love to be born as a rich Peranakan lady. I could see myself sipping tea from my fancy china while comparing our newest-most-expensive gold bangles to see who has the prettiest design (and that would be mine).
In this section, they also showcased the traditional clothes. Hey, my grandmothers wore these kinda clothes. I texted mom to ask where or did she keep any of their clothes. She replied “Why?”. I was too embarrassed to tell her I want to try it on, but I made a mental note to steal one from wherever she keeps it when I go back home next time.
Tired of being envious (me) of those fabulously vintage gemstones, we continued to the kitchen part of the house.
The kitchen, the whole thing, reminded me of Dowtown Abbey. I could see them chit-chatting here during free times, about life, war and town gossip.
If I was the rich Peranakan lady above, I would be Lady Grantham in this Asian Dowtown Abbey. I tried to channel her right there by quoting “What is a weekend ?” to Hulk. He starred at me blankly.
Anyway, the kitchen, you could sit here and order snacks, so we did. I had kue, and Hulk had white coffee.
There was another section just beside the house. The family shrine. We went inside. The whole place was so serene, we could feel the difference between the other parts of the house and here. Again, If I lived in this house, I would come here every day at odds hours for some me time.
We walked up, there were bedrooms and balconies upstairs. On the dressing table, there were make ups and perfume. French brand. I wondered, how long did those beauty products need to travel to reach their user?
It must have been fancy to have those things back then, but it made me feel grateful also for living in the year 2013. If I need something with the word ‘les’ on my face, I just go to Beauty Bay and it will be on my doorstep in a week time, free of delivery. Oh the joy of online shopping!
We spend a few good hours here, peering and taking pictures of anything we found fancy. By the way, the gift shop, don’t get anything there. We bought a souvenir from there, it ended up to be five times more expensive compared to other stores. The Peranakan Museum is located at 29 Church Street.
The jetties are house complexes built at the harbor on top of the water created by Chinese immigrants who share common historical, geographical and lineage origin. Apparently these settlements are a tourist attraction. Okay.. I grew up in a fisherman town. Salty water, houses near the sea, boats were common sights for me, nothing new, but Raff wouldn’t know that.
Still it was a nice experience to take a peek at different culture here. I got a feeling that people are more laid back on this area. I saw some of them walking leisurely or watching TV at their living rooms (yes, I was nosy enough to take a look through their open doors).
It was already noon, and we decided to go for lunch and asked Raff to pick us up again for second part of the day tour.