I have been really really lucky to get to some relatively newly named UNESCO World Heritage Sights.
My trip to Malaysia offered more opportunities!
We picked up one of our travellers at the hotel and went straight to dinner. We went to The Sire Museum Restaurant. It was very pretty with lots of plants. Our trips include most meals and one drink, juice, water or local beer. It was warm in Penang. The beer tasted GREAT!
We went to the hotel and relaxed. It was not until the next morning that we got a really good look at the place AND the view from our room.
We stayed at the Eastern & Oriental Hotel. It had a very classic feel, and the rooms were old fashioned but not uncomfortably so. When we peaked out the window we saw we were over the pool. When the sun came up even higher, we saw we were right on the water!
I love this. The picture on the left is looking one way, the one on the right of the sun was looking the other…they were taken just seconds apart…but the lighting is so different.
Our first stop was visit to Penang Hill. At the top of the hill is a resort. The only way to get there is by train…I would call it an “incline” …something like The Peak Tram. You go straight up. There are people that live all around the hill and there are places for the train to stop so the people can hop on the train and go to the top or bottom.
At the top we got a beautiful look over Penang. Sadly, it was hazy so the pictures do not give the place justice.
We walked around the top and I said to Diane “at least we don’t have to worry about Monkeys” She asked me if I was kidding? “err No”….well…there were Monkeys. Just like in Hong Kong!
We drove a little way. Here are a couple of snaps from the bus.
Our next stop was the Goddess of Mercy Temple. There were many levels to this temple. It was incredible!
This is an “intention” tree.
I am not sure what it is REALLY called, but in Catholicism when you have a prayer it is called a “Special Intention” Each ribbon has a prayer on it…or maybe you would call it a wish. There are such things as “Good Fortune, Good Health, Academic Success, Career Success,” etc. Many of us bought one to hang on the tree.
The roof of the temple was AWESOME. It was a direct copy of the “Temple of Heaven” that I would see in Beijing just the next week.
We stopped by St George’s Church. This is SE Asia’s oldest and largest Anglican Church. I was struck by how simple it was. I am used to the ornateness of temples and Catholic Churches.
Another UNESCO sight was next. We went to the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion. (Also called the “Blue Mansion.”) This house won the UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Award for Conservation. The owner restored the mansion to it’s former glory using only “original” materials and techniques. Only pictures could be taken on the outside…sad.
You can see the workmanship in these pieces on the ceiling. They are made from broken pottery and pieced together…much like mosaic.
Malaysia is known for it’s flowers. Here men and women string flowers that have come in from the Cameron Highlands to make necklaces. Many of the necklaces are used in prayers.
I was amazed at how crowded the temples were in the middle of the day!
Here is kind of a fun thing. These items
are actually paper. Someone who is alive will buy items like beer, shoes, houses, boats, even fake money and burn them at the temples to send these items to their relatives who have died before them so they have what they need in the afterlife. I like the thought of this…knowing your family still wants to take care of you when you are gone.
Of course…what would an Asian Tour be without a Trishaw ride. Much like this experience in Hanoi- my “driver” decided at the most INopportune time to take the lead and throw us willy-nilly into on-coming traffic. If I didn’t know better, I would think this a plot by my children…well…I think I know better…
The drivers were good about snapping pics! There’s Diane! And here are Susan and Carol. You will notice THEY are good about covering up…I needed sun after our misty/cloudy close 8 weeks in Hong Kong. I had sun block on, I swear!
The trishaws took us to a type of floating village…the houses are on stilts.
We had one more mansion to visit. The Pinang Peranakan Mansion. From our notes, it is a mix of Chinese carved-wood panels, English floor tiles and is full of Scottish ironworks. Here we were “guided” as it were by the loveliest woman. I took a couple of snaps of her, but Alison was wise enough to get a proper picture. She was TINY and her clothes beautiful.
The house had some NEAT rooms and kitchens, but I will remember it for it’s tremendous white coffee. Diane was smart enough to buy some in a “pod” to take home. It was YUMMY.
(some detail of the house)This is the bridal bed. See the basket on the floor? When the couple went to bed, a male and female chicken were put in the basket. The next morning, the wives’ family was waiting when the curtains opened. The top of the basket was taken off, and whichever chicken popped its head out first, THAT was the sex of the first child. If they both popped out together? TWINS! Everything is so ornate!
This night we had our most traditional meal @ the Dragon King Baba Nyonya Restaurant
We had a FULL day, and the next day would see us off to the Cameron Highlands. We would be able to see the rain forest and I was looking forward to the tea planation!