After my lovely stay in the Indonesian island of Gili Meno, it was time to go back to Malaysia for my last couple of weeks of gigs. I was aked to play a show in Penang as well, so me and my good friend Eddy, who is actually a Georgetown boy, decided to spend few days in the island to enjoy some of its vibe and vibrant history and culture.
Penang is worldwide famous destination for food lovers: its eclectic mix of cultures and cuisines makes it an incredible spot !
Of course, with such a great host, it was easy to soak up the atmosphere of the real Penang: so we went straight to one of the best and most loved food courts, where, as they already ran out of Kaw Teow (delicious rice flat noodles), we opted for the unmissable Penang Laksa,. I have my laksa place in KL as well, but it was great to taste it in its place of origin.
The next step was of course the infamous Reggae Bar, in Lebuh Chulia, right in the middle of the action as this is the main backpackers area of the city.
A Dj was playing a great mix of roots reggae and dub, while we could have few beers sitting outside and post some pics using the wifi. The owner of this place is a rather intense guy and he loves to party til late, so we have been good and managed to go back home quite early, as a gig was awaiting the next day !
I’m a big fan of colonial architecture, and Penang has one of the finest examples in the world. A mix of Chinese, Portughese, Malay, English and Dutch, had a great influence on the buildings of Chinatown. One’s gotta love these beautiful shop houses, all painted in different colours: they give such a funky vibe to this vibrant neighbourhood.
Some of these building have been converted to guest Houses or Antiques shops, but some keep the old tradings going, like old beauty parlours or tailors.
Scattered across the city there are several beautiful Chinese temples: i always find them great subjects for a snapshot !
Walking down the alleys of Chinatown we found this beautiful antique shop, full of everything one could think of !!!
Old photographic enlargers, original italian Vespas from the 60’s and 70’s and a crazy array of instruments and amplifiers !
An amazing collections of mini pianos as well !!!
We kept walking the streets looking for a place to eat, and i decided to bring Eddy to Little India and enjoy the fantastic food of one of my favourites spots !!!
Ananda Bhavan is a proper Indian restaurant serving traditional food, especially when it comes to South Indian delicacies. For as little as 6RM one can stuff his face with a huge vegetarian thali, in a perfect Indian style !!!
We needed to find a place to spend the nigh quite near the gig venue, so we opted for this old school guest house near the docks
It’s probably got to be one of the cheapest options in the city, and despite the funny look, the rooms were tidy and spacious and the beds comfortable.
We walked down the road to join some of Eddy’s friends at the local pub, where they apparently still serve Kilkenny, one of my favourite beers ever, who’s getting quite hard to find in the UK !!!
These guys are really into “calcetto”, and they’re so good at it that it was a pleasure for the eyes to look at them playing a proper competition. They come to this place since their teenage years, hog the table and play until night !
This is exactly what i would expect from a pub in the 80’s…a pool, records on the wall and a Dj desk !!!
One of my teenage years music icons were hanging on the wall, in a great and well framed black and white shot !
And then i saw one of the biggest pints of Guinness ever.. !! 🙂
As you would expect from a proper local pub, darts have their corner too !!!
It was nice to investigate the walls and read some of the history of this place and its usual customers !
So if you need a pint and you’are around the docks area, look no further, Church Street Pub is the place to be !
After few drinks we were hungry again, and we went for a night snack before heading to our room and try to get some sleep !
There was an Indian festival going on, and smashed coconuts were decorating the streets !
The well lit Hindu cart was making his way with its faithful followers, while the music was blasting from the speakers !
Once back in the guest house, everything looked quite, we could’nt imagine that the Hindu party was’nt over yet !
Right under our window, the full action was taking place, and this is when we realized that we we had few hours left to sleep !
Sunrise came in a while and even if quite broken up, we were ready to wake up and try to get our KL bound bus in time !
We walked for 15 minutes to the bus station as it’s lovely to see an Asian city waking up in the early morning ! As a nice goodbye, the sky of Penang greeted us with a beautiful rainbow !!
Chinese worshippers were coming out from the temple after the daily offerings took place.
And few meters away, the Hindu flower shops were ready to start their busy routines, selling marigolds to the pilgrims !
Enjoyed the walk as there’s always some great graffiti to make Penang walls even more interesting !
Tuk Tuk drivers were still asleep in their colourful vehicles, waiting for the first customers…
And someone who probably did’nt have a place to spend the night, could benefit from the hot temperatures of the Malaysian nights, able to turn every street corner in a potential bedroom !
After a 6 hours bus journey, we were back in KL, and i was already on my way to the first gig of the day..!!!
These are my last 2 gigs for “The Asian Busking Tour”, and even if i did’nt get much sleep, i will try my best to deliver my last 2 shows !!