Trip Start Mar 31, 2010
Trip End Mar 31, 2011

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Flag of Malaysia  , Pinang,
Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Georgetown was the first British colonial settlement in Malaysia and was the main trading port before Singapore was developed.  Ships from China and India would sail here on their respective monsoons and stay here waiting for the winds to take them back.  As a result there are well established Indian and Chinese quarters to the city, one legacy of this is that the food is fantastic: it seems that the street food in Malaysia is a big deal everywhere, but this is the centre of it, and there are leaflets everywhere for food tours and lists of the hundreds of street food hawkers and where they are on certain days at certain times.
There is a fabulous hotel called the Eastern and Oriental, and we can't resist staying here,  Its a lovely colonial building with a grand marble lobby, smart cocktail bar, gardens, bell boys wearing shorts and pith helmets....  One of the nicest things is that it feels perfectly natural here to get dressed up and go for a couple of cocktails, then go straight out to eat dinner sitting at a long table on plastic chairs (for about a quarter of the cost of a cocktail!)
As well as the colonial buildings, there are lots of art deco buildings all over the city with restaurants and shops on the ground floor, so its very easy to miss the buildings themselves, and then ornate Chinese temples interspersed between them.  Although in many ways its a very modern city, there is also a strong connection to its history and you can easily feel yourself transported back in time as you walk around the crowded streets and markets.
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Auntie May on

At last I've caught up on your travels. What wonderful experiences you're having, though I didn't like the thought of all the creepy crawlies in the jungle! Graham is now back in his flat and he's also keeping an eye on your blog. Love Auntie May

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