Penang was chosen for its sumptuous street food and nostalgic heritage setting and easy walkability in the city.
Not for its skywalk or theme parks or 40-storey (and 60-storey) towers or Botak Hill or planned artificial islands or six-lane highways or golf courses or polluted sea water. You get the drift.
Unfortunately, if we don’t protect our prized assets, the way we are going, we are rapidly losing whatever charm we have left. We are even allowing rows of pre-war buildings in the broader heritage setting to be sold to developers who want to build more towers. That’s so short-sighted.
See the CNN citation below:
Another country celebrating a big milestone is Malaysia, which turns 60 in 2017.
The best way to celebrate a birthday? Food, of course.
The Malaysia island of Penang is arguably one of Asia’s best street food destinations. It offers a mix of traditional Malay, Chinese and Indian dishes, as well as fusion cuisines such as Baba Nyonya, or Peranakan, which incorporates regional ingredients and Chinese and Malay cooking methods.
All of it can be found in hawker centers and shop houses throughout George Town. Combine this with the city’s collection of historic buildings in various styles, from old English colonial mansions to classical Chinese shophouses and Islamic mosques, and you have a city made for walking and eating.
But there is a downside: the makeover of George Town to cater to the influx of visitors has resulted in the gentrification in George Town and in the process, low-income communities have been forced to move out, budget hotels for back-packers have given way to boutique hotels, and old-style coffee shops have been replaced by more expensive cafes. So there has been a loss as well.