I’ve visited Georgetown in Penang a few times over the years and it has always been special, but now there is a whole new buzz in the streets of old town. New guesthouses and cafés have sprung up in renovated shop houses. The UNESCO heritage status may have saved these old lanes, and finally someone has seen their potential. Our quick getaway was timed to coincide with Penang International Jazz festival, but we did have time to wander the streets of Georgetown, too.
For someone with an obsession with old walls, Georgetown in Penang really is full of photo ops. We also were lucky enough to walk into a Chinese theatre literally on the street – I have no idea what was going on but the sparse audience of more mature citizens found it hilarious.
The Clan jetties have gone through a transformation, too. There is even a juice bar and many of the shops seem to have extended their selection significantly, unfortunately more on the quantity rather than quality side.
We stopped for a quick dim sum lunch at Aik Hoe on Lebuh Carnivon. By lunchtime the selection of dim sum was already quite slim but the atmosphere cannot be faulted. Grumpy old men reading newspapers, chatty old man chatting away, a couple of young hipsters. And deco from the yesteryear.
While we were heading for a taste of China House’s fabulous cake counter, we ventured into the shop next door (pop-up space at 179 Victoria Street). The pink tank is a bit misleading since inside we found gorgeous furniture, wool rugs, baskets and textiles. As it turned out, the pop-up is by Indonesian Cayenne Home, that I’ve admired somewhere in the blogosphere before.
Beach Blanket Babylon is a perfect spot for sundowners. A short walk past the E&O, it was surprisingly quiet on a Saturday night. Happy hour, chilled tunes and sunset – what more can you ask for? There is even a tiny strip of sand directly in front of it, if you feel like digging your toes into it.
This time we stayed at the Muntri Mews hotel, which was a perfect setting for this quick getaway to Georgetown in Penang. Read the review of the hotel here. Another great place to stay is Seven terraces, read our review here. It was a lovely, lovely getaway!