Revisiting Penang's Heritage Trail

By Christina Kim - July 08, 2015


As Penang celebrates the Heritage Day with fashion on the 7th of July (along with events planned for the whole week too), there is no doubt the island is filled with excitement and cheer all over the place.
It is of course the norm for the state's brimming with pride over the status declaration and their spot on the list of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites since the year 2008, and in honor of this, the state has even declared the date of their award status then in Quebec, Canada on the 7th of July a state's public holiday.

Penang rejoices over the award, and of course that additional public holiday to the already generous list of gazetted public holidays in the country, to the envy of the rest of the nation (especially those in the workforce and school, of course).
It is deserving though, for this state has a long trail of stories from its humble beginnings which left behind remnants still standing here in might in parts of the city, well-preserved and as staunch reminders of their past.
It is this very fact which earned them the heritage status, as this is one unique city which welcomed both modernization into their realm along with the preservation of their nostalgic past.
While some parts of the city enjoy the flourishing successes of the new addition as a result of modern progression and industrialization, there are some parts of the city which appear as though time stood still and the locals seem unperturbed by the oddities and vast differences of it all.
Far above from shunning the distinctions, the locals seem to just embrace the gap in a harmonious fashion.
(Did you know that Penang is one of the cities with the most historical buildings still intact in Southeast Asia?)



It is a unique city and a stunning beauty as well, which is no surprise since their outstanding qualities have been noticed and admired by the entire nation and even the world, and the UNESCO award just cemented their base on the tourism grounds and Penang has certainly enjoyed the surge in their popularity over the past years with the local and foreign tourists flocking to the city to witness and experience for themselves the much reputed charm of the city itself.
The Pearl of the Orient is definitely reinstated in her allure and reinforced her world reputation.

I am proud of this little island; never thought that I would, to be honest.
I was born on this island, yeah, I am a Penangite but that used to be the only relationship to the island as I was whisked away to the capital city where I was raised and schooled and well, began the early years of my life journey. Most of my childhood was in the capital city, with seasonal visits (yearly) to Penang where my grandmother (maternal) resides.
For various reasons, I never really felt that bond with my birthplace, but all that kind of changed when I relocated back to the city for my first job and the rest, they say is history.

I guess in some way, I am still a hybrid; I could live on both the mainland (referring to only my capital city) and the island.
Don't make me choose, I love them both and they are both dear to me in very different ways.
Both are my homes and I will never be able to choose between them.

It is not hard to figure out why I could be so besotted with this island/region, with all its natural beauty and charisma.

There is just so much to love about Penang, that sometimes I could just fall in love over and over again.

It is fun to play tourist once in a while on the island, or maybe all the time.

In conjunction with the celebrations of Penang Heritage Day, I just dug out some of these old photos I took, which was almost a year ago when I was just playing tourist and explored parts of the heritage area.

*Most of the photos were taken on location in Armenian Street and the surrounding streets marked as part of the heritage site*




These are just charming reminders and I just love these quaint houses lining the streets!
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Old religious establishments 




The newer additions (my other article on this amazing street arts here)
I am just so lucky to capture this, at the right timing! It was totally not planned and is purely coincidental :-)




In front of the Masjid Melayu, or formerly known as Masjid Jamek (Penang's own Masjid Jamek)

Business is booming for bike rentals (motorbikes, bicycles)











I think the photos have done it all to tell you the gems scattered all over Penang city, and I don't there is any more need for clarification or justification for the allure of this beautiful city.

The crown is on the deserving head and Penang is truly the Pearl, and she just shines.

I am looking forward to more of such trails and sharing photos like these :-)

To Penang, and from Penang with love~

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