Penang’s capital is Georgetown, the second largest city in Malaysia.
Malaysia consists of 13 states and 3 federal territories. There’s the Peninsular Malaysia (or West Malaysia) and the Malaysian Borneo (or East Malaysia).
From Kuala Lumpur, one of the Federal Territories and the largest city in Malaysia, we took a 4-hour really cold air-conditioned train ride to Penang, an island off the West coast and spent a week there. Penang is known as the Silicon Valley of the East because of its industries and growing number of tech start-ups. A section of Georgetown was listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 2008. In the hot and humid weather, we explored the narrow and winding streets to see cool colorful street art, some of which you are encouraged to be a part of.
We would be walking along, looking at a crumbling building next to a functioning café and then come upon fun, creative, colorful, slightly fading murals on a building.
The surrounds and real-life objects are incorporated into some of the street art.
There are also a bunch of (52 of them!) wrought iron sculptures that share stores of Penang’s history of a particular street or area that they are located in.
Of course, I loved the cats! Only after I saw this did I read that there is a Collection of about 12 murals called 101 Lost Kittens. It was created by a group of artists to raise awareness about stray animals.
We visited Penang Hill, the tallest point in Penang. We also got to do some hiking in Penang National Park. From the park entrance we hiked to Turtle Beach, took a boat to Monkey Beach, and then hiked back to the park entrance from Monkey Beach. We had a little scare with some monkeys (Aptly named Monkey Beach) who apparently want your bags when it appears that there’s food in it. I thought this one was going to attack David as the monkey grabbed onto the backpack he was wearing just as we passed him on this walkway. The monkey showed his teeth some. But cool, calm, Yogi Dave, just turned around and quickly walked away from the monkeys.
We had to come up with a plan to get past the monkeys since the boat had left and we had no other way back. David tucked the backpack under his shirt and we continued on the trail again right past the monkeys. They don’t brother you at all unless they think you have food. It worked. Hiking in hot humid weather with a backpack under your shirt is probably not the most comfortable but David did it and it got us safely past the monkeys with our backpack and belongs intact!
We also found some great vegetarian and vegan restaurants. Not only was the food great but what really stood out were the conversations we had with the staff and owners of the restaurants. One in particular Pin Xin, is owned and operated by a vegan family. All the senses were involved to create a pleasing, peaceful, comfortable, relaxing experience.
This is from their website:
The world is undergoing a paradigm of shift, and it is happening every single second. People are starting to see themselves as more than just individual people operating in an isolated bubble, but instead as a connected piece in the collective consciousness of planet Earth. A single thought could affect your reality. Be the change we wish to see in the world is what Pǐnxīn Vegan Cuisine stands by.
Here in Pǐnxīn Vegan Cuisine, we practice gravitation towards the food we consume and the beverage we drink. By appreciating our food, it would then accept it’s role in our life as nourishment for our body and then essentially surrenders itself to this destiny willingly. You are what you eat. Our team encourages customers to fully appreciate and live in the moment, whether it’s eating, talking, reading, walking or anything at all. Be in the present.
All in all, Pǐnxīn Vegan Cuisine practices a lifestyle that aspires to create divinely inspired energy for ourselves and for everyone. Our goal is to inspire the future generation the importance of compassionate eating, living and lastly, to create a one world nation.
We talked with a couple of the family members and one shared his experience growing up vegan and then his questioning veganism phase. It was a rather profound discussion that left an impression on me. It was quite an involved discussed but basically in the end he shared that he came to experience for himself and understand, “you are what you eat.” I have heard this phrase many times but something about the timing, the setting, and the genuine sincerity of the person saying it really hit me. The food and drink we put in our mouths become part of our bodies just as the “food” we take in through our senses become part of and determines is some ways our thoughts and emotions. Now that’s something to contemplate!