While on Pulau Pinang, take a day to get out of Georgetown. With a quick bus ride from Komtar central terminal, I visited local markets, Kek Lok Si Temple & The Bronze Statue of Kuan Yin, and the Tropical Spice Garden.
Check out my article on George Town’s street art, where to see live music, and the history of Pinang!
Kek Lok Si Temple & The Bronze Statue of Kuan Yin
Kek Lok Si Temple, also known as the “Temple of Supreme Bliss” is a Buddhist temple in Air Itam Pinang. The temple is located up the side of the hill facing the water and the view is simply FANTASTIC! It may be the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia having taken a full forty years to build from 1890 to 1930. Walking around inside, it certainly feels big, it even has a rail lift to the bronze statue!
Pagoda of Rama VI
Also referred to as the “Pagoda of ten thousand Buddhas”, this beautiful pagoda stands out for having three different architectural designs from Chinese, Thai and Burmese influences. I climbed all the way to the top, each floor has its own shrine dedicated to the different stages of Buddha’s life.
The Bronze Statue of Kuan Yin
30.2 metres tall statue of the goddess of Mercy: Guanshiyin “Perceiving the Cries of the World”, this goddess places the deceased in the heart of a lotus and ferries them to the celestial realm of Sukhavati.
Tropical Spice Garden
While walking one morning in George Town, I ran into Alicia whom I had met in the Cameron Highlands. She invited me to the Tropical Spice Garden just outside of town for a free cooking class. Together with Alicia’s other travel companions, Ruby and Johanna, we got a free tour of the spice gardens! They showed us all the different kinds of palm trees, locally grown spices and exotic flowers!
For example the strangler fig seeds grow in crevices on other tree species, then they spread their roots down to envelop the host tree and grow skyward to reach the sunlight above the rain forest canopy. The host tree may die in the process, leaving a fully grown stranger fig with a large hollow center. Despite this aggressive growth tactic, the strangler fig is endangered.
Free Cooking Class
So we totally lucked out with this cooking class, it was all booked up when we arrived because it was a free promotional event. When we walked into the cooking class to observe, they offered us a spot to start cooking the recipe of the day ‘Kueh Bakar’; an egg shaped batter-thing with onions, chives and spices.
We may have slightly burned out first batch, however the rest went well and we ended up with a delicious batch of Kueh Bakar! It was so much fun putting our minds to the task of cooking this traditional recipe!
Again, on on one of my random journeys wandering the beautiful streets of George Town, I discovered this really cool Hotel that just opened in January 2016! As a Tiny House enthusiast and nature lover, I immediately fell in love with this hotel made out of recycled shipping containers!
Ghangaa, who works at the Container Hotel, was so kind to give me a tour of their new space! The Hotel has private rooms with attached bathrooms and capsule style dorms rooms that start at MR 50/night. It looks very comfy and its superbly clean. The public space are open, modern and look pleasantly relaxing. A great place to meet other guests and travellers! Definitely a place to check out on my next visit!
Local Market & Crème Soufflé!
My time spent on Pulau Pinang was amazingly fun! I met great people with kind-hearts, and full of curiosity and adventure. The island of Pulau Pinang is rich in culture, nature and delicious food! On your visit to Malaysia, don’t forget to stop through George Town and explore Pulau Pinang!