Gorgeous Georgetown

Yes, the title is a bit lame but the adjective is really apt in describing Penang. It is in every sense of the word…gorgeous. Had the chance to explore it during September of last year as I visited a friend based there and met up with other friends who flew in from Manila.

After enjoying hawker food the night of my arrival with friends from Manila, Tsu and I met up with Sarah the next day and explored Georgetown. It was an extremely hot and humid day and we were just exploring by foot. By late noon, we were close to passing out but hey, it was all worth it.

A must do in the area is spotting the various murals which adorned Georgetown’s rustic streets. Here are some snapshots I took:

There are so much more and I’m bummed I wasn’t able to spot them all. Also, not enough time to enjoy all that food! Penang, after all, is said to be the food capital of Malaysia.

I am definitely coming back this year, possibly in August for the famed Georgetown Festival. From the festival’s site:

George Town Festival is a month-long festival which began as a celebration of George Town’s UNESCO World Heritage Site Listing in 2008.

Since then,  we have had the privilege of hosting spectacular events spanning the arts – from world-class performances to cross-cultural creative collaborations, experimental art, traditional and contemporary performing arts, as well as exciting local community initiatives and public installations.

Our mission is to become the platform for culture and the arts in South-East Asia, with a focus on George Town’s unique perspectives. For the festival month, the city becomes a canvas where performers and audiences transform spaces within it with venues ranging from auditoriums to  five-foot ways, colonial shophouses to sidewalk galleries.

In previous years, our events have drawn more than 200,000 festival-goers from all walks of life, and engaged up to 90 production groups, communities, artists, and performers across 145 programmes.

The festival continues to offer the best possible experience through our core beliefs of Collaboration, Community, Reinvention and Accessibility, intriguing audiences with our various free and ticketed events.

George Town Festival 2014 will take place over the entire month of August.

That said, see you again very soon Penang!

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Must see: Museum Bank Indonesia

As promised more photos from my Kota Tua trip. Now, the visit to Museum Bank Indonesia was not really part of my plans. But I went there anyway because I was finding it difficult finding a cab (an occurrence I am very much getting used to by now) and the museum was right in front of me. Best decision ever. Not only was it mercifully air-conditioned, it was also a visual treat that came at no price.

Jl. Pintu Besar Utara No. 3
West Jakarta – Indonesia
Ph. 62-21- 2600158
Fax.62-21-2601730
Email:museum@bi.go.id

Tuesday – Friday: 07.30 AM – 03.30 PM
Saturday – Sunday: 08.00 AM – 04.00 PM

Monday & Holiday Close

Free of Charge

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Quick trip to Kota Tua

Quick because I started out late and the sun was so intense I had to cut my excursion after only two hours.

Kota Tua translates to Old Town and is also known as Old Batavia in recognition of its Dutch origin. As per Wikipedia, “as an important settlement, urban center, and the center of commerce in Asia since 16th century, Oud Batavia is home of several important historical sites and buildings.”

However, I must say though that I am a bit saddened by the current state of those so-called historical sites. Granted that I have only visited Jakarta History Museum and Wayang Museum but it is those two that made me wish that they could have been better taken care of. Still, I had fun checking out the puppets at the Wayang Museum and I was able to watch a puppet musical for the first time! I couldn’t understand a thing but I thoroughly enjoyed listening to traditional Indonesian music performed live.

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Fatahillah Square is also a very lively place where people mingle or take bicycle rides, photographers roam and living statues amuse everyone.

Here it is as seen from the second floor of Jakarta History Museum:

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Living statues beckoning for photo ops:

Lunch was at the iconic Cafe Batavia and it’s like stepping into another place once I entered its doors. The place was designed to look like a classy colonial pub and it reeked of elegance with its polished interiors and fascinating photo-filled walls. It is also here where I tasted the best nasi goreng I’ve had so far. It is really good!

There was a sign upfront that says one has to ask management first in order to take pictures. I just whipped up my phone for a quick snapshot of the impressive photo collection by the staircase.

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More pictures from Kota Tua on my next posts!

 

The Big Durian at Night

While crossing the parking lot, I decided to take a quick snapshot of the skyline. It was literally point and shoot with my iPhone because a car was coming my way. When I checked the photo later, I was surprised that the street lights produced a flower-like glow.

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Sculptures by the Sea (Sydney), 2009

A throwback post here. As the title suggests, these photos were taken in 2009 but I never did have the chance to put them up.

While staying in Sydney for a while, I took a liking for coastal walks. The activity took a special significance when I experienced Sculptures by the Sea, an annual outdoor exhibit featuring the works of Australian and international artists. Stunning works of art plus breathtaking views is a winning combination for me and I thoroughly enjoyed gawking at everything. The whole walk spanned Tamarama to Bondi and involved climbing stairs and steep cliffs but it was all worth it.

My only wish was that I had a better camera with me. All I had was my Nokia N73 which unfortunately had a busted battery. Nevertheless, I plan to hit Sydney again so maybe it can be timed to November when Sculptures by the Sea bless the coasts with its beauty once more.

 

I am coming home!

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It has been a grand 4 weeks Singapore! Tomorrow, I fly back to the Philippines.

Must say I welcome this development with mixed feelings. The original plan was to stay in Singapore for a while until my work visa for (random Asian country) has been approved but obviously that didn’t pan out well. Nevertheless, I am happy to be heading back.

I’ll update my entries for 2013 Challenge (which I am über delayed already) once I am settled. Most probably by this weekend. A lot of catching up for me!