Only planned as a short stop on our tour of Malaysia, Penang’s unique vibe quickly unraveled itself, exposing just the type of multi-layered urban personality we easily connect with. One of the most unexpected surprises is the way the cultural neighborhoods like Chinatown and Little India are so intricately connected. Turn one corner, and you are blasted with deafening sounds of Hindi music and the smells of cumin, coriander and coconut. Just around the next corner, musky puffs of incense smoke billow from giant joss sticks in front of a Chinese temple.
On a quiet evening stroll, we cut through the peaceful backstreets of Chinatown, under delicate Chinese lanterns strung across everything from major roads to narrow alleys. We couldn’t help but enjoy the distinctly cool evening breeze and peaceful solitude here, so different to its buzzing atmosphere during the day.