Penang is the second smallest state of the Malaysian federation. It is comprised of Penang Island and a portion of the Malay Peninsula.
Its capital, George Town, has a historical centre that has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008.
The old George Town is for the most part made of old Peranakan-style buildings in various stages of decrepitude, with some having undergone extensive renovations.
A couple of the main streets of George Town’s center have a distinctively touristy feel, with souvenir shops, restaurants, and bars that mostly seem to attract Westerners. There’s a good number of tourists, mostly of them young backpackers, that spend time in Penang.
I have no idea why one would want to go to a Mexican restaurant in a city that is famous for offering some of the best food in all of South-East Asia, but I guess that’s the price we pay for globalization.
Luckily, you just have to avoid the main thoroughfares and you’ll still be able to find some of the local atmosphere and typical food.
Visiting local markets is always at the top of my list, when I go to a new place. They always give me a great feel for the vibe of a place and the people there almost invariably make for great subjects.
The citizens of George Town are generally happy to be photographed, no matter what they are doing, and will often give the photographer their best smile and sometimes a peace sign.
Another source of photographic material is the large number of craftspeople’s workshops that open on the street. Again, we had no problem at all taking photos of the people at work. Sometimes, all you need is to smile.