PENANG STORIES
PENANG STORIES
Penang Foodie Delight Winners

More than three decades ago, Australian couple the Durkins, visited Penang and stayed at then quiet and underdeveloped Batu Ferringhi. 32 years later, after winning a 6-night stay in Penang through a competition organised by Malaysia Airlines and The West Australian newspaper during The West Live exhibition in October 2013, they returned to Penang and noticed vast changes. For starters, there was no Penang bridge, much less two! There was only the ferry connecting the mainland to the island and there were no organised gardens such as Tropical Spice Garden and Tropical Fruit Farm. Now, Penang ‘is fast and busy’, observed June Durkin but ‘people are friendly and the place is as charming as we remembered,’ added Michael Durkin. 



Their prize was Penang Foodie Delight and sponsored by Penang Global Tourism while their 6-night accommodation was sponsored by Shangri-la Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa. It allowed them not only a week of palatable offerings from street food to fine dining but also a chance to view and at times, revisit Penang’s heritage attractions such as Cheong Fatt Tze, Peranakan Mansion, Little India and Khoo Kongsi.

Highlight of their stay in Penang is… 
Difficult to choose! Each day was different but if we have to choose, then it was possibly George Town itself. We love the street art and it was lovely to see people interacting with them. What surprised us was that they were actually locals enjoying the art on their own streets for a change.

An interesting observation is…
We remembered there was no night market in Batu Ferringhi when we were here decades ago. There was a night market in George Town though. And there was no development on the land side of the Batu Ferringhi road at all, there were only bushes.

Food in Penang is… 
Good! And it’s safe to eat the street food here. They’re delicious. However, this time around, we enjoyed the seafood at Beach Corner Seafood in Batu Ferringhi and the Nyonya food at Perut Rumah on Kelawai Road.

Speaking of Penang’s heritage… 
We both enjoyed the Peranakan Mansion. There was much more to see as compared to the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion which had lengthy explanations (that illustrated the place’s history).

Lastly… 
We’d definitely return to Penang because people were friendly and helpful. Even though it was busier, it’ was still quaint. We can’t understand why Aussies often go to Bali when it’s so much nicer here and safer too!