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
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).
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!