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Last weekend had a public holiday attached to it in Malaysia. My birthday was on Friday so Kelly and I travelled to Penang for the weekend and the Monday-off.

Penang is an island off the west coast of Malaysia, about four hours drive from Kuala Lumpur. As is always the case on long weekends, many of then locals living in the city go home to the other states to visit family and friends. The mass exodus is not without it’s negatives — we counted six accidents on the one road we took out to Penang. None looked too serious, but traffic slowed to a crawl during the otherwise 300+ kilometre stretch of 120kph freeway.

We stayed in George Town, the ‘old’ part of Penang. Similar to Malacca, the town has many old Chinese houses and shop fronts unchanged from their original designs from up to 200 years ago! Unfortunately (or fortunately) laws have been passed recently to allow owners to charge more for rent, giving reasons for owners to rebuild and improve these residences.

As we walked around the town, I was struck by the architecture and texture (architexture!) of the buildings. My DSLR shutter-finger was super-itchy and had to be appeased…

On the whole I prefer Penang to Malacca, despite their similarities. If you’re visiting Malaysia I’d probably recommend Malacca over Penang simply for the 1½ hour trip vs Penang’s four hours.

Here is some of the wonderful architexture: