A Travellerspoint blog

Penang / Georgetown - Fancy old Chinese clan houses


View Around the world ın 8 months on chrisvasil's travel map.

Georgetown is another Unesco world heritage city, a combination of colonial-era buildings and much older clan houses from the original chinese settler families. The clan houses are being restored to their former glory, with a century of improvements and renovations (new paint, new floors, etc - none as nice as the originals) being undone and artisans restoring the buildings. The first in particular had a series of vignettes posted explaining what was undone and restored, though there were unfortunately no before and after pictures.
20091127_011.jpg
20091127_027.jpg

The clan houses are historically a combination of temple, social club government building, where people from the extended family would join together for gatherings, where the clan leaders would act as judge (in the absence of a functioning legal system), and where resources would be pooled together to help members of the clan who needed assistence.
20091127_033.jpg
20091127_035.jpg
20091127_036.jpg
20091127_057.jpg
20091127_064.jpg
20091127_072.jpg

Badminton at a clan house/temple courtyard
20091127_084.jpg

Outside of the clan houses George Town is a very nice waterfront town boasting some very nice buildings, and apparently also has some good night markets.
20091127_132.jpg
20091127_136.jpg
20091127_157.jpg
20091127_178.jpg
20091127_185.jpg

This dilapidated building hosts the Ho Auction Room, presumably where ho's go to the highest bidder. Nice having a competitive process rather than having pimps acting as middle men.
20091127_200.jpg

Temples in town have great reliefs sculpted into the front walls and pillars.
20091127_209.jpg
20091127_210.jpg

Not the world's most welcoming church: sign reads "No Trespassers Private Property For Members Only By Order". No wonder membership is declining.
20091127_235.jpg

The night markets are said to be very good, but they are very elusive - we took 3 trips in search of night markets full of food stands that were recommended by either tourist information or our guide book, we only found anything at one place. There, there was a show by a minor Taiwanese celebrity who had a couple songs 20 years ago and since then stayed in the tabloids by being vulgur and having cosmetic surgery. She spent the first 15 minutes convincing the crowds she's rich and famous, the next 15 singing, and the next half hour selling products like boxes of tea for $6.
20091127_270.jpg
20091127_275.jpg

There are a few amazing temples in George Town, farther from city center. Near the Thai consulate (where we had to get visas) are two of the finest. One has a 10m standing buddha, thousands of small buddhas on the wall, and reproductions of standing buddhas from all buddhist countries showing the variations in position and dress, while the other has a 30m reclining Buddha.
20091127_329.jpg
20091127_330.jpg
20091127_346.jpg
20091127_352.jpg
20091127_325.jpg

Some of the roadside food stands use extreme heat. This place makes pretty good soup. This is the closest I could get without the heat pushing me away.
20091127_371.jpg
20091127_373.jpg

Posted by chrisvasil 21:23 Archived in Malaysia Tagged tourist_sites

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Login