Musuems and CyclingDecember 11, 2016 in Malaysia ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C
Today was our last full day on Penang, so we had to make sure we had done everything that we wanted to do. Unfortunately, after the night before, where we had had torrential rain, there was still a lot of cloud cover over the island, and that meant there was no point going up Penang Hill. There would be nothing to see once we got there.
In its place, we decided to go to a few of the many museums that are to be found all across Penang. First stop was the Peranakans Museum. This museum is setup in the former home of the head of the Chinese Triads, built in the late 1800's. But the Peranakans are not related to the Triads - it is the name given to people that are half Chinese, half Malay. They were once a very important and wealthy group on Penang in the late 1800's and early 1900's.
As a result of multiculturalism, the group has been breed out of existence within five generations. The last of the Peranakans are now in their 80's and 90's. The reason is that to be considered Peranakan, you have to be exactly half Chinese and half Malay, and be descended from the population of the 1800's. Nowadays if you are mixed race Chinese and Malay, in Malaysia, you're just considered Malaysian.
Aside from the history of the Peranakans, the museum was also full of artefacts from the period. There were clothes (mostly silk), there were shoes (mostly tiny, esp. the women's as they bound their feet), there was also all the furniture from the period. Some of this was fairly ordinary, like beds and dining tables, some of it was decidedly more risqué, like the siege d'amour. That's a sex chair for those that didn't use google translate like I did, to find a more classy way to describe the chairs.
Following on from our visit to the former house of the Chinese Triad boss in Penang, we headed to another museums. This one was much less history based, and all about 3D painting, and perspective trickery, to make art. Some of it was really good. Some of it was clearly made for teenage girls to take photos in front of.
Next we rented ourselves a four wheeled bike, and headed out on a tiki tour of downtown Georgetown, visiting the street art, and otherwise making a nuisance of ourselves in and amongst the traffic, which was nearly stationary owing to the day being a public holiday.
When the cycling was over, we headed back to the hotel to make ourselves a bit more presentable, ahead of dinner. This was absolutely necessary, as in spite of the fact that we had cycled for an hour on dead flat ground, we had sweated like Tour de France riders on a hill stage.
We had dinner at the same Indian restaurtant we had been to two nights ago. The food was delicious and affordable. Courtney made a half hearted attempt at eating the food like a local, but couldn't get her he'd around not using cutlery. It was an authentic restaurant for sure.
And that was the day.Read more