Monday, August 3, 2009

Spice Walk with members of PHT

Every first Sunday of the month, Penang Heritage Trust organizes a site visit to its members. This time, we did not have to go far at all, just following a trail in Little India and finishing off at China Street which also makes up the squarish part of George Town that makes up Little India.

Our guide was Teresa Capol, who is also a restauranteur (she and her husband own Eidelweiss, which serves German food). The theme was Spice Walk. In this part of Penang, the tour would not be complete without a lecture about Chinese temples or clan houses. We stopped at several prominent ones at Penang Street and also dropped by at the Mahamariamman temple at Queen Street.

The highlight of the walk was to a newly restored home which will be turned into an exclusive bed and breakfast at China Street. The owners graciously served tea to everyone of us and let us meander around in this fabulous property.

After the visit, a few of us drove to Kampung Buah Pala, to see the situation there. The people of the village actually were having a festival at that time. I have been reading/listening about this controversial piece of land for many months now and finally managed to set foot on it and listen first hand to the plight of the people there.

So basically, this tour was a very fruitful one. Walking tour coupled to a visit to a successfully restored building, capped with with a supposedly a living heritage site being threatened by development.

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