Hire the Trishaw guys when you’re in Penang.

In Penang, Malaysia, any building over one hundred years old comes under the heritage act. The people of Malaysia’s very history is represented through buildings, art and food.

Georgetown was, and still is, an affluent neighbourhood. With affluence comes hopeful souls seeking their fortune.

Artwork –  silent protest, or celebration of life, you decide.

A sweltering day in old Georgetown. On the hunt to find the famed murals of a UNESCO site. Armed with cameras and bottled water on a balmy 37 degrees Celsius day.

In a tight little alleyway a tricycle rode our way, a gentle young man asked us if we needed a beycha.

I responded in the negative. If I am exhausted from the heat how could I possibly ask someone else to exert themselves under the blazing sun?

Sometimes, when we travel, our Canadian sensibilities can be detrimental to locals trying to make a living.

We travel to experience, explore, learn, and give back. Local job markets depend on us for their livelihood. Spending 12 dollars – basically the cost of a coffee and muffin back home – can provide a local person enough income for food and shelter for many days.

The beycha (Trishaw rider) was courteous and polite, knowledgeable and interesting, he knew his town like the back of his hand. Instead of us toiling our way through a maze of dead-ends he took us directly to each and every mural. He knew how to navigate traffic, and tourists. He knew the best places to buy water, fresh juices, and lunches.

He was a true ambassador.

It was astounding to see the magnitude of these artists, they climbed the length and breadth of buildings to prove their talents.

Old Georgetown is where you will find Chinese and Indian cultures co-existing in a fine balance.

The narrow roads are lined with Chinese shoplots, colonial-era mansions and clan houses. There are also ornate temples where people still worship, and Little India districts overflowing with trinkets and saris. Plus lots of lovely cafes and restaurants serving up yummy food.

Come see Malaysia with Eathical Tours where we believe that each journey is about creating memorable experiences. Your vacation dreams does exist.

With us you will meet new people, and share their experiences. You will travel a land with all your senses alive and tingling.

Come with us once, and you will want to return again, and again.



Samantha McLeod

Vancouver based food and travel writer.

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