The Kapitan Kling mosque is one of the oldest in Penang. It has a Moorish design and was built in the early 19th century by an Indian Muslim merchant called Muhammed Kling who was the headman of the local community . It has the most beautiful golden minaret. As the clear sunlight catches the dome it radiates a rich elegance inviting the faithful to prayer. When we wanted to see its inside there was a caretaker who took us to a young white American. He most kindly showed us around explaining its history and importance. The calmness, simplicity and serenity inside the mosque was extraordinary.
No account of Penang is complete without a liberal mention of its hawker stalls. It is an interesting concept. First look for a table and sit down. Each table has a number. Remember the number well. There are many hawker stalls serving Chinese, Malay and Indian food. Order what you like from the different stalls and give them the table number. Pay each time they bring a dish. Tipping is not required. Penang is a gourmet paradise and the smell of the food near the stalls and the noise of the sizzling pans was enough to make me ravenously hungry. Two well known hawker centers are Gurney Drive near Georgetown and the large hawker complex in Batu Ferringhi. Penangites are passionate about their food eating out in Hawker stalls almost everyday. Perhaps little cooking is done in their own homes as such a wide choice available at a knock down price. The stalls are under the control of the Department of Health and maintains good hygiene.
The Botanical Gardens is a short drive away from Georgetown and covers 30 hectares of prime land. With its peaceful surroundings is a haven for tourists and locals alike. Many joggers, walkers and those practicing Tai Chi use the park. We wandered along its narrow paths amidst colourful flowers and well kept lawns. Its beautiful layout and design and the many plant houses and nurseries must be a lure for enthusiastic gardeners. There are many groups of mischievous rebel monkeys who roam the gardens looking for unwary visitors to plunder their food and cause mayhem. They are a menace and all visitors are asked never to feed them. Despite this we spent a happy day close to nature enjoying the warm sunshine by a babbling brook. On the tourist trail is Penang Hill. It is 800 ft above sea level and provides an excellent view of the island. The cable car takes half an hour to the top. There is also nature trails from the Botanical Gardens taking 3 to 4 hours to the top of the hill.