Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Heritage Walk and Ais Tingkap

After a heavy lunch where Fairy Godma was tempted to just sit and relax, I insisted we do a mini heritage walk much to her protests. "It's hot and stuffy ... people in KL walk in air conditioned malls, not under the hot sun ..."

Pfffttt ... to think that just moments ago she was proudly telling me that she's still a Penang lang. I waved her complaints off and dragged her around.

I always find crumbling bits of old buildings with exposed brickwork really pretty.

We walked past these two really old, grungy looking shop houses that I didn't give a second glance to until Fairy Godma pointed out that this was the famous Sekeping Victoria.

Look at the gem we found: Step by Step Lane with two kids on a swing wall mural by artist Louis Gan. It's in a little back alley at Chulia Street opposite the old Kwong Wah building close by the jetty.

All that walking about under the scorching sun calls for something icy and refreshing. Fairy Godma took me to the famed ais tingkap (window sherbet, literally) stall at Tamil Street. It is a concoction of shaved ice, herbs, rose essence, basil seeds and coconut slices.  This is a Penang classic as the stall has been in business since the 1920s and is still family owned.

There is a slight medicinal tang to the sweet, rose scented drink and among slurps of the basil seeds, I've to admit I've never tasted anything like this before. For RM1.20, this is a steal compared to fancy bubble milk teas! Who knew there are so many hidden gems amongst the tiny, dusty streets here?


  1. The history of the area is fascinating. I like the mix of the old and the new in Malaysia. You tend to forget this when all you do is hit KL and live in the malls all day...

    SSG xxx

    1. It's one of my favourite bits about Penang but the weather is so unforgiving, not to mention parking!


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