Saint Anne’s Church, Bukit Mertajam
This famous church is the Roman Catholic Church of Saint Anne, located in the state of Penang on the Malaysian peninsular.
The Saint Anne’s Church, in Bukit Mertajam (Seberang Perai) was constructed in 1957 in the vicinity of an older church built in 1888. A new church was also built in 2002 and other transformation was done to the church area.
The Origins of St. Anne's Sanctuary can be traced back as early as 1833, when the Chinese and Indian migrant workers came to the area. The earliest records of Church of St. Anne parish is said to have started in 1846. As the Catholic population begin to increased, a new church was built and opened in 1888. This is the church which is now called the St Anne Shrine. (Photo above: white church on the hill)
In the 1950s, when Malaya declared an emergency, the church grounds were designated as a no-go area. It was only in 1960 that the emergency was lifted. In 1977, the church started moving back to the St. Anne's Shrine and restoration works begin.
(The parish moved further down the road and in 1958, the parish opened another church. This church was known as the "new church" for over 40 years, and was the main centre for the parish and the feast celebrations until 2003. In these years of the feast, pilgrims had to commute between this church and St. Anne's Shrine, which is 2 km away. This grounds now occupies the Kim Sen Primary School - wikipedia)
New St. Anne Today
In 2002, another new church was built, and is one of the largest churches in Malaysia. This church has a Minangkabau-styled roofs, but the walls and columns built in the style of old churches and monastaries of Rome. Today, the St. Anne's Church also serves as a pilgrim centre, and the Domus St. Anne is built to accommodate pilgrims who intend to stay over.
The feast of St. Anne falls on July 26 but every year the celebration stretches for a few days. The Saint Anne’s feast attracts pilgrims from all over Malaysia and internationally - the crowd estimated sometimes to reach about a quarter million. The highlight of this celebration is a night mass and a candlelight procession.
St. Anne is the mother of Virgin Mary. Although she is not mentioned in the scriptures - the Catholic church has acknowledged her as the wife of St. Joachim and mother of Mary.
Opening hours: 9am to 5pm daily.
Location: Jalan Kulim, Bukit Mertajam, Seberang Perai, Pulau Pinang
The United Buddy Bears were Georgetown since August 28 2016
The UNITED BUDDY BEARS promote living together in peace and harmony on their global tour. Around 140 Buddy Bears (each 2 m tall) represent as many countries recognised by the United Nations.
Each Buddy Bear shows the individual design created by different artists on behalf of their native countries. The international artists’ different styles are joined together in one work of art, spreading zest for life.
149 of the friendly bears are standing on the Malaysian island of Penang as a symbol of tolerance and living together in peace. The exhibition at Padang Kota Lama, Esplanade, George Town, until October 31. (facing the Penang Town Hall)
Details at website:http://www.buddy-baer.com/
Chinese Chu Char Restaurants
Chu Char / Choo Char (in local Hokkien dialect, means cook and fry) restaurents are Chinese restaurents that specializes serves a variety of dishes, freshly cooked when ordered. Dishes are mainly stir-fried or steamed and cooked in Chinese Malaysian style. In Penang you can get a range of Chinese or spicy Nyonya or Thai dishes
- Tek Seng Restaurant; Location: 18-20 Lebuh Carnarvon, George Town, Opening Hours: Lunch and Dinner (closes on Tuesdays)
- Soon Lai Restaurent; Location, 15, Lintang Batu, Green Lane (out of city centre, near Batu Lancang Market), Opening hrs: Lunch and Dinner
- De Tai Tonng Cafe (specialzes in Dim Sum); Location: 45, Lebuh Cintra, Opening hrs: Lunch and Dinner (lunch only on Sundays)
- Siang Ping Seafood; Location: 598, GF-02, Jalan Tanjung Bungah, Opening Hrs: Lunch and Dinner (Closes on Mondays)
- Chuan Bee Cafe (traditional cafe); Location: 64 Lebuh China Opening Hours: Lunch and Dinner, closes on Sunday
- Penang Song River Cafe; 65, Persiaran Gurney, George Town, Opening hrs: Morning Lunch and Dinner, closes alternate Tuesdays
- Sin Kheng Aun; Location: 2, Lorong Chulia Opening Hrs: Lunch and early Dinner
... and many more
Some common Nyonya dishes are:
Acar Awak – mixed vegetables of cucumber, carrots, long beans, etc., are cooked and pickled with spices.
Acar Ikan (pickled fish) – fried fish soaked in a light gravy cooked from ginger, garlic, vinegar, dried chillies and turmeric.
Ayam Buah Keluak – spicy chicken curry cooked with buah keluak (candlenuts). The curry has a creamy and nutty flavour.
Asam Pedas – spicy sour curry of fish and pineapple. Chilli Crab – spicy crab stir fried with chillies, garlic, ginger, turmeric, galangal,lemon grass, shrimp paste (blachan) and tamarind juice.
Lor Bak – thin strips of pork seasoned with spices and wrapped in a sheet of thin bean curd skin, and then deep fried. Restaurants in Penang often sells this with fried prawn fritters and other deep fried items served with sauces.
Nasi Ulam – rice mixed with finely shredded vegetables, fresh green herbs, shallots, chillies, toasted desiccated coconut, fried and flaked dried fish, etc. Nasi Kunyit – glutinous rice steamed with turmeric and creamy coconut milk and usually eaten with chicken curry.
Jiu Hu Char – a stir-fried dish of shredded vegetables (yambean, carrot, cabbage) and strips of cuttlefish or pork.
Nyonya Kueh – a variety of kueh (similar to cakes and puddings), mainly steamed and made from glutinous rice or rice flour and sometimes rich and fragrant coconut milk. Example: Kueh Lapis (steamed layered pudding), Ang Koo Kueh, Pulut Tai Tai, Kueh Talam, Kueh Kochi, Kueh Kodok, Pulut Enti, etc.
Otak-otak – spicy fish cake with egg, Some ingredients used in Peranakan cooking - serai, bunga kantan, galangal, etc. wrapped in banana leaves and steamed.
Perut Ikan (Pulay Ikan) – shredded vegetables (long bean, brinjal, daun kaduk, etc), fresh green herbs and shreds of fish intestines cooked in a light curry with tamarind juice. This dish is unique to the Penang (and Northern) Peranakans.
Popiah (spring rolls) – turnip, bean sprout, pork, fried egg and bean curd wrapped and rolled with a paperthin steamed pancake. The rolls are sometimes deep fried and garnished with a sweetened bean or chilli sauce. Sambal Blachan – chillies and toasted shrimp paste (blachan/ belacan) mixed with lime and salt. It imparts a piquant flavour to any accompaniment that you choose to pair it with.
Dim Sum for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Dim Sum restaurant are favourite places for a Chinese breakfast, but many old restaurants in George Town serves lunch and dinner as well.
These restaurents will cook a variety of Chinese (mainly Cantonese-style) dishes for the lunch and dinner crowd. You can order a plate of noodles or stir-fried vegetables and meat dishes during lunch and dinner serving hours.
Some Dim Sum restaurants in George Town:
- Tai Tong Restaurant; Location: 45, Lebuh Cintra (corner shop off Lebuh Carnavon). Opening hrs: breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Yong Pin Restaurant; Location: 11 B&C, Jalan Sungai Ujong, George Town. Opening hrs: breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Dim Sum Food Restaurant. Location: 63, Lorong Macalister, George Town. Opening hrs: breakfast, lunch
- Aik Hoe Restaurant; Location 6 & 8, Lebuh Carnavon, George Town. Opening hrs: breakfast, lunch
- Leong Kee Tim Sum. Location: 45, Lebuh Kimberly George Town. Opening hrs: breakfast, lunch
... and many more.