By Nicholas Teoh, BSc International Business
On the last day of our penultimate week at TIME, we met with the customer service team and had a briefing on our assignments for our final week. In the afternoon, we held a video testimonial with Mizi, our TIME sponsor, about our experiences at the company and in Malaysia as a whole
Being from Malaysia, I felt the responsibility to show my new friends around and take them to the good spots where locals hang out. The next morning we left for Penang, the northwestern coastal state that is known as the food capital of Malaysia.
Penang houses George Town, which is the second-largest city in Malaysia and a UNESCO world heritage site since 2008. Penang’s modern history began in 1786, when Francis Light established George Town. Penang formed part of the Straits Settlements in 1826, which became a British colony in 1867. Direct British rule was only briefly interrupted during World War II, when Japan occupied Penang; the British retook Penang in 1945. Penang was later merged with the Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia), which gained independence from the British in 1957.
When we after we crossed the bridge towards Penang Island, we headed straight to the snake temple. The temple was constructed in 1805 to honour Chor Soo Kong (a Buddhist monk who lived during the Song Dynasty) for his numerous good deeds especially in healing the sick and giving shelter to snakes. When the temple structure was completed in the 1800s, a large number of snakes such as pit vipers reportedly appeared by themselves.
After the snake temple, we headed for lunch. We had nasi kandar, a popular northern Malaysian dish that originates from Penang. Popularized by Indian Muslim traders from India, it is a meal of steamed rice, which can be plain or mildly flavoured, and served with a variety of curries and side dishes.
After lunch, we checked into our hotel and went straight to Batu Ferringhi beach, a resort offering a wide variety of water sports. We spent a couple of hours at the beach before dinner at a nearby Thai restaurant called Tree Monkey. We then ended the night at a local club called Rabbit Tale.