IT was no ordinary walk for the 100-odd locals and tourists who took part in the weekend Heritage Walk as the event was an eye-opener. They learned the stories and history behind the streets and buildings in the heart of George Town.
Organised by Penang Heritage Trust (PHT) and supported by the Penang Municipal Council, the two-and-a-half hour guided walk on Saturday, held in conjunction with the city’s first anniversary as a Unesco World Heritage Site, saw the participants braving the intermittent rain with their umbrellas to take in the sights.
Participants were briefed by trained heritage guides at the Town Hall in Esplanade before the walk began.
The walk, which covered Jalan Mesjid Kapitan Keling where numerous places of worship such as the St George’s Church, Acheen Street Mosque, Sri Mariamman Temple and the Goddess of Mercy temple were located, was divided into three groups.
The groups were led by three heritage guides who conducted the briefings in English, Bahasa Malaysia and Mandarin.
The briefing ended with a slide show on the stories and history behind the buildings and streets in Penang, at the World Heritage Office on Acheen Street.
Among the participants were Linda Packham and her husband Robert Packham who were amazed by the heritage landmarks.
The couple from London, who have been staying in Penang under the Malaysia My Second Home Programme (MM2H) for six years after their retirement, said they were fond of the rich heritage of George Town.
“The people are friendly and the food is just so delicious. We immediately fell in love with the place when we came here,” Linda, 60, said, adding that there was no other place in Malaysia better than Penang.
The last of the free walk, available on three consecutive Saturdays, will be held next on July 25.
Those interested must call the PHT office at 04-2642631 to register in advance.