Although we were lucky enough to visit many wonderful places on our travels, my favourite place was Georgetown, the capital of Penang which is a Malaysian island.
Georgetown has the most amazing assortment of cultures, languages, history and food. Originally a British colony, it has prominent Chinese and Indian communities with a long history on the island, and of course the native Malays. Walking around you'll see colonial architecture fused with ram-shackle buildings, walk past a hindu temple straight into a Mosque and then wander through a churchyard. So many people of different cultures, races, religions all living alongside each other - a real model for the world at the moment.
While the main part of Georgetown is a world heritage site, around the coast is the business district, hazy in the smog but the sky scrapers pointing to a very different way of life. We didn't venture that way, but it was interesting to gaze across the sea (very polluted - we didn't swim) at it. We humans are so bad for the beautiful planet we live on.
Just in the park opposite the water were these beautiful lanterns made by local school children, beautiful day and night
One of my favourite things about Georgetown was the street art - there are wrought iron caricatures all over the city which give you a glimpse into its multicultural history and heritage.
And elsewhere grass roots paintings have become a big tourist attraction, scattered in the most random places, here are some of my favourites. You had to look very carefully!
I really want to go back to this beautiful place, I'd also highly recommend anyone go if they ever get the chance :)