George Town Festival, Penang
I must admit that I hadn't visited Penang in Malaysia until 2013, but I fell in love with the beautiful island immediately.
Its tranquil beaches, gorgeous food and friendly people made me want to re-visit and rediscover more of Penang than I did in the few days we were there.
Thanks to our friend and excellent "tourist guide" Suzie Lim, we visited Penang Hill via the funicular railway, the Kwan Yin temple on top of a hill, Gurney Plaza, a shopholic's dream come true and who could forget feasting every day and everywhere, from scrumptious Penang assam laksa while sitting on rickety stools at a hawker stall to the classy Japanese lunch at Straits Quay.
Most unforgettable was the eight-course breakfast at a market with Suzie before she embarked on her charity project for the day.
This year I must try to visit Penang during the George Town Festival.
According to its website, George Town Festival is a month-long festival that has turned into a proudly Penang arts institution.
From its start as a series of arts and culture events in celebration of George Town’s listing as a UNESCO Heritage Site in 2008, the festival celebrated its first inauguration in 2010.
"Since then, we have had the privilege of hosting spectacular events spanning the arts – from world-class performances to cross-cultural creative collaborations, experimental art, traditional and contemporary performing arts, as well as exciting local community initiatives and public installations," festival director Joe Sidek said.
"Our mission is to become the platform for culture and the arts in South-East Asia, with a focus on George Town’s unique perspectives.
"For the festival month, the city becomes a canvas where performers and audiences transform spaces within it with venues ranging from auditoriums to five-foot ways, colonial shop-houses to sidewalk galleries.
"The festival continues to offer the best possible experience through our core beliefs of Collaboration, Community, Reinvention and Accessibility, intriguing audiences with our various free and ticketed events," Joe said.
Watch the Racehorse Company galloping into action, the Shanghai Acrobat strut their stuff and lots more at the George Town Festival in Penang.
George Town Festival 2014 will take place during the entire month of August.
Details on www.georgetownfestival.com