Morning in George Town

Mornings in George Town start early. See how the residents of this vibrant, multicultural city go about their day.


The morning light casts swirling shadows on the brick red walls of the Kuan Yin Teng temple in George Town, Penang.

A man makes a morning offering at Kuan Yin Teng.

Hindu women wear beautiful silk sari when making their morning temple visits. Left: At Sri Mahamariamman Temple. Right: At Sri Varasithi Vinayagar.

Coconuts are a common offering during daily morning rites at Sri Varasithi Vinayagar. After lighting the coconut aflame on the consecrated fire, the worshipper violently slams down the coconut, breaking it.

Breakfast of champions: a spicy sweet bowl of curry mee from a hawker in front of Campbell Street Market.

Nowadays, much of the remaining business inside Campbell Street Market is for vendors processing seafood for the local restaurants. The taciturn but friendly Mr. Lim holds court inside Campbell Street Market.

A fish butcher busy at work in Campbell Street Market. His tongue tended to stick out while he was working, a la Michael Jordan.

Women meticulously pick the bitter green germ out of fresh lotus seeds. Lotus seed paste is a common use for this ingredient, but according to Chinese medicine, lotus seed soup has purported medicinal benefits in this hot climate.

An employee at a busy dim sum restaurant breaks out in laughter in the rear kitchen area.

A woman drops off a pair of high heel shoes for repair.

Madame Ng Hooi Gaik presides over a smoking hot wok of char koay kak (fried radish cake), shimmering with lard.

As the sun approaches high noon, a hawker takes refuge under his cart’s shade while he dishes out peanut pancakes (also called ban chang kueh).

A craftsman prepares long strips of wood, used to build the framework for traditional Chinese paper effigies. These intricate pieces are offered during funerals, as well as the Hungry Ghost Festival (normally late August/early September).

This wide-eyed pup was particularly guarded about the precious stash of imported Japanese paper (or just his personal space).