I have been trying to catch up on the George Town stuff from here in Yangon but the wifi is so bad, it’s taken hours to get the last blog posted and there’s still one more to do. That’ll learn me to be a laze bag in Langkawi.
As well as the food of George Town, lots of people also go to see the Street Art that has sprung up around the town. The first batch appeared in 2012 as part a Book Festival and were created by a Lithuanian artist called Ernest Zacharevic. His murals include props which means that lines of tourists form by them waiting to ‘partake in the action’ of the mural. This usually involves looking like a twat and gurning at the camera whilst pretending to be on a motorbike, or jumping up to defend a basketball or doing whatever else seems fit with the picture.
As well as his work there is also other murals by various artists from the group Artists For Stray Animals (ASA), who strive to create awareness over the issue of helping find homes for stray animals and then there is graffiti as well.
It whole process of hunting these down starts to become like Pokemon Go, and before you know it, you’ve got to catch ‘em all. Hence the 4 wheeled carts being ridden around by families, pedalling away furiously (well, my observation was that there was always one fool pedalling at full pelt, whilst someone map read but couldn’t multi-task so their feet stayed still, and the others were either looking at their phones or just staring out down the road) to the next mural or steel rod diorama caricatures that are all over town. The steel caricatures are at various points around the town and tell the history of George Town and were introduced post 2012.
I’d been pottering along accidentally coming across the occasional diorama or mural, however the receptionist at Campbell House gave me a map of George Town that had them all marked off on them and that was it, I was like a Pringle fiend – once I’d popped I couldn’t stop. There are 51 diorama (by my count, although my map had 50 and I read on t’interweb that there will be 52) and I saw some more than once – mainly due to lack of direction or I’d forgotten where / if I’d seen it / or there had been a car parked in front of it the first time around so the shot wasn’t as good as it could have been. Having a map meant I could plan my route to complete diorama domination.
I was hooked and I walked bloody miles too, to stand in the middle of moving traffic to photograph 4 on a bend on the bypass, I even found the one hidden behind corrugated iron – boarded up as the building was under either demolition or renovation. I was obsessed, hence returning to my room as a big sweaty mess, I was out in the heat and humidity stomping all over town!
It really was a great way to explore the town and to see different parts of it. Even so, I didn’t get to see all the murals that are around and about the place, however that does make it a great excuse to return to George Town again, and to experience it all over again, albeit with windows in my hotel room from the get go.