10 Things That Happened In Penang In 2009! #10YearChallenge


Greetings, loved ones! In conjunction with #10YearsChallenge, we are going back to the past. It is good to look back once in a while to know how far we have progressed. Unfortunately, back in 2009, there are not many great photographs because Instagram didn’t happen yet. Instagram was launched on 6th October 2010! It was one year late. So, in this article, there will be news! Here are the 10 Things That Happened In Penang In 2009! Check it out!

10 Things That Happened In Penang In 2009!

1. Free Shuttle Bus Was Launched

Photo: @myrapidpg (Instagram)

The free shuttle bus service in Penang is known as CAT (Central Area Transit). When it was launched in 2009, it was a popular hit with more than 2,000 locals and foreigners using the service. Started off in Weld Quay terminal, the bus traveled through Little India, Muntri Street, Campbell Street, Downing Street, and all the way to Carnavon Street. Now, the free shuttle bus serves have so many different routes! It definitely helps Penangites to save a few bucks, and also for the traffic.


2. NY Times Readers Choose Penang As Number 2 Must-Visit Destination

Photo: @owenongphotography (Instagram)

In 2009, we were chosen as the second must-visit destination by NY Times readers! There was only another South East Asian destination that made it to the list and it was Phuket. Penang was also known by them as the liveliest spots to eat. With that said, Penang was also ranked number 12 in the food category as one of the cheapest places ’cause we have hawker stalls everywhere! It begs the question, are we still cheap and affordable to many in 2019?


3. Jimmy Choo Wanted To Open An Academy For Shoes In Malaysia

Photo: @profjimmychoo (Instagram)

Okay, Malaysia. But, Jimmy Choo is from Penang. Back in the year of 2009, Jimmy Choo’s favourite customers were Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, They were still together back then. In a statement that he made while he was tossing yee sang in Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, he mentioned that he wanted to open a Couture Shoe Academy in Malaysia. Despite his international fame, he never forgot his roots. Hopefully, one day Datuk Jimmy Choo kick-start his dreams of opening an academy! It will be groundbreaking.


4. Coconut Jelly Was Introduced

Photo: @whoarshad (Instagram)

Before there was coconut shake with bubbles, there was coconut jelly. Penang has also been known for being one of the biggest exports of coconut. It is a good way to cool down from the weather here, too! Before 2009, coconuts were just coconuts and nothing more until they introduced coconut jelly! Not long later, coconut sellers became extremely creative. Now, you can get coconut jelly, coconut ice-cream, coconut shake with bubbles, and so many more! We are nuts about coconuts!


Read Top 10 Coconut Desserts in Penang You Will Adore

5. Gurney Plaza Was Bright Orange In Colour

Photo: @gurneyplazapenang (Instagram)

Gurney Plaza was one of the best shopping malls in Penang and still is. Back in 2009, it was very different compared to know. First thing first, it was orange in colour. There were also many brands that you don’t see it now. Versace, the iconic brand from Donatella Versace, was once available in Gurney Plaza. There was also Manila Place, a restaurant that was known for having their mushroom soup in a warm toasty bun. Remember Swensen’s? Yup, it was there too!


6. Tune Hotels Opened In Penang

Photo: @fardynista (Instagram)

Before Tune Hotels opened in Penang, tourists have the option of really fancy hotels with swimming pools and buffets, or backpackers. Remember, Airbnb wasn’t available back then. Tunes Hotels is situated strategically at Burmah Road, right next to New World Park. The hotel with 258 rooms was introduced at a five-star hotel with one-star price. Nowadays, we get to do hotel bookings online, and also there’s Airbnb! Isn’t it great that we have progressed with time?


7. Sakuras Were Blossoming In Penang

Photo: @chrisden_ig (Penang)

Pretty, pretty, flowers! Sakuras were blossoming in Bayan Lepas area back in 2009. Industrial areas can be beautiful too. Over the years, there will be a time that it will still blossom, but it doesn’t look as good as before. Back then, it was so fluffy, and the entire street was covered in pink hues! It is definitely a showstopper ’cause it makes you feel like you are in Japan! We are wondering why it doesn’t look as fluffy as it was before, is it due to  a change of temperature in the world?


8. Direct Flights From Penang To Macau Was Launched

Photo: @airasia (Instagram)

AirAsia introduced direct flights from Penang to Macau in 2009! Ever since then, they are constantly expanding their routes. They make it so easy for us to travel these days but with a layover, sadly. Unfortunately, there is no direct routes from Penang to Macau anymore. You will need to make your way to Kuala Lumpur for a layover first. That year, Jetstar also made its way to Penang with a route traveling to Singapore directly. Is Jetstar available in Penang? No longer!


9. The Beginning Of No Plastic Bags

Photo: @darlingdistraction (Instagram)

The Penang Government announced that plastic bags will be banned on every first Monday of the month. It is great that the government always have the idea of saving the environment in their minds. Ever since then, we need to buy plastic bags. It will cost you at least RM 0.20 to get a plastic bag for your groceries. And now, we have a lot of recycling bags! This year, we have a new rule of saying no to plastic straws in order to conserve the environment. Good call, yes?


10. Bon Odori Was The Most Happening Event

Photo: (Instagram)

Before everything else, there was Bon Odori Festival. Many Penangites were very excited about the Japanese festival that happens every July. Penangites will dress up in kimonos, and spend hours on make-up to look the part. During the festival, there will be performances in center stage, and food vendors selling Japanese and local delicacies. On top of that, there will always fireworks that light up the sky at the end of the festival. You can say that they end it with a bang.


10 Things That Happened In Penang In 2009!

That’s the end of the list for 10 Things That Happened In Penang In 2009! Looking back has been very delightful. Remember before there was Tealive, Gongcha, and other brands, we were big fans of Coolblog in 2009? The food scene in Penang is so different now. We are wondering how it will be like ten years from now. Will we be eating astronaut food? How did you look like in 2009? Show us your photos in our comments!


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