One of the joys of taking the slow-travel time to immerse in Mandarin in tropical Asia, is being able to experience the traditional Chinese culture in deeper ways. I love the aesthetics of it, even the writing that Mozart does every day with her homework from her Mandarin school.
Malaysia, has three cultures and we have friends in all three, but because kidlet is going to a Mandarin school we spend more time with the Chinese Malaysians. Also the Chinese Malaysians and Indian Malaysians tend to have the best English, so that helps also with our connections.
I love this picturesque little area of old Chinese houses along the road where we go to the best organic restaurant in Penang..Reflections. It's off Burma Road on Jalan Phuah Hin Leong and run by a lovely Chinese group who do a lot to support Cancer patients. I will write a review of the restaurant soon.
In the big Chinese New Year Celebrations, Acupuncture hospital,rickshaws,, herb rooms, temples, markets, cemeteries and more, one gets a real sense of strong traditional Chinese culture and a 200 year history here.