Kite flying, like George Town Festival is for everyone to enjoy!

08 June 2013, Saturday, George Town, Penang.  There could never be more appropriate way to make a grand celebration soar to the heaven but to take it literally to the skies! The idea of having drums and kite making and kite flying in an incredibly massive open field, in front of Penang’s Town Hall and City Hall called, Esplanade or Padang Kota Lama, was too perfect to call people across the lifespan to gather and celebrate the official opening ceremony of  George Town Festival 2013. After all, everyone, regardless of age, ethnicity and economic status surely enjoys kites and kite flying! 

Right after spending almost half day from lunch at Queensbay Mall, my family and I trooped to Esplanade to witness the GTF 2013 official opening, aptly called, Taking Off! 

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Town Hall, George Town, Penang, Malaysia. Photo taken July 7, 2013, Friday prior to I Musici Concert.

The night before the event, I was invited to watch I Musici Di Roma (Blog post HERE!) and before I went to the musical concert held at Diwan Sri Penang, I saw, for the first time, the larger than life art installation called, Theatre of Ships made for Penang by Indonesian artist, Joko Avianto. I was happy to bring Tina and Gabby there the following day.

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Theatre of Ships. Larger than life installation. Inspiring!

Must have touristy shot! 🙂
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Detail shot of Theatre of Ships. I heard more than 3500 bamboos were used to create this masterpiece!

The use of bamboos, in my opinion is a genius! This tallest of the grass species is known for being resilient at any weather, it can sway even with strongest winds and typhoons; bamboos are actually that symbolic! And to create a giant masterpiece out of it made everything even better!

I also liked the idea of involving kites as I think kites are symbolic too! Kites represent flights of many things! My family and I love kites and kite flying! My son and I flew a 5-ringgit-plastic-kite that we bought from Tesco supermarket in Penang and brought and flew it in Cenang Beach, Langkawi (Blog post HERE!). We even spent a Labor Day holiday back in 2011 in Kota Bahru, Kelantan, just to witness how moon kites, or Malaysia’s Wau Bulan are intricately made (Blog post HERE!)

wau bulan, kota bahru, kelantan 2011
We appreciated how Wau Bulan or Moon Kites are intricately made in no less than Kota Bahru, Kelantan in 2011.

It goes without saying we loved how GTF2013 opening ceremony was done.

Surprisingly, we saw a kite being flown from our country, the Philippines! Despite its simplicity and lack of striking and vibrant colors, it was one of the kites that soared highest against the wind that Saturday. ASEAN nations were invited to particpate in GTF 2013 opening ceremony 🙂

Best of all, families of various races and ages came together one afternoon under the sun and blue sky! It was a sight to behold!


There were many tents around Padang Kota Lama that were put up for hawker food stalls that offer affordable local and Western food. From Penang’s famous Assam Laksa, to other noodle dishes like my favorite, Char Koay Teow and Hokien Mee and others, Indian-Malaysian sweet barquillo-like Apom Manis, to Japanese sushi, Thailand’s coconut jelly inside coconut shells and Western’s pizza and ice cream. We sampled apom manis for the very first time and liked it (not on photos). While Gabby enjoyed a small pizza we bought for him, Tina and I savored bowls of warm and satisfyingly thick and rish Shark’s Fin Soup at 3 ringgit each. Delicious! 
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Shark fin’s soup from a hawker stall in Padang Kota Lama during the Taking Off event for GTF2013.

We went home with smiles on our faces and happy tummies! 🙂


For schedules of events in this month-long celebration of GTF2013 :

*This is NOT a sponsored or commissioned post. Special thanks to Ms. Wanida of GTF2013. Stay tuned for features about GTF2013 on this blog!

Previous GTF on this blog includes :


  1. Phils could have used our tribal ethnic pattern(Tinalak) for our kites, that would surely stand out. This is indeed a good way to start the festival Doc Gelo. We’re now gearing up towards the end of GTF. Excited!

    1. hey joey+krissy, i know t’nalak and we had it back home; i agree with you! a colorful banig weave in large patterns, or abel from ilocos or a handpainted kite of beautiful sceneries in our country (mayon volcano, rice terraces, etc) could have been better kite to represent the philippines.

      but obviously, they settled for the one on the photo above. as mentioned; we’re happy to see something from our beloved pinas! better than nothing yes, but again, could have been better!

    1. you like shades of yellow? it’s gabby’s favorite color too! yes, i agree; penang town hall is gorgeous and cool; it looks almost a delicious cake to me, hahaha. the city hall beside where the theatre of ships was installed is equally stunning too.

      “incredible” is such a big word for my amateurish photos but thanks, maria! 🙂

  2. It shames me to see a pity looking kite to represent the country. It’s a kite event and a not even the World Expo, you would think that the folks in charge (DOT?) would put our best foot forward even in a small regional event such as this to attract our neighbors to come and visit us. Hay naku…

    As for the sharks fin, with that price, Im not too sure if thats the real thing but I think its best eaten with black vinegar.

    1. we had black vinegar (or was it soy? haha!) offered by the uncle-vendor. sarap! sya din binilihan ko sa cannon street before ng shark’s fin soup!

      as per the kite from the philippines, oh well, at least we saw something from pinas that made us smile for a bit, but you’re right, we should not settle for mediocrity after all, it’s a festival, grandiosity is a must! tama, it was a great opportunity to showcase pinas and invite people here to troop to our islands next.

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