- Posted on Sunday, 07 October 2018
“Everyone just assumes Penang's a sleepy town in the evening. However, we were really surprised to find cool bars and speakeasies in town!”
Penang’s laid-back vibes and charming architecture was what drew Stephanie to throw her bachelorette party there. Along with five bridesmaids-to-be, they had a whirlwind three days in the Malaysian state, all captured on camera by Amelia Soo Photography.
From dressing up in pretty Nyonya kebayas, to sipping whisky and champagne on an ornate Oriental-style bed in Seven Terraces Hotel, visiting a temple as dusk fell, and hamming it up along Penang’s mural-filled streets, Stephanie tells us why her bachelorette party was such a meaningful and special experience.
What was the inspiration behind your hen party and photo shoot?
“Where we live –Hong Kong, Jakarta, and Singapore – has lost much of its original charm still found in Georgetown’s quaint and vintage alleyways. We didn’t want to just take photos of the city like regular tourists; we wanted to experience how the locals amalgamate history and heritage in everyday life. So we stayed at a converted house, learned about traditional Nyonya outfits, and explored the different streets in Georgetown. In many instances, it seemed like we had travelled back in time and relived history. With Amelia’s help, we were able to keep records of these "vintage” moments.” ~ Stephanie
Tell us more about your interest in Penang culture and architecture?
“I used to design swanky hotels for a global hospitality group in major cities, but personally I’ve always preferred to explore smaller, underrated destinations which have an interesting history.
Penang’s heritage can be traced back in time, and today the city's rich multi-cultural legacy is still very much part of its heart and soul. Beautiful colonial buildings such as the E+O still open their doors to many travelling from afar. The various religious temples are still busy and filled with offerings brought by the locals everyday. Old bakeries and shophouses still proudly display their original signage from the early 20th century. Dilapidated walls in alleyways become canvases for graffiti art. Hipster speakeasy bars are hidden behind plywood hoarding, pretending to be a vacant lot.
It seems like people have a natural attraction towards things that are nostalgic or rundown in this city. To me, this is very a fascinating symbiosis between the new and the old, unique to Penang's arts, architecture and cuisine, which is authentic and unpretentious.” ~ Stephanie
What are your favourite moments and memories from the hen party and photo shoot?
“The incredible thing is that most of the girls had never met each other, a potential recipe for disaster! But I was very fortunate to have a super Bridal Party Team.
Sheila had the brilliant idea of doing a photo shoot, Michelle found the photographer through Wandersnap, Jess booked the amazingly beautiful hotel, Joyce kept us fed with all her street food finds, and Aniela educated us all on Peranakan culture and how to wear the kebayas. It was an action-packed 36 hours together! We had a blast and bonded instantly like Power Rangers in our multi-coloured Peranakan outfits!” ~ Stephanie
Thank you for sharing these beautiful images with us, Stephanie!
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