My Penang: Chelsia Ng

Ever proud of her home island, Chelsia Ng is a hundred per cent Penangite who effortlessly steals the limelight everywhere she goes with her infectious smile, obvious passion for Penang and her theatrical, as well as singing talents. Already a recording artist, Chelsia is making her mark, a rather large dent at that, in the film world too. Production work for the much anticipated Hokkien film, Hai Ki Xin Lor, has began. In this film Chelsia will be one of its main cast. This first ever Hokkien language feature film is helmed by acclaimed film director Saw Teong Hin and will be shot fully in Penang. Every so often, you can probably catch a glimpse of this Penang beauty whizzing past on her bicycle around George Town’s heritage streets or strumming her ukulele on a scenic Penang spot. So, keep your eyes peeled!

When you think of Penang, you think…

If there is one thing you can change about Penang, what would it be?
I wouldn't change a thing. But if I could and had to change one thing, it'd be the temperature. It can get pretty hot here in the tropics.

Which Penang street food is nostalgic for you?
Koay Teow Th'ng. Although I have mine with bee tai bak instead of koay teow.

Why is this Penang street food nostalgic for you?
My parents used to take us to the hawker stalls in the evenings outside Peng Hwa on Gottlieb Road when we were kids. The stalls have all moved to Pulau Tikus Market now.  

What would be the one myth about Penang you’d want dispel?
That tree on our State Flag? It's not a coconut/palm tree.

Why would you want to dispel this myth?
Because it is a Pinang tree.

What do you think is Penang’s best quality?
So much to see, so much to do. And all within a tiny turtle-shaped Island (and a slice of the mainland) where progress, culture and heritage exist in harmony. The best of both worlds.

If a visitor only had time to see three things in Penang, what would you advise them to see?
Food - Spoil yourself with as much hawker food as your body can handle.
Arts - Cycle around and explore George Town.
Nature - Escape Adventure Play is an eco-themed park in Teluk Bahang for some good ol' kampung games and outdoor family fun within a forest reserve.

If Penang was a famous person, who would it be?
Natalie Portman. Because she’s charming, beautiful, fun, unassuming and incredibly capable. Someone you'd want to bring home to meet your parents.

What is your advice to a first-time visitor to Penang?
Explore on a trishaw. Sun-screen. Eat guilt-free to your heart's content – ho chiak which means yummy! Try assam laksa, it's very ho chiak. Indulge and take your time. A few days is just not enough but don't worry, you'll be back. They always come back. *winks*