|Penang Less Lauded | JingSi Books & Cafe @ George Town|
The Penang Less LaudedMy visit to JingSi Books & Cafe was prompted by the healthy foods served at Tzu Chi Foundation Center. Initiated for charity, we were invited to sample the healthy foods flew in from Taiwan. Perhaps it is a surprise to many, healthy foods, instant foods, can also be a wholesome food!
One fine day, I made my way to George Town with a friend who is a Penang born-and-bred. We went to search for Jingsi Books & Cafe. Tucked away in the colonial building on Beach Street, Jingsi Books & Cafe sits in the George Town Heritage Zone, not too far from Penang Immigration Office, Pinang Peranakan Museum and Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower. Precisely, it is located next to RHB Bank, slightly opposite OCBC Bank. Exactly, it is in the artery of commercial banking street - one of the busiest roads downtown!
I doubt there is any signpost in English, at which I wonder why there is none. Armed with gut feel, we walked on Beach Street from HSBC Bank and finally found it by pinpointing the address on the blocks - 31 Beach Street, Penang.
We finally found it. Pushing away a tinted glass door, we entered. Inside was a total opposite of what happened on the street - quiet, calm, simple and very clean. In fact, it is like home. Tall ceiling, a mixed of wooden and cemented flooring, dimly lit and you have to take off your shoes. Shoes bags are stacked in a rattan box, right next to the entrance. So, we helped ourselves to tuck our shoes into the bag and held it as we toured in this tranquil sanctuary.
Clearly divided into two sections - the left alley are occupied by mainly books. If you're into reading spiritual books, I guess you are likely to find something you fancy here. Most of the books are in Mandarin, with a small collection in English and a few in Japanese, Bahasa Indonesia/Malaysia and other language. They also features adorable children books, particularly those that add a touch of morality, motivation and righteous. You're likely to find books on vegan and vegetarian recipes as well.
Towards the end of this alley, they stock up some healthy snacks such as cookies/biscuits, multi-grain instant mix or healthy beverages in addition to wholesome instant noodles and instant rice at which are imported from Taiwan, clearly indicated with no preservatives, no chemicals, no artificial flavors. These are for sale. The right hand corner takes the role as the cafe. Overlooking a bamboo garden, with natural light sneaking in, a cozy spot to unwind or a soft chat over a pot of tea.
If you wonder what Jingsi means, Jing is literally translated to 'stillness' whilst Si denotes 'reflection'. A part of Tzu Chi Foundation, here is a also good place to get to know their founder - Master Cheng Yen, taking a glance of her picture, her quotes and Dharma books. The staff are friendly and very helpful, fluent in Mandarin, English and Hokkien.
31, Beach Street, Penang.
Opening Hours: Daily from 11 am through 7pm.
Direction on Google Map:
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