Geok Ling

Geok Ling

Penang, Malaysia

About Geok Ling

What is your favourite activity in Penang?

Seeing Penang through the eyes of visitors

What is your favourite activity when travelling(anywhere)?

Interacting with locals

What is your favourite food in Penang?

A homecooked Nyonya meal

What is your favourite food(anywhere)?

Any homecooked meal (she recalled one which was a raclette dinner hosted by a French family in Lons le Saunier)

What is your favourite Indie experience(anywhere)?

To be surprised by unexpected discoveries

What “indie spirit” means to me:

Different from the norm, driven by passion or a natural flair

Geok Ling’s love for travel and Penang was planted very early on. Her father was one of the island’s Japanese-speaking tour guides who sat on the Committee of the Penang Tourist Guides’ Assocation. Often, he would bring his customers home for “kopi” and she’d sit and listen to their conversations. Sometimes, she’d accompany him on his tours.

At the age of sixteen, she travelled by air for the first time when she was selected for a Youth Exchange Programme orgainsed by a Lion’s Club. She spent two weeks living with a Thai family in Phuket, which was very different in the 70’s from what it is today.

That early love would bring her home to Penang when she became the Managing Director of a newly set-up Penang Global Tourism and between 2009 and 2014, she had the opportunity to showcase the island as a destination for all kinds of travellers.

But at heart, she remained an “indie” spirit. She loved to discover hidden gems on her island and share them with friends. She loved the stories behind how these gems were created – the founder’s love, their passion and their purpose.

As the Penang curator of My Indie World, Geok Ling brings her love for her hometown, her knowledge of the island’s secrets, and her deep, rooted connections with local communities to her list of handpicked experiences.

Most of all, it brings her back to her father’s love.