Sunday, December 09, 2012

Penang Day 2 

Today is our first and only full day in Penang. We woke up in the morning and went off to have dim sum breakfast at De Tai Tong Cafe(大東酒樓) which is at the corner of Lebuh Campbell and Lebuh Cintra. The dim sum is quite nice and it is definitely packed in the morning so you should come prepared. Plastic bags are available for you to pack whatever food you cannot finish. We ordered a fair bit of food and have to takeaway some.

After eating breakfast, we went over to Pinang Peranakan Mansion. Once we reached it, we realised that this was the place where they shot Little Nonya. The admission fee is RM 10 and they will provide a guide once there is 10 people hanging around... though admittedly that may take a while. We eventually gave up waiting and walked around on our own instead. After that, we slinked over to The Nonya Kitchen which is in the Mansion. I had a cup of tea, half a piece of Kueh Salat as well as some Gao Teng Kueh. My friend had Cendol, lol.

Although it was getting to be quite hot, we decided to proceed over to Fort Cornwallis. It has been a very long time since I was last in the sun for so long.... can really feel the effects of the sun shining down it's love on us. There is truly a significant difference walking around in Winter and a hot sunny afternoon. 

Fort Cornwallis itself is a smallish fort. Takes only about 10 mins and you will be done with it. So, if you have a tight shedule with other places to go and this is not along the areas that you will be visiting, you can skip this. After Fort Cornwallis, we walked back towards the hotel because my friend wanted to go to this place called Batek-Lah which is near our hotel. Along the way, she came across this contemporary art jewelry place called Laconic. She had a fine time there and bought two pendants. Rather unique I must say.

Continuing on, we finally managed to find Batek-Lah. It has some rather nice batek items and the person who was running the shop at the time was a very nice member of the family business. He gave us a brief introduction of the batek production processes and why each process differs such that the sale price can be so different. He also gave us very detailed directions to eating places near our hotel! 

Following his recommendations, we went off in search of Cendol / Ice Kacang. I had Ice Kacang and I must say that the Ice Kacang is really quite nice. The ice has a sarsi flavour to it. I have no clue what it actually is but it is nice. For RM 2.20, you get a bowl of ice full of ingredients. It's really a waste that I do not eat most of the ingredients. If I got my street names right, the stall is a street stall in Lebuh Kimberley, just off Lebuh Penang. There are two stalls there, it's the one on the right that is nicer. Anyway just look at the crowd. The crowd will gather around the one on the right and just in case that you arrive when there is a lull, the stall says something like "Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul".

 Only come here if you are prepared to eat street food. And by that I mean you eat on the streets. You stand around and eat your Chendul or Ice Kacang. However, should you choose to do so, you will find that you will be rewarded with a lovely bowl of ice on a hot scorching afternoon. :D

After we have enjoyed the Cendol, we went back to the hotel and dropped off stuff, lazed a bit. Then we went off to Lebuh Macalister to try the next of the recommendations from the guy at Batek-Lah. Although I had heard that the Char Kueh Teow at Lebuh Selamat was famous, he stated that it was touristy and expensive (RM 7 or 8). We then tried a 'local' joint where you can get Char Kway Teow at just RM 3 (RM 3.5 with egg). I must say it was quite nice even though it was not the famous stall. Should still try the famous stall I guess. Can compare. My friend also ordered Char Kueh Teow, and braised duck as well as fried oysters. It was quite a full table... full of oil hahahahahah!!

Seriously people. Come here and eat. After you clear IPPT and Annual BMI monitoring.

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Saturday, December 08, 2012

Penang Day 1 

Ah. After Europe, Penang has sneakily snuck up on me! 

Hadn't really been excited about it. Come on, it's Penang!! Malaysia leh, how to be excited? I don't mean lousy, but it's so near lol.

I didn't even get my bags packed till like 2 hours 15 mins before the flight :D.

For this trip, I am flying with my friend into Penang via Silkair and then coming home on Air Asia. This is the most cost efficient arrangement given my friend's timings. She is working on Saturday so we cannot fly in the morning. Silkair has the best timing for her. Staying in Tune Hotels for 2 nights. It costs us less than $30 per person for 2 nights stay in Tune Hotels. And it's location is not bad too.

Penang International Airport is currently undergoing major renovations / expansion. It's like this huge construction site. We took the Rapid Penang bus 401 to KOMTAR and walked to the hotel. The room is pretty cosy but it has nice big beds and ensuite shower plus toilet so it's all good! The fan is really powerful so aircon is unneccesary. We did not purchase any add ons.

After we settled down in the hotel, my friend started sussing out the eating places. She picked Ho Ping Cafe along Jalan Penang and Red Garden along Lebuh Leith. We got to Ho Ping Cafe and ate some Ngoh Hiang and Pork bee hoon. The pork bee hoon has minced pork, stomach, kidney, liver and  my friend thinks there is pig's brain in there. I ate some of the suspected brains without knowing what it was and it was really delicious. But somehow, after suspecting that it was brain I just didn't feel like it anymore. It is really delicious though.

After that we went over to Red Garden, which is a night market and sort of hawker centre place. We didn't eat anything there but that place was really hopping. There was a getai there with singers hopping around. Pretty much a beer garden ala newton circus type of place. It even has Trip Advisor's certs all over the place. One thing about Penang that I have noticed so far is that places here like to display Trip Advisor recommendation stickers.

On the way back to the hotel, we stopped by a pastry shop near the hotel called Ming Xiang Tai. Had black soya bean drink there and tried a chicken floss pastry. The pastry was sweet so I didn't realy like it. The soya bean drink was nice though.

Well, back to the hotel, wash up and on to tomorrow!!!

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