[Travelogue] Penang Day 3 – Famous food and places (Street Art/Mural Painting)!

Hello guys!

Yes I am back to share with you how my day 3 of my recent Penang trip went!

Below are the recounts of day 1 and 2:

Penang day 1

Penang day 2

As the bf and I had intended to drop by the street art areas in Penang at George Town, we decided to go for it on day 3, although it was a tad difficult for my sister and bro-in-law who has to look after my niece, as well as for my aged parents. There was abit of compromisation here due to the different interests of all 3 couples.

However, the weather wasn’t very much on our side, so please do check the weather forecast before heading down. In fact, checking of the weather forecast should be placed as one of your main priorities whenever you are planning to travel. You wouldn’t want to head down to beach places during the heavy monsoon period, would you?

I guess it was difficult to predict accurately (hence, the word ‘forecast’) for all weathers but for obvious ones such as the rainy seasons during the end of the year should be avoided.

Due to the uncooperative weather, we had to head indoors instead. This simply means that we are wasting precious time and transport costs which were accrued by the hour.

On the third day, we changed chauffeur to a more aged guy (I cannot recall his name) who well, in our opinion, wasn’t as resourceful as Tommy.

Since we could not visit the street art area yet, we decided to settle for lunch.

The chauffeur brought us to Song River Cafe which is located along the bay of Song River.

Song River Cafe

Address: No. 65, Persiaran Gurney, 10250, George Town, Pulau Pinang, 10250, Malaysia

There were what we ordered.

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Piping hot Bak Kut Teh

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Tofu

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Fried egg with oysters

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Stir-fried chai sim

It was drizzling when we reached and the weather was really uncooperative as it started to pour heavily soon after.

As we were seated nearest to the end of the coffeeshop (I wouldn’t term it as a ‘cafe’ despite its name), rain was splattering in. We were quite concerned because the precious little princess cannot afford to be drenched. Hence, we requested for the staff to wind down the shelter.

However, our request was immediately turned down as we were told that the shelter did not belong to them but to another stall owner. Do note that there are a few different stall owners in that coffeeshop alone.

We were quite pissed at their rigid mentality. You mean you rather let your customers get splattered by the heavy down pour than to just wind down the shelter for us? I thought it was ridiculous. Moreover, the rain was splattering into our food as well. The whole unmaintained coffeeshop with filmsy roof seemed like it was about to collapse anytime.

Obviously, I did not enjoy the ambience there.

Unsurprisingly what was more disappointing was the food.

What we expected to soothe ourselves in the cold rainy weather, turned out to be the worst dish of all. Yes, you are right. The Bak Kut Teh would top anyone’s craving in such a weather but unfortunately, it lacked the flavour. It tasted a little diluted and simply just missed out the ‘oomph’.

I was once told that Malaysia’s BKT tasted sweet while Singapore’s version is more of the peppery kind, so please take note of the difference in taste when eating BKT in our neighbour country.

Also, I wished they hadn’t added in the Beancurd Skin aka ‘Tao Ki’ because I felt it didn’t really match the usual BKT style. But then again, perhaps this might be the Msia’s version?

The rest of the food was mediocre and even the fried egg with oysters did not reach its supposed fragrant level.

On the whole, we didn’t enjoy lunching there at all, so I really wouldn’t recommend you guys to drop by at all.

Our moods (I guess esp the bf’s and mine) were made even worse when the rain kept pouring and pouring, postponing our plans to visit the street art. 😦

We had no choice but to be ‘dumped’ at shopping malls for a about 2hours + 😦

Thank god the weather was a little kinder to us after that and we managed to proceed to the street art areas as planned!

A short introduction on Penang’s famous street art mural paintings at Georgetown :

As part of the George Town Festival in 2012, Ernest Zacharevic is a young Lithuania-born artist who has been beautifying this part of George Town which has since attracted many, boosting Penang’s tourism industry.

Ernest Zacharevic has painted more than a dozen murals on the walls of George Town and some of the more popular ones are  “Boy on a Bike”, the lively “Little Children on a Bicycle” to the whimsical“Little Boy with Pet Dinosaur”.

It was a pity that we did not and could not stop by every mural due to time-constraint but tried to make most out of the given time.

Our first stop was at Armenian Street, Georgetown, Penang where the all-time famous street art “Little Children on a Bicycle” mural was at.

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The below are simple snippets of other arts I came across and thought were camera-worthy and blog-worthy. Hee.

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I’m very sure the local authorities in Penang wouldn’t mind if our very own local talent, Sticker Lady (who happens to be my Senior back in Sec sch!) stamped her famous witty stickers all over George Town. On the same note, I think Singapore should “open up” a little more on such timeless street art pieces, perhaps focusing on hipster places such as the vicinity at Haji Lane? Who knows, this may even follow-suit and attract many appreciative tourists too!

Let’s continue with the awesomeness shall we?

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“Skippy, The Giant Cat”  & ” The Giant Rat” @ Armenian Street, (These murals are side by side, just round the corner)

“The Giant Rat” was a playful add-on to the “Giant Cat” mural and was painted by an unidentified artist.

It was a real pity as we could not spend more time visiting and capturing all these awesome street murals as the chauffeur had other passengers to attend to. We left shortly after to our hotel to rest a little before heading out for dinner on our own.

After refreshing ourselves with a power nap, we manage to get hold of a hotel in-house chef to seek recommendations for a place to eat.

He recommended Stone Bay Restaurant which was a distance from our hotel. As mentioned in my previous post, where I had mentioned that we were lucky enough to have a panel of cab drivers stationed at the taxi stand opposite our hotel daily. So, getting a cab to us was easy feat but you will need to haggle for the cab fare if it seems unreasonable.

Stone Bay Restaurant

Address: 12, Jalan Perusahaan Jelutong 2, Jelutong, Pulau Pinang

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This was one of the best dishes we have tried so far. They were really really delicious and were not very expensive as we thought it would be. We paid around RM200+ 🙂

After that, the bf and I headed for our private nightlife date at Upper Penang Road for a booze-cum-soccer-chillax-session but we were taken aback.

Let me show you what I mean.

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Yup this was pretty much it.

You could see how it wasn’t as ‘happening’ as we thought it would be. What was more humourous was that I was actually kinda apprehensive that the place would be rowdy and filled with loads of drunkards (fear for our safety esp when we are overseas!) and such, but there was nothing near that, which is good.

But I guess because our favourite soccer club – Liverpool won the match that night, it kinda made us feel better! 🙂

We scurried back our hotel via cab before 12am because we were kindly informed that there would be midnight surcharge of a whopping 50% more!

So that was all for day 3 in Penang…stay tuned for my last blog post on my 4th day which is also the last day of this Penang trip! 🙂

[Travelogue] Penang Day 2 – Famous food and places!

It is very heart-warming to know that many of my readers actually enjoyed my first blog post on Penang day 1! Thank you so much, you don’t know how these positive feedback from you guys really mean to us! It gives us bloggers even more motivation to blog 🙂

Here is how my day 2 in Penang went.

First stop was to the Pinang Peranakan Mansion. This was where the local film the “Little Nonya” was filmed at.

Extracted from their official website, “At the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, the typical home of a rich Baba of a century ago is recreated to offer a glimpse of their opulent lifestyle and of their many customs and traditions. With over 1,000 pieces of antiques and collectibles of the era on display, this Baba-Nyonya museum is also housed in one of Penang’s heritage mansion of eclectic design and architecture. “

Pinang Peranakan Mansion

Address : 29, Lebuh Gereja, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Don’t wish to bore you with the tonnes of pictures I took, so here are some of them :

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Level 2 :

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An antique camera.

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A little gift shop.

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A little cafe selling some of the famous Penang Peranakan food!

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Us trying to imitate the way the “olden people” pose for pictures. LOL.

Overall, I think it is quite an awesome experience. They even attached an English-speaking ‘guider’ to explain to the visitors of the history of the lives of the Peranakan.

And then we continued our journey to hunt for good food again and managed to snap some pictures of the cute little girl 🙂

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Tommy drove us to experience the new bridge which is linked to the mainland. This is the Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge and it is the second bridge to link the island to the mainland after the first Penang Bridge.

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Along the way, there were several cows which I didn’t manage to snap pictures of 😦

But here are some villages along the side of the road.

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We had lunch at a chinese restaurant called Ah Yen Seafood Restaurant

Address : 701, Batu Kawan, 14110, Simpang Ampat, Penang. 019-4133379 / 04-5872616

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Review on the food : It wasn’t that fantastic and we were a little disappointed in their food 😦 Mum was of the opinion that the chicken had this ‘frozen’ taste. The rest of the food were mediocre and if I were to pick the best dish, that would be the fried tofu.

The bf showed me a tourist pamphlet and I told myself that I had to pay a visit to this cafe.

Penang Purrfect Cat Cafe

Address : 53, Jalan Muntri Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

I have not visited any cat cafes before, not even those in Singapore so I was really thrilled when I discovered that Penang has one! 😀

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The cafe has 2 levels.

The first level allows you to place your food and drinks orders and they sell loads of kitty-related stuffs too!

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This is level 2 where you can visit the kitties and have a relaxing cuppa~

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I was actually looking forward to having some rainbow cakes but they don’t sell them, so we settled with red velvet. 🙂

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I thought the red velvet was filled with too much cream and felt kinda cheated because the ones we have in Singapore do not have layers of cream in between 😦

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We ordered a cuppa of cappuccino with came with a cute kitty coffee art!

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Caught in the act!! Look at them fat arms! :O

And I’m sure most of you guys are wondering where are the kitties?!

Here they are!

To be honest, I liked kitties before I liked dogs. But kitties are less approachable and look less friendly, unless dogs who are most of the time, friendlier and livelier!

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There was a enclosed glass panel which some cats were placed in. There were signs to informed customers not to knock against the glass. I’m not sure why these cats were segregated from the rest though. Could it be they are feeling unwell? 😦

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Since The Camera Museum was beside the cafe, we popped by for a visit!

Address : 49 Lebuh Muntri, George Town, Penang.

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They sell cakes and coffee too!

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I love these cafes, their concepts and their ambience. Perfect for a relaxing day to unwind and take the stress off your mind temporarily.

Tommy then took us to a very cool and exciting place which is none other than…

Hin Bus Depot Art Centre

Address : 31a Jalan Gurdwara (opposite of the Grand Continental Hotel) , George Town, Malaysia

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Honestly, I had the exact same reaction as you when I first saw the front of the place. I was clueless as to what this place was and what interesting stuffs it can offer, but was later awed by its arty farty style. 

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After that, we went shopping at 1st Avenue, a huge shopping centre (Msia’s shopping centres are mega HUGE!!) located at Jalan Magazine, Georgetown, 10300 Georgetown, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia where we had our dinner at Old Town White Coffee there and Tommy came to pick us up a 9.30pm. No pictures because my camera battery died and there wasn’t anything special and camera-worthy of 😦

We reached the hotel quite early and sort of had an early rest (we watched dramas on the telly).

I guess the second day was the most fruitful day of all, conquering many interesting places all in one day! 🙂

[Travelogue] Penang Day 1 – Famous food and places!

Hello everyone! 🙂

As promised on my Facebook page, I will be penning down all the experiences and encounters (Famous food and places!) I had during my recent Penang trip with the family and this blog entry marks the first day of the 4D3N short getaway.

A handful of you guys asked about the mode of transport to Penang and yes, I took a plane there. Firstly, I think it’s mainly because of my little niece (who is turning 1 year in less than a month’s time! YAY!!) who will not be comfortable in taking a coach to Penang and secondly, I guess the journey time is kinda long…so we settled to take a flight there. Oh and if you have no idea, I dislike taking coach because I am prone to motion-sickness and I find it very uncomfortable to sleep while sitting. There was even once where I took a flight to Melbourne for a Food & Nutrition trip during my secondary school days for 7hrs straight without sleeping! I know right, but due to age catching up, I just try to nap when I can, despite the dozing off at awkward positions and moments. Thank god I hardly drool =x

After comparing the flight rates and available schedules, we settled for Tiger Air. If I recall correctly, Jetstar does not provide any available flight for the return flight from Penang to Singapore on 5th Oct.

Thank god we arrived at the airport early because we were told to head for the gate much earlier than expected because the plane was located somewhere remote at the Budget Terminal and we had to take a shuttle bus over. I wonder what happened to those who arrive like 45mins before the check-in time or even later.

The journey time from Singapore to Penang was only around 1 to 1.5hrs.

Personally, Jetstar is my favourite budget airline, although I’ve not tried others like Scoot. I’ve never liked Tiger Air because it is so much smaller in space, but thankfully the journey time was significantly short.

Before the trip, I pre-booked a personal transport for my family via my colleague who is from Penang. She recommended this guy to my other colleagues as well so transport was a breeze for us.

We paid RM1600 for 3 days for 8 hours per day for a 10-seater Toyota Alphard. We paid another additional RM80 for him to fetch us to the airport from our hotel on the last day.

I pre-booked the transport because I was told that getting a cab in Penang is not convenient (although it seemed otherwise during my trip, especially since there were a string of regular cab drivers stationed opposite my hotel at the cab stand everyday). Apart from that, we were afraid that the cab drivers might charge exorbitantly high since most of them unsurprisingly, do not follow the ‘metre’ method of charging.

Anyway, I guess you might be wondering, why Penang?

I must confess that I was not really looking forward to this destination because I thought there is nothing much to do, other than to eat and view the street art. But I guess it’s kinda different when you are there in person and the pictures will paint a thousand words.

And yes, the air tix was about $233 (peak hour) which could have brought us to Bangkok for some awesome shopping time and delicious Thai food but I guess visiting Penang offers a different feeling on the whole. And when you are desperately looking for a getaway, I guess anywhere decent is pretty okay right? Plus, don’t we all say it’s the company that is important? And it was my first holiday with my cute niece! 😀

As our hotel only allowed check-in at 3pm as with most international hotels (some at 2pm!), our driver, Tommy brought us to visit the famous Snake Temple which I wasn’t very keen..(eeeks!) and to fill our tummies with some delicious local Penang food!

Snake Temple

Address: Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

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*There are live snakes in the Temple as well as in the Snake Farm, so if you’re a really keen fan of snakessss…please do drop by! It would be a place you wouldn’t want to hiss..I mean miss!

I didn’t wanna go near them so, nope no pictures of sssnaakkeesssss!!!

Local Penang Food

Address: Pasar Air Itam, Jalan Pasar, 11500 Air Itam, Pulau Pinang
Business Hours: Opens daily from 11am – 8pm

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The Penang Asam Laksa tasted okay but I think the Penang Asam Laksa we had on our last day was better than this. Read my upcoming blog posts to find out where! 😉

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The Char Kway Teow was the best among all the dishes. It has the ‘Singaporean’ taste to it. Tommy told us that Penang locals opt out for the egg because the strong egg-y taste conceals the natural flavour of the Char Kway Teow. But as Singaporeans, we opted for egg nevertheless 😉

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Tommy’s I-forgot-what. The sauce was sweet.

And then someone got tired…

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Kek Lok Si temple

Address: 11500 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

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And on the way down, we spotted some monkeys!

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Throughout the journey, someone was having real fun in the car…

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And this little girl tired out herself again…

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After filling our tummies, we proceeded to Ibox Museum of Glass Penang where glasses are made into beautiful decor mirrors, jewelry, door handles, paintings, signage and more!

Ibox Museum of Glass Penang

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And then we got kinda hungry, so Tommy took us to The Straits Quay…

The Straits Quay

And at this point of time, I got a little upset because my camera battery went flat and I was soooo tired. Totally looking forward to check-in to our hotel, recharge my batteries (camera and myself lol)…

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Pardon me for the poor reso pics as they were taken with my sucky iPhone 5 camera 😦

We had some yummy food for coffee break over at Dome.

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And…WE FINALLY CHECKED-IN our hotel!!!

We stayed at Sunway Hotel Georgetown, Penang, a 4-star hotel 🙂

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The spacious hotel lobby :

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Here is how the Deluxe Room looks like :

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The view outside our hotel :

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Overall review on the hotel : It was freaking awesome!!! (Y) Upon request, rooms were made up neatly without fail and the room service staff even repacked and organised my toiletries neatly beside the basin. Complimentary water bottles were replenished as well and everything was so neat and tidy after the room was made up.

Reception staff was friendly too but I didn’t like the welcome drink which tasted like odd plum drink. 😦

Initially, we were informed that our rooms will be located at different levels because they didn’t have 3 rooms on the same level with the king-sized beds. I was told that it was because I did not indicate this in the remarks column. Hence, please take note that it is better to include that as your request when booking the rooms.

However, we were later told that they have 3 available rooms and will make the necessary shifting to join the beds as one. Really great customer service there 🙂

Rested for awhile and recharged my batteries before heading down to Times Square which had most of its shops closed as we were there at around 8+? Seems like some shops close quite early.

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Interesting pic and camera-worthy.

We made a mistake by dining at James Foo at Times Square…

James Foo

Address: 21-A, Jalan Fettes, Tanjung Tokong, 11200 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

It was ONE OF THE WORST TERBBILE HORRIBLE western food I ever had in my life!!! >=[

I forced myself to finish about half of my yucky fish fillet…because I’m not the kind who likes to waste food…

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My fish was soooo freaking bad that I didn’t have appetite to try out the other dishes my family had 😥

I was actually wallowing in self-pity while shoving some fish down my throat. So surprised that there were quite a number of customers dining there. I wonder if they were regulars or first-timers. Gawd.

Please DON’T ever dine there…even if there is nothing else left to eat, there is always convenience stores or nearby food stalls which can taste 100000x better!

Expectedly, feeling unsatisfied, we headed the the nearby food stalls from our hotel. We are very lucky because these stalls are just a stone’s throw away!

Address : New Lane (Lorong Baru), off Macalister Road

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We didnt have the chance to dine at this BKT shop though but the shop looks nice, although each time we passed by, there weren’t many customers…has anyone eaten there before? Was it good? 🙂

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The sister and the bf 🙂

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On our way back to the hotel to feast on the packed food! 😀

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The popiah was acceptable 🙂

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The kang kong x squid tasted quite alright too.

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The fried egg x oyster was great too! 😀

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This Penang trip was not only for famiy bonding purposes but also to celebrate the 2 Oct babies in the family – My dad and my Bro-in-Law!

We got this Passion-fruit Cheesecake at a bakery shop at Times Square for RM45.

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Whose that cutie? 😉

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This is no doubt one of my all-time favourite family photo 🙂 ❤

This pretty much marks the end of Day 1 for us..till then, stay tuned for the next blog post for day 2! 😀

Thank you for reading and hope you enjoyed it! 😀