Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Penang, Malaysia - 17 Aug 2012 to 20 Aug 2012

Day 1 
17 Aug 2012 (Friday)

4 of us (Larry, Qin, Baohui and Me) set off from Singapore to Penang at 9.30pm on a coach after work to Penang.  It took us about 11.5 hrs to reach the destination.  Qin was complaining we should take a plane next time.  The duration is so long.  However, I booked Konsortium, snoozer seat and it was really comfortable and there is a screen for you to watch some movies.  I slept the whole journey so the distance was not an issue to me at all.  

The Snoozer Seat On Konsortium

Day 2
18 Aug 2012 (Saturday)

Since it was a midnight to Penang, we reach Penang at about 7.30am.  Qin's colleague, Ann came to pick us at the bus terminal and brought us to the nearby coffee shop to have the famous penang char kway teow.  I don't quite remember the place.  However, let me see if I can find out the name and the address from my friend.  Actually, you can find the Penang char kway teow along the streets of Penang.

Penang Char Kway Teow

After having char kway teow as our breakfast, we check into our hotel, Vistana.  It is not actually a hotel.  It is an apartment.  It has 3 bedrooms, a kitchen and a tiny living room for you to watch TV programs.  The rate is quite reasonable.  SGD 120 for 4 pax per night.


Tiny Living Room

We changed into shorts, rested for a while and Qin's colleagues, May arrived at the hotel to pick us up for lunch.  May together with her friends joined us for lunch at Old Town White Coffee at Penang.  I had Penang laksa but the taste was horrible.  It is too diluted, not a good choice.  

We Are Waiting For Our Food
(Daniel & Vanessa is not in the picture)

After our lunch, May and her friends brought us to the Heritage of the Peranakans.  The shooting place of the Singapore Drama, 小娘惹. The place was nice with all the props well kept and preserved.

Pinang Peranakan Museum
29 Church Street, 10200 Penang
Telephone: +60 4 2642929

Opening Hours
Mondays to Saturdays from 9am to 5pm
Daily Tours at 11.30am and 3.30pm

Ticket Prices
Adults (Ages 12 and above) : RM10.00
Children (below 12) : Free
School children (in uniform) : RM5.00
Complimentary tours are only available with prior arrangements for a group of 5 persons and above. Discounts are available to school bookings and other large groups. 

After visiting the heritage place, we stopped at a roadside stall near to The Chew Jetty' (姓周桥) and had a cold ice jelly and a bowl of Penang laksa.  This time, the Penang laksa tasted better than the one at old town.  The ice jelly was really refreshing especially under a hot sun. 

Penang Laksa At The Roadside Stall

Ice Jelly

After having our little snack, we moved on to visit a fishing village, named 'The Chew Jetty' (姓周桥).  The surname of people living there has their surname as Chew.  It is a small village and it is litter free.  I can hardly spot any litter on the floor.  

That's The Whole Group Of Us

Visiting hours: Open daily - No entrance fee

How to get there? 
Click here for Google Map and explore the options available. Alternatively, hop on a Rapid Penang bus, get 
down at Ferry Terminal (Weld Quay stop) and take a short walk to Chew Jetty. 

After our visit ended at 'The Chew Jetty', we proceed to experience a ferry ride from Penang, Georgetown to Butterworth. The ferry not only transport humans but also cars. You can drive your car onto the ferry and the ferry will bring you over to Butterworth.  The ride cost about RM 0.60 if i remember correctly.
What a great experience...

That's Us On The Ferry
(Larry is not in the picture)

After the ride, we went to Gurney Plaza Shopping mall to take a look.  In the meantime, we had a dessert at 许留山,this is one of the famous Hong Kong dessert store but now they have a branch in Penang too.

One of the famous Hong Kong Dessert Store

After the dessert, Qin and her sister, Baohui went to Watson and buy their stuff.  Larry and I browsed around the shopping mall and bought 2 pairs of slippers.  The shopping mall was very similar to Singapore and the prices are slightly on the higher range.  

After the shopping experience, we went to the famous Gurney Drive.  When the sky started to turn dark, the place suddenly filled with people looking for places to have their dinner.  In addition, you can see people singing on the stage like what we call 'Ge Tai' ( 歌台).  The shop owners are the sponsors of the event and sometimes, you will hear songs dedicated to the store owner. Example : This song is dedicated to Store Number 81, Selling O Zian... Haha...  However, the shop owner is busy frying his food and can't be bothered what happens on the stage.

'Ge Tai' ( 歌台)

Food ranges from Penang Laksa, Lok Lok, Seafood & More

After the wonderful dinner, May and her friends drove us back to our hotel.  It was a wonderful journey. really enjoyed the day.  Getting to know new friends, new places and a new experience.  Thank you so much for the wonderful experience.  

Day 3
19 Aug 2012 (Sunday)

We woke up early in the morning and May brought us to the famous Penang Hill.  You need to go early in the morning to avoid the crowd.  A tram will bring your directly up to the hill.  It is only about a 10-15mins ride.  You can get the ticket from the counter at the entrance of Penang Hill.

If you are a citizen with MyKad, you will only need to pay RM 8.
If not, you will need to pay RM 30.00.  That's the difference...

Effective 10 March 2012 (Saturday), the Penang Hill funicular train's NEW schedule will be as follows:

Weekdays :
6.30a.m - 10.00p.m (Last train from top station )
Weekends/Public Holidays & School Holidays :6.30a.m - 11.00p.m (Last train from top station )

The Ticketing counter at the Bottom Station will be closed at :
Weekdays :9.00 p.m.
Weekends/Public Holidays & School Holidays :10.00 p.m.
(the management reserves the rights to revise the schedule without prior notice).

Ticket For The Ride
The Way Up
 After we reach the top of the hill, we wanted to have breakfast.  However, we are too early and none of the cafe is open for business.  Lucky we found a few stalls in the food court that sells food and drinks.  The foo court is near the Owl Museum.  There are signs to direct you to the place.
Add caption

Penang Char Kway Teow 

Starting From Left : Milo, Coffee & Milk tea

After our breakfast, we rented a buggy car driver to tour us around the hill.  The distance from one point to another is really far.  It will be better if you travel on the buggy.  It cost about RM 60 for 30 mins.  The buggy will bring you around and take picture for you with your camera at no charge.

During your ride into the hill, and if you are lucky, you might see some wild animals like monkeys.  We are a lucky group and we saw a monkey eating some fruits from the tree.  What a beautiful sight !!!

The Buggy Driver Took This Pic For Us

Money Eating Its Fruits From The Trees

About 11.30am, we left Penang Hill and proceed on to our next destination.  We will be visiting Kek Lok Si Temple.  It is one of the famous temple in Penang.  It is also located at he top of the hill.  Thankfully, Qin's colleagues, Edmund came to pick us up from the entrance of Penang Hill.  It is impossible to walk up to the temple.  It will be best that you take a cab up.  Alternatively, you can take the public transport.

Getting there

Depending on your location, you can take Rapid Penang Bus201, 203, 204, 206, 306 and U502. Check the Rapid Penang Bus Route for details, map and time table. 

The most convenient bus stop is located along Jalan Pasar, at the foothills of the temple. Jalan Pasar is a one-way street. Walk following the traffic flow until you reach a T-junction. You can see Kek Lok Si towering to the left side. Turn left and walk in its direction.

After a 45 mins drive due to the jam, we arrived at the temple.

We proceed to the temple to pay our respect to the gods.  We saw this ribbon wishing tree.  Each ribbon cost RM 1 and we bought 5 of them.  Each color represent a different wish.  You need to write your name  on the ribbon and hang it as high as you can.  However, due to my height, I can only go that far.

Ribbon Wishing Tree

I Can Only Go This High

After walking around the temple, we took the incline tram to a high ground.  It cost about RM 4 to take the tram 

Ticket For The Incline Tram

Up Up Up We Go...

What's On The Top... A huge Statue Of The Godness Of Mercy

And The 12 Zodics

After the visit to Kek Lok Si, we went to Queensbay Shopping Mall for shopping. 

How to go to Queensbay Mall
Queensbay Mall can be reached from the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway. In order to avoid passing through the residential areas of Bay Gardens and Villa Emas, visitors are encouraged to use the main exit to Queensbay Mall. It is located on the expressway in the direction of Batu Maung.

Going to Queensbay Mall by Car
Coming from George Town along Bayan Lepas, upon seeing Queensbay Mall on your left, you notice the fork fork into two. The left fork goes to Bayan Baru while the right fork towards Batu Maung. Take the right fork. A short distance down the road is the exit, on the left, with signage pointing to Queensbay Mall. That this exit. It leads to a roundabout, take the road that leads to Queensbay Mall - you can see the mall from the roundabout. As you near the mall, you will reach a junction leading towards the parking areas.

Going to Queensbay Mall by BusRapid 
Penang buses U304, 307, 401E and 308 serves Queensbay Mall. The bus stop is right in front of the shopping mall. Fare is between RM1.00 to RM2.50. Buses are quite regular.

More shopping malls in Penang can be found in the link below

In the evening, we met up with Qin's colleagues. Ann & her kids, May & friends and Sheryl.  Initially, we book this Thai place for dinner.  However, we were late so we change location to a Chinese restaurant.  The food was delicious.  Rating will be about 3 out of 5 star.

Initial Plan

Back Up Plan

After our dinner, we went for a KTV session at Queensbay Shopping Mall.  The place was called Neway KTV.  The KTV room was spacious and they even have midnight supper buffet (finger food).  They do not have a wide spread of variety but I think was sufficient to last me through the night.  I was not that hungry so I took a little just enough for my tiny tummy.

The KTV Room

Finger Food &  A Soup

After our KTV session which ended about 04.00am, we were so tired and Sheryl drove us back to our hotel to rest.

I really had a great time with them.  However, happy times always passes so quickly.  It was our last night in Penang.  I really want to say a BIG THANK YOU to all of them who have hosted us so well.  We were like VIPs.

Day 4
20 Aug 2012 (Monday)

In the morning, May brought us for some Dim Sum before boarding our bus back to Singapore.  You will need to be early as the parking seems to be an issue there.

The location is opposite Tesco Extra. 

Address : Maxim Dim Sum Restaurant
Bangunan Lip Sin 2-G-11 & 12,
Lebuh Pekaka 1, Sungai Dua,
11700 Gelugor, Penang, Malaysia.
Tel : +604 6560915

Maxin Dim Sum Restuarant

These are what we ordered and they are delicious
Egg Tarts, Shrimp Dumpling, Pork Rib, Siew Mai, Chicken Feet, 
Char Siew Tart, Fried Wanton, Chang Fen

Lastly, we order this Pandan Egg Tart.
However, Taste Was Not That Good.
I prefer The Original !!!

After the wonderful breakfast, Ann drove us to the bus terminal.  It was time to say goodbye.  This is always the hardest word to me.  We really would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to them for hosting us. Really hope to visit them some day when we are available.

After bidding goodbye, we board the coach, Star Mart Express Coach and was on our way home.  It was a long journey back home.  The seat in this coach was not very comfortable although the chair has a  massage mechanism, the seat was small.  In addition, this coach stop at JB to pick passenger up.  At this time, 2 passengers were late and we had to wait for them.  This results in delays.  In future, I will not choose this coach as my choice.

After about 12 hours ride, we reached Singapore.  Home Sweet Home !!!

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