Have a little faith in Penang
Hi there Earthlings,
Thank God, for new broadband that I just bought and installed otherwise I would be living in a cave for a month. Yes, I am back in my hometown and it's been one amazing week of travel. Long story short I have been travelling for a week straight to Penang, Singapore and back to my hometown in Palembang, Indonesia. I am seriously drained by now, but nothing beats the joy of writing. So here it goes. I am going to write for Penang first.
Day 1 : The Arrival and The Night Market
The Penang trip was one of the plans of our Bachelorettes celebration however some of our friends could not make it because they have travelled back to their hometowns, so there were Lisa, Lolyta and I who went to Penang. This was my second visit to the island and as usual, we were taking bus from Pudu Station in KL to our destination, which was, Penang. The bus ride costed RM 35 and the journey took about 5 hours. To arrive at Sungai Nibong, which is the main bus terminal in Penang, we had to take another shuttle bus. This surprised me because last time I went to Penang, the bus went directly to Sungai Nibong. I was surprised then rushing to leave the bus as soon as they announced that we had to take the shuttle one. I was afraid to be left by my friend who were ahead of me, just after I reached the shuttle, I noticed I have lost my earphones. Sad. Just after that, my rubber hairband broke the moment I stretched it to make ponytail. What an odd.
From Sungai Nibong we were taking taxi to Batu Feringhi. According to government-regulated fare, the ride costed about RM. 50. It was quite costy but worthy enough of the long ride and beautiful scenery ahead of us. Cliffs, big rocks and infinite view of the ocean... It is so beautiful. I wish I could snap a picture though, but our taxi driver strolled so fast.
Before we arrived at Batu Feringhi, we were kind of clueless to choose which place to stay. We even surfed for places beforehand, but it turned out that there were many choices to stay in as we arrived. So, we picked a budget hotel named "Feringhi Heritage" located inside what appeared to be complex of old department store near the Petronas station. The hotel room was nice, completed with two double bed, shower, TV, air-cond and power stations, all for RM.80 per night.
the reception of Feringhi Heritage
What also surprised me is that the owner is actually a Palembangese who happened to stay for most of his lifetime in Penang. He was very friendly and catering to guests. He is one of many... many... Indonesians who stay and live in Penang. My friend, Lisa, told me that her second hometown has been a great place to stay for many retiring expats. Well, I cannot disagree about that, who can resist Penang, anyone?
It was after Maghrib prayer and brief 'buka puasa'--or drinking quarter litre of mineral water--then along with my friend, I searched for the real meal. We were strolling down the kilometers-long night market that sells mostly--well--merchandises, but my favorite stalls were always the ones that sell lanterns, beautiful lanterns!
they told me not to take pictures, but carpe diem! and instagramified!
Finally, we reach the main food court along the night market. If I am not mistaken, it's called "Long Beach Food court" and it serves many variety of Malaysian, or I shall say, Penang delicacies! We ordered everything from satay, seafood I fu mie or yam mie, pancakes--and more pancakes!, springrolls... I agree with Lisa, that one does not simply leave Penang without tasting the pancakes and springrolls. I am not a big fan of the springrolls, but it was good. For me, it tasted like Indonesia's risoles if you have eaten it, or a chicko roll, that is stuffed with martabak filling with many shredded veggies. The pancakes was very different from fluffy, all-american one. It was rather golden. I assumed it was made from wheat batter and it was rather thinner, but it was really good, especially when you top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and maple syrup!
After letting our food slowly moved down to our stomach and digested, we were continuing our walk along the street.
streets in Batu Feringhi, Penang
We walked so far that we did not know where the hell we were and then we returned back, heading to our hotel. Before we reached the hotel, we planed to visit our regular cafe/pub by the beach, it's "Bora Bora by the Sunset", to chill for a while, as for me, I'm getting my shisha--oh yes. But unfortunately, the cafe was closing that we were only able to order food from kitchen. We were like, "it was only eleven in the evening!" then we stayed for a while and headed back to our hotel.
Day 2 : The adventure
This day was so far our greatest exploration around Penang. We started the day way early for sahur. I was flattered because both of Lisa and Lolyta woke up at the earliest of dawn to accompany me to eat at the nearest McD, eventhough, they were not necessarily fasting! Kudos! But, later they had proper tea time in front of my eyes--spoiler.
The rest of the day was started at 11 a.m or so, when we all were fully awake and dressed. After deliberating our destination, we chose Toy Museum to go. The admission fee is RM. 20 and I think it was overpriced since the place was cluttered, but it had one hell of complete toy collection. My favorite was big action figure of Leo, the Red Galaxy Ranger--oh my god, I am so geeky. Both of my friend commented on my epic reaction when I saw the figure around the corner. I was screaming at my highest pitch.
my abs (if there's any) are nothing like leo's
They should be glad they don't me react for something greater--I don't know--maybe, Xena the warrior princess action figure--Oh, wait! I did take picture with small and the only Xena action figure available in the museum! I also collected picture with Batman, Shrek, Spiderman, Sailor Moon, Tweety, Venom, Harry Potter and many more... I wish I could post every picture but they were too big and my broadband connection is nearly fair, beside I do not want you to see my narcissistic then I would end up being bullied, oh god, no. Another part that I like on the museum was the horror toy collection near the entrance. I tweeted an alien action figure to Dewi Lestari as appreciation of her latest book which I love, "Partikel." After the toy museum, we were moving to Chocolate Boutique to complete my mother's requests. I did not whether it was just me or the chocolate were highly overpriced. For one 350 mg of chocolate, it costs RM 45. I could get chocolate with adequate quality for cheaper price in any KL's chocolate boutiques! Let's hope that they do taste better and special!
From the chocolate boutique, we stopped at Komtar shopping complex where Lisa and Lolyta spent most of their times hunting cool clothings whilst I was trying to find any available prayer room. Unlike Kuala Lumpur's residents, most of Penang residents are mostly peranakan, so I was not surprised that most of prayer rooms I found were not as organized as the ones in KL, and to add, if you are really devoted muslim then finding proper meal in Penang could be a challenge. However, that is not a reason not to visit the Island. There are many halal stalls and food sold around too. I did not find any problem finding food to eat either.
From Komtar we walked around Georgetown to visit many exciting places. We visited two heritage museums, the Kapitan Mosque, an old white church and the blue house--I am sorry if I cannot recall each names properly, because that day I was extremely tired. My 'tired' moment was also captured in motion by both Lisa and Lolyta on tape! My favorite place was Penang Heritage Museum near the church, because it was very entertaining and informative. My favorite item and the only photo I took from inside the museum--because I was so freaking tired--was this old typewriter.
Other favorite parts of this museum were the Chinese, Malay, Indian and Peranakan room. Each room were decorated according to each culture and decorated very gallantly. As I observe and look from Peranakan's vintage decoration, such as Chinese/urns and cabinets, I noticed Peranakan share many similarities with Palembang culture. I felt like entering a larger and more glorious living room of my granny's house.
Moving from wholesome road adventure, we chose to take a modern sightseeing in Gurney Plaza, which is a large mall that just faces the majestic view of ocean. Plus both of my fellas took me to nice place, called, "Winter Warmers"
And they ate all of these in front of my eyes....
It was not because I was hungry and tempted, it was because I never had a proper tea time with that finger cakes tower... But they redeemed by taking me to "The Ship" for buka puasa and dinner. I had never been into a real steakhouse before where the waiter would ask, "how'd you like your steak to be cooked?" , normally I just flipped the menu and pointed, "there" I didn't have to answer, "well-done, medium or rare"... well, that was an experience and the fillet mignon was superb. I liked how they made attraction out of my friend's order where they poured alcohol onto the hot pan and it just sizzled and created fire. Suddenly, I felt like so downtown.... which I am.
Later after the dinner, we were going to Bora Bora. It was not Bora Bora the island, but Bora Bora the cafe we visited the other night. Luckily they were not closing and the weather was nice so we took seats outside and begun to order food. As for me, taking hundreds puffs of vanilla-mint shisha until I went high. LOL. true story
Day 3 : The Departure
Nothing much going on that day, we were just preparing to leave Penang. We quick-visited the Feringhi Beach. Luckily we could still enjoy ourselves although the weather was a little cloudy and the sands were a bit damp. After that we headed off to the Komtar complex again to buy bus ticket to Kuala Lumpur. There are a lot of ticket seller around the area to every destination, ranging from Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. So, if you would like to plan a travel by bus to/from Penang, do not hesitate! I was planning to go straight from Penang to Singapore that day, but as my hand carries got even unbearably-heavy, I though of giving myself a break and travel back to Cyberjaya before heading to Singapore the next day.
Plus, I discovered this Siew Pow that I packed for buka puasa from Chinese restaurant--which happened to be obviously non-halal--but these are just cookies which I believed were safe to consumed. I bought one salted eggs cookie, one pandan salted eggs cookie and one kaya puff. They tasted similarly like bakpia but the filling was very unique and unusual. Literally, there was a salted egg in it. I am not lying but it tastes awkwardly good.