2009 Penang Trip

Dear1 and Dear2 went on a 5D4N trip to Penang over the past few days.  The trip was really intended to be relaxing, as well as to double as our yearly ‘retreat’.  :p  Actually, this trip was a bit hastily planned, cos Dear1 and Dear2 were deliberating whether to go for the holiday or not as Dear2 is carrying baby, but in the end, just 2 weeks prior, we finally decided to go ahead during week 23 and 24.  Afterall, this will be the last chance in a long long while to come that Dear1 and Dear2 get to go on a holiday.  With baby in tow next time, and baby #2 in plan, it’ll at least be 4 years later that Dear1 and Dear2 can go on a holiday.  Hmm…  OMG…

So here goes, our 5D4N itinerary in Penang, written as our trip unfolded.

Day 1

  • At 5.20 am, took a cab to Chinese Garden MRT where we board the first East bound train (5.41 am) towards Changi Airport.
  • Flight departed at 8.10 am, reached Penang International Airport at 9.10 am, on time. :)
  • SQ flight served cheesy bread with marshy shrimp.  Not nice, yucks.

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Snacks for our 1 hr flight.

  • Taxi to Georgetown had increased fare, not RM38 as resourced online, we paid RM42 at the taxi counter.
  • Went to Komtar and Prangin Mall, but both malls at 10 am were very empty and no people around, all shops were closed.

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The iconic but very very old Komtar.

  • Discovered that the Komtar Observation Tower also closed for 6 mths due to renovation :(
  • No shops, no tower, cannot check in yet until 2pm, so just loiter in Komtar.
  • Got malay food fare and that’s the liveliest activity in Komtar, so funny.
  • Ate KFC – ordered large wedges but very few pieces only. :(

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Good old KFC potato wedges.

  • Komtar very old, many shops not occupied (and Komtar is supposed to be Penang’s landmark…!?).
  • Crossed the overhead bridge to Prangin mall, much better, got Cathay Cineplex wor.
  • Around 12 noon, decided to try for early hotel check in.
  • Road outside Prangin Mall is Jalan Dr Lim Chee Leong, cannot find it on the map…?
  • Finally located the road on the map, and oriented ourselves.
  • Walked down to Tune Hotel, very far even though it seemed to be very near on the map.
  • Hotel is surprisingly very new – tiles all new, but really cannot check in until 2pm. :(

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We arrived at noon but can’t check in yet. Talk about strict rules.

  • Went to New World Park food court which is just beside Tune. :P
  • Char Hor Fun (RM4) very nice but wait very very long…
  • Had 1 Ice Kachang, got ice cream on top, very refreshing for a hot day.

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New World Park is right next to Tune Hotel.

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Ice Kachang with ice cream is the standard. Yummy!

  • Finally can check in.  The room is very small – no cupboard, no fridge, basically everything is very minimum, and the water doesn’t flow down the drain if the tap was on just slightly larger! But for SGD94 for 4 nights, it’s a steal already lah, haha.

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A very decent room for around SGD24 per night.

  • Started to have slight rain shower around 4 pm even though it was very hot just earlier.
  • Went to Jalan Selamat which is just across the road for an early dinner, ate Lor Eng Hoo coffee shop’s Char Koay Teow (RM6), oily but nice, and Ice Kachang, just like the earlier version at New World Park.
  • Walked down along Jalan Macalister to GAMA, very disappointing, basically is just a supermarket with a departmental store in a 4 or 5 storey building.
  • Walked further to Penang Times Square, haha, the shopping mall is opened but no shops, quite pathetic….

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The empty Penang Times Square at around 5 pm in the afternoon.

  • Saw some mock up models, actually this area will have further developments including tall and nice condos next time, maybe will be the next upmarket housing and shopping area in Georgetown in a few years time.
  • Pass the time at Old Town White Coffee cafe, had Classic Old Town White Coffee and toast – iced coffee is nice and thick, yum yum.
  • Cut thru Jalan Baru to New Lane Night Market, ate Hokkien Mee (RM3.50) – no prawn, only small shrimps; and Curry Mee – same price with lots of cockles, pig blood and beancurd.  Hmm…. Haha…

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New Lane Night Market just next to Sunway Hotel.

  • Dabao Longan Soup (RM1.20) back and 1 packet Mixed Pork Porridge which Dear1 liked very much.
  • Cut thru Jalan Madras back to hotel, of which the second half of the road was very dark with 3 churches side by side wor…
  • Reached Tune Hotel, wanted to request for extra pillows, but dun have, not even available for rent…

Day 2

  • Woke up, very tired, slept until 8+ am finally awaken by Halloween rehearsal music at New World Park.
  • Went to Lorong Selamat but there’s nothing to eat, only T & t Hokkien Mee was opened.

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The only opened breakfast place along Lorong Selamat.

  • Bak Kut Teh stall which looks nice the night before at Lorong Madras not yet open.
  • Buffet Dim Sum along Jalan Macalister got many people but we were not in the mood for dim sum buffet.
  • Walked back to Lorong Selamat to eat Hokkien Mee (RM3 each) at T & t – 1 dry and 1 soup, haha.
  • Wanted to go to Penang Hill. Did a check with Tune’s counter staff on the taxi fare but realized to our horror that Penang Hill is closed becos the tram is closed for renovation just a few days back. -_-“‘
  • Went back hotel room to nap a while, woke up at 11 am to take free shuttle bus from Bus Stop 11 at Jalan Transfer, and stopped at St George’s Church at Stop 16.

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The Hop On Free Central Area Transit (CAT) bus.

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St George’s Church just beside Bus Stop 16 where we seeked shelter twice from the hot sun.

  • Heritage walk to Goddess of Mercy Temple, passed by Penang State Museum, Cathedral of the Assumption, City Hall, T own Hall, Esplanade, Fort Cornwallis and some others.
  • Chanced by a food market on the way to toilet near Fort Cornwallis, ate Mee Goreng (RM3.50) and Chicken Chop (RM6) – Mee Goreng saucy and spicy, got potato, and Chicken Chop was fried drenched in tomato sauce.

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Food market near Fort Cornwallis.

  • Tried to hail cab or take shuttle bus at Bus Stop 18, caught a cab quite quickly. RM35 to Batu Ferringhi!! Researched info said RM30 only. Research info was wrong about airport taxi too, maybe inflation.
  • Stopped at Holiday Inn at Batu Ferringhi which is the beginning of 1km of night market which starts at 7 pm.
  • Took off shoes and socks and walked along the beach, not many people or tourist on the beach leh, only a couple of local kids and their families…

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Getting our feet wet at Batu Ferringhi.

  • Nothing else to do since cannot do water sports, had a drink at cafe, RM3 for a can of sprite!!
  • Walked along the road, crossed bridge to Ferringhi Tower but need access card to enter!?  So it’s meant for hotel guests only…
  • Went back to Holiday Inn, nowhere cool or nice to sit….. :(
  • Finally decided to ditch Batu Ferringhi and took cab to Gurney Plaza, RM25!!
  • Very cool got air con, nice shopping centre, ate Secret Recipe RM6.30 per slice cake.

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The very modern Gurney Plaza shopping centre.

  • 6 pm, went out to Gurney Night Market, ate Assam Laksa (RM3), Oyster Egg (RM6) and Wantan Mee (RM3), all very nice. :)
  • Dabao Muah Chee (RM1.50) and Char Kway Teow (RM5) – Muah Chee very soft but a bit too sweet.
  • Took cab back to hotel, RM15, very tired and dirty..
  • Outside got getai, so noisy how to sleep!?

Day 3

  • Woke up late again, 9+ am, whole body tired.
  • Walked to Jalan Penang, wanted to go Lebuh Campbell Chinatown and Penang Bazaar – Penang Bazaar just opening;  Jalan Chowrasta too crowded.
  • Went Chowasta Market eat breakfast, Char Kway (RM2) with quite raw bean sprouts, Chicken Kuay Teow Teng (RM3), and thick Chee Cheong Fun.

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Chowrasta Market in the morning.

  • Wanted to walk Heritage Walk, but too hot, so skip everything except the Kapitan mosque.
  • Walked in direction of Jetty, passed Little India, quite deserted, passed by St George’s Church again, went in to rest.
  • Waited 20 min for shuttle bus at Bus Stop 16 in front of St George’s Church.
  • Ferry to Butterworth is free!  Got toilet and food stall on the ferry!

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The ferry operating between Georgetown and Butterworth.

  • Arrived in 15 min at Butterworth.
  • Nothing there except bus terminal, market with nothing to eat also.
  • Return ferry is RM1.20; tried to buy tickets at counter, but counter is for changing coins only, haha.
  • Waited very long again for shuttle bus at Bus Stop 2 in front of Jetty, took shuttle bus back to Jalan Transfer. :)
  • Went New World Park ate Tee Nya Kueh (RM2), no taste one, Orh Kueh with fried dried shrimp and very watery Otah with vege inside.

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We’re back at New World Park food court.

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Tee Nya Kueh! Tee Nya Kueh!

  • Bought 2 boxes of Old Town 3-in-1 Instant White Coffee (RM9 each), 10 sachets per box only.
  • Go back hotel sleep until 4 pm, zz….
  • Went to Jalan Selamat’s ‘Goggle’ Auntie Char Kway Teow (RM6.50) at Heng Huat Cafe, waited very long, but nice, and if no order drinks have to pay 50 sens!

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Char Kway Teow at Heng Huat Cafe.

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Charge for not ordering any drinks is 50 sens only.

  • Walked along Jalan Anson in search of Padang Brown which was opened until 6.30 pm.
  • The first market we saw got no stalls and no chairs, thot closed liao even though it’s only 5.30 pm.
  • Walked into the small road and saw another market, ate Lor Bak (RM2.20 for 2 pieces), Popiah (RM2) and Lok Lok (RM2.40 for 4 sticks!!), all recommended on website, but cannot find Nonya Kueh.

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Padang Brown hawker centre.

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The way of eating Lok Lok. Choose a skewer of food, dip in boiling soup till cooked, dip in satay sauce once only, enjoy.

  • While returning to Jalan Anson, the earlier first market now got chairs and tables, and got people waiting in their cars looking at the stalls, so this market is actually not yet open….
  • Had Bak Kut Teh (RM8.70) at Lai Lai Bak Kut Teh which is right opposite Red Rock Hotel, just ok with strong herbal taste.
  • Too full to eat liao, so go to New World Park’s Old Town White Coffee to chill out.

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Chilling out at Old Town White Coffee at New World Park in the evening.

  • Bought a Pet Shop bag, UP RM59.90, boss give 10% discount, and the cart opens on Fri, Sat and Sun only, so must buy now!!!  :)
  • Return to hotel to digest and eat roasted chestnut (RM2.50) with slit and very burnt taste.
  • Around 9 pm, walked to Lorong Selamat Night Market eat Kway Teow Teng and Wantan Mee, RM3 each only.  Halfway rain, lucky was not at New Lane Market which got no shelter, hahahahaha.

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A section of the sheltered Lorong Selamat Night Market.

  • Came back to hotel at 10 pm, 7-eleven all big mineral water sold out except for the RM7 Evian!!! So didn’t buy. :(
  • Becos of the coffee, now cannot sleep, 12 midnight liao still not sleepy…. :(

Day 4

  • Woke up 9 am, walked down Jalan Burma in search of Him Heang cos got no accurate source of exact location.
  • About 15 min on side of Tune Hotel, after Seventh Day Adventist Church, is Him Heang!!

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The one and only outlet of Him Heang.

  • Bought 2 boxes of Tan Boon Biscuit aka Tau Sau Biah, 1 Chestnut Biah, 1 Sweet Tau Sau Biah, 1 Qing Tang Bing, total RM34.40, cheap and still piping hot!!
  • Had breakfast at coffeeshop beside Him Heang, Hokkien Mee (RM2.20 – that’s less than SGD1!! Cos the exchange rate we used was 1SGD = 2.44MYR), Prata with egg and onions (RM3 for 2 pieces), Teh iced (RM1.20), all cheap!!!!
  • Went back hotel to drop goods and did online flight check in.
  • Booked morning taxi to airport for the next day at hotel’s taxi counter.  Before 7 am will be RM55!!!  Luckily our SQ flight was 10.25 am departure, so if set off at 7.15 am will still be in good time.  And it’s only RM40!!

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Car rental & taxi counter at Tune Hotel.

  • Had Chendol along Jalan Selamat at 11.30 am.
  • Hurried down to Prangin Mall to catch 12.25 pm’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatball, but the movie was cancelled because of no people!
  • Bought 2.15 pm tickets, RM12 total and Popcorn Combo (RM6.10).

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Weekday movie tickets at RM6!

  • Walked around Prangin Mall until movie time.
  • After 1.5 hr movie, still early for dinner cos New Lane only opens at 6.30 pm, so went Georgetown White Coffee at Komtar eat Jawa Mee and Classic White Coffee – coffee very milky taste like latte, not as nice as Old Town’s.
  • Still a bit early, so went GAMA walk walk – really got 1 whole level sell all baby stuff, but the air very bad, made eyes dry.

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GAMA shopping centre.

  • Finally 6 pm, went New Lane ate Lor Bak (RM5 got 5 ingredients), and 1 Cheng Teng (RM2 with very sweet gingko nut and longan, and very soft nuts, nice!).
  • Wanted to eat Assam Laksa but the stall was still opening slowly…
  • Walked to Jalan Madras wanted to eat the nice looking Claypot Bak Kut Teh but the stall was closed!!  :(
  • Walked back New Lane to eat the Assam Laksa, RM3 only but very small bowl…

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Assam Laksa auntie slowly opening her stall.

  • Passed by Lorong Selemat Night Market, the stalls were all closed, lucky the night before we had eaten already, wahaha.
  • Walked down to Jalan Rangoon to eat the recommended Hainan Chicken Rice which was the only opened stall, RM3.70, rice nice but chicken very tough.
  • Went back hotel’s 7-eleven, still only got Evian!!!
  • Went to New World Park’s Guardian to buy mineral water.
  • Dear1 said friend said that New World Park’s Assam Laksa very nice, so we went to try, RM3 too, quite big bowl but super duper salty!!
  • Returned to hotel to rest early.
  • Realize that hotel still never change the bedsheet, second time already.  Even though we put the ‘leaf’ on the bed! Same bedsheet for three nights!

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They didn’t change our bedsheets for 3 days despite us putting the ‘leaf’ on the bed every morning.

  • Got getai again!  2 nights ago also got.  So noisy even though on air con and closed the window.  Cheap hotel is like that one….
  • Did our ‘review’ by going through the 2009 New Year’s resolution.  2 more months to go, so whatever undone/ uncompleted still got 2 months to accomplish, jiayou!

Day 5

  • Woke up at 6 am, went down hotel nearby tried to get breakfast but both side stalls not open, so ate Tau Sau Biah for breakfast.  Yummy but so poor thing.
  • Check out and ‘taxi’ came at exactly 7.30 am, cos 7.15 am supposedly is the rush timing when all the parents drive their kids to school.
  • Journey to airport quite smooth, except near junctions and gotto wait a while, abt 40 min road ride.
  • Ate McDonald’s Big Breakfast Meal (RM13.10), taste weird….
  • Dear1 went to SIA counter to enquire about Lost and Found, cos we left a NLB book on the flight to Penang.  Got many books there but none was ours.

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Waiting for our flight home. :(

  • Counter check in but gotto paste security check sticker first, else they wun accept luggage.
  • Got 3 flights back to SG in the morning – Jetstar, AirAsia and SQ in that order, but come Dec 09 and SQ will be taken over by Silkair.  Haha, lucky we came this month so that we can redeem Dear2’s Krisflyer miles and paid only the airport surcharge and taxes.  Keke… :)
  • Forgot to inform the counter during check in that Dear2 is pregnant, so crew requested to see doc’s letter at the Gate.
  • Served the same cheese bread but this time was pizza flavour, requested cold milk again, yum yum.
  • Reached airport and went to the Lost and Found to enquire, counter says they keep arrival items only..

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Why does every holiday end with this? Sigh…

  • Few steps outside the Lost and Found office, Dear2 suddenly realised that there’s actually 1 more compartment in the luggage, and the book was there!  Hahaha!
  • Took MRT back to home sweet home. :)

– Dear2 (Photos uploaded by Dear1)

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5 thoughts on “2009 Penang Trip

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