Saturday, June 12, 2010

Penang, Malaysia

Ahh...Penang. The land of good food.

Since Penang is just 1hr 15mins away from Singapore by flight, so I'd recommend taking budget airlines like Tiger Airways , Jetstar , AirAsia. However, occasionally Malaysian Airlines do have a cheap rate that's comparable to the budget airline's rates.

The Penang's airport is a small one. Just a few shops, food outlets, and a McDonald's. It takes around 30mins by cab (if there's no traffic jam) to get from airport to the Georgetown (city) area. Add an additional 20mins to reach Batu Ferringghi area (beach resorts).

As for hotels, there's 2 main areas you can choose from. 1 is the Batu Ferringghi area where there's mostly beach resorts. The other is Georgetown area which is the main city area.

Personally, I like the Gurney Hotel which my Penang friend recommended me. Affordable rates, spacious room, nice sea view and a jacuzzi jet bathtub. (No, they did not pay for me to advertise here:) ) It is located along "Barutan Gurney" where the famous open-air food stalls are located at in front of Gurney Plaza. However the Gurney hotel is located about 15mins (walk) away from Gurney Plaza.
hotel room

View from the hotel room
If you want somewhere closer to Gurney plaza, then go G Hotel. It is located just next to Gurney Plaza.

I have 2 good friends from Penang and they bring us around to eat where the locals eat.

Char Koay Teow. I eat that at least once every day while at Penang. My personal fav is the one by the roadside along "Jalan Mount Erskine". Granted, the place looks kinda run-down, however, the food is good.

Another of my personal fav is the Hokkien Mee. In Singapore, we call it Prawn Noodle, but in Penang, it's known as "Hokkien Mee". The soup is thick, spicy, flavourful. It usually comes with a spoonful of chilli paste. Even if you don't mix that chilli paste into the soup, the soup is already spicy.

Other must-try Penang food are:

And...not forgetting....

Haha. Yes, I'm one of those who makes it a point to visit an A&W's everytime I visit neighbouring countries (since Singapore doesn't have A&W's anymore). I visited the outlet at Gurney Plaza.

As for local products, me and my friends went to Ghee Hiang to buy some traditional Penang biscuits (Beh Teh Saw). Good for buying to share amongst colleagues since they come in little packets within 1 box.

In the evenings (every day), you might want to take a walk along Batu Ferringhhi where you will see many stalls selling cheap stuffs (kinda like the Pasar Malam we have here in Singapore).

For those who planned to visit Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion (also known as the Blue Mansion), there's tours conducted within the mansion, however photography is not allowed, even if you are on the conducted tour. You can only take photos from the outside.

I was at Penang: Aug 2009 & Mar 2010

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