On the early morning of April Fools' Day, I am at Changi airport, observing the eastern rising sun. In front of me is the Singapore Airlines flight to Penang. In this economic crisis, I have to play my part to keep Singapore's carrier afloat, as such I have to board the plane and experience the great way to fly.
The flight time is only 1.5 hours and before I can tune in to the in-flight entertainment, I have arrived at Penang International Airport. It feels I have just alighted from a time machine, to an island like Singapore several decades ago. I was brought to my hotel after some work. The lobby design indeed looks remarkable. It is located on the 6th floor of a large shopping-mall like building.
Let's take a sneak peek into my room. Ok. There are no mineral bottles to be found.
Penang is a place notable for its variety of cuisines. During the first day I had their local Kway Teow (soup), which is pretty good. The next day we went for their Bak Kut Teh which is also nice. Their Kway Teow is somewhat different from Singapore's one in which they are Ipoh style (reference below). The dark drink next to it is their Ipoh White Coffee. The guys here prefer to have green chilli instead of red chilli padi. Since I am not here on their culinary tour, so I will only put a single photo here.
The hotel environs. There are many shops around the place. I only visit the convenient stalls, laundry shop, breadshop and the food shops in this area.
For breakfast, it is normally buffet-style in the hotel. They have al fresco dining which give a paranomic view of the surroundings.
My breakfast normally come in huge portions, like the one below.
Close to where I have my meals regularly is this fascinating doll shops. All the dolls are placed prominently at the shop's window pane, attracting passer-bys.
Here is the night market near my hotel. It takes 5mins to walk from one end to another and has lots of food stalls selling a great variety of food.
On the saturday evening, a friend keep mentioning Penang laksa to me until I decided to just go for it. Laksa in Penang is prepared using the Asam gravy instead of curry (commonly found in Singapore).
Another distinctive trait to the food in this area is they like green chillis and balachan. The green chillis are not really spicy as compared to Singapore's red chilli padis. But the balachan is just fabulous. The hot pot below has the fish head curry, chicken hot pot and some fried vegetables.
I'm also into their economy rice (经济饭). Their economy rice is basically self service. They will pass you a plate of rice and you just take whichever you want and the quantity you like. It is good. But there is a danger to it that you may have a tendency to overeat. It basically range from RM$3 to RM$5.
Just next to the Lor Mee photo below is a distinctive dessert call Qing Bu Liang (清蒲凉). It tastes like chinese tea with fruits in it. My colleague keep recommending me to try it and I finally gave it a shot.
During lunch time, we are also able to visit the hundreds of food choices in the area. In one of the afternoon lunch, we pass by this interesting shop selling buns.
11th April (Saturday)
There is a slight drizzle during on the saturday evening. The sky is stunning. So I just went to take a photo of the sunset sky. The tall building next to it is my hotel.
Notice the distinctive contrast of the bridge against the twilight sky.
12th April (Sunday)
The Pinang Megamall is a 10mins walk away from my hotel. This is where I hang out during the slow weekends. Coincidentally on this day, there seems to be some promotional event going on for a drama.
Here are the actor and actress for the drama.
18th April (Sunday)
In the Pinang Megamall, there is an Old Town cafeteria. The cafeteria serve a variety of food such as Nasi Lemak, Kway Teow, etc. During the first weekend, I had my lunch here. When Kent came over on this weekend again, we had our meals here.
Here I am chilling out on the Saturday afternoon...
24th April (Friday)
On this day, a few of my local colleagues decide to bring us to a place south of Butterworth call Tambun. It is a 15mins car ride away. There are many seafood restaurants in the area and this place is actually a fishing village next to a river.
The place where we dine is actually on a floating platform.
They ordered a lot of seafood variety. Though I only sampled a few here and there.
Here is our group photo. From left is Pan, Me and Pong.
Here is Bao and Kent.
While having a meal on the Saturday afternoon, I chance upon this interesting advertisement below. Penang's Chinese actually trace its ancestry to the Fujian province in China. Try to answer the questions below. The answer is provided below.
Answer: B, C, A
While walking back from lunch on the Sunday afternoon, Kent notice this car with a unique number plate. So we took a photo shot of it.