Thursday, 10 October 2013

Weekend in Penang (Part 2)

Sun, sand and sea

That’s Elaine up there. What can I say? She’s up for anything!

About 6 kilometres from the city centre of Georgetown is Penang Hill. You need to take a 10-minute train to get to the top of the hill. A return ticket on the Swiss-made funicular train is MYR30 for tourists. MYR8 for locals. It was raining hard so we didn’t explore. Apparently there is much to see – a bird sanctuary, canopy walk (suspension bridge over the tree tops) and guided nature trails. Maybe next time!

If your idea of a good holiday is fine dining, and being stuck in air-conditioned malls then Penang may not be the place for you.  Penang is where street food rules.  It'll be pointless to go to Penang and not dine al fresco.  I'm glad I have like-minded travel companions.

Fried chicken from the Indian stall at the corner of the street?  On!

Wait 25 minutes for a plate of fried kway teow?   No problem.

Eat lor mee in a rundown coffee shop?   Love the retro feel.

No tables at the famous chendol stall?   Do what the local does – slurp from bowls while standing by the road.

Raining cats and dogs while dining al fresco?   Open up three large umbrellas and place them in strategic positions.  Continue eating.

Oh, how we enjoyed the street food!  It's no surprise that Penang was ranked by CNN Travel as one of the top ten street food cities in Asia

Hokkien Mee (Prawn Mee)
This Prawn Noodle is very popular and usually sold out by midday. We were fortunate to have met Stanley and hired him as our driver. He went to the stall early to place our orders before picking us up at our hotel.

Stewart Lane: Lor Mee
Located just beside the century old Goddess of Mercy temple, the stall has been operating from the current location since 1957 until the present. This Hai Beng Lor Mee is currently being run by its 2nd and 3rd generation direct descendants. This Lor Mee brings back some good childhood memories of my grandmother and I, slurping lor mee while seated on low wooden stools outside the wet market on 
Sunday mornings. 

Lorong Selamat: Char Kuay Teow
We had to wait for about 25 minutes for this one.

Lebuh Keng Kwee: famous Teochew Chendul and Jooi Hooi Café Char Kway Teow
Sorry, I slurped up the chendul real quickly so I can only show you a photo of the char kway teow -- LOL!  Stanley informed us that this stall uses duck egg.  Frankly, I couldn't tell if it tastes any different from hen egg.

How much does a 3 day 2 night trip to Penang work out to? Well, my share came up to:

Airfare: SGD124
Hotel: SGD160
Food + Driver: MYR200 (SGD80)
Train (Penang Hill): MYR30 (SGD12)

Worth every ringgit.

Read Part One

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