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** NOTE: REALLY LENGTHY POST! **

Part of a 3 post series:

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

So just last weekend, the husband and I + another couple made our way to Penang for a foodie trip! I was really looking super forward to it – all the cheap and good local food *rubs hands* and since I’ve started to eat spicy food I’ve been more appreciative of local fare and the timing couldn’t be better! (Till I fell sick, that is.)

Okay, some tips for you!

I made 3 mistakes before going on the trip:

1. Not booking the flights early enough 

We paid like, $100 more per couple because we booked 1 week later (which was about 3 weeks before we left). So, book like at least a month earlier, or watch out for good deals!

I’m glad we booked our flight with AirAsia (everyone thought I was asking them to book AirAsia because of the Nasi Lemak hahahaha) because it departed and arrived on time – which was most important for me. I HATE waiting and delays.

(p.s. AirAsia’s having a DBS promo from now till 29th July! $50 (one-way) all in fare to Penang. Fly by 31st Oct. DAMN.)

2. Bad choice of hotel

It was slightly cheaper than some others in the area and also the proximity to places with food good was a plus, but getting served terrible initial service just left me a really bad impression on all of us. Asking us to wait 30mins for the rooms to be ready (check in time was 2pm, we arrived at 2:50pm) was fine – what was not fine, was that they had the cheek to tell me this ridiculous line: “1 room = 30 mins. 2 rooms = 2 x 30 minutes” when we went back to ask about the room after 30 mins. WTF.

And in the end, my room had stained sheets, a stray hair on it (I have blonde hair and that black curly strand surely wasn’t mine) AND a dirty bath mat. BAD HOTEL. We just wanted to take a nap before we continued with our food hunt but because of this we had to wait listlessly around the lobby.

Maybe we should leave a comment about this hotel on tripadvisor because I’m really unhappy with my experience. *arrows husband*

3. Falling sick before my trip

Not that we could control that, but on hindsight I should have taken extra care of myself so that I could enjoy my trip. My entire trip was all about poisoning myself with heaty food and then trying to counter it with lozenges, pi pa gao and cooling drinks. SIGHHHH.

Anyway, that all being said, I had quite a bit of fun! I was amazed at how soundly I slept (and how early each night too) and how much I managed to eat without landing myself in hospital given the condition of my health, heh.

A few things you’ll want to ask me cos I had these questions too:

Transport? 

You can walk, take buses (they actually have hop on / off bus trails) or you can be like us lazy folks and hire a driver for RM250 / day (really great rate we got!) or RM30-80 an hour. Our driver is female, and she does this on a freelance basis so to avoid her getting spammed, email me if you’d like to get her contact details!

Footwear? Clothes? 

Slippers are fine but it was rainy and there were puddles everywhere so I was happy to have worn my slip ons. Temperature’s like Singapore so just wear whatever you would if you’re headed out for a long time. Don’t expect to duck into a shopping centre when you feel hot. SUNSCREEN IS A MUST. I took Heliocare oral pills every 4 hours, and also applied sunblock / reapplied my bb cushion (with high SPF) every 4 hours. Kiasu, Kiasi.

How much money to change? 

A meal in Penang typically costs RM$2.5 – RM5.5 for a plate or bowl of anything. Drinks are even cheaper! It came up to less than RM10 for the 4 of us for drinks. We changed $400 SGD (250RM was for the driver) and still had PLENTY left over even after buying snacks and kopi. I didn’t buy anything at the ONLY mall we went to.

Flight to Penang took approx 1hr 20 mins via AirAsia, and thankfully we experienced no delays at all so we arrived on time and it was instantly agreed upon that we should all just head straight to get some food before checking in at the hotel!

Okay la, enough rambling. Now let’s go to the food!

First stop:

{ Sunshine Market Food Court at Bayan Baru }

Opens: 8am – 11pm (but stalls have their own opening hours) 
Address: Kompleks Sri Selera, Jalan Mayang Pasir 3, Jalan Mayang Pasir 1, Bayan Baru, Bayan Lepas, Penang.
Recommended: Refer to foursquare list (but there are so many recommendations (conflicting ones too) that it’s best you just TRY.

Tom Yum Bee Hoon! I quite liked it despite my sore throat. Then again I've been on a spicy food addiction recently...

Tom Yum Bee Hoon! I quite liked it despite my sore throat. Then again I’ve been on a spicy food addiction recently…

Orr lua! They liked the egg but I didn't hear "WAH!" from them (I don't take oysters so I can't comment on this)

Orr lua! They liked the egg but I didn’t hear “WAH!” from them (I don’t take oysters so I can’t comment on this)

Jawa mee (aka Penang's Mee Rebus). It looks good, but that's about it.

Jawa mee (aka Penang’s Mee Rebus). It looks good, but that’s about it.

Tom Yum Fried Rice - It's like claypot tom yum rice served on a plate - the "claypot" taste is really strong and it kind of took away all the tom yum taste for me.

Tom Yum Fried Rice – It’s like claypot tom yum rice served on a plate – the “claypot” taste is really strong and it kind of took away all the tom yum taste for me.

My girlfriend Trisha is a noodle addict like me hahaha and she saw someone order it and tailed the auntie back to the stall to order a plate of their wanton mee. Here they serve it with soy sauce and I think it wasn't too bad, but nothing spectacular either.

My girlfriend Trisha is a noodle addict like me hahaha and she saw someone order it and tailed the auntie back to the stall to order a plate of their wanton mee it looks like wanton mee, but it’s actually maggie mee in sauce with fried fish. Here they serve it with soy sauce and I think it wasn’t too bad, but nothing spectacular either.

MUAH CHEE WAS THE BEST, PLEASE BUY THIS.

But THIS…  THE MUAH CHEE WAS THE BEST, PLEASE BUY THIS. SOFT. FRAGRANT. Practically melts in your mouth (if you take a piece that is small enough, haha). Oh my god I’ve never tasted muah chee this good before. And I thought the muahchee I had when I was a kid was good enough. This one comes with shallots which was weird to me but tastes SOOOOO good you’ll be surprised!

Thank you Casey for being so persistent on buying the Muah Chee even though the uncle was having his lunch break hahaha. I miss it already because I know I’ll never find something like THAT in Singapore!

Now we all needed to walk it all off before having dinner and the guide took us around Penang to the famous touristy spots (aka Wall mural spots lol) so that I could take some photos and admire the art!

George Town, the capital state of Penang, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site - "officially recognised as having a unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia" - Read more about George Town on Wikipedia.

George Town, the capital state of Penang, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – “officially recognised as having a unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia” – Read more about George Town on Wikipedia.

I enjoyed looking at these old buildings, hand painted signboards, aged walls and the blue sky behind these beautiful buildings without a skyscraper in sight. But oh yeah it WAS hot.

I enjoyed looking at these old buildings, hand painted signboards, aged walls and the blue sky behind these beautiful buildings without a skyscraper in sight. But oh yeah it WAS hot.

Penang, like Singapore - is a multinational country. The road signs are mostly in Malay, but you'll be surprised that the Chinese Penangites speak Hokkien! Their Hokkien is a little different from Singapore's though - it's interesting to read the differences (I wiki-ed cos I couldn't comprehend some of their hokkien)

Penang, like Singapore – is a multinational country. The road signs are mostly in Malay, but you’ll be surprised that the Chinese Penangites speak Hokkien! Their Hokkien is a little different from Singapore’s though – it’s interesting to read about the differences (I wiki-ed cos I couldn’t comprehend some of their hokkien)

About Penang Street Art


There’s a great deal of street art in Penang and I think it’s really good for tourism and business – plenty of stalls around there to quench your thirst should you feel parched while walking around to take photos – whether its good food or not is another thing though, haha.

When you arrive at the airport (which is small, but clean and new, btw) you can grab brochures at the departure gates for maps, food recommendations and there’s a map with a list of street art for you to check off! The most famous ones are the Motorcyle and Kite ones by the fantastic Ernest Zacharevic (facebook, website)  – some of the others, as a reader highlighted to me on dayre.me (thank you, @szemin!) are imitation art, but in my honest opinion, they’re really good too!

Alternatively, you can read up about the various street art here or just look around on Penang Global Tourism’s facebook page.

We started off at one end of Gat Lebuh Chulia and found some gems in an alleyway! 

You can spot minions from Despicable Me everywhere - they're drawn in all sorts of situations and costumes!

You can spot minions from Despicable Me everywhere – they’re drawn in all sorts of situations and costumes!

The minion painting was located right at a warehouse and even at the doors there were plenty of scribblings and some very interesting Chinese words which elicited a chuckle from me when I read them both (one on each door).

The minion painting was located right at a warehouse and even at the doors there were plenty of scribblings and some very interesting Chinese words which elicited a chuckle from me when I read them both (one on each door).

And this was my first "realistic" wall art. It might look creepy but I think there was plenty of effort put into this! This isn't by Earnest but an imitation - nonetheless, well executed and admired by many!

And this was my first “realistic” wall art. It might look creepy but I think there was plenty of effort put into this! This isn’t by Earnest but an imitation – nonetheless, well executed and admired by many!

This was painted by a local artist, Louis Gan. It's also full of effort and it must be hard to work on a scale like this but still get all the proportions right!

This was painted by a local artist, Louis Gan. It’s also full of effort and it must be hard to work on a scale like this, given the height of the mural!

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"The cats walking for animal awareness mural is the 8th of 11 murals created for the 101 Lost Kittens project, to generate greater awareness of stray animals."

“The cats walking for animal awareness mural is the 8th of 11 murals created for the 101 Lost Kittens project, to generate greater awareness of stray animals.”

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Down this abandoned alleyway you'll find even more street art, but the more notable piece is the Bruce Lee one!

Down this abandoned alleyway you’ll find even more street art, but the more notable piece is the Bruce Lee one!

""Bruce Lee" is one of the murals painted by ASA, Artists for Stray Animals, in George Town, Penang for the 101 Lost Kittens project."

“”Bruce Lee” is one of the murals painted by ASA, Artists for Stray Animals, in George Town, Penang for the 101 Lost Kittens project.”

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This one's an original Ernest Zacharevic!

This one’s an original Ernest Zacharevic!

And so is this more famous one!

And so is this more famous one!

Right opposite the Kids on a Bicycle mural there was a store selling some food stuff so we stopped and looked at people posing, haha. I had a bowl of chilled barley which was very shiok (both because of the weather and my throat!)

Right opposite the Kids on a Bicycle mural there was a store selling some food stuff so we stopped and looked at people posing, haha. I had a bowl of chilled barley which was very shiok (both because of the weather and my throat!)

One of us enjoyed ice kachang cos Chendol was sold out, haha.

One of us enjoyed ice kachang cos Chendol was sold out, haha.

Trishaws are still available as a form of transport but it's very much lik the trishaw riders in Chinatown, Singapore. It's a touristy thing! It's been quite a while since I've been on one - I feel it's quite bad to make people ferry me about like that. (driving is different!)

Trishaws are still available as a form of transport but it’s very much lik the trishaw riders in Chinatown, Singapore. It’s a touristy thing! It’s been quite a while since I’ve been on one – I feel it’s quite bad to make people ferry me about like that. (driving is different!)

Moving down the street from the Kids on Bicycle mural, you'll find this shop called Living Story which is one of the more quaint stores and worth a look around!

Moving down the street from the Kids on Bicycle mural, you’ll find this shop called Living Story which is one of the more quaint stores and worth a look around!

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The store sells a LOT of things, but be a smart shopper - some of the items there (like stamps and tea tins) can be found from Taobao actually. Still, this is one really nice place to check out and walk around - the store feels like a hide out from the heat and there's plenty of things to see!

The store sells a LOT of things, but be a smart shopper – some of the items there (like stamps and tea tins) can be found from Taobao actually. Still, this is one really nice place to check out and walk around – the store feels like a hide out from the heat and there’s plenty of things to see!

Old Penang bus tickets framed out - quite worth looking at, yes?

Old Penang bus tickets framed out – quite worth looking at, yes?

An old sewing machine... (two in fact!)

An old sewing machine… (two, in fact!)

You can find so many places for OOTD opportunities - but I didn't bother dressing up much for Penang la, haha. I took this picture because of the "13" on the mailbox, which is my bro's birthdate.

You can find so many places for OOTD opportunities – but I didn’t bother dressing up much for Penang la, haha. I took this picture because of the “13” on the mailbox, which is my bro’s birthdate.

Pretty shutters eh? Hehehe. And one of the loveliest, most accommodating couple I've ever known.

Pretty shutters eh? Hehehe. And one of the loveliest, most accommodating couple I’ve had the pleasure of knowing!

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hahaha Ham bin.

hahaha Ham bin.

Love this one! Right outside a souvenir shop (wonder if the rental is much more expensive cos of the murals)

Love this one! Right outside a souvenir shop (wonder if the rental is much more expensive cos of the murals)

Hand drawn tee shirts for sale!

Hand drawn tee shirts for sale!

Vintage knick-knacks! I got a set of watercolor postcard prints by local artists here hehe.

Vintage knick-knacks! I got a set of watercolor postcard prints by local artists here hehe.

Pretty cafes around... but aint nobody got time for that, gimme my authentic street food cooked with lard please. : x

Pretty cafes around… but aint nobody got time for that, gimme my authentic street food cooked with lard please. : x

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Penang Curry Mee (instant pack) of all sorts of different brands selling EVERY WHERE. They're about 8rm on the streets, or 12rm at the airport. Siao ah! Shengshiong $3+ okay. I got the MyKuali Hokkien Mee one though : x

Penang Curry Mee (instant pack) of all sorts of different brands selling EVERY WHERE. They’re about 8rm on the streets, or 12rm at the airport. Siao ah! Shengshiong $3+ okay. I got the MyKuali Hokkien Mee one though : x

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One of the prettier streets lined with trees!

One of the prettier streets lined with trees!

Our driver always seemed to find parking pretty easily (except the Sunshine market one cos it's REALLLLY crowded)

Our driver always seemed to find parking pretty easily (except the Sunshine market one cos it’s REALLLLY crowded)

Penang parking coupons! Hehe.

Penang parking coupons! Hehe.

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So colorful and pretty!

So colorful and pretty!

Along the way to the jetty, more artwork! Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe (on the other side) and Mr Bean too!

Along the way to the jetty, more artwork! Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe (on the other side) and Mr Bean too!

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More old school machines spotted on the street stalls!

More old school machines spotted on the street stalls!

At the entrance of Chew Jetty there's plenty of food available - a whole street of them in fact! We grabbed a cob of corn and bit happily into it as we walked along the jetty, trying to not get knocked down by scooters (even though they said no scooters allowed in!)

At the entrance of Chew Jetty there’s plenty of food available – a whole street of them in fact! We grabbed a cob of corn and bit happily into it as we walked along the jetty, trying to not get knocked down by scooters (even though they said no scooters allowed in!)

{ Chew Jetty }

59A, Chew Jetty, Weld Quay ,10300 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
E-mail: infor@mychewjetty.com

The Jetty holds a bunch of houses on stilts – back in the past, this is where most Chews in Penang would stay when they first came over. Read more about the history here! You can actually see into the houses and check out the interior as most doors are opened – you can also actually take pictures – most of them didn’t mind too much – if they did, they would tell you / have a no photography sign over. I didn’t cos I really didn’t want to intrude too much. Besides… I was too busy eating corn!

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There's a temple at the end of the Jetty, where you also get to enjoy an unblocked view.... if only it wasn't so hazy that day!

There’s a temple at the end of the Jetty, where you also get to enjoy an unblocked view…. if only it wasn’t so hazy that day!

{ Jalan Siam Charcoal Char Koay Teow }

Siam Rd. (off Jalan Anson), 10400 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Opens from 3pm – 11pm.

Foursquare reviews here! 

One of the most popular eateries and on the husband’s Penang to-do list! In fact, even our guide agrees that his CKT is GOOOOOD. So it must really be damn good cos she ever waited an hour before for just a plate of CKT. Whoa!

The uncle cooks his CKT across the street, actually. Initially I was like... "Are you sure it's here? You sure?! Then we eat where?!"

The uncle cooks his CKT across the street, actually. Initially I was like… “Are you sure it’s here? You sure?! Then we eat where?!”

Uncle actually fans the charcoal, okay!

Uncle actually fans the charcoal, okay!

Then i realized that we actually eat _here_. In the coffeeshop! Whoops. Haha. In fact, you also wait here. Grab a table and just wait out the 30mins - 1 hr for your plate of CKT!

Then i realized that we actually eat _here_. In the coffeeshop! Whoops. Haha. In fact, you also wait here. Grab a table and just wait out the 30mins – 1 hr for your plate of CKT!

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Foursquare states that he doesn't entertain special requests but hehe I got mine without bean sprouts, yay! (Pictured here isn't my plate of CKT) And yes, a small plate is NOT enough. I miss this so much already! The chilli was shiok and ahhh, LARD! 好香哦!This plate is less than $5.50RM. Worth it.

Foursquare states that he doesn’t entertain special requests but hehe I got mine without bean sprouts, yay! (Pictured here isn’t my plate of CKT) And yes, a small plate is NOT enough. I miss this so much already! The chilli was shiok and ahhh, LARD! 好香哦!This plate is less than $5.50RM. Worth it.

Verdict? IT IS A MUST TRY. 

We tried to let the food in our stomachs digest a little first but we still wanted to try more stuff. After all we actually walked quite a bit for the murals so one plate of CKT wasn’t enough for sure!

Our guide took us on a tour around Gurney – Gurney Paragon, Gurney Drive, showed us the new Gurney beach front (where the expensive people stayed, with no boats in sight and very clean waters) and the Esplanade. It’s like… Singapore’s East Coast park to West Coast Park hahaha.

We ended up at New Lane Hawker Centre, a night food market with local fare! It’s a busy busy place and a stone’s throw from Sunway Georgetown, the hotel we initially wanted to stay at.

evonnz-penang-food-trip-2014-81{ New Lane Hawker Centre }

Lorong Baru, 10400 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
( Foursquare tips | Tripadvisor tips )

Unfortunately for this place, I didn’t really like it. It feels like a hit and miss place, but one thing’s for sure – it is overpriced. Our drinks came up to 22.50 RM (what? for 5 person!) when in comparison at other coffeeshops we barely hit 10RM for 5 persons. I’m sorry but this place can be a rip off if you don’t know which stalls to eat at. And I have no recommendations because I didn’t really have nice ones ~_~ So sorry!

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Out of all the food ‘ve tried I think I don’t mind the Hokkien Mee (probably because it’s soupy and hot + spicy), but it definitely was a far cry from the really good one at 888 Hokkien mee after I’ve tasted it and could do a comparison.

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Satay wasn’t too bad too, but I’ll prefer the ones I can get from my uncle in AMK any day!

And that concludes my Day 1 in Penang! I think I’ve never slept so early on an overseas trip before till this, haha. Partially cos I was sick and also cos there was nothing else much to do. Did i mention that the lousy hotel gave me TWO super single beds instead of 1 queen sized one? I was too tired to argue and we just settled for that, lah!

Part 2 and Part 3 coming up soon, wheee!

And oh yes I still owe you my Korea and Kota Kinabalu posts, which I had so much fun at! I’d better finish up whatever I can before my upcoming trip in October, because I finally got my computer back alive, thanks to the husband’s help for the past 3 weeks trying to figure out what’s wrong!

So it was my RAM that kindda rusted and after it got cleaned up it worked PERFECTLY again. Imagine that for the whole 3 weeks my computer was down (and after buying a spanking new $220 SSD harddrive), no one thought that it was the rusty connectors that had issues. -_-” So hello back, Hackintosh with 32gb of ram. My laptop also almost up lorry, so thankfully I got my computer back! So yes, back to regular programming. Also, I’m sleeping happy tonight because a client’s happy with a logo. Heh! *kisses Hackintosh 2.0!*

Edit: After my post was lived this promotion popped up! Just sharing deals with y’all cos I booked so much later and paid more *grumble grumble* $50 fares to Penang (one-way)!

dbs-airasia-promo-july-2014

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