Taiwan 2011 Part 2 – Palace Museum, Shida Night Market, Bali, Danshui (故宮博物院, 師大夜市, 八里, 淡水)

December 23, 2011 at 2:54 pm

(Continues from here)

♥Dec 2nd – Drizzle/飘雨的台北♥
My collague, Teresa, came to the hotel to meet us. Somehow, Zara and her ‘clicked’, and the rest of the day, they were glued together (oh well, Teresa was looking after Zara for me).

Because it was drizzling, our plan of going to the zoo has to be changed. We went to the National Palace Museum (故宮博物院) instead which was packed with tourists who came in bus load.

Zara showed lots of interest in the artifacts, reading the didactic to learn more about them, not Zaria though.

However, both were intrigued by this longish painting from 1085-1145, which is 528cm long capturing the daily life of people from the Song period at the capital. It’s called Along the River During the Qingming Festival (清明上河圖).

You can view the animated River of Wisdom, to see why it’s so interesting for the girls.

(No cameras are allowed in the museum, so no photos of the artifacts)

Teresa bought us a simple lunch at the Museum Cafe (delicious!) and then we went to Shinkong Mitsukoshi. The Taipei Station branch there was having an aniversary sales, and I don’t know why, I didn’t buy anything even with the good discount. o.O”

Teresa bought us dinner as well in Shinkong Mitsukoshi, and got the girls some presents. The girls said Teresa took care of them like their Gu-ma(姑妈), and called her their Taiwan Gu-ma. o.O”

In the night, after we parted with Teresa, we went to Shida Night Market again (師大夜市) since it’s so near the hotel.

Trendy boutiques to cater for university students are every where. This one has some rocking horses at the shop front.Zaria on a rocking horse

Another funky shop.The name of the shop on the ground

The display window.The display window

Bubble tea is sold everywhere, this one has miniature samplers.Miniature sampler - bubble tea

A nightmarket can’t do without some stalls selling food. This old man was burning grilling some corn.Grill corn seller

Eww. Pig’s blood cake.Pig blood cake stall

Tangyuan (Glutinous rice balls) shop where we had 2 bowls of tangyuan from. Maybe because they do tangyuan with pork too, the sweet tangyuan we had tasted a bit porky. o.O”Tangyuan shop

♥Dec 3rd – Sunny/放晴♥
After a day of drizzling, it was sunny. Lucky for us, because we’d made plans to meet up with my collagues at Bali (八里), a seaside town near Tanshui (淡水).

We took the metro to Guandu (關渡), one of my colleagues, Iris, met us there, and then together, we took a cab to To House (兔子餐廳), and met up with the rest of my collagues.

To House (八里兔子餐廳) is a theme family restaurant with a compound housing lots of rabbits.

Healthy looking rabbit in To House.Rabbit in To House

Besides rabbits, there are other animals too, i.e. Parrots.Parrot in To House

Parrot in To House

There’s also a pig!

Girls spent the whole time petting and feeding rabbits. Coming in only to have their lunch. Leaving me lots of time to catch up with my collagues whom I was meeting for the first time.

Girls with rabbit

Zaria feeding a rabbit

Zaria feeding a rabbit

Zara feeding a rabbit

Zaria feeding a rabbit

Zaria feeding a rabbit

Deco around To House.Decorative rabbit

Ceremic bird

We left the place only at about 3pm with Iris, we took the bus and went to Bali Ferry Port.

The Streetfood, mainly selling seafood, around the Ferry Port, attracted lots of customers.
Steamed squid

Fried shishamo

Steamed crabs

Salted eggs are supposed to be famous here as well.Salted eggs seller

And in Taiwan, Stinky Tofu is sold everywhere.Stinky tofu seller

Guess what? We didn’t buy anything from these stalls, except a stick of squid cake. We were too full from lunch, and I didn’t feel good everytime I wanted to get something, Iris rushed to pay.

We took a short Ferry ride to Danshui.

Over at Danshui, it’s the same, food stalls are everywhere and each one of them were very crowded.

This is the famous Amah’s sour plum drink, but we didn’t really like it.Amah's famous sour plum drink

Danshui street.Motorbikes at Danshui

Busy Danshui street

Catching the sunset is one of the main attraction, but the evening was gloomy.

Girls found a new game of throwing pebbles into the river.Girls throwing pebbles into Danshui River

Riverside Living Statue.Living Statue

There are lots of streetfood available too.
Deep fried hot dogs, sweet potato balls and oyster buns

Grilled squid

Boiled and dried seafood

As the only pork eater at home, she has the honour of having a stick of famous Taiwan grilled sausage.Zaria eating a Taiwan grilled sausage

There are grabbing game machines again.Zara staring at Grabbing Machine

And other games.Games

Once we got to the Metro station, Iris, left us to run her own errands.

Outside the metro station, we caught a puppet show.Puppet show

Lottery icket seller outside the Danshui Metro Station.Lottery ticket seller

Busker crooning Jacky Cheung’s hit.Basker outside the Metro Station

We had BBQ buffet dinner at Danshui before taking the metro back to the hotel.

To be continued.

Taiwan 2011 Part 1 – Ximending, CKS Memorial (西門町/中正纪念堂)

December 21, 2011 at 11:36 am

When we suggested for a holiday further away from Hong Kong, Zara made some noise, “What’s the point of going for a holiday when all we do is walk walk walk?” “It’s so boring taking the plane.” “I have ear problem, and you still want me to take the plane” etc etc.

We gave her 2 options, either go with us, or stay home with Jelly. Of course, she chose the former.

Daddy’s airmiles could cover 4 of us to either Perth, or Taiwan. Looking at the AUD exchange rate, we therefore decided to go Taiwan instead. We have to time our trip according to flight schedules claimable by airmiles and to make sure I’m in town on December 9th because I have bought tickets for Jacky Cheung’s concert. Hence, the trip was made during the wet season in Taiwan. Sigh.

♥Nov 30th♥

We arrived at Taipei about 7pm+, it was already dark. Upon arriving at the hotel, a package from my Taiwan colleague, Teresa, which consisted of a Taipei Guidebook and 2.5Kg of Taiwan rice welcome us.

Our hotel for the next 4 nights will be Li Yuan Hotel (儷園飯店), a small hotel located near Shida (師大) and 1 minute walk from Tai Power Metro Station (台電大樓站).

We got a family room with 2 queen beds. The room is small but functional and clean.
Li Yuan Hotel

Soon after we checked in, we went straight to Shida Nightmarket (師大夜市) for dinner. We picked a restaurant which specialises in herbal chicken soup, 龍涎居雞膳食坊. We were too hungry to take any photos, but Daddy who’s not a chicken eater claimed they serve one of the best chicken soup he’s tasted.

We did some walking about the nightmarket after dinner, and then headed back to rest.

♥Dec 1st – Gloomy♥
We woke up late and missed the hotel breakfast and had to eat out.

Our first destination after breakfast of road side pao and bubble tea was Bo Ai Road (博愛路), the Taipei Camera Street, to get a lens Daddy was eyeing (he did the research before arriving and knew exactly which shop to go to. o.O”).

We spent sometime in Ximending (西門町), for lunch, to glance through some of the small shops.

Shops and stall at Ximending :

菓風小舖, the sweet shop where we spent most time in. 菓風小舖

菓風小舖

Roadside Sweet Potato Ball SellerSweet Potato Ball Seller

Girls kept asking for money for these ‘games’, but I didn’t let them.Game shop

Game shop

Lots of shops have dogs at the door front, this is one of them.Small Risotto Restaurant

上海老天祿 stewed duck wings上海老天祿

The Red House (西門紅樓), Taiwan’s first public market now a theater.The Red House (西門紅樓)

Girls were fascinated with the many costume shops across the Red House.At the Costume Shop

Costume Shop

Besides getting some sweets from the sweet shop, we didn’t buy anything else in Taipei’s shopping street. o.O”

As Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall (中正纪念堂) is nearby, we thought we’ll visit it as well. Not knowing we’ll spend so much time there. As it’s surrounded by a big park, lots of locals walk their dogs, do team practice for various events etc etc.

We saw a brass band practice in the park.Brass Band practice

Brass Band practice

National Theater

Zaria spent so much time chasing after pigeons.
Chasing Pigeons

Chasing Pigeons

Chasing Pigeons

Chasing Pigeons

School team practicing march.School team practicing march

Li Zhen’s Sculptures (李真雕塑) were exhibited in front of the Memorial Hall.Li Zhen's sculptures and Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

Li Zhen's sculptures

Girls wanted to take photos of the sculptures.Zaria taking photo

And wanted to be photographed with the sculptures.Zaria with Li Zhen's sculpture

Zaria with Li Zhen's sculpture

Inside the Memorial Hall, the girls could not believe the still guards were real, and not human. Guard inside the Memorial Hall

Guard inside the Memorial Hall

Zaria asked who the statue is “Is he the King of Taiwan?” o.O”

As we were there in the evening, instead of change of guards, we managed to catch the flag lowering ceremony (at 5pm).
Guard leaving the Memorial Hall

Guard leaving the Memorial Hall

Guard leaving the Memorial Hall

As night fall, they started lighting up the whole park.

Li Zhen’s sculpture.Li Zhen's Sculpture (李真雕塑)

That night, recommended by my Taiwan colleague, we went to the Eslite flagship bookshop (誠品信義店). A bookshop with 8000m² of floorspace! Heaven for me!

We even had dinner there at their food court, then just glanced through the various floors.

We love the 杏仁燒, an almond dessert with grass jelly, peanuts, red bean and tosted almond chips from this dessert shop Summer Tree Sweet (夏樹甜品) at the food court.Dessert Shop (sorry no photo).

(To-Be Continued)

Penang 2011 – Photos Part 2

September 26, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Continue from here.
♥August 30th♥
We were supposed to check out on this day. However, the girls didn’t want the holidays to end so soon, and asked if we could stay for an extra night. There was still rooms available for the night, so we extended another night.

In the morning, the girls went swimming with Daddy after breakfast while I went to the market again.

Our plan was to skip lunch and then head on to Siam Road again for char kuey teow (the stall is opened from 3pm to 8:30pm) for tea. We arrived 3:15pm and there was already a large group waiting.

Siam Road Char Kuey Teow

It was a hot and sunny day, and the wait (at the coffee shop oposite the stall) was loong.

Zaria waiting

When our plates of kuey teow finally arrived, it was a bit too spicy, and of course wasn’t as good as the night before.

Siam Road Char Kuey Teow

As we still have the whole afternoon free, Daddy thought we should take a drive to Balik Pulau. There was no destination in mind, but we somehow ended up in Hai Boey Seafood Restaurant 海尾海鲜 (29 MK 9,
Pasir Belanda, Teluk Kumbar, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang)
.

It was 5pm+, only a few tables were occupied. What attracted us was not the restaurant but the beach the restaurant was facing. The restaurant has set up some lazy chairs at the beach, probably for customers to laze about while waiting for their food.

The girls have a fun time playing at the beach.
Zaria at the beach

Zaria at the beach

Zaria at the beach

Zara drawing at the beach

Zaria drawing at the beach

And I just enjoyed the breeze while watching over them.
Resting

We drove off before sunset, when throngs of customers started arriving, filling up all the tables. We thought we’ll see if we can find a better and similar restaurant.

We passed Good Friend Seafood, a few KM away (driving towards Bayan Lepas), it was smaller and so crowded, we thought we’d better go back to Hai Boey.

Alas, Hai Boey by then was in full swing. All tables were occupied, with many more customers standing waiting for a table. We thought we would have to have chai boey (菜尾, whatever scraps left) at Hai Boey. Luckily most of the customers came in big group, and we got a small table for 4 after about 10mins wait.

Food was quite good, and reasonably priced. No wonder the restaurant was so crowded.

There was some prayers being held opposite the restaurant, and we thought since the night was young, we would go check out what was going on at the prayer hall. What a gem we found.

A Chinese puppet opera show, (the locals told me it was called Char Kah Lay in Teow Chew), put up by the locals for the ‘God’ Tuah Pek Kong (大伯公). We didn’t know what the script was all about because it was all in Teow Chew, but we stayed to watch for ~20mins.
Chinese Puppet Opera Show

Chinese Puppet Opera - back stage

Puppet Show - back stage

Chinese Puppet Opera

Chinese Puppet Opera

The locals were so friendly, they came up to talk to us, asked us to join in their little dinner party of catered food and roast pork. They told us it was the first time they have hired the puppet opera troop for Tua Pek Kong’s birthday, so we were lucky to catch it.

Offering for the 'God'

Offering for the 'God'

We stayed till almost 10pm before we left for the hotel.

Back in the hotel, Grammy Awards 2011 was showing, and girls and I watched till way passed midnight. It was the last day of their holidays, so I just let them stay up late.

♥August 31st♥
After lunch, it was more swimming for the girls, and then it was off home.

Staying in town where everything is easily accessible (compared to staying in Batu Feringgi) made the holiday more relaxing and enjoyable.

We’ll be there again next year.

Penang 2011 – Part 1 Photos

September 21, 2011 at 11:42 pm

We did our once a year trip to Penang during the Raya Holidays. Some may ask why go during peak season? Since Zara started schooling this year, we can only go away when she has holidays, so we are really not left with much choice.

♥Aug 27th♥
First time in our family history, we left the house before 11am to go on a road trip holiday! Yay to Daddy, who kept his promise of leaving the house by 7am to beat the jam.

We managed to have breakfast in Ipoh, and then have late lunch in Bukit Mertajam. Before lunch, we stopped by St Anne’s church to say our thanks for another wonderful year.

Girls were facinated by the candles.
At the Old Church

Zara giving thanks.
Zara giving thanks

Girls collecting holy water playing water
Girls collecting holy water

St Anne’s.
Girls collecting holy water

Since we’d never tried the Ferry before, we thought we would try out this time. Girls loved it.
On board the ferry

It was so windy, the girls’ hair was in a mess.
On board the ferry - strong wing

We got to the Traders Hotel (our current favourite hotel in Penang), by 5pm. It was nice to be greeted by a nice cool room with comfy beds. To the girls, this was when the holidays begun (getting into the hotel room).

That night dinner, we have it at Nonya Breeze (50, Abu Siti Lane, 10400 Georgetown, Penang), Zara’s request. The team there has changed (as the original team had moved to Strait Quay to run the other newly opened Nonya Breeze), but the food was still equally good.

♥Aug 28th♥
After a sumptious breakfast at the hotel, we visited the market along Jalan Kuala Kangsar. Our ‘must-do’ in Penang.

Fresh oyster seller.
Oyster seller

Jalan Kuala Kangsar.
The Market

Offerings to the Hungry Ghosts (孟兰节).
The Offerings

The Offerings

Popiah skin maker (last year, an elderly man was making them, this year, he’s seen relaxing in the shop while this lady took over).
Popiah skin maker

Poridge seller preparing the last few bowls of poridge for customers.
Poridge seller

My favourite dry grocer Fook Weng, a yearly must stop.
Fook Weng - Dry Grocer

Ointment seller giving extra service to get the sale.
Ointment Seller

Big Sale going on for Angry Bird stuff.
Angry Bird Sales

Girls choosing Agry Bird items.
Angry Bird Sales

By the time we were done, it was lunch time.

We went to Soul Kitchen (102, Muntri Street, 10200 Penang, Malaysia), a restaurant highly recommended by Tripadviser. Their pizza was one of the best I’d tasted!
Soul Kitchen

We had to shelter ourselves after lunch from a down pour in a temple on Muntri Street. For Zaria, it meant play time!
Zaria playing

After that it was back to the hotel for a rest.

One of the advantages of staying in Traders is everything is so near and within walking distant. For dinner, we walked out to De Happy Seafood Restaurant (62 Macalister Road 10400 Penang). Food wise, it was so-so, so I don’t think we’ll be going back there next year.

♥Aug 29th♥
Daddy woke up early, and went exploring George Town by foot before daybreak. He took these photos.

George Town

George Town

George Town

George Town

George Town

George Town

After breakfast, we decided to go to Penang Hill, since we didn’t get to explore the place due to a downpour the last time we went there.

The old funicular train has been replaced with something more modern. It was going at faster speed as well.

View from the train.
Going up Penang Hill

It was a wet day, but we could still see George Town from the hill.
View from Penag Hill

Because it’s cooler environment, flowers bloom beautifully.
Flowers

Flowers

Besides the cool air, the train ride, Penang Hill has not much to offer. We had tea at the Bellevue Hotel, and then took the train down.
Weather cock on Bellevue Hotel

We headed back to the hotel to rest. Daddy took a nap with the girls, while I went to have a massage in the hotel.

For dinner, we decided to go to the Siam Road Char Kuey Teow.
Lorng Siam Fried Kuey Teow

More than 1hr wait later, we were rewarded with a plate of super delicious Char Kuey Teow.
Girls sharing

Singapore Trip 2011

July 6, 2011 at 5:06 pm

It seems I’m slacking in blogging. I find I barely have time with a full time job, all the chauffering (kids to school and to activities), home work and revision with a school going kid and lately another item has added to the to-do list, i.e. completing a course for career development by year end.

Anyway, this post is not about how busy I am, but the trip we made to Singapore during the school holidays.

Before the trip, I asked Daddy to get us a GPS, as I could foresee navigating with a map in Singapore, there’ll be lots of stress in the car. The El-Cheapo He went to Daiso and bought a compass instead; he thought a compass would at least tell us which direction we’re going without a GPS. o.O” Thank goodness I shared this joke with my neighbour, and she loaned us her GPS for the trip!

♥4th June, Saturday♥
To keep up with Daddy’s (dilly dallying) track record, we left the house after 11am (we’d never left the house earlier than 11am on any driving holiday trips we made), and got stuck on the North–South Expressway.

It seems everybody was heading towards Melaka for the weekend. It took us more than 4hrs to get passed Melaka. By the time we reached our hotel in Singapore, it was 6pm.

We stayed in V Hotel Lavender, a newly opened hotel located in Lavender housing area. We got very good rate for a room with 1 queen and 1 single beds. Although the room is a little small, it is comfortable, and best of all, its location is super. The Lavender MRT station is on the basement of the building, and around the hotel, there are lots of small eateries, and also a few small HDB food courts.

Not wasting any time, after checking in, we headed straight to Orchard Road to shop, as well as to have dinner (at the Ion Food Court). With the exchange rate of S$1 to RM2.50, every thing seemed extremely expensive even during the Great Singapore Sales.

♥5th June, Sunday♥
The original plan was to go to Singapore Zoo, but it was pouring in the morning, and we have to change our plans, it was to Singapore Science Centre instead. Tickets were : $9 for adult, $6 for children (3~16yrs)

Girls at Singapore Science Centre

I prefer Petrosains, as there are more things for kids to ‘try’ out there. Still, we spent a 4hrs there, *yawn* watched 2 shows, The Tesla Coil Show and World of Insect Show.

The Tesla Coil Show

The Tesla Coil Show

In the evening, after a rest/nap in the room, we took a taxi to Marina Sands Bay, to watch iD by Cirque Eloize at the Grand Theatre. It’s a colourful Hip-Hop Circus act from Montreal, with lots of music and dancing. Girls of course loved it.

What more, we met our neighbour and her girls, who are the girls’ age and their best friends, visiting Singapore and watching the same circus!
Girls playing during intermission

They played together during intermission, and also after the show, went to explore Marina Sands Bay and had supper together.

♥6th June, Monday♥
Girls said they had already been to the Singapore Zoo on our last trip, so they wanted to go somewhere else instead. Sentosa Island was the somewhere else we chose.

We took the MRT to Harbour Front, and took the cable car ride (Tickets were : $26 for adult, $15 for children round trip), there was a promo going on where Malaysian tourists only need to pay half price, but because we didn’t bring along our passports, we had to pay the hefty full price. 🙁

Cable Car Ride

We took the cable car to Mount Faber first, spent some time there.
Girls petting kois at Mount Faber

Then took the cable car to Sentosa Island.
XXX

If you are going to Sentosa Island, plan your trip well so you can save some money buying combi tickets or play passes. We only went on 3 activites, and spent quite a fair bit because we didn’t know about this.

We watched the 4D Magix (girls screamed and shouted, and they said they didn’t like it at all because the ‘visual effect’ was too real) and went on the Extreme Log Ride (a ‘roller coaster’ rides with high-definition wide-screen projection, which the girls loved but I didn’t like it at all). (Combi Tickets were : $29.90 for adult, $17.90 for children)

We had dinner at Sentosa so that we could catch the Song of the Sea show (Tickets were $10 per person), a show which uses fountains, lasers, projection to tell a story. Now seriously, I don’t think Song of the Sea is worth the money, as you can get a similar show in Marina Bay Sands for free (read on).

Song of the Sea

After the show, we walked back to the cable car station, as there were long queues for the free monorial and bus ride.
Sentosa Escalator

We didn’t go to Universal Studio this round as there are lots of rides Zaria cannot go on due to her height. We’ll do that the next visit.

♥7th June, Tuesday♥
Girls pleaded with Daddy to stay in the hotel with them, as they wanted to spend time in the pool. So, the first half of the day, Daddy spent time with the girls at the hotel pool, and I went shopping on my own.

In the evening, we went to Marina Bay Sands (MBS). We took the MRT to Promenade Station, and then took a 10min walk via the Double Helix Bridge to MBS. It is a very scenic and pleasant walk, there were some local joggers jogging, but mainly foreigners enjoying the view as well as to take photos.

Marina Bay Sands from the Double Helix Bridge

Our family shot

Daddy spent so much time there snapping photos, the girls got pretty impatient and in the end, I had to bring them into MBS first while he continued shooting away.

Girls walking towards aircon

Art Science Museum

Art Science Museum

Art Science Museum

We have dinner there at the food court (we had almost all our dinners in the food court this trip, so sad), did some shopping, and then headed to watch the show at the Promenade. It’s a similar fountain and laser show like the Song of The Sea, except this is free, and we find more entertaining (no cheesy dialogues).

Marina Bay Sands - Fountain & Laser Show

Marina Bay Sands - Fountain & Laser Show

Marina Bay Sands - Fountain & Laser Show

Marina Bay Sands - Fountain & Laser Show

We then walked back to the Promenade MRT station the same way. The night view from the double helix bridge (and from the Promenade at Marina Bay Sands) was spectacular.

Marina Bay Sands Promenade

XXX

♥8th June, Wednesday♥
The last day of our trip, we only did shopping around Orchard area, and then it was home.

Zaria asked if she could stay in Singapore forever on our way back. And when we asked the girls which event/activity they liked best, they both claimed the morning they spent in the pool was the best. o.O”

Their holiday, we probably should just book a hotel nearby with a pool for them.

Phuket 2010 – Part 2

September 20, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Continue from here.

♥1st September♥

Each day, we probably spend more than an hour at breakfast. Girls have their daily egg (ommelete or just egg white sunny side up) and heaps of bacon.

Zaria who doesn’t quite like using cutleries, having fun with her bacon here.
Zaria having breakfast

She told us, she’s turned into bacon vampire.
Bacon Vampire

After breakfast, it was straight to the pool again.
Tasha having fun at the pool

Tasha having fun at the pool

I went out with my sis to have a massage done in town, and got Daddy and Annie to watch over the kids.

We have to pay 200Baht 1 way to go to town, but it was worth it, Massage was good and cheap, 400Baht for 2hrs. The Heavenly Spa in the hotel was charging 4 times that price!

T and I are not fussy people when it comes to food, so we just had some street food for lunch, and packed something back from the supermarket before we headed back to the hotel.

Girls were in the room and napping with Daddy keeping watch on them.
Tasha having fun at the pool

In the evening, T, Tasha and Annie were going to watch Fantasea. We didn’t follow because we thought the ticket was way too expensive. Instead, we spent the event strolling to the Gypsy Village via the beach.

Zaria who likes the beach, kept stopping and playing with sand. She was trying to dig a hole just like how a dog would have done, using her 2 bear hands.

Zaria playing sand

Zaria playing sand

We have to stop a couple of times to hurry her to come along.
Zaria at the beach

I think the Westin stretch of beach is constantly being cleaned and combed, making it look sooo spotless. However, I think the water is probably very poluted. On our 1km walk to the gyspy village, we saw 2 Fugu-like fished washed ashore, probably poisoned by the sea water, struggling to get back to the sea. Beyond Westin, the beach was extremely dirty, with lots of rubbish, and among the human created dump, we found bodies of fishes, crabs and squids.
Fugu at the beach - screaming for help

At the Gypsy Village, there were lots of fishing boats. You can see from this pix, the hotel is not that far from the village.
Gypsy Village

The people there depends on the sea for a living. We saw women digging up cockels at the shore, and men mending or making cages for fishing.

Gypsy men making fish cage

Gypsy man making fish cage

Children have simple toys. We saw girls having competetion on shell pickings, and the boys, have a make shift snooker match.
Gypsy boys playing snooker

Gypsy boys snooker champs!

And to get back to the hotel, we took a bike taxi back. The whole family squeezed into the small area, and got taken back to the hotel for 50Baht.
Bike taxi

That night, we just have a simple dinner at the hotel.

♥2nd September♥

After eating in the hotel for breakfast for more than 3 days, the food is getting a bit boring. The dishes remained the same, except 2 or 3 variation.

Girls although still eating, were getting a bit bored at times for the long wait to get to the pool (they finshed early, but have to wait for us to finish ours, since we took our time).

Zaria found games to keep herself occupied.
Zaria playing at breakfast

Zaria stacking butter

(and Zara obviously bored)
Zaria playing, Zara bored

My sis went to town again for another round of pampering. We got Annie to help us watch over our girls at the pool, and we rented a bike to explore the island.

We wanted to go all the way south, but struggled a bit just to get out of Phuket town. Then there was also a sudden downpour, so we had to stop at Wat Chalong to wait for the rain to subside. I saw a big sign “Factory Outlet” just outside the temple, and thought I can shop while waiting. Guess what Factory Outlet was that? A latex mattress factory outlet! And even if I wanted to buy any mattresses, I cannot afford the price, the cheapest, a thin single mattress, was going for 18000baht!

We got to Cape Promtheap eventually, the southern tip of Phuket, with beautiful view, and super strong wind.
Cape Promtheap

Cape Promtheap

On our way back, we even have a little adventure. The tyre got punctured and we were lucky we were near a bike repair shop. Got it fixed (for 180baht) in 20mins and moved on.

It took us less time to get back to the hotel, but still we arrived at 3pm with our packed lunch. Girls and Annie were femished, they gobbled up the food very quickly and went back to swim.

I stayed with them while Daddy explored Siray Island.
Fishing Port

Fishing Port

In the evening, with Zaria constant begging, we took the girls out to the beach.
Zaria building sand castle

Zaria building sand castle

Zaria building sand castle

Zaria really had fun.
Zaria building sand castle

Zaria building sand castle

Zara kept asking us when we could go back to the pool.
Zara at the beach

Zara at the beach

Tasha didn’t mind either.
Tasha at the beach

For dinner, it was back to Look Mai again, for some cheap(er) home cooked meal.

♥3rd September♥

Check out after breakfast. As it was raining, the girls spent time at the Kids’ Club.
Zaria making picture frame

Zara making picture frame

When the rain stopped, the kids went back to the pool.
Tasha swimming

Zaria swimming

The hotel gave us a room to shower and change before we departed to the airport for our 6:30pm flight.

The girls knocked off in no time on our way to the airport.
Tasha and Zaria sleeping

Zara and Zaria really enjoyed the holidays. Zara said, “This is like the queen of all holidays.” I think having Tasha around made them enjoy themselves even more.

Phuket 2010 – Part 1

September 15, 2010 at 11:10 pm

When my eldest sister, T, told me the a new Westin Resort was opening in Phuket and they were running some really good opening promo; I quickly went to make the all the necessary bookings.

We planned and decided to go a week before the school holidays, just so the flight was half the price (of the school holiday’s rate). T too was going with Tasha, and Annie, her helper.

♥30th August♥

We arrived in Phuket early in the morning. The Westin Siray Bay Resort is ~40mins from the airport, so by the time we went through immigration, collected our checked in bags, hired a taxi and got to the resort, it was late morning. We were lucky, our room was ready. T had to wait for hers, and it wasn’t ready until almost 3pm!

The room was sea facing, and had such a spectacular view. With 2 hollywood single beds + a complimentary child’s rollaway bed, it still felt spacious (although Daddy complained a bit). I forced the girls to take their naps (because I wanted to take mine too, since I was packing till late midnight, and woke up 5am that morning) once the Ooos and Aaaas died down in the room.

Zara slept in her rollaway, Daddy has the huge bed to himself and I shared mine with Zaria.

We woke up around 2pm, and the girls were eager to get to the pool. So off we went, and met Tasha there.

The rest of the first day was spent with the girls in the pool, and exploring the facilities in the hotel.

Zaria at the lobby

The Westin Siray Bay

The Beach

The Entrance to Westin

The Heavenly Spa

The front of Westin

For dinner, oh, I must share this, because it still makes us pissed just thinking about it.

We (including T, Tasha and Annie) thought we’d go to a near by restaurant OUTSIDE the hotel and thought we’d walk.

It was dark, and we didn’t know how far we must walk. Half way walking, a driver in a Westin car asked us to hop on. He’d send us, for FREE. So, ok, we got him to drive us to the restaurant (which was less than 1km from the hotel).

This restaurant, Plaey Leam, is those outdoor type (like our Warong Tomyam); menu showing prices of Tomyam 450Baht; prawn cakes 400Baht etc etc. Reasonable right? So, we ordered Tomyam, prawn cakes, a fried fish, a vege, pineapple fried rice, drinks for everyone, I think that was it.

Before we settled the bill, the person in charged came over to tell us that the driver ordered fried rice, did we want to pay for it? We thought, ok, we’d pay, just as a treat to him.

Who knows, soon after, the man waved to the driver, and both of them went to the back, and less than 3minutes, the driver was out, stuffing something, probably fried rice (?), into the pocket!

And the bill came. Freaking ~5000Baht (~RM500). The driver’s fried rice was 200Baht! All the dishes was double the price of what was indicated on the menu, apparently, he gave us double the portion of everything. We complained, and he just gave us the grin, “This no expensip, this Thai plice.”

So we got blardy conned, by the restaurant, and the driver! Daddy was fuming; but T said, the consololation was the food was not bad.

♥31st August♥

After breakfast, we went to check out the Westin Kids’ Club. An adult have to accompany children below 4 (Zaria) but for children above 4, you can actually leave them with the staff, and they will have activities from 9am to 5pm to keep the kids occupied. There were also lots of arts and crafts to be done and most of them were free.

One of the staff taught the girls how to draw chicken, and Zaria immediately started working on her (four legged chicken) piece.

Zaria at the Westin Kids' Club

Zaria at the Westin Kids' Club

At 11am, thanks to my sis who prebooked our seats (only 11 seats per trip), we followed the hotel free shuttle to Phuket town.

We spent all our time shopping in Ocean and Robinson, and had late lunch; and then took the free shuttle back at 3:30pm.

Children didn’t want to nap, and preferred to do more swimming.

Zara swimming

That night, we walked out to Look Mai, another restaurant near Westin (only 2 within walking distance). This time, we checked all the prices and made sure ‘small’ portion was ordered. The prices were definitely more reasonable, and the cooking more homely.

The girls wanted to watch TV when we got back to our room, but Zaria knocked off 5mins into the show (no nap == early bed time). Tasha came over to sleep with us, and shared a bed with Zara. Daddy moved to the roll over, and claimed it was more comfortable than the heavenly bed.

Penang 2009

October 23, 2009 at 2:06 pm

(The very detail report is for our convenience so the next time we’re in Penang, we know exactly where to eat!)

We made our yearly trip to Penang again on October 12th to 17th. No, we didn’t stay in Hard Rock, but Bayview Beach Resort next door (making it our 4th stay in this hotel). We had to go on weekdays (and the girls have to skip school) because I joined Bayview Privilege and got some vouchers usable only during weekdays.

♥12th Oct 2009♥
Our first stop as usual was St Anne’s in Bukit Mertajam. I so love the old church building.Girls at St Anne's

When we entered the church, I asked Zaria to dip her fingers into the holy water to do the sign of cross. She shouted, NO! IT’S POISONOUS!” o.O” She waited and see what happened to us before agreeing to do it, and later, at the new church, she wanted to dip her fingers in each holy water container and do the sign of cross at every entrance.

Zaria as usual climbing here and there, and Zara told her off. Zaria monkeying around in St Anne's

Girls loved looking at the stations of cross, and especially interested in Christ’s crucifixion. Girls love the Stations of Cross

Before crossing over to Penang island, we had dinner at Bukit Tambun but found the food quality deteriorated. Should have eaten in Penang Island instead. One meal wasted.

Our first night in Bayview was in the Superior room (free), with a super huge king bed, which the whole family could sleep on comfortably.

♥13th Oct 2009♥
I drove out to look for breakfast as it was not included for our free night stay. Except for mamak stalls, there wasn’t much to offer around Batu Feringgi. I finally found a food court in some residential area, and got nasi lemak and noodle for the girls and myself, and toast for breadman Daddy.

Girls of course wanted to go to the pool after breakfast. Zaria had all the gears ready, but she was afraid to be in any part of the pool where her feet couldn’t touch the ground. Zaria with all her swimming gear

We switched to the family suite at noon time, which has 2 rooms (1 with the super king size bed again, and the other with 2 single beds) and a shared bath room. Girls were happy to have their ‘own section’, and each happily booked a bed.

After switching room, we thought of driving out to Tanjung Bunga Papa Pizza for lunch since the girls so liked it the last time. Tried as I did, the girls couldn’t stay awake on the drive, and when we got to Tanjung Bunga, both were sound asleep. Worse still, Papa Pizza was closed (I think they no longer do lunch). We couldn’t find the char kuey teow stall behind Papa Pizza as well, and all the rest of the restaurants (The Bulgaria, The Thai restaurant) were not opened! What is this? Restaurants in Penang don’t open on Tuesday? We ended just having some road side curry puff, fried sweet potatoes and some bread for lunch, and the girls later had the cheese puff I brought from home after they woke up from their nap. Another meal wasted!

In the evening, Daddy suggested we took a drive to Balik Pulau. We shouldn’t have agreed. What a waste of time. All we got to see was the big dam, the winding roads and lots of durian orchards. What saved the trip was dinner. We chanced upon this road side Seafood restaurant near Ayer Itam called, Red Bali Seafood Restaurant, which was quite good and very reasonably priced. No food pix as we didn’t bring along the maid, and every meal time was like so kan-chiong (Cantonese : nervous), trying to coax both the girls to eat.

We drove back to Batu Feringgi, did some DVD shopping, and then walked over to Hard Rock Hotel for drinks. Girls absolutely love the sandy pool area.

That night, we got the girls to sleep in their own room. Zaria reluctantly let go of my arm when I said my good night, and Zara made me promise I wouldn’t close the door to our room. At ~3am, I heard Zaria crying, and got up. She was actually walking around the other room probably looking for us. I invited her to our bed, and then she settled down. Zara too was awaken by Zaria’s cry, but when I asked her to join us in our bed, she said she was fine sleeping on her own. What a big girl’s behaviour!

♥14th Oct 2009♥
We decided to spend the whole day in the hotel. Zara swam with Daddy, while Zaria preferred to stay in the Kids’ Club. When it drizzled, Zara too came and joined Zaria at the Kids Club for arts and craft.
Zara doing arts and craft at Bayview Kids' Club

For lunch, we walked over to Hard Rock poolside pizzeria with our swimming gear.

Girls immediately went to play in the water play area next to the pizzeria. 2 staff actually came over to tell us to get them out, as the play area was only for hotel guests. We tried to get the girls out but they just wouldn’t listen, and anyway, we’re paying guest as well, for lunch, and who asked them to put the play area near the pizzeria? In the end, when the 3rd staff came over, I shouted for Zara and Zaria to come back and told him, “They won’t listen to me, you go and tell them yourself.” He then said, “Never mind la, I have children myself, I know how they are.”

Zara at the Hard Rock water play area

Zaria at the Hard Rock water play area

Btw, as guests, when you get your pool towels, you are being tagged with wrist bands, so they can identify you are Hard Rock Hotel Guests in the compound (and not like us who just walked over from another hotel). Hmm..

The pizza wasn’t really that great, girls only had a little. Zara doing arts and craft at Bayview Kids' Club And I guess they were also distracted by the slides and the water play area next to the pizzeria.

When we asked Zaria to pose for the camera, this was what she did. Zaria did not want a photo

After lunch, they continued to play under the hot sun, and I had to literally dragged them out and go back to our hotel to shower and rest.

For dinner, I met up with my friend and her family at Mama Nyonya in town. I haven’t met her for 15years (and I found her through netlog)! Her children are already 15 and 12! It was also nice to meet up with her pop star look-a-like husband.

That night, girls slept on their own beds till the next morning!

♥15th Oct 2009♥
We let the girls swim a while after breakfast, and then we had to check out to move to the city. We had the overpriced Char Kuey Teow shop on Lorong Selamat for lunch!

When we arrived, girls were asleep, and gosh, Zaria was such a tyrant when she got up. I.e. throwing the spoon when Daddy tried to feed her some ice cream, pushing the plastic chairs in the coffee shop, and the final straw was lying on the greasy floor and picking up the ice cream that dropped with her spoon earlier and then put it in her mouth! I raised my voice, gave her a smack, carried her to the toilet at the back (risking she could very well lie down on the toilet floor) and lectured her. I got a few stares from tables around, but heck! She decided to be behave when I told her I would have to close the toilet door and leave her there for a few minutes if she didn’t.

I was actually boiling mad when I ate my char kuey teow!

We got a Junior Suite in Bayview Hotel Georgetown. It was just a suite with a small room and a big living room (whatever for! I want a bigger room anytime!) The bed was just king size. I joined two of those semi-circle chairs together and told Zaria that’s her lily pad bed, just like Thumbelina, and she bought it (just for the first night though).

After a nap for everybody (did you notice every day we have to nap? Not just the kids, the adults too), we decided to explore George Town on foot!!

We took a slow walk from the hotel along Penang Road, all the way to Komtar, then to Lorong Abu Siti, have dinner in our favourite restaurant Nyonya Breeze, then walked back again to the hotel.

We stoped and rested on benches along the road (how come in KL there’s no such thing?) when the girls needed a rest. We pointed out interesting things or building to the girls, chi-chatted, and on a balmy evening, it was quite a pleasant walk. My 2 girls were great, they walked and walked (we left the stroller back home, btw), and when they were tired, they asked us to carry them.

Once, Zara said she was tired, and asked me to carry her. She’s already 18Kg, I can only carry her piggy back style. After 2~3 minutes or so, I told her my back was hurting as she’s very heavy. She told me, “Never mind mum, you can put me down. I’m not tired any more.”, and she walked the rest of the journey. Such a considerate girl.

That night, Zara, Daddy and I slept on the King bed, and I put Zaria on the make-shift ‘lily pad’ crib. I should have taken a photo but didn’t. If you wonder how the lily pad crib looks like, I actually park 2 of such chairs together to form an oval shape crib.
Semi-circle chair

Credit : picture taken from Cococozy

♥16th Oct 2009♥
We took another walk around George Town after breakfast. Because of the late morning heat, this time we didn’t go that far. We stopped for tea and toast at Toh Soon (yummy!), packed Char Siew Rice for the girls from Jit Seng (girls gave thumbs up); had char kuey teow and Hokkien Mee along Penang Road (so-so). Zara started asking question, Why we always eat only?

When we got back to the room, girls took their naps while I went to Liang Xin Reflexology on Penang Road, near the hotel, for a 90 minutes message. Boy, it was gooood. The masseur’s strong hands kneaded all my tiredness away (doing every thing for the girls without the maid did take a toll on the body).

In the evening, we drove out this time and decided to try the char kuey teow my friend recommended, at the junction of Anson Road and Siam Road. At 6pm, the place was already packed! We ordered a big plate to share since we planned to eat at a few more places, and didn’t want to fill our stomach up at the first stop. OMG! It was scrumpilicious! And so much cheaper than Lorong Selamat’s!

Zara tried ours which was spicy, and asked for a plate for herself too. We ordered another one for the girls without chilli, and they really liked it (actually, this was their first taste of char kuey teow).

After that we went to Lebuh Kimberly for more food. I ordered a bowl of duck porridge, and then we all had dessert from the Tong-sui stall. Porridge has this strong pork intestine smell (Buek!), but my almond milk was good. Daddy bought some ham jim peng (Cantonese : some fried spice dough) from a stall, and he loved it.

Then we drove to New Lane near Sunway Hotel, a super busy place with lots of stalls, but we just ate some Apom and red bean soup.
I jokingly asked Zara, “What do you want to have for dinner? It’s 8pm now, dinner time.”.
She arched her brow and went, “Huh? I had fried kuey teow already wut.”
“That was snack, now it’s dinner. In Penang, you must eat and eat and eat.”
She frown and said, “People in Penang don’t sleep one is it? They just eat and eat and eat? I don’t want to be a midget, I want to go back and sleep.
Hehe.

Our highlight of the night was supposed to be the Tang Yuan stall directly opposite Traders Hotel. We were saving our stomach for this. Alas! The place was closed for that night! Sigh. Zara is the happiest, “Now we can go back to the hotel!”

That night, Zaria said no to the lily pad crib, so 4 of us squeezed on the king bed.

♥17th Oct 2009♥
Girls preferred to stay in the room after breakfast while I went to do some shopping in Chowrasta Market. I really should have skipped breakfast and eat at the market. There was so much on offer and they all looked good! I did pop by Toh Soon for a cup of tea first though. Bought some fresh nutmeg, some dao-zhang from Cintra Street, more DVDs (btw, the vendors in Georgetown are not as honest as the ones in Batu Ferringgi), and then walked back to the hotel.

We started packing and checked out. Lunch was again Char Kuey Teow at Lorong Selamat. This time Zaria behaved but vomited instead. She said I fed her too big a bite. o.O” I think the next time we go there, they will pay us and beg us to go else where!

On our way home, girls were rather glad, and they started telling us what they missed most. Zara was her cosy bed, and Zaria was all the jigsaw puzzles she’s left behind.

Until next year.

Cameron Highlands – 2008

October 2, 2008 at 4:29 pm

After leaving Penang (and spending 2 hours rounding George Town to find a place to lunch), we continued with our holidays and headed to Cameron Highlands via the Simpang Pulai way, roads are definitely wider this way, and less winding.

We arrived at 6pm+ and it was quite chilly. Even though it was low peak, when we arrived at our hotel, Century Pine Resort, it took like 15mins for us to get our room (although pre-booked). The beds were without sheets, and the day curtain was not hung up! Tsk tsk. Luckily they sent someone to fix that soon after we complained.

Our duplex room is big and comfy as well as clean. It has 2 floors, 1st with a sofa bed and a bathroom, and on the top floor another en suite room with king bed. Girls loved the room; Zara happy to get Nickelodeon channel and Zaria loved the carpeted stair case leading to the top floor; she spent a great deal of time walking up and down the stairs.

We walked to Tanah Rata to look for a place for dinner but found nothing interesting on the main street; we ended up driving to Brinchang and had steamboat.

After breakfast at the hotel on Wednesday morning, we went to the market at Kea Farm. Since it was low peak, there were very few tourists and the vege and strawberries were selling cheap.

We wanted to go strawberry picking but it was RM30 with 3 punnets given to us (that’s the max you get to pick). So the girls went flowers picking instead, mainly the morning glories, baby breath like flowers and the hibiscus that grow in abundance at the road side.

Flowers in Cameron Highlands

For Daddy and I, no visit to Cameron Highlands is complete without going to the tea plantations. We headed to Boh’s Sungai Palas Tea Estate after lunch. I just love the picturesque view of the green slopes, occasionally, finding a few tea pickers’ heads bobbing up and down. You have to see with your own eyes the beauty and tranquility that the camera cannot catch.

Sungai Palas Boh Estate

Unfortunately, the famous tea center was closed but the friendly gate keeper kept us entertained by showing us tea flowers and tea seeds, and the girls were going around searching and picking seeds from the ground (although Zaria was picking gravels on the road thinking they were the same thing).

Sungai Palas Boh Estate

We then had tea at Bala’s Holiday Chalet. Bloody rip off I tell you. RM18.90 for 2 scones with tea. I bake better scones than them, and they don’t even whip their own cream, it’s all sprayed out from a can (I can tell. I just can.) What we’re paying is really like an entrance fee to their English garden, quite pretty although not well maintained.

After tea, we sent Jelly and Zaria back to the hotel room, and Zara, Daddy and I took a walk on a short track just behind the hotel.

I love the moss, ferns and wild flowers found on this path. You can see them captured here (the roof belongs to Bala’s Holiday Chalet). You have to see Zara ‘manja-ing’ Daddy, “Daddy you are a strong man, carry me.” And so Daddy carried this close to 15Kg girl on his shoulder almost the whole time.

Around Century Pine Resort and Bala Holiday Chalet

We had to turn back when the track becomes narrower and more difficult to handle with a toddler.
In and Around Century Pine Resort
We went back to the hotel to find a fully rested Zaria and headed out to have dinner. This time we tried steamboat at Tanah Rata (Brinchang’s was better).

Thursday morning, we went to Kea Farm again to get our vege and strawberry. Check out the price : RM10 for 14 packs of organic vege (real organic or not, I’m not sure); RM20 for 7 punnets of big juicy strawberries.

We skipped lunch and checked out. We headed to Boh Plantation at Ringlet, thinking of grabbing lunch there.

On the way to Boh Plantation, there are quite a few watercress farms, and we stopped at one to show the girls how watercress is grown.

This farm grows eggplants and watercress. Here you see pools of shallow water used to grow watercress, and beautiful purple eggplant flowers. Surrounding the farms, wild baby breath like flowers were everywhere.
Watercress farm

After some more winding roads, we again get to see the breath taking views of slopes with well trimmed tea trees (girls were of course not fascinated by any of these and fell asleep on the way).
Around Boh Plantation - Ringlet

Boh Plantation - Ringlet

The tea centre didn’t serve any hot lunch but only cakes and pastries. I took the last scone available (better and cheaper than Bala’s), the rest had some cakes and pies, the Masala tea there was so delicious.

Boh Plantation - Ringlet

Girls then had a good time checking out the flowers and enjoying the fresh air around.
Zaria having a good time at Boh Plantation - Ringlet

You can tell Zaria having a good time with her many expressions.
Zaria having a good time at Boh Plantation - Ringlet

Our last stop before heading the North-South Highway was the waterfalls. We only let the girls soak their feet in the cold water although both wanted very much to jump down and splash about. When it was time to leave, Zaria was holding on to the car door, refusing to get into the car shouting, “Don’t want (to) go home! Want some more waterfall.”

That’s an indication this was a good holiday. 😛

Penang 2008

September 30, 2008 at 1:31 am

Before the Raya mad rush, we took a week off and headed North for our once a year trip to Penang.

The night before, Daddy asked, “You sure we need to bring along Jelly?” (he was thinking of bringing his dad instead).
Imagine we’d been having this bring-don’t-bring conversation since August, and made a decision and now this?
I was ‘tulan’ (Cantonese : annoyed) and replied, “If you can feed the girls, bath them, wash the bottles after their feed, then no need to bring.” Grrrrr…
Of course Jelly came along eventually.

We took off on Saturday, with a car choked full of things. It’s no joke travelling with 2 young kids.

When we had a pitstop at an R&R some where near Tapah, we kidded with Zara and told her that we’ll be staying in one of the outdoor pavilions; nearby, some goats were bleating. She was worried, and when she was convinced we were staying there, she said, “I think we better go home.”
Daddy still teasing, “We thought both of you like farm stay, that’s why we chose this hotel.”
Zara replied, “I don’t like farm stay, I like home stay more. We go home better.”
I pretended to cancel this hotel and told her we’ll try to get another room in Penang. She was relieved, but still added “If no nice hotel, then we drive back home ok?” o.O”

First stop of course is St Anne’s (church) at Bukit Mertajam.

In the old chapel, Zara said her prayer while all Zaria wanted to do was blow off the candles at the alter (of course after Happy Birthday singing). -.-”
Girls at St Anne's Bukit Mertajam
While looking around, Zara stopped at the statues showing Jesus’ crucifixion looking very sad and asked me, “Mummy, why the people so wicked they want to nail Jesus on the cross.”
Seriously, for me who still have questions about my religion, I don’t know how to answer her.

We stopped at Bukit Tambun for dinner, the restaurant that we went to last year was closed to public for a wedding so we had to go to another restaurant (some fishing-floating restaurant). Food was lousy. Phhhhbbbbbt…

We arrived at Bayview Beach Resort at 8:30pm. Zara was so happy and relieved when we stepped into the room. We took the L-shaped family room again. The room is spacious and clean; 4 of us took the king bed, and Jelly took one of the single beds. We had an early night although I was tempted to sneak out to start my DVD shopping.

Sunday morning was spent at the pool and at the beach. Zara preferred the earlier, while Zaria the latter.
When we brought Zaria to the pool and took her to a deeper end where her feet couldn’t touch the ground, she said, “I’m scared.” or “I don’t yike(like)”. When we asked Zara to go to the beach, she said, “I don’t want, the sand is so rough.” So we had to split into two groups. 1 to the beach, 1 at the pool.

Girls at the beach and pool

For lunch, the girls had Pizza from Papa Pizza at Tanjung Bunga, while we had char kuey teow (Hokkien : fried flat rice noodle) behind Papa Pizza. I think the pizza was better than the kuey teow.

Love this shot of the girls, just up from their naps and attacking the left over pizza.
Girls attacking pizza from Papa Pizza

In the evening, we headed to the Botanical Gardens. Zaria, the adventurer, tried to get close to the monkeys, and a few times almost got attacked by them. She was a bit disappointed to know that the monkeys were ‘not-friendly’ and ‘naughty’.
At the Penang Botanical Gardens

They loved the place, the flowers, the plants, the space.
At the Penang Botanical Gardens

A lot of people were crowding around this guy at the entrance of the garden. He was selling curry puffs, spring rolls, wades, samosas. What made it so special is after you’d chosen what you want, he’ll cut them up and pour asam laksa soup over them. I had a piece of ‘asam laksa’ spring roll, and it was quite good.
Asam Laksa fushion food seller at the Penang Botanical Gardens

Dinner was at Nonya Breeze (we never missed it). Still so good, still so reasonably priced.

Monday morning after breakfast, we visited Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion. We missed 30mins of the guided tour, and still, the girls were getting a bit restless following the guide for the rest of the 30mins. This place is beautifully maintained, but girls have no appreciation for all these.

Girls at Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion

We had char kuey teow at Lorong Selamat. Yummy but very expensive. RM14 for 2 plates and even the boiled sugar cane water cost RM1.70.

After the girls’ nap back in the hotel, we split into 2 groups and let them chill out at the pool and beach again.
Zaria playing at the Bayview Beach

Guess what we had for dinner? Papa Pizza was so good we went there for dinner (actually, it’s also because the Phang Hainanese Seafood Restaurant we wanted to go was closed).

Tuesday morning, we finally managed to see a horse at the beach (horse riding was one of the reason why we chose to stay in Batu Feringgi). After agreeing on the price (RM50 for 2 rounds), I took the girls. Poor horse had to endure the weight of the 3 of us. Zaria was really happy to finally get to ride on a horse. She kept patting and saying, “Hello horse.”.

Horse Riding at Bayview Beach Resort

(Some sad fact : This horse used to be a race horse, and retired after 5 years of racing. It became a horse for holiday goers to ride on at the beach until it reaches 10years old. What happened next? The owner will sell it to some Chinese who’ll turn it into horse satay. Humans are so cruel. -.- )

Zara spent more time at the pool after the horse riding, and I squeezed in a foot massage by the pool. Zaria went back to the room with Jelly for a nap. Before 1pm, we checked out and left the hotel. On our way out, we had a very tired Zara snoozing, and a very energetic Zaria singing.

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