Penang 2014 – Part 1 Gopeng, St Anne’s, Penang Twa Pek Kong Festival

October 7, 2014 at 10:16 pm

We made our annual trip to Penang during the September holiday, a tradition which we’d maintained for the 11th year now.

♥Sep 14th Sunday♥
As usual, some unplanned stop has to occur even though we left the house very late. This is how holidays should be, according to the hubs. *roll eyes* Just before we hit Gopeng, he said we should turn in as there’s some interesting sights to see.

It was 2pm on Sunday, and Gopeng was almost dead. We wanted to have lunch at a coffee shop, but there was none opened. It seems, this is how it is on a Sundays. Not knowing what to expect, we just drove around town and chanced upon Gopeng Heritage House, a prewar shop house turned museum to show the way of life in the early 20th century.

The museum is free, and the girls have fun exploring the house, and they especially liked the peep hole on the 1st floor which was used to peep at arriving guests.

Before leaving, we picked up a Gopeng map and realised there’s a soy sauce maker near by, so we drove around to find it. Hup Teck Soy Sauce (合德酱油)is located opposite the Gopeng police station, it’s more like a house with a compound where the soy sauce urns are placed. We were told soy sauce urn has to be opened with its content sunned for a few months as part of the brewing process before it’s ready for bottling, and the day we were there, it was drizzling on off, so the urns were all covered up.

The owner opened up one of the urns for us to see. We caught a strong but nice sweetish fragrant from the soy bean fermentation.

I was given some soy sauce to try in the house (which is also the shop), and like the sweetish ‘sweet pickled lettuce’ (甜菜心)taste, so I bought 5 bottles of premium soy sauce from them. I actually think that Hup Teck Soy Sauce is nicer than Kwong Heng Loong Soy Sauce (廣興隆醬園醬油 from Pulau Tikus which we’d been consuming.

After this we left Gopeng and moved on to Bukit Mertajam, to visit St Anne’s Church for thanks giving, the main reason for the trip. This year, the girls visited the church as baptised Catholics, they have learned up their prayers from Sunday school, and Zara even asked us to recite the prayers together after we have each prayed in silence.

Before we headed to Penang island, we went to Yoong Kee Eating House, a very old restaurant near the Bukit Mertajam market for a simple dinner.

The girls couldn’t wait to get to Penang Island, so they could start enjoying the hotel. Alas, upon entering Georgetown, there as a massive traffic jam. Cars were barely moving. We saw lots of people walking on the street as well with big cameras, so we assumed some event must be going on. We parked our car and asked some people in the shops and found out that there’s actually a Twa Pek Kong Festival going on in Penang which would run for 3 days; the day we arrived was the first day, and a Twa Pek Kong Procession was going on, where around 50 floats from different temples would be passing through Georgetown.

The hubs of course wanted to take the opportunity to take photographs of the procession. Since we were stuck anyway, and couldn’t drive to the hotel, we obliged. We stood with crowd of spectators near Gat Jalan Magazine and caught the procession.

It was a long and hot day, and we probably saw about 30+ floats, and it was still going on and on. After a while, they no longer attracted us any more, the girls whined and wanted to check in to the hotel; so it was the hubs’ turn to oblige. By then, the traffic congestion has eased.

At the front desk of Traders Hotel Penang, we were so eager to get our keys to our room, only to find out there was a mix up in our booking. I requested for a room with an extra bed for us, but my reservation showed I was the only guest staying so we were given a small room without an extra bed. I wasn’t happy. After so many years of staying at Traders without any hic-up, one finally hit us. However, as the hotel was fully booked for that day, we were told they would bring us a mattress for the night without bed frame, but will rectify the mix up the following day. When we got into the room, we realised it was one smaller than what we used to get, it wasn’t going to be tough adding a mattress. But what could we do?

While the girls were showering, the manager on duty called us to apologise for the mix up, and offered a Junior Suite for their mistakes. What a way to recover! We were all so happy to move in to our new room, which is a Deluxe room attached to another room which has turned into a living room where the extra bed has been placed!

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