Penang Trip 2013 P1 – Kuala Sepetang, St Anne’s Church

July 15, 2013 at 9:09 am

♥June 1st♥

We made our annual trip to Penang during the school holidays, as with every year, to visit St Anne’s church and give our thanks for another blessed year.

This year, the hubs wanted a detour to Kuala Sepetang, formerly known as Port Weld, which is famous for mangrove swamp and charcoal factories. As it was not a planned stop, (the hubs just thought we still have time, and exited the highway at Changkat Jering before informing us where we’re heading), we’d done no research and don’t know what to expect. We just parked our car, and walked about. As we just had lunch (if he’d told us where we were going first, we could have saved our stomach for later), we didn’t even have room for the famous mee udang (Malay: prawn noodle), where a few restaurants were serving.

At one of the houses next to the river, we bumped into another family who was trying to gather enough people to hire a boat for a river cruise, and we agreed to join. The river cruise cost about RM60 for 4 of us (adult RM20/head, children RM20/head) for a 30 minutes cruise.

Poooh-weee! We had to put on the stinky safety vests which probably never got washed/cleaned since the first day the boat started operating.

Even with the smell bothering us, it was still quite a pleasant ride. We cruised past the fishing village.

Saw fishing boats anchored at the back of the houses.

And also went pass mangrove forest, with monkeys playing at the banks.

When we were done with the cruise, and walked back to the car, we saw some salted fish being dried. So we bought some as well. It’s very tasty by the way, should you visit this place, don’t forget to buy some of these long salted fish home.

And then we drove just a KM or 2 to get to the charcoal factories. We were told Kuala Sepetang charcoal is considered one of the best in Asia and it’s in high demand in the international market.

Just so happened we arrived at the famous Mr Chuah’s charcoal factory, Mr Chuah was about to end a guided tour to a bus load of tourists, so we joined in as well (tour is free, and to avoid disappointment, best to give Mr Chuah a call before going).

In the factory, there are domes like this which are the kilns where the de-barked mangrove trunks will be ‘baked’ and dried.
Once dried, the ‘door’ to the kiln will be sealed off for the charcoal to cool down for a further 8 days.

There were pile high of mangrove branches/trunks awaiting to be turned into charcoal.

Who, but the foreign workers, would want to work in a smokey environment? They are the ones who toiled for us so we could have our good quality charcoals!

Charcoal are broken into smaller pieces and bagged up to be sold.
We bought a big charcoal log to be placed in the house as deodoriser, as well as a pack of charcoal. 2/3 of it has already been used up since we got home. Verdict : super fragrant barbecue! So don’t forget to buy some home if you visited this place.

(Mr Chuah’s charcoal factory, 34650 Taiping, Perak. Tel: 012-573 9563)

Then it was back to the NKVE and to Bukit Mertajam. The hubs have to drive a bit faster because St Anne’s Church closes at about 7pm.

The ambiance in the old chapel is always very serene and quiet. That’s where we’ll always go to for our thanks giving.

9th year in a row… our yearly tradition of going to give our thanks, and also taking a shot at the front of the old chapel.

And we always wash ourselves at the St Anne’s water, and fill up a bottle with the water to bring home.

We’d never seemed to be able to find a good eating place in Bukit Mertajam. One year, we were looking for this highly rated place Yoong Kee which is located near the Bukit Mertajam market for lunch, but it was closed. This year, we managed to find it after asking around at the market.

The restaurant has been operating for more than 60 years. It’s at a shabby shop lot which you probably won’t notice except for the crowd gathered there.

We ordered 1 fried fish for the girls, and 1 steam fish with plum for us, and a mix vege. The vege, fried with a pork sauce, was very homely. The fish were both very good, very fresh, and well prepared.

The hubs claimed this is the best steam fish with plum he’s ever tasted.

It was a cheap and satisfying dinner (if you didn’t mind the occasional rats zooming under the table).

(Resturant Yoong Kee, Jalan Pasar, Penang, Bukit Mertajam, 14000. Phone: 04-539 8764)

Continues here.

Farm In The City – Fun In The City

March 19, 2013 at 11:39 pm

During year end (yeah, this is back dated, but just enjoy the photos), we tried to plan as many activities for the girls to occupy their holidays as well as to use up our annual leave meaningfully. One of the places we went to was Farm In The City, located in Sri Kembangan.

We took a family package, which came out to about RM98 (if I recalled correctly) for 4 of us, and then we added another adult ticket as we brought along Minerva, our helper.

The girls love it! It’s better than the zoo (animals are not caged up), or Sunway Petting Zoo. The animals are healthy, and the girls get really close to the animals.

Check out the photos, and have a look at the variety of animals visitors can get close to.

Feeding a big gigantic tortoise.
Farm In The City

The birds we saw were more interesting than that found in the KL Bird Park, and what’s better than being able to get so close to them. Touching them, feeding them, seeing them perform tricks etc.

Beautiful bird.Farm In The City

Parrot being fed by its handler via the mouthFarm In The City

Getting a chance to feed the bird, and the girls get to pat it.Farm In The City

Feeding a colourful pigeonFarm In The City

Girls feeding the birds, although they were a bit afraid of being pecked.Farm In The City

White peacockFarm In The City

Beautiful birdFarm In The City

PigeonFarm In The City

The children were able to get close to the animals, observe them, photograph them and touch them.
Farm In The City

Farm In The City

Farm In The City

A cheeky ram standing on its hind legs when being fed vegetables.Farm In The City

They had lots of fun feeding this huge buffalo with the park ranger.
Farm In The City

They spent a lot of time feeding the rabbits, carrying them, petting them. If it wasn’t closure time (and the rabbits have to be returned to their hutches), they would have stayed there forever!
Farm In The City

Farm In The City

There’s a drain like stream filled with ‘longkang fish’ (Malay : fish drain) for visitors to try to fish them with a net.
Farm In The City

Friendly park rangers were stationed everywhere to help and assist visitors.Farm In The City

We got to feed some lemurs too (the monkeys found in Madagascar cartoon), but they were very shy and quick to dash off after they got their food.Farm In The City

Farm In The City

There’s a chicken hatchery to see newly hatched chickens.
Farm In The City

I thought the girls’ favourite would be patting the rabbits, but the best has yet to come!

At the end of the farm, there were some smart and well-trained macaws waiting to be fed seeds, carried around, and Zara liked this part the most.
Farm In The City

Farm In The City

Farm In The City

Farm In The City

The parrot giving its handler a kiss.Farm In The City

Farm In The City

Farm In The City

This naughty one kept trying to pry off metal from us. It tried to peck off my bracelet, and then when Zara handled it, it tried to peck on Zara’s glasses frame.Farm In The City

Farm In The City is absolutely worth a visit. Another place the girls want to go again and again.

I do hope they keep up the good work, and continue to keep their animals healthy.

SkyTrex Adventure Fun

February 17, 2013 at 12:57 pm

SkyTrex Adventure is the girls’ new favourite. They claimed Kizsports and Jungle Gym are too kiddish and lame for them and SkyTrex is more fun (adventurous). o.O”

Located within Malaysia Agricultural Park, it provides outdoor adventure activities suspended from tree. For the girls, they are only allowed to go on the Little Adventure Challenge.

We booked our tickets online (to avoid disappointment, it’s advisable to book on line), the best time slot of course it’s 1st thing in the morning, but we had something on and got the 1:30pm slot instead.

We collected our tickets at the entrance of the Malaysia Agricultural Park (you still need to pay the RM3 entrance ticket to the park, since SkyTrex is located inside), and then took the shuttle to SkyTrex.

The first thing they got us to do is to sign some disclaimer forms. o.O”

SkyTrex Adventure Name Tags for Crew

Skytrex instructors' tags

Then we were sent tp get our safety harness, where the crews put on for us, and for the children, they actually lift them up to see how secure the harness has been fastened on them.
Skytrex - putting on harness

We had to go through some basic training, and being taught which is a carabiner, which is a pulley, how to use them, how to read the sign on each adventure to know when to use a pulley and when to use a carabiner etc etc.

Then we have to try out what we’d learnt on the training trail.

Zaria was first to go on the training trail.
Skytrex - training trail

And trying out her carabiner.Skytrex - training

After that, it was time for us to go on the adventure challenges ourselves. We were given 2hrs to do as many adventure challenges within Little Adventure.

Although whatever we do are pretty safe due to the harness, some of the challenges are quite scary, like walking on wobbly rope which is suspended from tall trees etc.

And for Zaria, we always have to be close by as some of the supporting ‘railing’ and ropes are too high for her to grab on to.
Skytrex - walking trail

The girls favourite? All the flying fox challenges, although it seemed quite frightening in the beginning.Skytrex - flying fox

When they got the hang of it, all they wanted to was to go on the flying foxes.

WEEEEEEEE!!!

Skytrex - flying fox

Skytrex - flying fox

Skytrex - flying fox

Skytrex - flying fox

Skytrex - flying fox

Skytrex - flying fox

It was FUN! And I’m sure we’re going back again!

P.S. Rate for Little Adventure is RM 35.00 per session of 2hrs. For other courses, the min height is 140cm.

Sekinchan – Padi Fields, Fishing Village, Redang Beach

December 7, 2012 at 1:04 am

Our regular fish monger is from Sungai Besar, and we’d been asking him if the rice in the padi fields of Sekinchan is ready for harvesting, as that would be the best time to visit the padi fields. When he told us early November that the padi fields were turning golden, we planned for a trip there.

We went on November 15th, leaving the house around 10am. Stopped over for early lunch at Ijok, and then headed towards Sekinchan which is after Kuala Selangor and Tanjung Karang. Next trip there, we’ll leave later and head right to Sekinchan for late lunch/tea instead as Sekinchan has more to offer.

Girls were excited to see the padi fields when we arrived. Green fields with sheaves of golden grains.
Sekinchan Padi Fields

There were some White Egrets among the fields and Kingfisher resting on power lines.
White Egret at Sekinchan Padi Fields(Daddy was complaining that he could only take shots like this as he didn’t have a telefocus lens)

The excitement didn’t last for long in the midday heat. I was the first to get into the car and blast the aircon. We went to an air-conditioned cafe, Mamawe, in Sekinchan to shield from the heat. Surprisingly, the food and drinks in Mamawe was quite good!

About 4:30pm, we went to the fishing village in Sekinchan, as around this time fishermen would return with their catch.

Boats were arriving, and there were lots of activities in the fishing village.
Sekinchan fishing village

Loads of fish being transported to sorting area.
Sekinchan fishing village

Fishermen sorting out fish according to size.
Sekinchan fishing village

Fishermen gutting yellow sea eels for fish maws.
Sekinchan fishing village

Gigantic skate.
Sekinchan fishing village

Girls called this fisherman The Death Angel (of the fishes).
Sekinchan fishing village

Baskets of sorted fish.
Sekinchan fishing village

The girls now know where the fish served on the dinner table came from.

Daddy wanted to go back to the padi fields before sunset, as this was the best time for photography. So we went back to the padi fields which was just about 10mins drive from the fishing village. In deed, it was more pleasant to walk around in the evening than midday.

Sekinchan padi field

Sekinchan padi field

We spotted some wedding photography being taken place. Wedding shot couples actually need to get their shoes dirty to get nice shots among the fields.
Sekinchan padi field wedding photo

The photographer found a good spot with beautiful clouds… I’m sure the shots he took would turn out great.
Sekinchan padi field wedding photo

The photographer told us they would be heading to the beach for more photo taking, he told us to head there to view the sunset as well. The name of the beach? Redang Beach! And how to get there? Just head towards Sekin Resort following their sign boards.

We drove passed by the fishing village again.
Sekinchan fishing village

Redang Beach, Sekinchan, is just a small beach, with rough white sand, but many families were there to enjoy the sea breeze.
Sekinchan Redang Beach

The attraction besides the beach is two tree houses probably built by locals, with hammocks made out of fishing nets installed. I took a nap lying in one hammock, while Daddy watched over the girls play.
Sekinchan Redang Beach

We had a nice dinner at Wan Lau Seafood Restaurant which served home style seafood dishes. No photos but the food was quite good and for four of us, we paid ~RM40 for 2 slices of fried red mullet (Hongzhou).

It was a good day trip, and we managed to show the girls the sources of their food. I’m sure we’ll return again.. if not for the padi fields, we’ll be back for the food.

Note :
Do bring along an ice-box to purchase some fresh catch from the fishing village. Ice is provided by some vendors.
Here is a good website of Sekinchan, which you can check out for restaurants.
And you can download a map from here showing you where the Sekinchan restaurants are located.

Holiday In Cameron Highlands 2012 – Tea Plantation, Mossy Forest

July 2, 2012 at 9:12 am

♥June 5th♥
After leaving Penang, we continued our journey to Cameron Highlands using the Simpang Pulai way.

We arrived Cameron Highlands in the evening, and welcomed the cool weather.

We stopped at the first place that offered strawberry plucking. For RM20, we get half a punnet to fill up which is equivalent to 0.5Kg.

Zaria being helped by a worker to reach the nicer strawberries on the higher racks.
Zaria plucking strawberries

Each flower of the strawberry plant will turn into a strawberry.
Zaria plucking strawberries

Strawberries

Heading down to Tanah Ratah where our hotel, Hotel De La Fern, was located, we got stuck in the Brinchang jam which was caused by the night market (If you use the Simpang Pulai Way, you’ll reach Kampung Raja, then Brinchang, then Tanah Ratah). Don’t get fooled by the Hotel website, there’s nothing luxurious about it. It’s by the main road next to a busy steamboat restaurant.

Dinner was at Rosedale Bistro, Tanah Rata. Girls didn’t want any noodles or rice, so they have scones and strawberry ice cream for dinner.
Girls attacking strawberry ice cream

We had an early night as we knew the next day will be a long day.

♥June 6th♥
12am, when the restaurant next door closed up, the staff started chatting away. This plus the clattering of dishes, the cars revving up the slope next to the hotel, made Daddy & I have difficulty falling asleep.

Our quad room is comfy, but I don’t think it’s worth the rate we paid for. With the noise pollution we got, not a place we’ll stay again.
Hotel De La Fern

We checked out soon after breakfast, and headed to Boh Sungai Palas Tea Plantation. As we neared the plantation, vege greenhouses were replaced with slopes of tea plants in different shades of green. It’s a very calming and lovely sight.

Sungai Palas Tea Plantation

We drove, got out of the car, walked a bit, explored a bit, went back into the car, drove some more, and repeated the process many times.

At the workers’ quarters, girls played with the dog and cats there.
Cats at Sungai Palas Tea Plantation Workers' Quarters

Puppy at Sungai Palas Tea Plantation Workers' Quarters

Girls at Sungai Palas Tea Plantation Workers' Quarters

Workers who were home were quite friendly. This handsome man allowed us to take his photo.
Worker at Sungai Palas Tea Plantation Workers' Quarters

We also spotted this.
Rooftop Garden at Sungai Palas Tea Plantation

A real ‘rooftop’ garden in one of quarters.
Rooftop Garden at Sungai Palas Tea Plantation

Near the quarters, is the Boh Sungai Palas Tea Centre.
Boh Sungai Palas Tea Centre

Boh Sungai Palas Tea Centre

Love the floor to ceiling windows in the cafe.
Cafe Boh Sungai Palas Tea Centre

Cafe at Boh Sungai Palas Tea Centre

Tea served was good, scones was ok, but the the beautiful sights surrounding was the reason people came.
Boh Sungai Palas Plantation

Boh Sungai Palas Plantation Workers' Quarters

The factory itself has nothing much to see, but I think this is one place that must be visited when in Cameron Highlands.
Boh Sungai Palas Tea Centre

Next on our agenda was mossy forest, which is near Sungai Palas. As a bonus, when we were driving there, we saw workers picking/cutting tea leaves up close.
Tea picker at work

Tea picker at work

Tea picker at work

Their supervisor, a veteran, watching over all these workers.
Tea plantation supervisor

Workers working at Sungai Palas Tea Plantation

Workers working at Sungai Palas Tea Plantation

Me watching over the girls messing about.
Girls messing about

As the road got narrower, the slopes too become more jagged.
Tea Plantation

Tea Plantation

Finally, we arrived the mossy forest; where fog was thick, and visibility lower. It got very cold too.
Cameron Mossy Trail

We tried going into one of the trails, but 5mins into it, we turned back out. We were not properly attired and the girls were complaining the ground too soggy to walk on.
Dirty Shoes at Cameron Mossy Trail

So we walked along the tar road, and yet, it was still interesting.
Flowers at mossy trail

Moss at mossy trail

For the girls, it’s another play time.
Girls pulling at vines

Girls pulling at vines

Before heading back to KL, we did some shopping at Brinchang. The ‘night’ market started trading at 3pm+.
Strawberry and marshmellow

Roses

Cactus

Girls… went searching for things to buy for their friends and teachers.
Girls shopping at Brinchang

Girls shopping at Brinchang

See how the car boot is filled up with all the shopping from Cameron Highlands and Penang?
Stuffed carboot

Holiday In Penang – 2012 (Part 2) – Georgetown Heritage Trail and Eats

June 21, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Continue from here.

♥June 4th♥

We spent the whole day in Georgetown, just eating, drinking, taking photos. I have to say the girls are really great travel companion. In the hot sun, they just followed us, as long as there’s occasional cold drinks and ice cream treat.

If it wasn’t for the sun and heat, we would have walked out noon time. It’s crazy actually to drive in Georgetown, the traffic was so bad, and it’s so difficult to get a parking lot, and even when you get one, there’s still some walking to do. By the time we got a spot to park, it was almost 2pm.

Lunch was at Shing Kheang Aun Restaurant. A restaurant that serves homestyle Hainanese and Nonya cooking.
Shing Kheang Aun Restaurant

Asam Prawn – What I like is you can order in the quantity you want, 1, 2, 4, 6, any number.
Asam Prawns

Gulai Pomfret (I didn’t drink up the sauce, so… it’s ok)
Gulai Tumis Pomfret

Stir Fry Tofu with Leeks (I want to cook this at home next time)
Stir Fry Tofu with Leeks

Chicken Chop. This was ordered for the girls, but they didn’t like it, so they skipped lunch. (Thank goodness for the hearty hotel breakfast).
Chicken Chop

(Shing Kheang Aun Restaurant is located at 2, Chulia Lane, 10200 Penang, Malaysia)

We spotted the Rainforest Bakery & Pastry which Daddy has read about. (This bakery is opened by twin brothers, and they supply their bread to a lot of the hotels in Penang. So he read.)
Rainforest Bakery & Pastry

Rye Bread at Rainforest Bakery & Pastry

As breakfast was provided by the hotel, we didn’t get any bread but got cakes and biscuit instead. I’m quite a fussy person when it comes to bake goods, and I have to say, they make really good cakes and biscuit (the trail mix biscuit).

(Rainforest Bakery and Pastry is located at 300 Lebuh Chulia, 10200 Penang, Malaysia)

When the girls felt hungry, we went into the air-conditioned Yeng Keng Cafe & Bar run by Yeng Keng Hotel.

“Hmmmm…. aircon…” said the boss.
Zaria the boss

Love the air well, although sealed up, brought in natural light.
Yeng Keng Cafe & Bar

And the retro red velvet seats.
Yeng Keng Cafe & Bar

Yeng Keng Cafe & Bar

(Yeng Keng Hotel is located at 362 Lebuh Chulia, 10200 Penang, Malaysia)

At my insistent, we went to have the Siam Road Char Kuay Teow. An early dinner.

The wait for a plate of Char Kuay Teow here on average is 45mins. After finishing her drink, Zaria became bored.
Zaria bored

But, they found some games to play to entertained themselves (no need for gadgets).
Girls playing

Our wait was 40mins this time. As usual, the Char Kuay Teow was delicious, although the plate that the girls have which was without chili didn’t taste as nice.
Siam Road Char Kuay Teow

We then parked the car at the hotel, and went out for a walk in the evening when it was cooler.

Fading mural.
Mural in Georgetown

Teowchew Temple.
Teochew Temple

Everything can be turned into something interesting for the girls. Here, they were competing who can balance on these road decos the longest.
Zaria in Georgetown

Seeing a man stringing jasmine flowers near the Kuan Yin Temple.
Man stringing flowers

Flower offerings

The man decided to give them each a string of jasmine.
Zara got a string of flowers

The girls watching people praying in the Kuan Yin Temple; and they decided the flowers are nicer on the hair.
Girls in Kuan Yin Temple

Kuan Yin Temple

The Teowchew Temple lit up at dusk.
Teowchew Temple at dusk

And then, while we wanted to look for some snacks to eat. We saw this.
Balls of dough
Can you guess what it is?

See this…
Grilled ChapatisOne of the restaurant in Little India has this little stall set up outside, grilling chapatis. We always get our chapatis cooked on a flat pan, grilled over charcoal? This is my first time trying it. Very delicious indeed.

And then, we saw this new luxurious boutique hotel, Chong Tian Lou. A night there is ~RM1000. o.O”
Chong Tian Lou

Before heading back to the hotel, we stopped at Sri Malaya Heritage Restaurant for a drink.
Sri Malaya Heritage RestaurantLove all these little cafes scattered around Georgetown housed in restored pre-war shop lot.

♥June 5th♥
Time to say good bye once again to our lovely and comfy room.
Traders Hotel

Before we left Penang, we had to accomplish one of the missions we came to Penang for – To stock up on my favourite soy sauce from Kwong Heng Loong (廣興隆醬園醬油) in Pulau Tikus. After started taking this soy sauce in 2010, no other soy sauce will do for me. Their tauchu (bean paste) is also one of the best.

You can either buy the soy sauce in prepacked bottles.
Kwong Heng Loong Soy Sauce (廣興隆醬園醬油)

Or bring your own bottle to be filled up.
Kwong Heng Loong Soy Sauce (廣興隆醬園醬油)

(Kwong Heng Loong Soy Sauce 廣興隆醬園醬油 can be bought from their shop located just outside the Pulau Tikus market. Address : 7A, Jalan Pasar Pulau Tikus, Penang, Malaysia)

We asked the shop if they have any recommendation of hawker food nearby, and they asked us to go Kedai Kopi Sin Hwa (Apparently, the Char Kuay Teow there won 2nd place for best Char Kuay Teow in Penang in 2011 or 2010).

I didn’t have Char Kuay Teow but instead have a bowl of Asam Laksa. I’m no fan of Asam Laksa, but this was goooooood.
Kedai Kopi Sin Hwa Asam Laksa
And the Char Kuay Teow too was delicious. I guess next time when we come back to Penang, we’ll be eating here instead of Siam Road.

(Kedai Kopi Sin Hwa is located at 329 Jalan Burma, 10350 Penang, Malaysia. Which is opposite the Pulau Tikus Police Station)

And then, it’s then time to leave Penang.
On the ferry

Holiday In Penang – 2012 (Part 1) – Around Penang Island

June 15, 2012 at 1:44 pm

After exploring all the different holiday options, instead of going somewhere else, we decided to make our annual trip to Penang during the June holidays to keep our tradition of visiting St Anne’s church yearly alive.

♥June 2nd♥

We slowly crawled our way up North due to the heavy traffic, reaching St Anne’s, which is located in Bukit Mertajam, in the evening.
Girls at St Anne's

The church closes at 7pm, so we were asked to leave not long after we arrived. We decided to have dinner at Northern Coastal Seafood Restaurant in Butterworth (1, Pantai Bersih, Bagan Ajam , 12000 Butterworth, Penang).

Recommended by a colleague, promising great view of Penang Island, and fresh seafood, we were not disappointed.

(no photos of food, but the stingray in Nonya sauce is our favourite)

Girls loved the coastal wind and the view.
Girls at Northern Coastal Seafood Restaurant

♥June 3rd♥
Girls were looking forward to the buffet spread at the hotel. It was one of the things they love about staying in Traders Hotel. 3 years in a row, we’d been staying here. The place is still well maintained and the service is tip top.

What I like best about Traders Hotel is its location. Soon after breakfast, we walked out to the Chowrasta market along Jalan Kuala Kangsar.

I would have tried a plate of Java Mee, if I wasn’t full. The noodle is fried with the sauce, instead of the KL type of just blanching the noodle then pour sauce over. Java Mee

The Java Mee stall owner prepared a plate of Java Mee for his daughter, to share with her sister.
Java Mee

We saw a big crowd at the famous Penang Road Cendol stall. We’d never tried it before, so I queued for a bowl too.
Penang Road Chendol

Penang Road ChendolAnd I don’t know what the fuss is all about. I shared a bowl with Daddy and we didn’t even finish it.

For lunch, girls insisted we go to Nonya Breeze (50, Lorong Abu Siti, 10400 George Town, Penang). We’d been eating at this restaurant on every of our visit, but never took photos of the food. This time, I we did.

I don’t think we can find this vege in KL, but it’s call kuaci cai on the menu. Fibrous and sweet leaves.
Kuaci Cai

Asam Pedas Fish; I almost drank all the soup!
Asam Pedas Fish

Zara likes this fried oyster mushroom.
Fried Oyster Mushroom

Girls favourite, Inchi Kabin. Even on the journey, they already mentioned they wanted to eat this fried chicken in Nonya Breeze.
Inchi Kabin

As usual, Nonya Breeze never disappoints. It was a good lunch.

We then took the long drive to Batu Ferringgi. As guests staying in Traders Hotel, we can make use of the Golden Sand Resort facilities, so we spent the rest of the day at the pool and beach there.

I wanted one of the girls to go with me on a parasail, but they both didn’t want. So, maybe next time.
Parasailing

Zaria is more of a beach person. Zara just wanted to go back to the pool.
Zaria at the beach

Zaria at the beach

Zaria at the beach

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

Raptor Watch 2011

April 6, 2011 at 3:43 pm

“Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) hosted the 12th Raptor Watch event at PNB Ilham Resort, 10th Mile Tanjung Tuan, Port Dickson on the 12th and 13th March 2011.”
It is a festival to celebrate the return of the migratory birds of prey or better known as raptors on their journey back to their breeding grounds in the northern hemisphere.

Thanks to Daddy (who likes this sort of outing), we are glad we joined in the fun, on 13th March, the Sunday the school holidays began.

Raptor Watch

MNS Flag

The grounds in Ilham Resort has been set up with tents, with different companies either selling goods, or promoting their club. Monoculars and binoculars were at various booths where we can use to watch the raptors when they flew passed.

Zara watching on monocular

Zara watching on monocular

They were for all to use, and free!
Girl watching on monocular

We were actually a bit afraid the girls may break the thousands of dollars binoculars, but nobody seemed to be as worried as us.

Girls using binoculars

Girls using binoculars

Girls using binoculars

It’s not a guarentee that you may get to watch the raptors, but we were lucky, they were circlying above when we arrived, and appeared again later in the evening.

Raptors (That’s what our camera could take. Well, Daddy thinks he should get a zoom lens for these kind of shot.)

When the raptors appear, the real bird watchers whipped out their own equipment.
Bird watcher

There were face/body painting as well, all contribution will go to MNS. Of course, we all, except Daddy, went for it.
Girl having her face paintedIsn’t the owl cute?

Hand Painter working

Me getting painted

Me getting painted

The event being held next to the sea, the girls were so eager to move on and play at the beach. It was 3pm, HOT! But nothing is going to deter them.
Applying sunblock

Going to the beach

It was low tide, very suitable for the girls to splash about (we were not really prepared for the trip, it was kind of impromptu, that’s why the girls didn’t get changed into swimming costumes).
Splashing!

Splashing!

Zaria seemed to like getting dirty wet.
Happy Zaria!

Mud socks

There were crabs to be found as well.
Crab digging

Crab

Besides the beach, we explored a near by hill, with a 20min climb, got us to the lighthouse in Tanjung Tuan.
Tanjung Tuan Lighthouse

View from the hill.
Tanjung Tuan

Although it was a hot day, we all had fun! This might just become our yearly event.

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