It’s the time of the year where I share my travel reaps!
For the past few years, we have been travelling by car to Malaysia, including Penang. This year, after selling off our car, we hopped on board Scoot where it’s our first flight to Penang and the kids’ second experience of flying!
We travelled on-route Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, Penang then Malacca in 2014.
This time round, we stayed at Hard Rock Hotel for 2 days to chill and relax before settling at Georgetown for a good tour. I had reviewed the hotel in my previous Penang posts. This time, I did not get my kids to bring any art materials. I brought my watercolours for my own painting pleasure.
One new eatery that I highly recommend is the Living Room Cafe & Gallery. Guan Guan was not open so we decided to try here. It was such a hearty treat! This Nyonya and western food was the real deal. It had a homey feel to their decor. Most importantly, the food satisfied our home-cooked cravings with heartwarming dishes of mixed vegetables, omelette, sizzling beef and most delectable nyonya curry fish! We ordered a second plate of that curry fish and was glad we did not cancel the pork ribs that joined the table. The pork ribs were well marinated and tender. It reminded me keenly of my nanny who also cooked peranakan dishes. Last but not least, do try their their banana fried fritters as they are such heavenly crisp and sweetness! We were blessed to discover that it was their last day before they take a break till 22nd Dec. If you are there, this is a must try!
George Town: Hin Bus Depot
My hubby as usual, planned all these amazing places that he knows I will LOVE. First stop was Hin Bus Depot. This pop-up market opens only on Sundays. From the photos you can see how much fun we had! I love the Penang laksa that this uncle dished out. There was this guy who made his own ginger beer and it was a strong ginger concoction made to pleasant soda pleasure.
The artsy and garden blooming space transported me to revelry.
Bookoo Corner lived up to its name and more. The whole tribe spent time reading while mum-me here was shopping. Until she stepped into this cosy hut, she had no idea what she missed! I bought a cup of all-natural herbal tea from this lovely lady. She was amused that I had exclaimed,” I love the smell!” She thought it was the herbal scent I had meant. Instead, I was reminiscing the smell of those old school books she had faithfully kept! They were not for sale. In fact, it was a library! However, she was re-organising the books. She kindly brought out a box of books to entertain the kids. I missed such old-school books and the whiff of musky sawdust books brought back nostalgic memories of my own childhood.
We stayed at Chulia Mansion. It was truly a lovely stay! Clean, bright and affordable. As usual, the hot and cold water dispenser was a bonus in such budget hotels. I like that they cater thoughtfully to our needs. From hair-dryer, to hot water flask and even 2 big umbrellas for our rainy use in their frequent evening showers during our stay.
Nearby, we had our local food delights. We had to abort our street food plans when it rained the first night. We sought refuge at Wheelers and played a game of ‘Charades Kids’ and ‘4 pic 1 word’ on our phone. the whole cafe was filled with our laughter and gained a lot of stares. The waitress was highly amused by our games and smiled broadly when we left asking us to return again.
桃园 (Tao Yuan) was our breakfast Dim Sum place. We loved the porridge that was served by mini pots. The egg tart was almost sold out except for 1 which we split up to share. I like the not-so-sweet custard and appreciated the pastry, but the kids were unaccustomed to it.
The Chew Jetty was a familiar sight to us. It was a pleasant surprise and I was stoked to catch 3 artists painting there! Talk about plein-air painting, here was our asian version! They mostly ignored us tourists as they were absorbed in their artwork. This was also a good opportunity where we shared how Singapore had been a kampung glam like this with stilt houses. This was a photo taken during low tide. The Jetty foodcourt nearby served unexpectedly yummy meals. We ordered kway teow soup, fish beehoon soup, claypot rice and soup dumplings.
This was not the kind of European Museum, rather it was an educational showcase of the origins and history of chocolates. It was a short and sweet note to end with their chocolate drink and buying of chocolates for others.
Secondhand Book Store
Hubs located this market similar to our Tiong Bahru market style where we tried digging for some golden books. However, kids went away disappointed as it had little selection for them but I managed to find 2 books.
This cafe served lovely tea treats! Kids got to have a chocolate ice cube into their milk while it’s been a long time since I had such refreshing matcha latte that is not too sweet, just as I like. We savoured the blueberry cheesecake that had hints of marmalade or orange skin. This was where I devoured the wisdom of Irene Chua’s ‘Letters to my daughter’.
We followed the map around the murals but eventually rode on the trishaw as my boys were unwell. This time, I focused on the quirky corners, old town feel and architecture instead of the murals since we already had taken during our last trip.
Penang through my eyes
We were right on time when we stayed at Georgetown on Mon. This Macallum Night Market only pops up then.
I end this post with this artist at work. I wish to be able to do this one day myself. Bring all my art materials and spend a morning painting the sea of Singapore beach.
I hope this post is useful for those who are making your way to Penang this weekend!
This marks another memory etched in our family’s hearts all thanks to dear Hubs! He’s the best!
Now back to reality of de-cluttering and nursing boys’ fevers. After that rejuvenating time, I am very grateful to return and prepare for the new year!
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