A Travellerspoint blog

Malaysia

George Town, Penang, Malaysia

Another Asian Eatin' Adventure Circa 2013

overcast 95 °F


27 August 2013 – continued

It was a short ride from Boardroom to the Koh Samui airport but we were pleasantly surprised upon our arrival. The airport itself is just one story but very spread out. Check in for Fireflyz was smooth. Our gate was #6 but we were told to go to Gate #7 for free soft drinks, snacks and wifi…really?? Enroute to our terminal, we walked pasted a number of beautifully landscaped shops and cafes to reach the “international” terminal (Gates 6 and 7). Immigration – the easiest so far and the tropical feel continued right to the gates. At gate 7, there was a choice of coffee, tea, juice, small cakes, sticky rice and other treats to be had. Nice!!

When our flight was called we were transported in Disney like trams to the plane, which actually left “early”. I guess when all the passengers are on board…it’s time to go.

Our easy flight experience extended right into Penang. Due to our early departure, we had an early arrival as well. Immigration – easy, bags came out quickly and the taxi stand had taxis waiting to take us into George Town – about a 30 minute ride for 42 MYR ($12) and we were arriving at Hotel Mingood.

Mingood is an older hotel with large, clean rooms and friendly staff. At 90MYR a night (about $27), the location was great for what we wanted to do…..EAT!!

Hotel Mingood

Hotel Mingood

Room 407 Hotel Mingood

Room 407 Hotel Mingood

Roof Garden at Mingood Hotel

Roof Garden at Mingood Hotel


Everyone we talked to, told us that Penang was the place to go for food and they were not wrong. Being in the mood for Indian we found Kashmir just down the street from our hotel. It got pretty good reviews on Trip Advisor so for our first night, we decided to splurge.

When we arrived the restaurant was packed but we were offered a seat on the patio for a drink. The gentleman, who by his demeanor, we thought might be the owner told us that we could decide later whether we wanted to eat inside or out. The gregarious Mohan took a special liking to us. When we told him we’d stay on the patio (and as he put it “watch the world go by”) we solicited his advice on food and he gladly gave it. It truly was some of the best Indian food we’ve ever had. Starting with really juicy Tandoori chicken, we proceeded to wonderfully juicy lamb ribs, then some prawn curry with garlic naan and saffron rice. My mouth still waters thinking of that dinner. More than a good way, it was a great way, to starting this eating adventure.

A Tall , Cold Carlsberg on the patio at Kashmir

A Tall , Cold Carlsberg on the patio at Kashmir

Tandori Chicken at Kashmir

Tandori Chicken at Kashmir

Marinated Lamb in Indian Spices at Kashmir

Marinated Lamb in Indian Spices at Kashmir

28 August 2013

Once we figured out how to work the A/C, we had a good nights’ sleep. Basic breakfast at the hotel: coffee, juice and toast and then we wandered around the Old Town of George Town. It’s not very big, a little on the tattered side but it does have a certain charm.

OK…time for lunch. New World Park started out as an amusement park and when that didn’t fly they turned the area into a food court. Smart thinking!! Jim found a map that had photos and descriptions of all sorts of food. Our goal – to try as many as we could. My choices: Wan Tan Mee (noodle soup with dumplings) and Chee Chong Fun(rolled sheets of rice paper that is steamed and served with three different sauces: sweet, sour and spicy) and topped with sesame seeds. Jim decided on Duck Rice. Total price – about $5. All good!!

New World Park Food Court

New World Park Food Court

Chee Chong Fun Stand

Chee Chong Fun Stand

CheeChong Fun

CheeChong Fun

Wan Tan Mee

Wan Tan Mee

Wan Tan Mee and Duck Rice at New World Park

Wan Tan Mee and Duck Rice at New World Park

Fruit Stand at New World Park Food Court

Fruit Stand at New World Park Food Court

Dinner - There are tons of hawker stalls on the streets but in the pouring rain they seems to disappear so we decided that Red Garden Paradise Food Court was our best bet. Our evening choices – me: Fried Chee Chong Fun9same as above but stir fried) , Penang Rojack (fruit, veggie salad with a thick sweet, spicy sauce topped with crushed peanuts) and Octopus with Spicy Sauce and Tiger Beer. Total price - $16!!

Fried Chee Chong Fun at Red Garden

Fried Chee Chong Fun at Red Garden

Penang Rojak

Penang Rojak

Pick your seafood at the Red Garden Cafe food stalls

Pick your seafood at the Red Garden Cafe food stalls

Squid

Squid

29 August 2013

Upon our arrival in Penang, it was difficult not to notice the air quality. We weren’t sure whether it was fog, smog or smoke – we had no clue. The friendly man at the hotel desk told us it was smoke from fires burning in Indonesia. The rain, the previous day and night, were actually heaven sent, clearing the skies up just a bit but still not enough to see the mountain that was supposed to be within view.

Smoky Skyline

Smoky Skyline

Lunch today back at New World Park – it’s close and there are so many choices. Me: Laksa (traditional Penang noodle soup) and some more Chee Chong Fun (yes, it’s proven to be a favorite). Jim: chicken Murtabak (layers of dough filled with a chicken mixture and they grilled) and Roti Canai (layers of dough grilled and then pulled apart), served with two different curries. My favorite was the spicy seafood curry. Both Jim’s choices were good but we both really liked the roti canai. What started out as one double order was soon increased to two. I guess that makes it a “double yum!!”.

Roti Murtabak Station

Roti Murtabak Station

Chicken Murtabak at New World Park

Chicken Murtabak at New World Park

Roti Canai New World Park Food Court

Roti Canai New World Park Food Court

Laksa

Laksa

Also, with the smoke and my head cold continuing, it’s made breathing just that much more difficult. I Googled the medication I got in KS, and found that it was similar to Claritin. After lunch, we stopped at a brand new pharmancy and was given a few new meds – hopefully to help clear my head.
Our plan for the afternoon (due to the heat and the air) was to take in a movie. We had checked on the movie times yesterday and decided to grab the 3:10. Upon arriving at the cinema (nice new place inside a mall close to our hotel), todays’ show times (for the same movie) had changed. Today they were 230 and 445 – we arrived at 245. Note to self – always check!!

Wandering back to the hotel, tired from the heat and possibly my new meds, an afternoon nap seemed to be a really good idea.

Red Garden again for dinner – so many choices – so little time!! There was a stall that sold crispy duck and pork that wasn’t open the previous night so…that was my choice and rojak – another new favorite. Jim picked the biggest prawns I’ve ever seen, served with stir fried noodles.

Huge Curry  Prawns

Huge Curry Prawns

Seating at Red Garden Food Paradise

Seating at Red Garden Food Paradise

Really good crispy pork - Red Garden Food Paradise

Really good crispy pork - Red Garden Food Paradise

30 August 2013

Our last morning in Penang! We decided two to three days is just about right. Other than eating – we didn’t find much else of interest..but food is always a draw for us.

Lunch again at New World – Jim just “had” to have some more Roti Canai and by this time he and the shop keeper were old buddies. Our plan was to take a taxi to the airport about 4pm but with the heat we decided that we’d go about 1pm. Having already checked out of our rooms, we decided we could play cards at the airport as easily as in the hotel lobby.

Plans for the next 24 hours were really just “travel”. Our flight into KL was delayed but that was really not a big deal. We had reservations at the TUNE Hotel (owned by Air Asia) which is a 5 minute walk (or a shorter shuttle ride) from LCCT. It’s very basic and in line with Air Asia – you pay for the items you want. All rooms have fans but it you want A/C – add on, if you want a towel – add on, etc. We weren’t really sure what we would get but the room, though small, was well situated, the bed and pillows, extremely comfortable, with one of the best showers we’ve had on our whole trip. At $60 –it was a bit pricy but very convenient since we had a 930 flight to Yogya the next morning.

Travel note: we had emailed Mr Blue (our Balinese driver from last year). He was able to recommend a small hotel in Ubud after we get in from Australia. He’ll also be there at the airport to pick us up. We’re looking forward to catching up with him.

Posted by pjburke 02:34 Archived in Malaysia Comments (5)

Bye Bye Brenda

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

sunny 96 °F

03 -5 Aug 2013

Off again, up early and now it’s Air Asia to KL. Short flight, easy through immigration and we grab our bags and catch the bus into KL Sentral where we can either get the metro or a taxi. We opt for a taxi but later we found out we should have gone to the taxi stand where you pay the meter price. We were lured in by a driver outside the bus. We had to pay a little more but he ended up carrying one of our bags and was pretty winded by the time we go to the car. Live and learn.

We arrived at Orange Pekoe Guesthouse http://www.orangepekoe.com.my and got settled. Nice place, well run and very clean – also with really fast internet. Time to catch up on the website (which I did)….a little!!

Brenda's first glimpse of the Petronas Towers

Brenda's first glimpse of the Petronas Towers

Our time in Kl was spent wandering a little, eating a little and planning …a lot!! Brenda was not feeling great and we’d been to KL before, so it really was a good time to make some decisions

Central Market

Central Market

Large prawns and soup

Large prawns and soup

A little Thai squid for dinner

A little Thai squid for dinner

Shopping for dinner

Shopping for dinner


Our original plan for the second half of our trip was to head to Indonesia, for a jungle boat, to see orangutans. With Jim’s reaction to his malaria meds, time and price – we started having second thoughts. Just on a whim, Jim asked me to check out Darwin, AU. We had thought about trying to add Darwin originally but threw it out as, too far and too expensive. Well…. Air Asia is now flying there and they were having a sale so……now we're going to OZ. Really didn’t think that was going to happen. It was one of the “Burke – last minute decisions”. But first, before booking, I got on line to see what the procedure was for EVISA’s – piece of cake. Ten minutes and $40AU ($20 each), we both had our EVISAS, and then I booked the air. Now, next decision: car and motels/guest houses or camper van??? We really enjoyed traveling by camper van in NZ - so that decision was easy. Before leaving on the 6th, after having sent out a couple of inquiries, we booked with Mighty (which was Backpacker – who we worked with in NZ). It seemed like a good fit.

Our last night in KL was pretty uneventful. Brenda still a little under the weather, so it was Thai food on the “street of food” near our GH.
We knew the next day was an ”early up” and sadly it was also the day we would part company with Brenda. She was heading to Bali for a few days before heading home and we’re off to Chiang Mai for a week or so.

The next concrete plans we have are to leave from Bali on September 11th for Darwin. We’ve got some time ….hmmmmm….I wonder where we’ll end up next????

Posted by pjburke 23:33 Archived in Malaysia Comments (5)

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