Archive for September, 2016

September 28, 2016

28 September 2016 Last day in Penang

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Our room – top floor, middle window

Had breakfast outside at Sarkies today, until it started peeing down and we rushed inside. Waved goodbye to Peter at 10am. He’s back to Cambodia today. I don’t leave the hotel until 3pm so there’s a bit of time to kill. Got upgraded to business class again! Yay! So I can wallow in the lounge to kill time until my flight at 6pm tonight. I could do a bit more shopping as my luggage limit is 40kg now!

Went for another walk to kill time before I need to get out of my room. I got a later check-out but only till 1pm. Found Campbell St where food/meat/veg/fruit markets are. Also found a fabric shop. Couldn’t resist!

Going to ride the free bus to kill a bit more after I check out.

The CAT bus meanders around Penang with no apparent reason for the way it goes. It took about an hour with traffic to get back to the same bus stop near E&O. I had to get off at the bus station at the piers and get on another bus to keep going but I got did it.

September 27, 2016

27 September 2016 Back to Clan Jetties

img_0625Caught the shuttle bus to Batu Feringgi where the O&E Hotel, Lone Pine, is to pick up more passengers. The shuttle driver was a maniac. On to Straits Quay, which is a large new shopping complex. Devoid of personality and so humongous we took half an hour to look around and decided to get the next shuttle boat out of there! The shuttle boat ride gave us the opportunity to see Penang from the water. We talked to another passenger who is a resident and she told us that E&O own a heap of real estate and are planning to cover part of the water with a hotel – a la Dubai.

It was a big rough getting in to the dock but we made it.

I took a walk back to the Clan Jetties to pick up a seal I ordered yesterday. They look pretty spectacular. It was worth the weight. They have a horse symbol on the top and our names in Chinese characters in the seal with the date.

CF food court is handy to stop for lunch. I have the duck and rice but it is mostly bone. Find a Magnum ice-cream on the way back and eat that before having a look at an art gallery. No one about so I just wander in.

Met Peter at the pool after I got back. It rained a little bit but not enough to stay indoors. Stayed there for a while reading. It really is a great way to relax.

Peter left then went to Farquhar’s Bar so I met him in there and we had dinner at Olives, which is not far from E&O. Peter chose Irish stew – bad choice! My biriyani was great with a mix of meats. A mojito washed it down. Our last dinner in Penang. Really sad that our holiday is coming to an end. It has been wonderful.

September 26, 2016

26 Sep 2016 Walk around Penang

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Chinese seals with horses carved into the top

Breakfast at Sarkies was leisurely this morning. No plans. I left Peter in the room and walked to the Clan Jetties again. Perusing the many shops along the way, hardware, framing, pod hotels. Wandered around the jetties are a myriad of houses/huts/walkways. Some you can walk down, some are private. It is hard to tell which is which though.

On the way back to the hotel I found a ratten maker and Chinese seal cutter close together. The seal cutter was just opening and I sat and looked at what he had. Intricately carved figures on the top of three sizes of seal. Just tell him what you want on the seal and he will do it for you. Need to go back tomorrow to pick my order up.

Back at the hotel I come out again with Peter and we go to get some money changed. The Odeon Trick Art Cafe is across the road near the corner of Penang and Chulia roads so we try it out. It was once a 1920s theatre and has some strange displays that I think is the ‘trick art’. Lunch is teriyaki chicken for me and cajun chicken for Peter. Food was okay, surroundings were pleasant.

Off to the pool for my daily dip and reading session after lunch. Peter joins me eventually. It would be really nice to stop in Penang on a cruise, I think, as a ship glides into Penang Harbour.

September 26, 2016

25 Sep 2016 Taxi to . . .

img_0510Hire a taxi for the day to take us to Penang Hill where there is a funicular train. The queue looks daunting but the taxi driver tells us to go through the fast lane. Still a fair queue in front of us but not as bad as we thought. The view from the top is not very clear, which is disappointing, so we came down.

On to Kek Lok Si Temple, which is Chinese and fairly impressive. A 30m bronze Kuan Yin statue that can be seen for miles around. We bought a tile for the roof and had it inscribed with our wedding anniversary date and names so hopefully it will be there for a long time. We also lit a candle.

On to Batu Ferringhi Beach, which is so similar to Surfers Paradise. Very touristy and very hard to get to the actual beach. We passed a few market stalls and got to the sand, saw a couple going up in a parachute then back to the taxi.

Entopia, is a butterfly farm but also for other bugs and their lifecycles. Bigger than the enclosure at Melbourne Zoo. Some of the butterflies are truly beautiful but it is hard to capture them with your camera as they flit around so quickly.

Fatty Loh’s Chicken Rice is on the way back to the hotel so we stop there for lunch. Interesting place with many old wares all over the walls. Finally tasted hainan chicken.

Relax at the pool for a long time. Read my book and update Facebook with photos of our wedding for our 40th anniversary. Hard to believe it has been so long, until I look in the mirror!

Dinner is at the Planters Lounge at E&O. Very quiet, probably because it’s Sunday. We both have the filet mignon, which is very tender. I have a passionfruit meuille feille dessert but it’s not what I expect with pastry.

September 24, 2016

24 Sep 2016 Northam Beach Cafe

Caught a taxi to the Northam Beach Cafe, which is really a food court with lots of varieties of food situated right on the beach. Hai B Seafood had the best sweet and sour pork for me, ribs and honey chicken for Peter. The glass of pineapple juice was enormous. We left before the cheesy entertainment started. Our taxi picked us up 1 1/2 hours after he dropped us off. Perfect timing.img_0437

September 24, 2016

24 Sep 2016 Clan Jetties and street art

IMG_0393.JPGPeter makes a route to go to the Clan Jetties and then see the tons of street art nearby.
I spot The Camera Museum on the way. It is worth a look. So many different cameras that I used to have! We get in the back way via Over Exposed cafe and stop for a drink on the way out.
There are so many shops the Heritage area that have not changed in a long time. Hardware stores that Craig would love! Also plenty of temples. I find the artisan batik shop and am tempted to buy more than the one serong. Through Little India drawn by the aromas. Spot an old printers shop with an archaic press. Dimattina Coffee is served at the Black Kettle!
Many sculptures and street art in this area.
The Clan Jetties are still people’s homes for the families that originally owned them. They make the most of the tourists by having street stalls along the piers. Chew Jetty is the largest.
Stop for lunch at Chew Jetty Cafe. Not sure what I ate but it had a massive spoonful of chili in it! The owner gives us a map with the street art so we explore a bit more. Also find an artisan beaded shoemaker. Three months to make one pair!
Get a taxi back to the hotel as we are both exhausted. At the pool now. Great place to relax.

September 23, 2016

22 Sep cont & 23 September – Penang

21 Sep 2016

Red Garden

Had dinner at Red Garden, which is not far from the E&O. It is a group of eateries undercover with a cheesy singer that starts around 9pm. The music before was more enjoyable even though it was the 1950s and 60s. The entertainer’s music sounded all the same with the same beat. He did sing but it didn’t improve much.

The food was very good though. We both sampled a few dumplings then had chicken biryani. It was cheap. They obviously make their money on the beer which cost more than both meals!

22 Sep 2016

Breakfast outside at Sarkies this morning. I found bircher muesli and tried some of the pastries. Trying to pace myself through all the choices.

The maps for tourists are not very accurate and don’t have all streets marked. Peter mapped a route out for the day. We found the Blue Mansion, which is quite spectacular and not very far from E&O. They have very strict on times so we had to be there before 11am. The guide was very thorough and so enthusiastic about her subject. The original owner, Cheong Fatt Tze, had 7 wives and travelled extensively after coming to Penang as a 16-year-old and building his fortune. The mansion has a unique way to course water from the roof through the house into courtyard pools and out again to keep it cool. There is a sweet spot (chi/feng shui) in the middle of the house, which has special properties. Amazing things happen there apparently. The original blue colour is from indigo. Brochure says the tour lasts 3/4 hour but we were there much longer. Very impressive!

On to the cemeteries but first a stop at Olive for a drink and to cool down. The Protestant cemetery is where English settlers from the 1800s are buried. On the far side of the brick wall is the Roman Catholic cemetery. Many hanging vines and and ferns over gnarled old frangipani trees.

Walked a long way down Northam Road trying to find Fatty Loh’s for lunch. As I said before the maps are not very accurate  and certainly not to scale. We ended up trying Ban Heang on the way back to the hotel. I had laksa, Peter had popcorn chicken!

Caught up on my blogging (see above) and then went for a dip in the waterfront pool, which has just re-opened after some water damage from the sea. Very relaxing! Views out to sea and along the foreshore. Read my book and lazed around the pool for a while before Peter came down to join me.

Off to Sarkies for the buffet dinner. Way too much food but didn’t enjoy it as much as breakfast.

September 22, 2016

22 Sep 2016 Penang

Tried out the spectacular buffet breakfast at the E&O. Everything you could possibly imagine is included. Except perhaps bacon! Walked around the hotel then up Penang Rd. Peter bought a hat (another one) and I tried on a top but didn’t get it. Caught the CAT bus at Komptar. Got off and looked around Fort Cornwallis, strong coffee at the cafe in there, then along the foreshore to see the Buddy Bears that are touring as a symbol of peace. The one from Australia is done by Ken Done and has the Opera House on it! Back to the hotel for a rest. I’m catching up with my blogging. Trying to emulate the writers that have stayed at the E&O! Maybe I’ll get rich. Although I don’t think any writers get particularly rich with just writing.

September 22, 2016

21 Sep 2016 Melbourne to Penang

Very excited to be travelling to Penang to meet Peter, especially as I travelled Business Class. Malaysia Airlines accepted my bid to upgrade. Dinner in Footscray with Shaun, Craig and Gilda before being driven to the airport. No big queues. Second in line. Plenty of time to check out the business lounge. I could have had a free dinner in there! Grabbed some free water then off to the gate and straight through to my fully reclining seat on the plane. What luxury! I could definitely get used to it. Tucked up in the doona I slept nearly all the way. Up for breakfast of fruit, yoghurt, croissant and tomato omelette.

Found the local Malaysia Airlines business lounge in KL and had another small breakfast and watched the planes out the window until my flight to Penang.

Straight onto the plane again for the short flight. Shepherds pie with a Lindt chocolate for the meal. No customs to speak of in Penang but I had a hard time finding where to get a taxi. You need to buy a ticket inside the airport then go outside and find the taxi stand. My taxi driver was full of information for my stay. Very helpful on what to do and how to find the hotel when walking.

Took a stroll around the Eastern & Oriental Hotel, very swish, then walked up Penang Rd to Komptar to get my bearings. Plenty of shops, money change places, taxis. Footpath leaves  lot to be desired though. On the map the road is straight but it is definitely not! You need to keep crossing over to be able to keep going.

Caught the free CAT bus at Komptar just in time to avoid a drenching shower. No raincoat or umbrella. It was packed with locals but I did get a look around without getting wet. The driver chucked everyone off once it got to the bus stop at the jetty. Just waited for the next one to get closer to the hotel then walked the rest of the way.

Freshened up at the hotel then waited for Peter to arrive. Read a lot of my book. He didn’t get in until about 6.30pm. Showed him around a bit then had dinner at Sarkies at the hotel.