Friday, January 14, 2011

Going Around Penang


Trip to Pulau Pinang, again.

"Taiping is too small and boring".

That is what somebody kept on telling me during her time in Taiping. Yes, I gotta say my hometown is not as big as huge cities like KL, Penang or Malacca but still, I feel that it is not bad place. Taiping has the beautiful Taiping Lake Garden, the country's oldest hill resort and railway station, world's best managed mangrove forest, and also not forgetting the oldest prison in the country. Not sure if I should be proud to have the oldest prison in my hometown haha!

Anyway, we made a short trip to Penang since Michelle doesn't get to visit Penang often, as she comes from Malacca.


Those locals behind must be thinking why these two jakun kept camwhoring in the ferry haha!


Komtar and ferry are the two symbols that are most synonymous with Penang.


Some instructions in Malay inside the ferry for those who have not seen the language for quite some time.


Waited at the bus stop in front of the jetty, there was an advert poster of some oil brand promoting "Sajian 1Malaysia".
Makes it sound as if both of us are the "1Malaysia" meal lol!

We were lucky that the parents of Michelle's ex-landlord back in Christchurch, New Zealand live in Penang, and they were kind enough to take us around Penang for half day. Michelle has mentioned about visiting them in Penang while she was still in Christchurch some time ago. She contacted them a few days earlier and the timing was perfect because they were quite free on that day to bring us around. They picked us up from the Rapid bus station at Weld Quay and we set off to some interesting tourist spots nearby straight away.

Before I bid farewell to them when I left Christchurch last September, they said the next time they might meet us should be during our wedding. However, we didn't have to wait that long because we already managed to see them again in less than six months haha!


Fort Cornwallis, built in the 18th century, the largest standing fort in Malaysia.


The City Hall of Georgetown, a handsome Victorian-style building built in 1903, along Jalan Padang Kota Lama. 
The yellow building in the far background is the Town Hall of Georgetown, completed in 1883.


Dewan Sri Pinang, a multi-purpose auditorium that serves as a venue for live performances, and is still one of the most popular auditoriums in Penang.


The entrance to Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, also known as the Blue Mansion along Leith Street and is enlisted as one of UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The main gate to the mansion, which serves as a bed-and-breakfast inn, a museum, and a venue for private lavish functions such as themed wedding.


Probably the most striking feature of the mansion is the porcelain works called "Chien Nien", which translates literally as "cut-and-paste-share works"
and refers to the process whereby specially produced rice bowls, unglazed on the inside, are delicately cut with pliers to provide little shards of coloured porcelain,
which are then pasted with a lime putty to form elaborate patterns.


The mansion has been featured in various films including the 1993 Oscar-winning French film "Indochine" and also won several awards such as
the 2000 UNESCO "Most Excellent" Heritage Conservation Award.


Photography is not allowed during the guided tour inside the mansion, so we just settled with a photo outside the mansion lol!


Goodness Of Mercy Temple along Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling.


Was that a spelling error or it is really pronounced like that in Penang because I usually call it "huat kueh".


Chicken leg (kaki ayam) ang moh lang haha! No, that guy didn't lose his sandals; he feels more comfortable walking in bare foot.


Chin Si Thoong Soo, or Chin clan association along King Street. The building is designed in the Cantonese Straits Eclectic style in 1914.


No idea what cacat pose is this; no wonder the dragon behind me felt uneasy and ready to bite my butt anytime haha!


Since we has passed the Penang State Museum several times, we decided to drop by and have a look what's interesting there.
A question if you are a Penangnite; have you visited this museum?


On 5th October 1951, former British High Commissioner, Sir Henry Gurney, his wife and his secretary, Mr D.J. Staples, were on their way to Fraser Hill for the weekend when this silver Rolls Royce was ambushed by terrorists. Sir Henry Gurney was killed as he was stepping out of the car straight into the line of fire. Although his wife and secretary escaped unhurt, altogether thirty-five bullet hole were counted in the Roll Royce.


Classic spelling - "Gabnor" haha! Originally black in colour, it was later used as a state car by the late Raja Tun Uda, First Governorof Penang from 1st September 1957. In 1967, the state Governor decided to "retire" this old Rolls to the museum when a new "Cadillac" was purchased as its replacement. 


This hill railway coach is one of the four, which has carried millions of passengers up Penang Hill by means of the funicular railway. It was launched in 1924
and used until 1977 when it was replaced by four modern Swiss-made coaches. 


An antique telescope on display outside the museum.


I think this signboard can be a good contender for "The Signboard With The Most Languages" - six in total!

Although the Penang Hill is already opened to public, we didn't go up the hill because of time factor, and also because the construction work around the entrance area was still in progress. Hence, we headed to the next destination nearby, i.e. the Kek Lok Si temple, another symbol which is commonly related to Penang.

I used to visit this temple when I was younger but it has been more than a decade since I last went there. I have fond memories walking up the stairs, along the stalls selling souvenir goods and prayers materials back then. There was also a tortoise pool and there would be people selling kangkung, fifty cents a bundle to feed the tortoise. Sweet memories, they were.


Follow me if you wanna get to the Kek Lok Si temple haha!


Inside one of the main praying hall.


The seven-storey main pagoda, completed in 1930. It was closed for a period of time previously because there were cases of people using the pagoda as suicide spot.
Quite eerie, isn't it?




A wall that depicts some carvings of Lord Buddha.


Rows of Buddha statues with the pagoda in the background.


Poser from Taiping lol!


Michelle, Aunty and Uncle who camwhored in front of a large mirror haha!


Two of the four deities, whom Uncle said they are the Asian version of Ninja Turtle because they have their own weapons as well haha!


Some porcelains to be used in the construction of the roofs for new buildings.

Believe if or not, up until that point, we have yet to eat anything. How can that be, when we were in Penang that is supposed to be one of Malaysia's food paradise. All of us were hungry already by then, so we went to pick up Aunty's mom and her gang of friends to have lunch together.

Those golden generations were already in their seventies and eighties but if someone is not told about their age, I guess people will think that they are just in their fifties. How often you see grandma in T-shirts and jeans? Damn cool, right? Haha! I sat beside Aunty's mom who is in her eighties and I was quite surprised that she mention about Hiragana and Kanji when I told her that I am studying in Japan. Our conversation continued and she shared her experiences during the Japanese occupation in Malaya and how they were forced to learn the language by the Japanese.


  Sumptuous lunch in the town. Gotta thank Aunty and Uncle for the treat!


Aunty brought us to get some Tambun biscuits at Chuan Peng Heang. Forget about Ghee Hiang and Him Heang because I find them overrated. 
Here, we get something different - sambal udang flavoured Tambun biscuits. Worth a try!


A box of regular Tambun biskuit from Chuan Peng Heang, located along Jalan Jelutong.


See the nice texture of the biscuit. Looks tempting, isn't it?


They also sell tortoise-shaped mee ku, mostly used for praying.


We had steamboat for dinner at my aunt's place that night.


Tom yam flavour steamboat. Too good!

That's the end of day-one of our Penang trip. Stay tuned for more food on the second day!


Kae Vin said...

I am sorry that we didn't get to meet up even though I was in Penang. So close yet so far haha

Anyway, did you travel around Penang by bus or by car? Was wondering how's the Rapid Penang service :)

calvin said...

@ kae vin:
it's alright. you gonna make up for that with a bowl of ramen for me when you come to tokyo in march =P

we travelled both by bus and car. the rapid was generally not bad, in terms or waiting time and the routes. you should try and take it one day xD