Sunday, October 9, 2011

Nostalgic Penang - Day 2

(This post was published 3 1/2 years late)

Thursday, 27 March 2008

We were up before 8:00 a.m. on the second day. The breakfast at Continental Hotel was a very simple Malaysian fare. Chong said that he would pick us up at 9:00 a.m.

With the free time at hand, we went exploring along Penang Road. Just behind Chowrasta Market at a street stall, I found very large curry puff on sale. It was however not very good.

Chong did not arrive until about 9:30 a.m. He was caught in a traffic jam at Penang Bridge. He would bring us on a round-the-island tour in his Innova.

The first stop was at the Penang Museum & Art Gallery. After paying the entrance fee, we entered. There were no other visitors, except for the three of us. Taking photographs inside the museum was prohibited.

The next stop was the flea market, located beside Stadium Bandaraya. There were a few vendors selling antique products.

During the course of our conversation, I mentioned to Chong that a former course mate, TSH owned a restaurant called Fortuna Restaurant. She dropped out before completing her degree. I asked him whether he knew where it was and that the address was somewhere along Anson Road. He could not recall knowing this restaurant but nevertheless, he drove towards Anson Road. Eventually, we ended up at Zim Sum for a Dim Sum lunch. What great luck as Dim Sum is one of my favorite Chinese food. We could not finish the food as we ordered too much for the three of us.

Soon, we ended up at Him Heang Sdn. Bhd, where Chong bought us some Tau Sa Peah. This was one of the two most popular places among visitors to Penang to shop for this pastry to be brought home as present.

Our next stops were Wat Chaiyanangalaram Thai Buddhist Temple and the Burmese Buddhist Temple right across the road from the Thai temple.

After that, we started our round-island tour. We stopped at the beaches, including the one where the tsunami hit and the famous Batu Feringgi Beach.

From the beaches, we arrived at Penang Butterfly Farm. I remembered when it first opened more than a decade back, there were more species of butterflies fluttering around and a lot more visitors. There appeared to be very much fewer butterflies and visitors around now.

From Penang Butterfly Farm, we went to Tropical Fruit Farm at Balik Pulau, where Chong treated us to an iced fruit cocktail.

We carried on our tour and ended up at the new Paya Terubong township.

At about 5:20 p.m., we reached Air Itam area. Chong drove us up to Kek Lok Si temple ground where we stayed for a while only, and from there, we went to Penang Hill, known in Malay as Bukit Bendera. By this time, it was almost 6:00 p.m.  There were not many people around. The view of the surrounding area from the top of the hill was fantastic.

After about 1 1/2 hours, we were back at the ground station again. My belly was still full from the Dim Sum lunch, but anyway, we went for our dinner. I have Curry Mee for dinner, and I had already forgotten how Curry Mee looked like and what the paste in the spoon was. I thought the paste was belacan so I added only a little of it to my Curry Mee. No wonder, my favorite Curry Mee did not taste as good as I remembered it when I had them so frequently while studying at USM. Ling has his bowl of Hockien Mee, also known as Prawn Noodle or Har Mee. Chong has Fish Head Noodle.

At about 10:20 p.m., I asked Chong to drive us to Gelugor for supper. Gelugor was the location of Shariff Nasi kandar stall, where Quick and I had our dinner almost every evening during our study at USM. It was late already, and there were not much dishes to choose from. My favorite egg omelette was not available. The prices have also increased three folds. Then it was about RM2.20 for a serving of omelette, a piece of ayam kapitan and liver. Now, it was almost RM6.00.

From Gelugor, we went in search of the residence of my former landlord at Cangkat Minden (Minden Height). It took us sometime to locate his house as I could not recall the exact location of the house. Cangkat Minden lies between Gelugor town and USM. It was already 11:15 p.m. then. My former landlord has retired and his children have both grown up and are working already. Both husband and wife have not changed much physically after all these years. Their home is no longer rented out.

Finally, it was time to go back to our hotel. The time was already past mid-night. Chong has to drive back to Sg. Petani. Tomorrow, he would not be coming to bring us around.


  1. I wish to correct 1. Restaurant Zim Sum 點心之家 has moved to No 62 Jalan Macalister 10400 Pulau Pinang. The same food court is taken over by Yang Yang Dim Sum. Was nice but the chef left, a so called himself from 5 star Hotel in HK is in charge now. Now not any more.
    2. Penang Butterfly Farm reopened on 2nd May 2016 but with another name to Entopia. Entrance fee is RM 49 per pax. Now is not fully done yet. Better to visit after 8th July 2016. Open 9am-8pm, with last entry by 6pm.