Ever since Airasia launched the Kota Kinabalu – Penang route, Penang is only 2 hours 45 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu. Good news to Sabahan foodies and travelers. Malaysia Airlines recently launched the Kota Kinabalu – Penang route on a seasonal basis and hopefully this route will be made permanently to offer more accessibility to Penang.
The AirAsia flight from Kota Kinabalu to Penang depart at 1.20pm and land at Penang International Airport on 4.05pm. We decided to rent a car for our trip to Penang as we prefer to drive around ourselves.
Penang International Airport is located at Bayan Lepas and the drive from Bayan Lepas to Georgetown took around 40 minutes.
We stay at Coffee Atelier as it is located at the heart of Georgetown. Coffee Atelier comprises of five traditional Chinese straits-eclectic style shophouses, at Stewart Lane in Georgetown and is within walking distance to several of the city’s main attractions. (Khoo Kongsi, Kapitan Keling Mosque, Seri MahaMariamman Temple, Goddess of Mercy Temple, Little India, E&O Hotel and etc)
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The owner of Coffee Atelier, Stefan originated from Switzerland. He bought the heritage houses and adapt it to hotel operations without destroying the old architecture.
The main sleeping area is spacious, and there’s another room with a single bed. The staff takes care of everything with great attention to details.
Street Arts discovery
One of the things to do at Georgetown is Street art discovery. The street arts are made up of welded iron blending humor and historical facts and street art by Lithuanian-born Ernest Zacherevic. Street art discovery map can be downloaded at Street Art Brochure – Penang. These streets arts scattered around Georgetown area and there are always a street art to be discovered at every corner.
Tok Tok Mee street art at Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling
Temple Day street art near Kuan Yin Temple
The Indian Boatman
Kids and me on bicycle street art
Food and fun
Coffee Atelier is located near to Little India. Little India is in the center of Penang Heritage zone. It covers the area around 3 streets. They are Lebuh Chulia, Lebuh Queen and Jalan Pasar.
Here you can find chapati, Indian snacks stall and Indian Restaurant.
We tried the Tandoori Set at Restoran Kapitan, the delicious tandoori is served on roti naan. The food is good but the service is slow.
Da Shu Xia Seafood House
For dinner, we visited Da Shu xia Seafood House. They are famous for their seafood but we prefer their Chinese stir fried food.
Tom yam prawn
Nyonya steam fish, highly recommended.
Kedai Biskut & Kek Ming Xiang Tai
Ming Xiang Tai have few branches around Georgetown and they have an outlet right opposite Da Shu Xia Seafood House. They served delicious pastries and their egg tart is a must.
New Lane Food Street
New Lane is one of the most popular Food streets in Georgetown. It is located on New Lane (Near Sunway Hotel Penang).
One of the more popular food stall, Char Kuew Teow.
Personally, we love the pandan pancakes as it is tasty. Perfect for after meal dessert.
The next morning, we drive to Air Itam which is about 30 minutes drive away from our Hotel. Air Itam is largely a suburban area home to the famous Penang Hill, or Bukit Bendera, and the gigantic Kek Lok Si Temple.
The Air Itam morning market at the main street
Our main reason to visit Air Itam is to visit Sister curry mee. The 2 sisters have been selling curry mee for over 70 years! They are very friendly and pose for photo with curious foodie like us. They have their own FB page at https://www.facebook.com/currymeesister/
Stop by some of the roadside stall to and try the apam balik. The people are very friendly and proud of their foods as they tell us where to find the best foods.
Highly recommended Duck Koay Chap at the nearby Coffee shop. The broth is so flavourful and the duck is tender.
We wanted to try the famous Air Itam Assam Laksa but they open only at 10 am. We drop by Kek Lok Si for a visit before continue our way back to Georgetown for more foods.
Roti Canai Transfer road
One of the popular roti canai place. This road-side stall is located alongside Transfer road and customers sit at the cramped seating facing the road.
The cook bus preparing roti canai.
The must eat at Roti Canai Transfer road: Roti Bakar Goyang from the stall located just beside the Roti Canai Transfer road.
My happy Breakfast 2.0. Roti Canai banjir served with chicken drumstick and Roti Bakar Goyang.
Back to Little India to find some Indian herbs and Annie decide to get a Sari for herself as finding one in United states is hard. While the experience shopping for the Sari is fun, the Sari end up a disaster as the shop didn’t make the Sari properly and leave Annie disappointed. The Sari cost over RM500 but the workmanship is so poor that it damage the beads and fabric of the sari.
Pinang Peranakan Museum
After a light meal, we walk to Pinang Peranakan Museum. The Peranakan, also known as Babas and Nyonyas, was a prominent community of acculturated Chinese found at Penang, Melacca and Singapore. They adopted some local Malays and the colonial British way of life and create their own unique lifestyle and custom.
Pinang Peranakan Museum is located at Church Street, was a home of a rich Baba a century ago owned by athe famous “Hai Kee Chan” and once served as the residence and office of Kapitan Cina Ching Keng Kwee.
Entrance fee: RM21.20 per adult
the old lady (right) is a Nyonya and she is a guide at Pinang Perakanan Mansion.
The place was built in the 1890’s & comprises 3 buildings – main house, ancestral temple & servants’ quarters. The house was bought & restored in the 2000’s and attained Unesco Heritage status in 2008. The antiques and furniture are collected by the current owner.
Restored ancestral temple at Pinang Peranakan Museum.
The master bedroom. There is a fascinating story behind how the 2 single bed are joined together to be a master bed. The husband has few wives and away most of the time. If the wife not happy with the husband, the distance between the 2 single beds will be far apart. So the distance between the 2 beds is a way for the wife to communicate with the husband.
We enjoyed a good 90 minutes touring the museum and listen to the explanation by the guide.
We continue walking to the Clan jetty area passing by old buildings along the way.
Drop by the Penang Science cluster along Lebuh Cina. Penang Science Cluster is a non-profit organization promoting science and technology, innovation and technopreneur ship in the next generation.
After a tiring walk under the hot sun for 10 minutes, we reached the Clan Jetties. Located at Pengkalan Weld , these water villages are over a 100 years old and each jetty is named after a Chinese Clan namely Lim Jetty, Chew Jetty, Tan Jetty, Lee Jetty, Mixed Clan Jetty and Yeoh Jetty.
Lee Jetty, quite and not much tourist around.
Bought this old time ice lollipop at the entrance to Chew Jetty.
Street Art at the entrance to Chew Jetty.
Chew Jetty is the most popular jetty and the place is packed with tourist. The front side of the houses here are converted into souvenir shop and coffee shop. If you expecting a quiet fisherman village, you will be disappointed as the place is noisy and there is nothing original about the stuff they sell here.
After much rest, we drive to Maccallum to look for Hock Seng Rojak. Hock Seng Rojak is one of the famous rojak in Penang. It is also known as Maccallum street Hock Seng Rojak as this little stall located beside the Maccallum road.
Annie happy with her rojak. The sauce is thick and potent, topped with dried squid powder and roasted peanut. A “must eat” when in Penang.
We ask the Rojak stall owner for the food recommendation and they recommend us the Food street at Maccallum flat located right behind Maccallum Street. There are many food stalls caters to the locals and the price is generally cheaper here. All the famous Penang foods can be found here.
tasty Char Koay Kak (fried rice cake)
Char Koay Teow, a must eat when in Penang.
Getting my wan tan mee fix here.
Maccallum flat food street open from 5pm till late night
When we are leaving the area, we found this stall selling apam manis (Indian sweet crepe). We were surprised to see the Indian lady prepare the apam manis using clay pot on charcoal. Most of the Apam manis using mini woks and gas for apam manis preparation and this is the first time we see someone prepare apam manis using clay pot and charcoal.
The clay pots are heated up with charcoal and another clay pot with charcoal is put on top of the clay pot with apam manis to make sure the upper part of the apam manis is cooked too.
delicious apam manis.
After dinner activities. Just us having fun with Brother and sister on swing street art
Chulia Street Hawker Food
Chulia Street is one of the main roads in Georgetown. During the night time, food stalls set up at a section of Chulia Street offering delicious and cheap foods. Chulia street is 5 minutes walk away from Coffee Atelier and we decide to check out the foods here.
One of the highly recommended food at Chulia Street is the Wan Tan Mee.
Nasi Kandar Beratur
Our never ending food hunting brought us to Nasi Kandar Beratur. There are few famous Nasi Kandar restaurant in Georgetown but Nasi Kandar Beratur opens only at 10 pm till early morning. Really love their name which means Queuing Nasi Kandar since 1943. They must be good to have long queue every night.
Nasi Kandar Beratur is located beside Kapitan Keling Mosque and shares the same premise with Nasi Kandar Masjid which closes at 10 pm.
People start queuing up at 9.45pm for Nasi Kandar Beratur. Nasi Kandar Masjid starts packing up while staffs from Nasi Kandar Beratur setting up the chair. Everything was done by 10 pm and we are lucky to be at the front of the queue as a long queue form up by the time they open at 10 pm.
Nasi Kandar at late night. A perfect way to gain weight. Who can resist a good Nasi Kandar. While the Nasi Kandar tastes good, we don’t think we have to queue up 30 minutes for it.
Walk along steward lane to our hotel and found this popular street bar. The “bar” is actually a sundry store named Antarabangsa Enterprise and they selling cheap beers and liquor. Seems to be a favorite place for locals and tourists to meet up and mingle around.
Kimberly Street Porridge and Penang Road famous Teochew Chendul
The next morning, after a healthy breakfast at Coffee atelier, we walk to Kimberly street to try the highly recommended Chok Kee Porridge.
Chok Kee is famous for their Chee Cheung Chuk (pork intestine porridge). Very tasty and we also like the century egg porridge.
From Kimberly street, we walk to Penang street for the famous Teo chew chendul. Pass by this colorful door and Annie can’t resist for a pose here.
There are other food stalls located at back alley
Penang road famous TeoChew Chendul stall is located next to Joo Hooi cafe. There are long queue for the chendul. There are no seats around so we have to enjoy the chendul standing around the alley.
The portion is good with red beans, chendul and coconut milk but it’s not as good as I expect.
Tropical Spice Garden
After porridge and chendul, We drive to Teluk Bahang to check out the Tropical Spice Garden. Tour guides are available otherwise, you can rent an audio guide.
We spend around 1 hours looking at the plants and trees. The garden is well maintained but there’s a lot of mosquitos. Better if you apply sunblock and insect repellant when visiting.
Tropical Fruit Garden
After Tropical Spice Garden, we drive further up Teluk Bahang, passed by Teluk Bahang dam along the winding and hilly road and reached Tropical Fruit Garden.
tropical fruit for sale at the reception. A guided farm tour cost RM40 for adult and RM30 for children which include fruit buffet and fruit juice. The tour is accompanied by an English speaking guide and a van send us to the farm.
Platform overlooking Teluk Bahang.
Ali, our guide explain to us the variety of fruits. Ali is informative and funny
After touring the farm and our fruit juice, we visited the attached shop selling enzymes, soap made from fruits.
Campbell Street (Lebuh Campbell)
we make our way back to Georgetown and drop by Hameediyah Restaurant for their famous Nasi Kandar. The queue is shorter at 3pm and we manage to get our nasi kandar within 10 minutes.
Toh Soon Coffee is located few doors away from Hameediyah Nasi Kandar. Toh Soon Coffee is located at an alley instead of a shop lot. They made their own kaya and peanut butter while the bread is toasted using charcoal.
The charcoal oven also double as the boiler for hot water.
soft boil egg served on toast. A specialty at Toh Soon Coffee.
Moh Teng Phoew Nyonya Kuih
We also check out Moh Teng Phoew Nyonya koay located at Chulia street but most of the kuih are not available.
Siam Road Char koay teow
We tried few Char Koay Teow at the food street and it just not what we expect. Our friend recommends us Siam Road Char Koay Teow and claim that they served one of the best char koay teow in Penang. The Stall in located at Siam road and you need to queue up if you want to take away. We order our char koay teow and wait at the coffee shop nearby.
The uncle prepare the char koay teow and prepare each plate separately before serving.
We waited over 1 hour for this plate of Char Koay Teow. And I must say that it really worth the wait. Certainly one of the best char koay teow we ever tried.
Old Green House Restaurant
Our never ending food hunt continue at Jalan Burma to look for delicious prawn mee. Green House Prawn Mee and Loh Mee take up one of the stalls at the old green house restaurant.
We order both the prawn mee and loh mee and we get the option to add on different ingredient to the prawn mee
We also order the fried oyster which is equally good.
After none stop eating, we take a rest at Coffee Atelier before visiting China House at Pantai Street. ChinaHouse is a traditional compound of 3 heritage buildings, linked by an open air courtyard and converted into 14 spaces comprising shops, cafes, restaurant, galleries, live music and bakery.
China House famous Tiramisu sold out during our visit but there are lots of cakes to choose from. The staffs told us that they target to have more than 60 types of cakes available everyday!
Great place to for our last night in Penang.
Spend our evening having good coffee and cakes while doodling.
Last day at Penang
As our flight is at 10.00am, we had our breakfast at the roadside roti canai stall at Buckingham street.
The roti canai is crispy and delicious. Served with curry and dhal. Cheap and good breakfat before making our way to airport.
We had wonderful time at Penang on our short trip to Penang and we certainly back again for more foods. Penang has much to offer and information are readily available at airport and tourist spot. Good place for discovery and and most importantly good food!
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