March 22, 2013

Penang Day 3 (22 March 2013)

Kids woke up bright and early today and we were the first to be ready to I brought them down to breakfast on my own.
Thankfully they behaved while I went to get food for them and I was always in sight so they wouldn’t be scared. Got them fried rice which was easy to feed and came prepared with activity sheets to entertain them.

After breakfast we had a bit of time to explore the beach, people were already parasailing, I was amazed at the Arab ladies flying about in their black burkas! 
Our first stop today was Penang Hill. We took the tram up, it was quite a long and steep ride and stopped several times. It’s definitely higher than Hong Kong’s Victoria Peak but the view isn’t as nice.

In fact it was pretty cloudy and hazy with rain threatening so much of our view was obscured. The weather was only slightly cooler than ground level but there was no need for cardigans.
We spent a short time walking around, there really wasn’t much to see. There were some temples up on some hills but we did not venture there. I think there are several walking trails but they would take too much time and the kids would be bored.

There was an old school kacang putih stall, and I bought some piping hot steamed chickpeas. After a few snapshots, we queued up to make our way down again. Not very organised it was, there was no queue system so everyone rushed to board.
Next Norman brought us to Kek Lok Si temple, not the main bit but the new giant Kuan Yin statue as he was allowed to drive all the way up there. The view from here was better and the statue is impressive in size but it’s not complete yet. 
Don’t think Mildred was particularly pleased to be in a non-Catholic place of worship and she, Nick and the kids stayed in a pavilion looking at the fish while me and Ma quickly explored and posed for pictures.

There were colourful ribbon offerings with different types of wishes stated. I bought one for the family to be kept safe and made a wish for me and Swana to have healthy bubs.
We went in search of food next, Norman brought us to an airy food court in Georgetown called New World Park. More kway teow noodles for the girls while I had some char kway teow. Food was better than Gurney Drive I felt!

Thereafter he brought us on a short drive around Georgetown, stopping at the famed Blue Mansion or Cheong Fatt Tze mansion to snap a couple of pictures and then passing by Fort Cornwallis.
There was a slight miscommunication because I was not planning to visit the Pinang Peranakan Mansion but we ended up there anyway and actually it was a most interesting visit and everyone enjoyed it.
The mansion is a re-creation of a typical rich Baba home and offers a glimpse into their opulent lifestyle. There were plenty of antiques on display, Ma had fun pretending to be a matriarch and the kids had a ball running through the rooms.
There were jewellery exhibits as well as some kebayas and kasut manic, Nat was naturally taken with the bling!
Our second last stop was Chew Jetty, a clan village on stilts and a UNESCO world heritage site. It was quite nostalgic and retro, and seemingly stuck in a time warp, I wonder if everyone is really surnamed Chew there!

We couldn’t leave Georgetown without trying some chendol and we stopped outside Joo Hooi coffeeshop to sample the famous Penang Road Teochew chendol. Tried the popular one with the long queue and their rival opposite, which I actually preferred because their gula melaka tasted nicer.
We dropped the moms at Gurney Plaza on the way back for them to shop and Sasha fell asleep for a little bit but woke up as soon as we reached the hotel. Gave up trying to make her sleep again and we went swimming, just the four of us.

This was followed by dinner at Sigi’s, the hotel’s beach bar restaurant. Kids shared a fish & chips and mac & cheese while Nick had a carbonara and me a pizza. Sasha was pretty buzzed from the lack of nap and she kept singing 'This girl is on fire' but changed the lyrics about to 'This restaurant's on fire', 'This room is on fire' etc. Lol.
At first we were sitting outdoors but moved inside the restaurant when it started to rain a bit and this mucked up any plans I had to check out the pasar malam outside the hotel. And so ends Day 3.

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