I have yet to explore my own country in its entirety but i always find myself going back to Penang again and again for a short weekend getaway. Partly because we have an apartment that needs to be cleaned every now and then but predominantly, it is the ambiance, the food and the architectural heritage that keep on beckoning me to come back. Like i once said, i am not a fan of modernity and therefore, Penang will always be on top of my list if you were to ask me where i like best in Malaysia.
This time, i had brought some friends along with me to celebrate new year’s eve and i had a whale of a time there. After about four hours drive from Kuala Lumpur, we were famished! It was on a Friday afternoon and a lot of restaurants were closed for the Friday prayer. Fortunately, there was this restaurant nearby that sells nasi kandar and possibly, the only restaurant that was open at that precise moment. [Restoran Tajuddin Hussain]. I would not say that it is the best but it was delicious (or perhaps, we were just too famished that our taste buds sort of become appreciative of everything). But the food was good and that was a brilliant start to our trip.
We made a beeline for the apartment [Straits Quay] and ended up having to vacuum and mop the floor before we could even rest. We ended up taking a nap for a bit before we were hungry again. We went to Gurney Drive for food and boy was i excited. Pasemboq, char kuey tiaw, laksa, oyster omelette, you name it. If i could, i would have consumed everything. The night was early and we thought, we should take a drive to Batu Ferringhi because let’s face it, that is ‘the’ place to go at night. Off we headed to Bora-bora for hookah. Mind you, i have not been a fan of hookahs for the longest time but this time around, i thought, why not? Hookah a few inches away from the sea? That’s an incredible feeling. I ended up just sitting in the corner, with the breeze in my hair in absolute silence but the sound of the waves crashing into the shore. Oh the littlest things in life.
The next day, Ara wanted dimsum and off we went to Cititel Hotel. To be frank, it was not what i expected. I would say, do not go? I am sure there are plentiful of other places that are better. Let’s just say, it is not too bad but i have tasted better. Later that day, we decided to go to Batu Ferringhi again for dinner at the food court that dad always brings me since i was a kid for chinese food. We had steamed fish, butter prawn (The best!), kerang bakar (grilled cockles), kailan ikan masin and of course, sweet and sour chicken. My absolute favourite dish. Afterward, we thought we could go enjoy our hookah by the beach again but this time, somewhere behind, Starbucks Batu Ferringhi. It was not good. That hookah simply reminds me of why i hated hookah in the first place. With utter disappointment, i was somehow yearning for a good live music and off we went to the Hard Rock Cafe. The band playing was incredible. RM40 for mango juice + possibly one of the greatest live band i know. I guess that’s worthwhile.
The next day, we were headed to George town for durian cendol! It is at a store called Durian Haven in Armenian street. I must say, it is the best durian cendol i have ever had (Mainly because that was my first time having it) but my friend had it at a different store and hated it. I reckon, i was fortunate because i googled beforehand. Talking about it makes me crave for it even further. We took a stroll along the street and it was truly beautiful being surrounded by antiquated buildings. We spent most of our evening just lying on the beach at Batu Ferringhi until it was time for dinner where we had Thai food at Tree Monkey. The food was good! I had tom yum for sure and it was delicious.
That night would be the New Year’s Eve. Initially, i thought we would just go down the apartment because there was a celebration going on with fireworks and sort. But as soon as we got down, the entire place was thronged with people and there was this live band that hurt my ears and brain, literally. I could not imagine myself standing there for another minute so we decided to leave the place and off we went to Hard Rock Cafe, again. This time, the cover charge was RM100 for each person with two drinks. In my case, two mango juice for Rm100. Well, i had expected worse.
Instead of fireworks, we got to see balloons but even then, I had a wonderful time in Penang as always. Something tells me that i will surely be back really soon to explore more food and places to go. If you have any suggestions, do not hesitate to let me know!
Until then, here’s my Penang vlog.