#4 – So It Begins – Penang, Malaysia

First off, apologies for the lengthy delay.  I had attempted several times over the course of my 3 week trip to make a post but because of the time it takes to upload full resolution pictures, I would have been required to stay near my laptop for a better part of a full day to have that happen.  Instead, I chose to go out.  LOL.   Anyways, now that I have access to a decent computer again, I was able to downsample the pics so that they would upload much faster.  This was something I couldn’t do with the chromebook due to a lack of processing power but it was a good/cheap alternative to getting a fancy pants i7 ultrabook which I didn’t have money for.  Anyways, I don’t know where to start to I’ll just go ahead with the first destination on the list. Penang, Malaysia.

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Here in Malaysia, I thought their stop signs were amusing, but oh the exit signs were even better.  More on this later.

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I took the night train from Bangkok to Penang crossing over borders overnight.   The entire trip was about 22 hours start to finish.  The train included a restaurant cart and each cart equipped with washrooms and sinks.  The seats turn into beds but the staff on the train at about 7-8pm which (the lower bunk) provided more than ample room to sleep properly.  This leg I slept about 10 hours.

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Curtained bunks.  The quality was much better than you’d think for a 22 hour border-crossing overnight sleeper train ride. For…$35 Canadian.  It’s really a cheap alternative to flying if you are not strapped on time and a way to possible meet and chat with some strangers.  Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t near anyone interesting.  Thumbs down.

Penang is widely known to be the food capital of Malaysia, and I strongly concur (do you concur? Leo moment from Catch Me If You Can). Food incoming.

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Fruit Rojak….that sauce is sweet with a splash of spice.  Then throw in some peanuts, turning it into a mix of flavours that was something entirely new to me.  It was enjoyable, but better off shared I think.   I had a plate later in KL (shared) which was much less heavy.

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Char Kwai Teow, one of the most famous dishes in Malaysia.  Sort of a spin put on our ‘gorn chow ngau hor’.  Cept’ this one had no beef but replaced with shrimp and clams with a hint of a sweeter flavour.  It was bomb.

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BBQ pork congee.  Nothing spectacular, but so good.

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Fried oyster with egg.  Too good.

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Butter Chicken.  Great!  Hungry yet?

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Laksa. YUM.

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Hokkein Mee.  Mee is the same as noodles, mein, meen.

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Curry Mee.  Actually…I’m not so sure anymore.

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Frog Congee.  Taste like chicken.  No joke.

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And finally, the shining star of all the delights in Penang.  Ice Kacang (colourful one) and Chendul (green noodle one) are above and beyond the best thing in Penang.  I had AT LEAST 1 per day I was there.   At 60 cents, it didn’t really break the bank.  I miss this a LOT.

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Hostel breakfast.  After staying at so many hostels, I have really come to appreciate the various breakfast options offered by them.  Some, of course don’t even have breakfasts.  I always try to book one with!

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A Hawker Centre.  Same as food court.  In Malaysia, the practice here is to order at the stall.  Tell them where you sit (tables are numbered).  Then you sit down and they bring you your food with it’s done.  They will collect their monies at the same time they deliver.  A “drink dude or dudette” will come by and hustle you for drinks once you sit down.  In reality, you do a lot less work.  I like this.  Everyone brings you your food once you have selected it.  Lazy food court wins in Malaysia.  ALSO, if you noticed the stage with the girl singing.  They had a girl in a skirt sing oldies in the middle of the night.  I’m ok with that.  Skirt. Minayyy.

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Caught the Aussie Open finals.

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Jimmy Choo started off here.  Learned something new.

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This boss looks like he’ll have a blast.

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Time Crisis 1. WHAT. Oh good times.

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As you can see I wandered into an arcade at the mall.  Many unko’s and unties sat around playing……….

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THIS.  DON’T KNOW. DIDN’T ASK.

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They have interesting street art all over town.  It’s a UNESCO protected heritage site in Georgetown.  It was nice to stroll through but I stayed here for a full 5 days.  In my opinion, I overstayed by 3 days.  I ate the rest of the time I was there.  No problem with that though.

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A good friend (Xiaoyou) I met from Beijing.  She gave me some information to a volunteer program for Tibet.  A country quite difficult to get in.  Something I will need to look more into.  More group pictures with other people exists,  but on friend’s camera.  Reminded myself to ask for them.  Pat on my back.

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A group of friends.  Their colour coordination was magnificent.

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Penang Hill.  One of the most boring skylines’ I have ever seen.  I understand why people don’t really come here to sightsee.

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First taste of a beach in Asia and it was a rather disappointing one.  Maybe I have been lucky enough to visit some of the best beaches in Thailand which are world class and have a biased perspective of a decent beach in my head.  But the beach in Penang, was plain bad except for sun tanning.  It was nice to get out of Georgetown though.

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Lastly the exit signs in Malaysia reminds me of me.  No reason.

Next up: I have a story of a night in Georgetown hanging out with some friends.  It was a long night.  But I’ll leave that story for the next post.  Coming…tomorrow? Hopefully.

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Posted in Travel
8 comments on “#4 – So It Begins – Penang, Malaysia
  1. mike says:

    Glad to get an update, looks like fun man. Did you do anything for Chinese New Year? And happy Valentines day to!

  2. Jeff Wong says:

    “cart”.. I pictured a lady with a push-cart that was also washroom and sink.

  3. robin says:

    If you ever seen a government military ‘no trespassing’ sign in Singapore, its worth a picture. The detail is magnificent . Great Food Pics!!

  4. twu says:

    how’d they know it was u ? its like yoda was speaking to you through the exit signs

  5. Johnson says:

    GIVE ME ALL THE NOMS!

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