Monday, 15 July 2013

Penang weekend trip

Was in Penang over the weekend & boy oh boy, the local food there is simply amazing! Penang Assam Laksa, Curry Mee, Wanton Mee, Duck Meat Mee Sua, Oyster Omelette, Ice Kacang, Rojak, yumyumyum!

People always speak of Singapore as a food heaven but this short trip to Penang has really pampered both my tastebuds & tummy.

The street where our hotel (Sunway Hotel Georgetown) is located was packed with pushcart food stalls by evening & for a city kid like me, eating along the roadside was definitely a whole different experience! Feels like I'm back to the 70s where roadside dining is the norm.

Of course the cleanliness freaks might raise an eyebrow or two upon seeing how the food is being prepared & how the ingredients are placed in buckets on the floor. But I do believe in 入乡随俗,it's all part of the experience when traveling abroad! And my mum would add 肮脏吃,肮脏大!

This trip has also taught me to appreciate the little things I've taken forgranted here in sunny Singapore -

1. The clean toilets in the airport with a cleaner present 24/7 - over at the airport in Penang, the cubicles are wet & dirty most of the time. And, toilet paper is not always available. Definitely not conducive if you wish to do your big business!

2. Taxis running on meters. Me being the city brat, am used to taking cabs & paying by the meter. However in Penang, no taxi driver would charge you by the meter though they have one installed in their vehicles. I'm just not one to bargain for prices!

Bargaining for cab fare is a must! I really felt over-charged. On one instance, we travelled from hotel to Batu Ferringhi, the cabbie agreed on MYR38 for the trip. The cabbie had the meter on & when we got off the cab, the meter only came up to MYR19.80!<

The cab fares really cost a bomb, in comparison, we spent the most on transport as opposed to food because the food in Penang is really cheap & value for money.

3. Free shuttler bus for tourists being abused by locals. The bus we were on was packed to the brim. A good 70% of the passengers were locals taking advantage of the free bus service.

4. Airport announcements. At the departure hall there was a huge confusion because passengers for 2 departing flights (1 to Singapore, 1 to Jakarta) were housed in the same hall & there wasn't any proper announcement to inform passengers of which flight is commencing boarding. And it doesn't help that both flights were leaving at approximately the same timings. A simple announcement would have been most helpful.

To sum it up, Penang is really a food heaven on its own. There isn't much to do except eat, the shopping malls don't really catch my eye or suit my taste. I travelled on AirAsia which fortunately did not run into any flight delays. In fact the flight was smooth. The air tickets were bought during sale & per pax including taxes was only $136!