Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Last month, me, hubs and baby went on our first 4 hour travel together to the north of Malaysia, in Penang.

The last time I was in Penang was maybe 8 years ago. The Penang I remember then is nothing like the Penang now. First I have to say Penang is so awesome!! It’s so different from KL or any other city in Malaysia.

The drive to Penang went quite smoothly despite having a baby on board who has no sense of time or patience. There was only one meltdown that required us to stop the car. Other than that it was good. Upon arrival in Penang, it was already nighttime and we decided to get a bite to eat hawker style at Gurney Drive.

If you went to Penang, there is a list of food that you must try. One of them is Pasembor, or we call it rojak in KL. There’s this one particular hawker that was so popular that we had to try. His stall is stall no 9. The gravy is sweet with just the right hint of spiciness. It was so good that the following morning we went out looking for more pasembor, only to learn that pasembor is an evening dish and rarely do they serve them in the morning. As my dad put it, ‘no one opens their pasembor stall in the morning. People will just laugh if you go looking for it.”

Usually our travel itinerary is a very straightforward mantra--- we do what we wanna do. But since baby is on tow, our itinerary is dictated by our ability to lug around baby and by the position of the sun. With that in mind, we decided to take on botanical gardens and bukit bendera in the morning.


For the record, we love gardens and parks. For someone who has been to several botanical gardens in and out of the country, I would say Malaysia has one of the best botanical gardens. And out of my favorite botanical gardens, this is one of the best in terms of variety and upkeep.


We met the fern garden keeper and he invited us in to give a short tour. Every now and then they will climb up to Gunung Jerai and other jungles to pick up a new plant for the botanical gardens.


Penang Botanical Garden also known as Taman Kebun Bunga with Bukit Bendera as backdrop.

The next place we went to was Bukit Bendera. I’ve been on the hill previously. What’s different this time is it’s new funicular train. Also the love lock wall on top of Bukit Bendera.


Also worth mentioning up here we get to check another food off the must try list. Penang Char Kuey Tiaw. It was so good me and hubs had to order a second serving.


A good baby carrier is a travelling must-have!

Later that evening, we decided to explore Georgetown itself. Around 4pm, the sun was still hot outside. So the only option was to hire a trishaw. Walking may be fun but riding a trishaw around Georgetown beats anything and it was the highlight of the trip.

We got assigned to an uncle who looked about 70. He insisted on taking us on a one hour tour, so we took it. At one point I honestly wanted to kick hubs out to replace the poor uncle but he looked fine throughout.

Georgetown is a beautiful city. Old colonial buildings line the streets unlike other modern cities. The roadside was clean. The shops were unique and most looked like they’ve survived decades.

Besides Kuala Terengganu, I gotta say Georgetown is my other favorite city in Malaysia.




Anyway, I highly recommend touring Georgetown on a trishaw!

Georgetown has lots to offer. The beach area, Batu Feringghi is also highly popular but honestly, I find it a little overrated. I’d say skip the beach and explore Penang city instead.

Okay that’s it for Penang. I would definitely come back for the city and food!

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