Travelogue | Penang via Princess Cruises

I hope you have an idea of Sapphire Princess through my previous brief introduction post and if you haven't read, please click here. Like any typical cruise, probably the ship is larger. But just love experiencing a different cruise from the usual Star Virgo. 

And so in this 4D3N cruise, there are 2 stopovers at Penang and Port Klang. So I'm gonna write a short post on my Penang experience though it is just for a few hours and this is my first time stepping into Penang. I long to come here because of its mural arts at George Town. Probably, I should come and stay for a few days next time to immerse myself in the artsy streets and cafes with my parents. Come! Who want sponsor me and my parents? Haha...

Finally after almost 24 hours, we arrived in northeastern part of Penang, the Swettenham Pier. It comprises a cruise terminal which not only Princess Cruises but other cruises like Star Cruises docked at this terminal. This is also the first time I went through the custom area without any checks. Haha... because their immigration officers have already went onboard for checks before we can disembark from the ship. So it makes it a lot more convenience and ease. From the ship, you walk quite a fair bit before reaching the coaches outside the pier. These coaches will drive us to the city or whichever tours you sign up for onboard the ship. Oh by the way, the coach service is chargeable. So don't expect is free. Excuse me. You pay a price for everything. Even if it is sponsorship, the price to pay is write a post, take many many photos and etc.

Honestly, when you step out of the ship, photo taking stop again. I mean the cruise provides photo taking at each stop overs and there you are, spending money on so-so kind of photos, with some eyes close or awkward expression. They will never filter your photos. Take, edit and print. That is something that annoys me when on board cruises. Same goes to Star Cruise. Yes... I understand they find means to earn that money for holiday makers and if not, how are they gonna feed a whole fleet of crew members? Okay... fine. Let you earn. For my parents, I let you earn SGD800++ on top of my thousand over dollars of cruise fare. That is little in others' opinion. Some may spend more than me. Why am I so whiny? WTF.

As we walk out for our coach, the views across is indescribable. That deep blue sky. The last time I saw the nicest blue sky was in Melbourne. OMG I really love bright blue skys. They really make you day so bright. So across the cruise terminal, you see Fort Cornwallis and a stretch of old warehouses. Quite interesting. Never get to visit Fort Cornwallis. If we didn't pay for the transportation out to the city, we would have explore the nearby areas for that few hours. Bad choice. So people, know where you are disembarking and plan in proper. You don't really want to miss out on some must-go places. We only manage to be outside the fortress, look around before heading back to the ship.

So this is Swettenham Pier. Surrounded with Japanese wharfs, warehouses. The moment you step out here, it has a mixture of British and Japanese sight from the past (the latter is lesser feel). If you read about Penang's history, you know what I'm talking about. Anyway, Singapore is the same. We were once under the British colony before becoming a developed nation.

Oh by the way, not far from Swettenham Pier, spotted another Church Street Pier on the coach.

Streets of Penang. I'm as though back in my own country. Why are they so nice those shophouses? Like those I saw in Tanjong Pagar. Or even Katong (eh... don't know how long never go there). Am I on a heritage tour? I'm loving it. I saw some very Peranakan shophouses too.

As we walked along the street, saw this tall building called Komtar. Standing at 232m, the 65-storey building has a mixture of offices, shops, restaurants and etc.

We are at some backstreets in Georgetown where lots of old 2-storey shophouses stand for probably more than decades. I heard that here, the Government cannot anyhow tear down these buildings because sort of like privately owned. Or whatever reasons which I forgot what my dad said. This tells us why Georgetown is a popular tourist attraction. Because not only you are on a heritage walk/tour, you get to find lots of mural arts. Not in any luck this time round because the places to see all the mural arts are quite far from where we are and with that limited time only, we just walk and spot on any arts on the streets.

My dad knows I'm in the search for all these mural arts and keeping an eye for it as we walk along the streets, immersing ourselves into the heritage walk.

Our shopping stop for some tau sar piah and some other pastries and puffs. Oh... biscuits, cookies too. We actually don't know which is the better one but nevertheless, just buy.

Not long after the shopping stop, we rest our feet at this coffeshop I guess. Immediately, I find this short hair auntie very familiar. I wonder if she appears in Taste with A Xian. And I remember the beehoon packed in plastic bags. Or is it a different food tv show?

We ordered a plate of beehoon and assorted wu xiang to share. And of course their coffee. Damn tasty their beehoon and moist too. I love such beehoon. I hardly can achieve the texture except for my husband. Damn it he is a cooking talent. The assorted wu xiang was so-so as they are left with not much variety too.

I find that their roads are quite wide. What do you think? And more old textured buildings along the way. Some are left empty and damaged after years of rain and shine. But that how it creates the 'time won't wait for anybody' feel. Haha... don't bother what I say. I'm quite rubbish at times.

Spotted the 2nd one. But damn it. The car blocked the view. If not, it is gonna be a nice piece. But my dad took for me one which looks almost perfect. Never retrieve from him. Shall download from their camera soon.

We were outside a huay kuan taking these photos. Shamelessly stand outside to snap photos while having people sitting in there. Haha... I can't remember what huay kuan is that (sorry because I finish this post only after 3 months from the trip).

Saw lots of street food stalls along the way back to cruise terminal. So sad that I'm leaving with not even a quarter filled of memories of Penang. And I spotted like mini or small villages with Chinese surname at each entrance. Okay I assume whoever's surname is will stay together in that small villages. Kampong style. Bonding and more bonding (I hope).

Spotted that fire engine. I supposed it is because it has those hoses and ladder. A mini one though parked along the road side. But why on the roadside dude?

Back at Swettenham Pier. So sad that it is a real short trip. Not even 12 hours or day trip. So take down the memories as much as I could before leaving for Port Klang.

There is like a roundabout or curve outside the Swettenham Pier and in the middle of the road stands the Queen Victoria Memorial Clocktower. The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897 was the reason why this clocktower was built in commemoration.

Since we don't have much time to visit the inside, just take photos from the outside as memories. I love seeing such ruins look-alike places. They just look so beautiful. I know my husband wanted to go in but time constraint. Till next time Fort Cornwallis.

We spent the last 30 mins before boarding to venture around the Pier area. I love nice architectural buildings, especially those in colonial style. I basically find lots in Penang as much as I find in Singapore.

My imagination went a little wild. Why does it look like filming scenes or inside a Hollywood studio to me? Tell me if I'm wrong. I had that feel though. You picture it in your mind with no humans and vehicles. Got feel or not already? Ahhh... forget it.

We had Esplanade Theatre. They have Esplanade Park and some more is a food paradise. Why time just fly pass so fast? I didn't really do my duty as a food blogger to explore more on food. Makes me hungry only.

Till next time Penang. The short memories of Penang are documented here and I hope to be back soon to explore more on the food culture and mural arts. Bye Bye!

Next post, Kuala Lumpur.