Travelogue | How I travel Penang for below SGD400

Another item off my bucket list of places to travel. You are right! Came back from a 3 days 2 nights trip to Penang, Malaysia with my folks. Although you might have read my previous post on that real short stopover last year (read here), but since then I have been planning to come again in proper to roam around this place and most importantly, to find all the street arts in Georgetown. Yes! That is my priority. Then comes the local food; Char Kway Teow, Assam Laksa and Chendol. Lastly, I guess it will be the colonial buildings around the streets; a mixed of eastern and western influences. 

Right now, here are some highlights of this trip and my travel plan towards the end of this post.

Street Arts

My folks already know the intention of this trip and I guess they have prepared themselves to walk a lot during this trip (even though they can't walk too much) just to satisfy my longing for street arts in Penang. Okay. Although we didn't manage to find many, but is okay. There is always a next time. But lucky me because the driver guide from LYK Penang Transportation 槟城包车服务 brought us to some of the street arts area which we can't find like the Susu Soya, Children on a swing, Boy with pet dinosaur and Boy on bike. Thank you Ah Hoe!

- The trishaw paddler -
- Children on the bicycle -
- Old lady selling tau huay -
 - Children on a swing -
- (From left to right) Boy with pet dinosaur; Boy on bike -
- Children at the window -
- Rock Candy Seller -
- Shoe Maker -

Pinang Peranakan Mansion

This is one of the places in Penang that you should visit for a better understanding of Peranakan culture and how the rich ones live back in those olden days. Planned by LYK Penang Transportation 槟城包车服务, it was a WOW factor for me the moment I stepped in. At RM20 per adult, your time and money worth spending here.

[Update: I have watched at least 2 travel tv shows that went here. So highly recommended for heritage goers.]

Address: 29, Church Street, 10200 Penang, Malaysia

- Dining Hall -
Unlike us, their dining table tends to be long rectangular shape. And strategically on both sides of the dining hall, there are two big mirrors. If you sit in the middle of the table, you can see for yourself. The view of one mirror is on the main staircase and the other is on the entrance door into the mansion. Because back in those days, they are afraid of being assassinated because of the type of business they do. You know what I mean? Illegal type.  

- Living Hall -
One of the hall at 2nd floor. So spacious and grand. Really living like a King and Queen they are back then. But many traditional things to observe and I'm glad that it was just back in those days and not now. 

- The Match-Making Chair -
Back in those days, the match-making session is like real simple. Sitting down on this chair and they just chat. See if they can get along. But in olden days, usually parents are the one to decide who you should marry. 门当户对. 指腹为婚. That kind of old tradition thinking. Now, definitely NO MORE. You can find this chair on the 2nd floor of this mansion.

- Wedding Room / Bedroom -
A wedding room or just a normal bedroom for the married couple to stay. Spot a basket underneath the bed? Back in the olden days, they don't have ultra-sound scan to see if the couple is expecting a boy or a girl. So what they do is put a chicken or don't what animal in the basket and put underneath the bed. After the wedding night or so, they bring the basket out in the morning and whether which animal fly or come out of the basket determines the gender of their offspring. Something good for your knowledge. Haha...

- Modern Peranakan Bedroom -
This is a room of a modern Peranakan who is influenced by the Western culture. Totally unlike those traditional Peranakan with one look from the display. How vintage it is that radio and television! A cupboard of ornaments tell a little bit of how much they worship Western culture.

- Modern Peranakan Bedroom -
- Jewellery Catalogue -
I must say this catalogue is well-kept. How many of such precious old school thing can we keep back then and how will we know that it is so precious and priceless which you can no longer find them anywhere in this era. Oh and please go and have a look at the gold-made belts, jewellery and all. So big and it looks heavy. Or is it those hollow type of gold? Heheheh...

Then on the other side of the mansion, there is an ancestral hall and wooden tablet of the deceased are there for the descendants to worship. And we saw sleeping bats one side of the roof. According to the guide, he said something like this mansion is of some good fortune or something.

I shall not reveal too much because it is so overwhelming with the details of this whole mansion. For you to find out when you visit Penang. I have left the address above so find your way there or arrange with LYK Penang Transportation 槟城包车服务 for a trip down here. I simply go WOW WOW WOW as we walked through the mansion. 

Penang Hill 升旗山

This is another place planned by LYK Penang Transportation 槟城包车服务 (actually requested by us because my folks never been there before in their previous trip). At RM 30 for non-local, you can ride on their tram to and fro. You know how similar they are like The Peak in Hong Kong? My only thought when we reached the hill top. Very chilling up there and you see Penang in one view.

We went for a drink cum rest our feet at this eating place. One level for souvenirs stalls, drinks and dessert stalls and another level up, more food stalls. You can have your tea break or even dinner up there if you come later in the evening. Never went to the Owl Museum and just walk around the hill top, take some photos and wrap up the trip to Penang Hill.

Nice back drop for photo-taking. Very Instagrammable. Too bad, I have a husband who doesn't like photo-taking. And I can't trust his photo-taking skill neither. I'm not the best but I'm better than him. 

Did you spot the Penang Bridge in the background? On the right of this photo. Nice view. Exactly like The Peak. But according to our driver guide, the night view will be nicer than in the day. So do head there towards the evening. But please note that there can be a wait to go up and down the hill via their tram. Experienced a long queue while waiting for the next tram, about 15 mins.

Local Food

We went to Red Garden for 2 consecutive nights because that is the nearest from our hotel by walk. Happens that the street art Trishaw Paddler is just there. So one stone kills two birds. And this is another place which I find similar to Newton Circus and even the former Lavender Food Square.

- Oyster Omelette -
My dad wanna have this. Simply same mind think alike. But I don't take oyster. I just want the omelette. Taste good but can be a little crispier.

- Char Kway Teow -
How can you miss Penang Char Kway Teow? Though it is not from one of those popular stalls but still, must try though lack a little wok taste.

- Penang Lor Bak -
In Singapore, we call it Wu Xiang Guan Zhang 五香灌肠. A variety to choose from the stall but we went for those recommended by the stall owner. So-so. Not really fantastic.

And we had on another night their Chicken Rice, BBQ chicken wings and Chicken satay. It didn't really surprise us with the taste but it satisfy our craving for them.

On the other hand, LYK Penang Transportation 槟城包车服务 Ah Hoe brought us to this stall for lunch. This man cooks with his left hand and grab ingredients by his right. That is how the stall name came about I guess. You get the wok taste and definitely delectable. Plus it is not spicy. I realize sometimes when the spiciness overwhelms the real taste of Char Kway Teow, it fails in total. I'm damn freaking sure about that. But one thing I don't understand is why the price difference falls on whether have egg or not. I thought Char Kway Teow has eggs in it? That is how we cook at home right? But then I shall not complain more because where to find in Singapore a plate of nice CKT for SGD2? Hardly. 

We ordered the famous Chendol and Assam Laksa. Sitting by the roadside on a raining day makes having a bowl of Chendol more chilling and refreshing. The red beans were the bigger type like those kidney beans. Nice.

This was recommended by LYK Penang Transportation 槟城包车服务 Ah Hoe on our first day of arrival in Penang so we dropped our bags in the hotel and head out for lunch. 

If you want a decent and reasonably priced meal, this one is your choice. We ordered four dishes, four bowls of rice and those miscellaneous stuff (towels, refillable teas and side) that cost us about RM95 which is SGD30+. Around the same price as what we had in Singapore at those Zi Char stalls. 

Foong Wei Heong Restaurant
Address: 23 & 25 Jalan Sri Bahari, 10050 Penang

- Sambal Kang Kong and Fried Prawn Balls -
- Sweet and Sour Pork -
Eastern and Oriental Hotel

Upon arrival, the driver Ah Hoe asked which side of E&O Hotel are we staying and I was puzzled because I really don't know before hand that they have new wing. So luckily I get down at the new wing to enquire about my booking and yes... we got to stay in there. Because we are early so we dropped our bags with the Concierge and left for our lunch and in search for street arts after that.

The two rooms that I have booked is facing door to door so want anything from my parents or vice versa, just cross over to the opposite. Convenience. A glimpse of my sea-view room with a small balcony at E&O Hotel.

- Into the bathroom and vanity room -
- Balcony -
- View from my room -
Other rooms with streets view wasn't that bad too but sea view more preferred by us, especially my husband because of the sea breeze and the pleasing sound by waves. My photos doesn't do justice to the actual room but I'm really pleased with my stay. Complimentary bottled water, soft drinks and fruits in your room. The first time I didn't need to pay for soft drinks from mini bar. Every morning, a copy of Malaysia newspapers at your door step. Seriously, I love E&O Hotel! Away from the hustle and bustle. Enjoy some peace you can have here at E&O.

- Hotel Lobby -
- View of the hotel exterior -

Here is where they served their meals from breakfast to dinner. Very classy with the old English style of setting.

Travel Plan

I booked my flight and hotel through Expedia. As usual, please expect some charges on your credit card bill. 
  • Flight by Tiger Air : S$547.36 for 4 pax + S$40 seat selection for 4 pax to and fro = S$587.36
  • Hotel stay at Eastern and Oriental Hotel: S$745.88 for 2 rooms for 2 nights (about S$372.94 per room)
Transfer (to and fro) plus one day tour by LYK Penang Transportation 槟城包车服务:
  • Transfer two-ways: RM 45 x 2-ways = RM 90 (about S$7.50 per pax 2-ways)
  • One day tour (10 hours): RM 280 (RM 28/hr for 10 hours and above booking, RM 30/hr for below 10 hours), that is about S$23 per pax
  • For all info, this is based on trust so they don't take deposit from you and you pay in RM at the end of the day to the driver. You can tip them too if you want. Write to them to find out more and they will be pleased to arrange for you.  The person replying to me is Ivan.
So  per person is about S$ 363 (flight + hotel + transfer and tour). Not including travel insurance and expenses. 

And also rental of wifi router from Changi Recommends for SGD 16 (during promotion SGD 8 per day, first day waive). Can connect up to 6 devices so I share with my husband and dad. Worthy and the signal is good. Definitely recommend you peeps to rent one. You can catch Pokemon wherever you go. One thing is for sure, you have to charge your router to keep you going. Gonna rent again for my next trip. Pay a deposit of $1 when you collect (using credit card) and the full amount when you return in cash or credit.

Again, I have to emphasize this: register with MFA every time you travel out of Singapore, or any countries you are from if your Ministry has this service to track your where-about, just in case of emergency situation.

My flight to Penang in the morning and back to Singapore in the late afternoon. I think the flight time chosen is just nice when you are travelling with folks. Don't wanna tire them out. Though on a budget, but I splurge on accommodation. It was my dad who told me about this hotel because I have not much idea about the hotels in Penang. The 3 days in Penang was a hot and wet weather. On the 2nd day, it kept raining in interval. What is this? Despite that, it didn't spoil our mood though. Last of all, this post is quite selective if you sense it as I don't really want to bored my readers with temples visiting and all. Yup. We went Burmese, Thai and Chinese temples. Very boring. So not gonna talk more.

Enjoy the post!