I should have slept in a bit more since i only clocked in less than seven hours and that's insufficient for a man who always craves for the optimal eight hours! However, the sight outside the room was just too good to miss!
There's in fact a main reason why i woke up so early. Hint: i am going to a place that most people wouldn't consider going when they are overseas.
Answer: a visit to the Old Protestant Cemetery (aka Northam Road Cemetery) at Georgetown. Don't belittle the plain looking tombs; some were dated to the period before Sir Stamford Raffles even stepped foot onto Singapura!
The thing about living in Georgetown is that heritage buildings are everywhere and they are like forever stuck in a time capsule that never moves forward. Plenty more of such pictures for your viewing pleasure in this post.
One song came into mind when i walked past the Uptown Bistro; Uptown Girl by Westlife. p.s. original performer is Billy Joel but i have never heard the original version.
Checking out the towering buildings by a dirty beach - that area is Tanjung Tokong and known to be a residential area for the wealthy.
Front view is the mountain that resides on Peninsular Malaysia across the channel of water.
Lim Lean Teng Mansions - a pretty run down building which wasn't living quarters! According to the website here, it's filled with offices and the ground floor served as motor vehicles showroom.
Honestly quite an impressive sight - as i was walking along the road that's aligned to the coastline, i couldn't help taking more pictures of the mountain, name of which i am unaware of.
Farquhar Mansion - built in the 1870s, it now houses a fine dining restaurant. If you have taken history in secondary school, the name Farquhar should ring a bell. p.s. not the same farquhar by the way.
Human-sized Lego - a thief hiding at one corner with a cleaver waiting to strike you and rob you of your belongings!
Eastern and Oriental Hotel - similar in design to Singapore's very own Raffles Hotel, the five-star hotel was established by the same Sarkies brothers in 1885.
Thankfully, i am not so hard up on luxury and would be happy with an air conditioned room with clean bed-sheets and an ensuite. In comparison, the aged Bayview Hotel was good enough for me,
Breakfast time; the banana cake was soft and fluffy and I had like five pieces at one go! Darn, i was thinking if i could get my hands on the recipe since i could make full use of my oven!
Van with driver that was booked for us to visit Penang Hill and Kek Lok Si temple! We could have joined the tour offered by the tour counter at Bayview Hotel but we preferred to have our own personal transport for more control of our itinerary.
Rate at RM 60 an hour and minimal 4 hours. Cheap? I don't think so although at only RM 24 per person, no one was complaining.
Shih Chung Branch School - an abandoned building that's sure to draw your attention. It was built as a residence, and then a school and was said to be used as administrative building for the Japanese during the world war.
It was also supposedly haunted and you may search for more information via google.com and typing the following words in the search engine, "shih chung branch school haunted".
On our way to Penang Hill - journey was expected to be about 15-20 minutes from the hotel. I am the vehicle commander and also time keeper since any extra timing would mean more cash outlay!
Penang State Mosque - biggest mosque in Penang that can house about 5,000 worshippers. It was said that the Guanyin statue at Kek Lok Si temple was initially designed to be much taller but there was resistance given that it would cast a shadow on the mosque if built.
Chung Ling High School (锺灵中学) - i wasn't convinced when the driver told us this is the BEST school in Penang. There's a wikipedia page on the school and it was indicated that to be selected to the institution, only students with Straight As or close to As would be considered!
Penang Hill (Bukit Bendera / 升旗山) with its amazing view and cooler temperature. Click the link here to read more on my journey up, including more photographs!
A war memorial that was spotted before we arrived at Penang Hill and as it was placed at a roundabout, we had to circle it once more in order to get to our next destination. For more information on the memorial, check out the link here.
Kek Lok Si temple right ahead of us!
What's your take on rundown houses? I personally like them old with peeling paint, missing stained glass as the aforementioned signs say a lot about their age and the charm surrounding them .
Pet shop - do you know that when Rubee was still alive, i made it a point to visit pet shops when i am overseas so that i can buy a present / snack for him?
More than fifteen minutes had passed and we were nowhere near the entrance of Kek Lok Si temple. Traffic jam is a frequent occurrence on weekends; so do take note!
Air Itam Market - the driver told us the famous penang laksa can be found in the market and when probed further if he likes it, his answer was that it depends on individuals and he likes the laksa from other place. Oh well, no harm to me since i wasn't keen to try out the renowned Penang laksa and with so many of us, variety mattered more.
After lunch at Beng Chin Garden coffee shop, where i had char kway teow, prawn noodle and roast duck, followed by muah chee by a mobile vendor, it's time to work off that massive intake of calories; Kek Lok Si temple, here i come!
Places we checked out within the temple; Tortoise Liberation Pond (乌龟放生池), area with many life-sized golden buddhas, Ten Thousand Buddhas Pagoda (Ban Po Thar) - Main Iconic Pagoda & 五方佛殿 (Five-Region Buddha Hall) and the Guan Yin Statue (Goddess of Mercy 鹤山观音圣像).
By the time we were out of the temple and met up with the driver, it was already 2.30 pm; an overrun of 30 minutes and we had not even factored the time it will take for us to be back at the hotel!
Another abandoned building; if this was in Singapore, i can guarantee you that thrill seekers like myself would check it out as it was so conveniently located along the main road.
Old school signboard.
I have the urge to photoshop this to a black and white picture as you wouldn't have noticed it was at present times unless you focus on the motor vehicles and also note the word "LED" on one of the signboards.
Deep contrast of a tall, modern housing block and a short, traditional religious abode yet they both represent the community bond required for any neighbourhood.
Back at Bayview Hotel, paid for the extra hour of service for the van and the driver, took a much needed bath and had a change of clothes, and we were off to hit the streets again, on foot!
The green house was spotted after the halfway walk down Love Lane. Nothing of historical significance as i didn't specifically check out the building.
Those metal-wire artwork doesn't appeal to me at all and i would very much prefer the painted street art murals. Nevertheless, i must say the blue notices on the wall indicating the street are extremely helpful for better insight into the history! For example, this Lorong Chulia is "a very short street" with just seventeen houses.
Gigantic tiger painted on the wall!
This photo exhibition showcased the conditions of dilapidated buildings. Strange that the photos were displayed on the same wall as the aforementioned tiger.
A polished and revitalised walkway of restored shophouses.
One of many buildings in the UNESCO site; however, did you notice the tiles with different designs blocking what appeared to be a window on the second floor?
Want to guess where we were?
A hint; look at the above photograph. I had in fact published a picture of the temple before in one of the Penang's postings but it was then closed as night had fallen.
The Street of Harmony which had all 4 major religions represented!
Han Jiang Ancestral Temple - its unique architecture attracted my attention and according to the information panel in front of the 146-year-old temple, this is "the only example of Teochew architecture in Georgetown"
Masjid Kapitan Keling in the daytime.
For a photo of it taken at sunset, click here.
There are two things to take note when you cross the road; one, the motor vehicles on the road as a hit would cause bodily injury / death and two, the pigeons above you! Their hit, via their droppings, would likely result in me spewing vulgarities, in various languages!
Yap Temple (Choo Chay Keong aka 慈濟宮) in the day!
Lebuh Armenian - the street with a higher concentration of street art and it's also more happening compared to the rest on Saturdays from 5-9pm!
We would love to stay longer but time was limited and there was still an outstanding attraction! Actually, my travel mates were kind enough to follow me as i am aware the way i plan my itinerary always requires tons of walking!
Chinese herbal tea in a traditional setting; typical of shops under Ming Xiang Tai! Knowing youngsters nowadays might not be keen to drink herbal beverage, the operator was also offering durian ice cream for sale!
Free roaming dog on the street - i think it belonged to someone as there's a collar on its neck.
Random picture - ship anchor outside a shop.
Chew Jetty (姓周桥) - One of six heritage clan jetties in Penang, this was by far the most popular and the one stretched the furthest out into the sea.
You are forgiven for thinking you are in Taiwan or China; even in Singapore where there's a Chinese majority, i think the government would be lambasted for putting Chinese characters on a government vehicle serving the public.
Faced with such a busy road (even we had difficulties crossing), i doubt i would be keen to rent the bicycles / non-motorised vehicles and use it to travel on the road.
Hm..... there are two characters which seem to imply volunteer. If these vehicles don't belong to a government agency, i guess it would not have mattered even if the words are in Thai.
Lee Jetty - a pity we only had time for one jetty. :(
Even from the entrance of Lee Jetty, i can already spot the sea which means the scale would be smaller compared to Chew Jetty although Lee Jetty appeared more spruce-up.
Strolling down the yellow-orange walkway. Frankly, if the colour of the building was white, i doubt i would even publish the photo on my blog.
Their proximity to KOMTAR translates into prime land area even though the shophouses fall within the UNESCO world heritage site which mean there are limitations to structural alterations.
The metal-wire street art right next to the road - tourists who couldn't read the words and need to walk closer should be mindful that the road was relatively busy! Using the zoom function on your phone / camera will be easier.
Wholesaler for eggs - this can be found in Singapore too and the store i always patronise is along Jalan Kayu; one tray of 30 large eggs cost only about S$6-7! Now that i am baking, i actually utilise a lot of eggs on a monthly basis....
So where exactly are we going?! I was seeking out this supposedly famous durian stall near KOMTAR and finally managed to indulge in the King Of Fruits at Tng Siang Hock Trading!
1st Avenue Mall - the only shopping centre we stepped into at Penang and for a specific reason; a travel mate didn't bring sufficient clothing and the only one left was on her back and it was already soaked with sweat! Hence, she needed a place to buy some tee shirts!
She was fast in her purchases and we were out of the mall in less than 15 minutes; it was already 6.44 pm but the sky remained so bright! We had to squirm our eyes as we walked since the setting sun was too glaring.
Makeshift food stalls outside another shopping centre serving Penang food like char kway teow! As i already had the famous dish on two occasions, i thought i might as well save my tummy for other food.
Penang Hop On Hop Off bus service that covers major attractions within the city and runs on a schedule of about 20-30 minutes for the city route. Do note that the tickets are chargeable and you may read more here.
On our way to Red Garden Food Paradise, where we had arranged to meet up with a few other friends, and chanced upon a few stalls selling roasted Chinese chestnuts. I got a pack for my sister although they definitely were not the best i had.
Before Red Garden Food Paradise, let me buy some snacks for my family and colleagues back home and there's no better place than Ban Heang!
I seriously need to cut down on items i buy overseas as i have the tendency to buy too much and to be honest, the items i buy might not be well received by the receivers as they might not like the things i bought yet accepted them because i took the trouble to lug them back home.
Street art outside Ban Heang featuring their tambun biscuits!
It's innovative to use street art as a mean to advance one's commercial interest; however, i bet it would not be too long before the town administration decides to impose an advertisement tax.
Once again, i had too much food at Red Garden Food Paradise! It was our last night in Penang and i figured i should make full use of my stomach to ingest as much as i could.
After returning back to Bayview Hotel where i released my loot of goodies to be hauled back to Singapore, we were out again in search of more food! The above was The Edison that i shared in my day one posting.
For wine lovers.
Alex's boss recommended us to check out a Chinese dessert shop along Lebuh Kimberly and assured us that it would be open this late at night. It wasn't assuring to walk into a quiet and poorly lit street.
Situation improved a few hundred meters down the road.
The cheng tng taste-alike dessert known as 四果汤. To read more about it (including the location of the shop), click the link here.
Another recommendation by Alex's boss - the braised chicken wings!
I didn't want any and surprise surprise, Alex, the ever picky man, was game enough to purchase a bag for takeaway. Verdict: he liked the food!
In case you are interested, it's located along Kimberly Street as well and right in front of the Gan En Wu Tang Shui. That's Alex in green tee shirt and cyan coloured shorts.
A standalone house that seemed like it's a guesthouse and i am right; it's called 100 Lebuh Cintra and you can even book a room on agoda.com.
And you know what? It's right beside two shop lots offering 24-hour funeral service, including selection of coffins! Now, i am not superstitious but as i don't travel alone, my travel companions are the one who mind! :(
Nothing against the profession and the nature of the services provided - those who know me well will know i am open to applying for a job in the funeral services.
Concluding the end of the day with a photograph of this quaint little building; not sure if it is a temple judging from the items on the roof or a clan association as the Chinese characters imply.
Postings for the Day (click the link to find out more)
- Old Protestant Cemetery
- Penang Hill (Bukit Bendera / 升旗山)
- View on Top of Penang Hill
- Lunch at Beng Chin Garden Coffee Shop
- Roadside Muah Chee
- Kek Lok Si Temple
- Tortoise Liberation Pond (乌龟放生池)
- Ten Thousand Buddhas Pagoda (Ban Po Thar)
- Guan Yin Statue (Goddess of Mercy 鹤山观音圣像)
- Halfway Down Love Lane
- Lebuh Armenian for Street Art Murals
- Chew Jetty (姓周桥)
- Durians at Tng Siang Hock Trading
- Restoran Traditional Home of Dessert (汕头街四果汤)
For the itinerary of my short 3-day, 2-night trip to Penang, please click here.