Penang: art hunting and lots of munching
Has the city been driving you hazy crazy recently? Do you feel like you need a quick weekend escape but don’t want to travel too far? Penang could be the solution to feed (literally) your travel hunger pangs.
Looking at the world map (or South East Asia due to my time and budget constraint) I pin pointed Penang as my escape destination. Less than an hour in the air delivers you straight to the green island in western Malaysia. I grabbed my return flight at CheapTickets.sg, an absolute bargain I think you will agree? Book a ticket now on CheapTickets.sg.
Where to eat: The first thing to say about my experience of Penang is- don’t go there if you are on a diet. The food is amazing, we tried everything from street stalls to fine dining. Some of my must trys:
Penang laksa Joo Hooi cafe
Penang Laksa – different from the Singapore Laksa in that it is slightly sour with its tamarind base, accompanied with mint, cucumber, onions, shredded lettuce and pineapple.
Where to have it: Joo Hooi cafe, 475 Jalan Penang on the corner of Lebuh Keng Kwee.
Ice Kachang – perfect for cooling off after a spicy street dish or just a hot day touring the old streets of George Town. There is also great chendol if you are that way inclined.
Where to have it: Although called the Penang road famous teochow, chendol and ice kachang stall it is actually positioned on Lebuh Keng Kwee just outside the Joo Hooi cafe.
Beef Hor Fun at Yeng keng cafe
Hor Fun In particular the beef hor fun. Delicious with a generous portion of both meat and the gravy- I love the egg that is mixed in at the end.
Where to have it: The Yeng Keng Cafe (362 Lebuh Chulia) is attached to the hotel, conveniently located for a lunch drop in whilst touring the area.
Nyonya Our Peranakan food journey certainly peaked at the Kebaya restaurant at the 7 terraces hotel. Opt for the special, usually a dish slow cooked for up to 72 hours. They only serve a set menu from 7-10pm it is worth booking ahead.
Art hunting: Opting for a slower paced weekend we spent our 2 days just strolling around Georgetown, and still ended up cramming a lot in. Between eateries we trailed some of the famous local street art by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic. His creative wall work incorporates physical objects making for some great snaps. Here are some of my favorites.
Little girl in blue, Muntri Street, George Town
–“Little Girl in Blue” Mural, Muntri Street, George Town, Penang
–“Children in a Boat” Mural, Chew Jetty,
George Town, Penang
–“Boy on a Bike and Little Boy with Pet Dinosaur” Mural, Ah Quee Street, George Town, Penang
Many of the hotels hire out bicycles to residents, it’s a great way to see the town, plus on Sundays the central part of Georgetown is closed to cars making it even easier to get around- just mind the cobbled streets!
Where to stay in Penang:
Georgetown is relatively cheap for hotel rooms. With options ranging from 5* to hostels there are rooms for every taste and budget.
I checked into the Eastern and Oriental hotel for a touch of luxury. Sat on the coast of northern Georgetown this colonial style hotel was first established in 1885. With its recent refurbishment completed I recommend checking into the new victory annex suites. We made good use of the Planters Lounge which serves complimentary breakfast, all day coffee/tea and evening cocktails and canapés from 5pm to 7pm complimentary with your room booking. Rooms come with small private balconies and you can chill out by the stunning pool as a perfect way to relax after a hard days walking. CheapTickets.sg has the cheapest flight deals and you could always find things to do in Penang when you book now.
The pool at the Victory annexe at The Eastern and Oriental hotel, Penang
The pool at the Victory annex at The Eastern and Oriental hotel, Penang
For a more modest but certainly not downmarket option try the Yeng Keng Hotel on Chulia street. This centrally located heritage boutique property has that homely feel with a welcoming team, and you can find the fabulous beef hor fun recommended above in their restaurant.
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