Phnom Penh Restaurants Review – Boat Noodle Restaurant

Phnom Penh Restaurants - Featured Image

Phnom Penh Restaurants Review – Boat Noodle Restaurant

Before I arrived at Phnom Penh, my Cambodian friend gushed about this place. It is one of the very good Phnom Penh Restaurants he said. Many locals, including him, as well as foreigners patronize this eatery. It is also a popular place for people who are in the arts, such as artists, photographers, etc. My friend is a really good photographer. He is well known in Cambodia for really excellent photographs he had taken.

I was intrigued, and I made him promise to bring me here as soon as I arrived. He made the promise and he was true to his word. When I arrived, it rained heavily. That did not stop us. So, after an evening of dining, here is my Phnom Penh Restaurants Review – Boat Noodle Restaurant.


Boat Noodle Restaurant – The Overview & Rankings

Name: Boat Noodle Restaurant
Cuisine: Asian, Khmer and Thai Food
Meals Served: Various types of dishes to be eaten with rice, Specialty – Boat Noodle
Dining Choices: Dine In, Takeout
Family Friendly: Yes
Food: 2.0 out of 5.0
Service: 3.0 out of 5.0
Value: 2.0 out of 5.0
Atmosphere: 3.0 out of 5.0
Prices: $$ out of $$$$$
Asia Travel Gems Rating: 2.5 out of 5.0 two and half stars rating


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About Boat Noodle Restaurant

I had wondered about Khmer Food since I started to plan for this holiday. And I was a little surprised that most restaurants do not just serve Khmer Food. They also serve other foods like Thai Food, Vietnamese Food, Western Food, and others. This Boat Noodle Restaurant was no exception. They served Khmer and Thai Food.

And to match, or even communicate, the type of food served, the place is decorated with art, sculptures, handicrafts from these countries.

Phnom Penh Restaurants - Interior of Boat Noodle Restaurant, Waitresses cleaning up
Phnom Penh Restaurants – Interior of Boat Noodle Restaurant, Waitresses cleaning up
Phnom Penh Restaurants - Interior of Boat Noodle Restaurant
Phnom Penh Restaurants – Interior of Boat Noodle Restaurant
Phnom Penh Restaurants - Interior of Boat Noodle Restaurant
Phnom Penh Restaurants – Interior of Boat Noodle Restaurant

An interesting thing to note is that apparently there is a famous Boat Noodle Restaurant in Phnom Penh. And this is not that one. Even so, this is a popular place for the locals. Some expatriates even frequent this place. That night when I was there, there was a French family dining at a table nearby. And they were later joined by more of their friends from France. From their conversation, it was apparent that they are regulars at this eating place.


Food and Drinks at Boat Noodle Restaurant

The Boat Noodle Restaurant is supposed to be famous for their Boat Noodle. But apparently, they are much better at their meat dishes, especially the barbecued meats. We ordered the barbecued chicken wings, local salad with minced chicken, and rice. My friend had his favorite coconut juice freeze. And I ordered the avocado juice freeze, which was very delicious!

Phnom Penh Restaurants - Dinner with Salad, Chicken Wings, Coconut Freeze and Avocado Freeze
Phnom Penh Restaurants – Dinner with Salad, Chicken Wings, Coconut Freeze and Avocado Freeze

Before I arrived, my friend sent me pictures of the barbecued chicken wings they server here. They looked delicious. But that rainy night, when we ordered the same barbecued chicken wings, they looked a little sad.

Phnom Penh Barbecued Chicken Wings
Phnom Penh Barbecued Chicken Wings

The taste was all right. But not fantastic. And they were served cold. We later found out that it was because of the heavy rain. Usually, their chef would barbecue the chicken wings in the open, and only when someone ordered the wings. But because of the rain, they could not do that. And before the rain came, he quickly barbecued what he could in preparations for later orders throughout the night.

Not ideal. But I have learned that when you are in a foreign country, you have to learn to accept their ways. This is how they handle the heavy rain situation.

Travel Tip: If it rains, go to another place to eat. Come back here when the weather is fine.

The salad was not quite to my taste, too.

Phnom Penh Restaurants - Salad with minced chicken
Phnom Penh Restaurants – Salad with minced chicken

I guess I was used to the tangy taste of Thai salads that I had in Thailand and in Singapore. The salad in Phnom Penh did not have that zing to it. It was quite mild in flavor to be honest. And it was, to me, quite soggy. The vegetables in the salads in Thailand and Singapore were fresh and had a little bit of crunchiness, which I enjoyed. But this one here, the vegetables were wet and a little soggy. Not so much crunch to them.

I was not deterred though. I thought it could be just this restaurant’s way of preparing this dish. I even ordered and tried the salad again at the Titanic Restaurant a couple of nights later.


How to Order the Food?

A waiter or waitress will seat you at a table. Then they will present you with a menu. Here are a few pages of the menu from this restaurant.

Boat Noodle Restaurant Menu Cover
Boat Noodle Restaurant Menu Cover

As mentioned earlier, they serve both Khmer and Thai food. And in the menu, they divide the two types of delicacies in sections. Before the range of Khmer Food, they have a sort of sub cover page to indicate that you are about to see Khmer dishes.

Boat Noodle Restaurant Menu Khmer Food section
Boat Noodle Restaurant Menu Khmer Food section

Here is a page of the Khmer Food section. As you can see, the food is quite varied. And at times, I find the dishes almost familiar, like Chinese dishes. Also, good news! Every item is described in Cambodian and English

Boat Noodle Restaurant Menu - List of Dishes
Boat Noodle Restaurant Menu – List of Dishes

Here is the page where we ordered our dishes from – the salad and barbecued chicken wings page.

Boat Noodle Restaurant Menu - List of Salad and Grilled Chicken Dishes
Boat Noodle Restaurant Menu – List of Salad and Grilled Chicken Dishes

The ordering of the food is just like how you would order at any restaurant. Simply choose the dishes you would like to have. Wave to the waiter to indicate that you are ready to place your orders. Inform the waiter or waitress all the dishes you and your party would like to have. Then patiently wait for your food to arrive and enjoy!

Travel Tip: Payment is by cash only. So have your US dollars ready. The meal we had (see image above) cost us USD13 only.


Boat Noodle Restaurant – Asia Travel Gems Final Word

To be fair to this restaurant, perhaps I visited on a bad day. To be fair to me, I have to give this place a two and a half rating because the food did not meet my standards.

two and half stars rating

I love chicken wings, whether deep fried or barbecued. Or even sauteed and steamed in some gastronomically delightful sauce. But the chicken wings that night failed totally.

Even my friend who frequent the place seemed a little surprised that the chicken wings looked and tasted so poorly. He commented that it was not like the usual standard that he was used to.

Some people may like the salad. But I really did not enjoy it. There just so much water. And the taste was so mild.

I did read from other reviews that the meat dishes are the best here. So, maybe on a less or no rain day or night, this could be better? For now, I have to go with what I have experienced. And that is this place did not serve good food.

The place was charming. But a little cluttered. The art, handicrafts, and furnishings do make the place feel very local. But at the same time, because of the Thai influence, it was a little confusing.


How To Get There?

I stayed at The Bridge Club Hotel, and it was just a short tuk tuk ride to the Boat Noodle Restaurant. So, if you are staying in the city or near the city, the tuk tuk might be the choice of transport. Check with the hotel you are staying at to confirm. Or if you are going to stay at The Bridge Club, then you are assured it is nearby.

Address of Boat Noodle Restaurant:

184Eo Preah Trasak Paem St. (63), Phnom Penh 12301, Cambodia

Operating hours:

8.00 am to 9.00 pm, Daily

Contact Boat Noodle Restaurant:

Phone: +855 11-952-120

By Foot

You could travel by foot. But it might take hours, depending on where you are staying at. So, unless you are staying very near, I suggest to take the tuk tuk.

Tuk Tuk

This is the best and most economical way to travel around Phnom Penh. It is very cheap and affordable. For example, a short ride, about 10 minutes to the Boat Noodle Restaurant cost only USD1 plus. I highly recommend traveling around the city via this mode of transport.

By Train

There is no train system within this city.

By Bus

There are buses. But the tuk tuk is so much easier and can bring you there faster.

By Car

If you drive, you can take a look at the map above, and navigate your way there. Car park space may be an issue though.

By Taxi

There are taxis. But most people use Grab now. See below.

To be honest, I traveled most of the time in tuk tuks. Occasionally, by Grab. So, I have no idea how the taxis work here in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

By Grab

Grab has taken Asia by storm. Phnom Penh is no exception.

When I arrived, I booked a car by Grab that drove me to The Bridge Club Hotel. It was so easy. All I did was pull out the Grab app. Then book a car. The car arrived, and I was brought to the hotel in less than 30 minutes (it was off peak hours, so no traffic jam).

Grab is now my preferred option for travel when I need to move about within a city. It is so easy. There is no need to negotiate because the price is quoted via the app, and confirmed. The price is usually reasonable and affordable. No hassles.

I have switched to Grab for my travels within a city ever since this option became available.


Visiting Phnom Penh? With Agoda, your Rooms Get Up To 70% Off! Don't Miss This Great Offer! Click Here Now!
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If you have ANY questions about this Phnom Penh Restaurants Review – Boat Noodle Restaurant, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Thank you for reading this.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels,

Timotheus

Phnom Penh Hotels Review – The Bridge Club

Phnom Penh Hotels Review - The Bridge Club - Featured Image

Phnom Penh Hotels Review – The Bridge Club

It was my first visit to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I wanted to stay at a comfortable hotel that has a magnificent view of the city and the famous Mekong river. Plus, I wanted to stay at a room that is really affordable. I can even say cheap. And I found it!

Today, in this Phnom Penh Hotels Review – The Bridge Club, I will share with you my experience of my stay at this hotel. In this review, there will be lots of photos and a video showing you the room I stayed in, the amenities offered, and the facilities available. There is also information about nearby attractions, where The Bridge Club is located, how to get there, and how to get around Phnom Penh.


Phnom Penh Hotels Review – The Bridge Club – The Overview & Rankings: 

Hotel: The Bridge Club
Room Rates: USD93 and above (depending on room type) per night. For a Deluxe Double Room with City View, the rate is USD101 per night. I got it at USD30 per night only. That’s 70.3% Discount! And I got this great deal at Agoda!
Cheapest Place to Book: Agoda
Location: Ground floor (unit 18 and 19), near The Bridge SOHO entrance, National Assembly Street, Sngkat Tonle Bassac, Khan Chamkarmorn, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Rooms:

  1. Superior Room with King Bed
  2. Deluxe Double Room with City View
  3. Premium Studio Room
  4. Executive Twin Room
  5. One Bedroom Suite Apartment
  6. Two Bedroom Suite Apartment

Service: Some staff were friendly and helpful, some were not
Value: At the price offered at Agoda, definitely worth it! Great value for money!
Sleep Quality: Excellent! It helped that I woke up every morning to the magnificent view of the city and the Mekong River
Cleanliness: Very clean
Asia Travel Gems Rating:  3.5 out of 5.0 three and half stars


Phnom Penh Hotels Review – The Bridge Club – The Video: 

In this Phnom Penh Hotels Review – The Bridge Club video, you will see the reception area, all the amenities in the Deluxe Double Room, the awesome view of the city and Mekong river from the room which is at 30th floor, and all the facilities offered at this hotel. Click and Watch the Video to see it all!


About The Bridge Club

The Bridge Club is a 4-star accommodation located in the Chamkarmorn area of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This is a very good location as it is near a large mall, cafes, coffee houses and restaurants. Plus, the famous attractions are not too far. Just a short ride on a tuk tuk.

The Bridge Club - View of hotel at night from side
The Bridge Club – View of hotel at night from side
The Bridge Club - View of hotel at night from front
The Bridge Club – View of hotel at night from front
View from back of The Bridge Club Hotel
View from back of The Bridge Club Hotel

It  is the state of the hotel that is a concern. It is very new. And parts of it are still under construction and renovations. There were times when my friends and I were taking the passenger lifts, and the construction team would move things in and out using the same lifts. Not very professional.

Rooms

There are apparently about 900 to 1,000 rooms. As mentioned earlier, there are various types of rooms available:

  1. Superior Room with King Bed
  2. Deluxe Double Room with City View
  3. Premium Studio Room
  4. Executive Twin Room
  5. One Bedroom Suite Apartment
  6. Two Bedroom Suite Apartment

* Tip: Not all rooms face the Mekong River. Some do not even have windows. So, make sure you ask for a room on a high floor with a view of NagaWorld and Mekong River. Of course, you must book a room that has that potential view.

When I booked, I chose the Deluxe Double with City View room. But this type of room can either face the Mekong River or the other side, which is the other part of Phnom Penh city. The view is just all buildings. So I added instructions in my booking to give me a high floor room with a view of Nagaworld and the Mekong River. And I got such a room! See the awesome view!

Phnom Penh Hotels - The Bridge Club Deluxe Double Room with City View - Great View of the City and Mekong River!
Phnom Penh Hotels – The Bridge Club Deluxe Double Room with City View – Great View of the City and Mekong River!

The rate per night for my room was USD101 per night. I got it cheaper at USD30 per night. That’s a whopping 70.3% Discount! All thanks to Agoda!

The size of the room is about 37 sq m with 1 Super King Bed. It is really huge for two people. I really enjoyed the space. And of course, the awesome view. I watch it every chance I got.

Phnom Penh Hotels - The Bridge Club Deluxe Double Room with City View - Living Room and Bed plus window with Great View of the City and Mekong River!
Phnom Penh Hotels – The Bridge Club Deluxe Double Room with City View – Living Room and Bed plus window with Great View of the City and Mekong River!

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Book Your Rooms with Agoda and Get Up to 70% Off! Click above image!

Amenities 

There are quite a lot of amenities at The Bridge Club. But I find the quality of the amenities lacking. For example, the towels were very rough. And the staff a bit raw and untrained. Some were even unfriendly and not very hospitable. But being a hotel that is a work in progress, plus the really affordable rates at this time, it is almost acceptable. I do hope things improve after all the construction and renovation work are done.

Front Desk

  • 24-hour Front Desk
  • Front Desk Safe
  • Express Check-in and Check-out
The Bridge Club Front Desk
The Bridge Club Front Desk
The Bridge Club Reception Area
The Bridge Club Reception Area

En-suite Bathroom with towels

Bathroom and Toilet facilities in Deluxe Double with City View Room of The Bridge Club Hotel
Bathroom and Toilet facilities in Deluxe Double with City View Room of The Bridge Club Hotel

Other Amenities

  • Hair Dryer
  • Free toiletries; e.g. Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Refrigerator
Phnom Penh Hotels - The Bridge Club Deluxe Double Room with City View - Living Room with Refrigerator, Water Cooler and Washing/Dryer Machine
Phnom Penh Hotels – The Bridge Club Deluxe Double Room with City View – Living Room with Refrigerator, Water Cooler and Washing/Dryer Machine
  • Microwave
  • Electric Kettle
  • Washing Machine and Dryer
  • Electronic Safe
  • Free Internet access via WiFi
  • Free and Pay TV
  • Work Desk
  • Air conditioning
  • Daily Housekeeping
  • Free Asian and Western Breakfast (at 13th floor – check your booking package to see if this is included for free)
  • Pay Later Option with Agoda
  • 1,000 Non-smoking rooms available

Facilities

Outdoor Swimming Pool

Lovely Outdoor Swimming Pool
Lovely Outdoor Swimming Pool
View of Phnom Penh and Mekong River from Outdoor Swimming Pool at 13th Floor
View of Phnom Penh and Mekong River from Outdoor Swimming Pool at 13th Floor

Garden

  • Garden with view of city and Mekong river
  • Barbecue area in Garden
Garden with BBQ facilities at The Bridge Club Hotel
Garden with BBQ facilities at The Bridge Club Hotel
Garden at The Bridge Club Hotel
Garden at The Bridge Club Hotel
View of Phnom Penh from back of The Bridge Club Hotel, 39th Floor
View of Phnom Penh from back of The Bridge Club Hotel, 39th Floor

Indoor Swimming Pool at Top Floor (39th Floor)

Indoor Swimming Pool at 39th Floor of The Bridge Club Hotel
Indoor Swimming Pool at 39th Floor of The Bridge Club Hotel

Gymnasium

The large gym at The Bridge Club
The large gym at The Bridge Club

More Facilities

  • Spa
  • Rooftop Terrace
  • Playground
  • Car Park with Free Parking for Guests
View of The Bridge Club Hotel from Garden to Top Floor
View of The Bridge Club Hotel from Garden to Top Floor

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Book Your Rooms with Agoda and Get Up to 70% Off! Click above image!

What Good Food to Enjoy in Phnom Penh?

The local food is quite similar to the food in the region – Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. So, you will find some dishes that taste about the same; e.g. curry. At the same time, I noticed most places offer Thai, Vietnamese and Laotian meals. All that can even be in one restaurant! You will be spoiled for choice.

My Cambodian friend introduced me to one of their popular coffee chain called Brown Coffee. It is very good. I will share more about this in a future blog post. Also, we had a fantastic local meal at a restaurant called Titanic. Watch for more about food in future posts.


Attractions Nearby

When you stay at The Bridge Club, you will not run short of attractions to visit. There are so many nearby. For those that are near, you can simply take a stroll over there. For those a little further, take the tuk tuk. It is cheap and convenient. Here is a list of some of the nearby attractions, in alphabetical order:

  • Aeon Mall – about 1 km away
  • Diamond Island Convention and Exhibition Center – about 800 m away
  • Independence Monument – about 1 km away
  • NagaWorld Hotel & Entertainment Complex – about 500 m away
  • Phnom Penh City Centre – about 3 km away
  • Preah Sihanouk Garden – about 700 m away
  • Royal Palace – about 1.7 km away
  • Samdech Hun Sen Park – about 800 m away
  • Silver Pagoda – about 1.7 km away
  • Sontepheap Garden – about 400 m away
  • Statue of King Father Norodom Sihanouk – about 1 km away
  • Tuol Sieng Genocide Museum – about 1 km away
  • Wat Botum Partk – about 1.1 km away
  • Wat Lanka – about 1.1 km away

Where is The Bridge Club?

The Bridge Club is located at the Chamkarmorn area. It is a very nice area. Not too busy like in the City Center. Yet, close enough that you can easily visit and see many attractions, and enjoy delicious food at good cafes, coffee houses and restaurants. Here is a map to show you where it is located.

Address: Ground floor (unit 18 and 19), near The Bridge SOHO entrance, National Assembly Street, Sngkat Tonle Bassac, Khan Chamkarmorn, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Phone: +855-023-236-236

Email: contact@pp-bridgeclub.com

How To Get There?

By Air

The Bridge Club is around 14 km away from the Phnom Penh International Airport.  There are many airlines that fly to Phnom Penh from many cities. You can check which airlines fly to Phnom Penh on Agoda.

By Road

You can also choose to travel by road if you are going to Phnom Penh from a neighboring country. Do plan your route carefully, and make sure you have all papers ready when you cross the borders.


Getting Around

By Bus

There are buses in Phnom Penh. But it is not easy to understand their routes and timings. Also, they only operate from 5 am to 8 pm. Not very ideal when you need to get around after 8 pm, especially after dinner or after a night out in town.

Plus, parking is usually not a problem because there is ample space almost everywhere.

By Taxi

Do these exist here anymore? Most people take the tuk tuk or Grab. See below.

By Tuk Tuk

These are motorized three-wheeled vehicles that have replaced the traditional pulled trishaws. It is a very cheap mode of transportation. It is not as comfortable as sitting in a car, but it serves the purpose of traveling short distances for very low price.

By Grab

Grab is like Uber in Asia. In fact, it has taken over Uber.

It has become my preferred mode of travel when getting around a foreign city in Asia. One reason is that there is no need to negotiate. Another is that the price is usually reasonable and affordable. No hassles.

It is so easy to travel around in cities now because of Grab. Just download the app, state your destination, a driver is assigned to you, take the transport, and you arrive at your destination. Comfortable and easy.

I have switched to Grab for my travels within a city ever since this option became available.


The Bridge Club – Asia Travel Gems Final Word

From afar, The Bridge Club looks impressive. It looks like a good hotel with fine service, rooms, amenities, and facilities. But looks can be deceiving.

three and half stars rating

The room I stayed at was good. Really large room with lots of space. The bed was very comfortable, and the pillows are just the right bounce. They are not too soft till there is no support, and not too hard that it is unpleasant to lie on.

The amenities were plenty. But they lacked quality. They felt like amenities provided in a budget hotel, or a 1-star hotel. They could up the standards.

The facilities are quite all right. All still new. So, no surprise there that it was all good.

The service was the issue. The staff at the Front Desk were not friendly. For example, a local friend of mine drove and parked at the hotel car park. We asked for the parking vouchers since it is free parking for guests. They had to be convinced to give the free parking vouchers for all the days we were staying there. At first, they insisted we go to the Front Desk every day to get the voucher for the day.

I had reason with them that we were already booked and staying for four days. Why can’t they give us the vouchers for all four days? Does it make sense that we are expected to go to the Front Desk every day to get a voucher? We are tourists. We are busy sightseeing and experiencing all the city has to offer. We don’t want to get the voucher daily. After a long while, they finally relented.

Another incident was when housekeeping left only one towel for a room that was meant for two. To get that towel, we had to take the lift from the 30th floor, walk from the SOHO area to the Front Desk, ask for the towel, told we had to wait, and we waited for more than half an hour plus we had to take the towel back to our room.

Finally, the ongoing construction. I don’t know how long this has been going on and how long more it will go on. But it is an inconvenience.

All right, true that the room rates were cheaper because of the construction. But surely the construction crew and the housekeeping staff (with their housekeeping trolley), can take a service lift? It is very unsightly to see all that for a hotel guest.

So, there you have it. Why the rating for this hotel is so low? I would have given it an even lower rating. Maybe even a 2 stars. But because of the view. Ah, that gorgeous view of the city and the Mekong river. That is precious. And for that, they get a slightly higher rating.

Phnom Penh Hotels - The Bridge Club Deluxe Double Room with City View - Great View of the City and Mekong River in the evening!
Phnom Penh Hotels – The Bridge Club Deluxe Double Room with City View – Great View of the City and Mekong River in the evening!

Visiting Phnom Penh? With Agoda, your Rooms Get Up To 70% Off! Don't Miss This Great Offer! Click Here Now!
Book Your Rooms with Agoda and Get Up to 70% Off! Click above image!

If you have ANY questions about Phnom Penh Hotels Review – The Bridge Club, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Thank you for reading this.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe, fun and happy travels,

Timotheus

What To See in Hong Kong – Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple

What To See In Hong Kong - Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple - Featured Image

What To See in Hong Kong – Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple

It was a bright and sunny day in Hong Kong. After a good breakfast of pastries and good coffee, we were fully energized. Before arriving here, we wondered What To See in Hong Kong? After a bit of research, we found out that there is a famous attraction called Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple.

It took switching train lines and some stops to reach there. About half an hour from our hotel, walking included. We were really excited. It was said that Wong Tai Sin grants every wish. We intend to each make a wish. Join us for this little trip to this awesome place.


About Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple

Steps to Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple
Steps to Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple

The temple is named after a famous monk called Wong Tai Sin. His full name is Huang Chu-ping. He was born in the 4th century. After years of practice, he became a deity at Red Pine Hill, known as Heng Shan in Chinese.

There was a sacred portrait of him that was transported from Guangdong to Hong Kong. Eventually, the portrait was relocated to where the temple is today. Now, devotees arrive from all over the world to pay respects to Wong Tai Sin. At the same time, they submit offerings and pray for good fortune. They also receive divine guidance using Kau Cheem (explained further down this blog post).


Book Your Rooms with Agoda and Get Up to 70% Off! Click Here!
Book Your Rooms with Agoda and Get Up to 70% Off! Click Here!

Inside Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple

We arrived early in the morning, and the place was already filled with lots of people. There were many who came in tour groups. When in such a large crowd, it was not easy to take a photo of the sights without a stranger posing in them.

Travel Tip: Arrive earlier when tour groups have not arrived yet. Or later when they have all gone.

It was also not easy to take photos of only me or with my friends plus the scenery there. There was always people posing here and there.

Travel Tip: Quickly jump in at to take photos of you against the scenery when you see people vacate the spot. Or when you wish to take a photo of any scenery. Don’t wait.

Guardian Deity at Entrance of Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple
Guardian Deity at Entrance of Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple

It took me a while. I waited for some time. Tourists from the tour groups kept appearing to pose with the above Guardian Deity. Finally, when there was a brief moment free from people invading the space, I quickly snapped a photo of the Guardian Deity. Impressive figure, isn’t he?

Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple
Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple

After climbing up the steps, we arrived at the Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple itself. It is so beautiful and ornate. I loved the intricate paintings on the walls. They were like golden lined clouds. Perhaps a symbolism of a heavenly place?

Look at the rooftop. It is so well designed. The large lanterns with gold trimmings gently swayed. They created a sense of grandeur. Plus the pillars and boards with gold Chinese words, all add to a very fine structure.

Devotees Praying at Wong Tai Sin Temple
Devotees Praying at Wong Tai Sin Temple

When you step back a little, you could see devotees praying and placing incense into long rectangular incense holders. Here is where you can pay your respects and make a wish. It is said that all you have to do is hold the incense in your hands, lift it up to the front of your face or slightly above your head, face Wong Tai Sin, and then make your wish.

Some devotees, while there, would seek guidance on their fortune. They did it using Fortune Sticks in a method called ‘Kau Cheem’.


Seek Your Fortune with Kau Cheem

Divine Guidance at Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple is done by first doing Kau Cheem. Kau Cheem is available at every temple with Fortune Sticks and Moon Blocks, as shown below. But at Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple, they only provide the container of Fortune Sticks. Find a counter that offers this container, and get one.

Kau Cheem Fortune Sticks and Moon Blocks
Kau Cheem Fortune Sticks and Moon Blocks

How to Do Kau Cheem?

After you collected the Fortune Sticks, go to the area where you see many people kneeling on red cushions and shaking the container of Fortune Sticks, as shown in image below.

Devotees Kau Cheem at Wong Tai Sin Temple
Devotees Kau Cheem at Wong Tai Sin Temple

Choose one of the red cushions and kneel on it. Then, while facing Wong Tai Sin, hold the container of Fortune Sticks with both hands and shake it. While shaking the container, ask your question or say your wish. You can do it silently, in a whisper or out loud. Hold the thought of your question or wish as you shake the container.

Remember to tilt the container slightly forward with the mouth of the container slightly facing Wong Tai Sin. This is to allow the chance for one of the sticks to fall out. But you don’t want to tilt too much or shake too much. This may cause many sticks to fall out. You only need one.

How to Know If The Fortune Stick Is the One For You?

At some point of time, one of the sticks would fall out. At other temples, there is the use of Moon Blocks to help decide if this is the Fortune Stick for you. But here, as mentioned earlier, there are not Moon Blocks given. Not to be concerned. Just know that the stick that fell out is the correct one for you. It is the one that answers your question or wish.

If more than one stick fell out, then replace them into the container and try again. Note that there should only be one.

When you finally get the Fortune Stick that answers your question or wish, take note of the number of that Fortune Stick. Yes, there is a unique number for every stick. Replace it into the container and return the Fortune Sticks and container to the counter.

How to Interpret Your Fortune Stick?

Like everyone, we did Kau Cheem when we were there. And like everyone, we wondered what the Fortune Stick said, what message did Wong Tai Sin have for us?

At other temples, they would give interpretation slips for each of the Fortune Sticks. And they would give it for Free. But at Wong Tai Sin Temple, this was not done. There was an area where there were rows of fortune tellers who offered to interpret the Fortune Stick at a fee.

We were not keen to do that for many reasons. Firstly, the fortune tellers were always trying to get people to buy a full reading, which included reading one’s future. Secondly, we suspected that they would say we would need to buy some talisman or some feng shui item. Nothing wrong with all that. After all, they were making a decent living.

It was just that we are people savvy with the Internet. And we know that there is a FREE online interpretation of Fortune Sticks from Wong Tai Sin Temple. And here, I share with you the same Free service.

First step – Go to Wong Tai Sin Temple website – Click Here. You will land on their home page as shown below.

Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple website - homepage
Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple website – homepage

Next, click on Fortune Telling Stick Enquiry option, indicated above in red box and pointed by red arrow. You will then be brought to the enquiry page as shown below.

Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple website - Fortune Sticks Enquiry
Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple website – Fortune Sticks Enquiry

On this page, click on the Fortune Telling Stick Enquiry button. You will then see this next page, shown below.

Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple website - Enter Lot Number
Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple website – Enter Lot Number

Remember the number on the Fortune Stick that you drawn during the Kau Cheem? Enter that number into the box (where the red arrow is pointing), and click the search button (that is the magnifying glass next to the box).

The system will then search for the Interpretation and display it to you. Here is an example of the interpretation for Fortune Stick 11, also called Lot 11.

Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple website - Fortune Stick Interpretation
Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple website – Fortune Stick Interpretation

Now you have your Free online interpretation of the Fortune Stick you received at Wong Tai Sin Temple. Great huh?


On The Grounds of Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple

After the Kau Cheem, my friends and I walked the grounds a bit. It is not large. But there were some cute little statues that I would like to share with you.

Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple website - Fortune Stick Interpretation
Kirin Statue

The above is a statue of a Kirin or Qilin. It is a mythical creature that is believed to bring good luck.

Lion
Lion

The above is a statue of a Chinese version of a lion. Lions are believed to be guardians. This particular one is holding an ancient Chinese coin with the Chinese words – 招财进宝 (zhao cai jin bao). The meaning of the words is to usher in wealth and prosperity.


Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple – Asia Travel Gems Final Word

If you are still wondering What To See In Hong Kong, I can assure you that Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple is definitely a Must See. Besides the tourists, you can truly immerse in a piece of local culture.

This is because many locals still frequent this temple. You can truly soak in the energies of their devotion. Feel the power of belief in the locals for this deity. And in doing so, you too can believe and make a wish or ask for guidance.


Where Is Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple?

This place is in Kowloon. So, if you are staying in Kowloon, it will be near for you. But not to worry. Even if you are staying on Hong Kong island side, you can still take the MTR to here. See the map below.

Operating Hours

7am to 5pm, Daily including Public Holidays

Address

2, Chuk Yuen Village, Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Telephone

+852 2327 8141


How to Get to Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple?

MTR

Take the MTR to Wong Tai Sin MTR station. Take the Exit B2. The temple is next to the station, about 3 minutes walk from the station.

Bus

It is easier to take the MTR. Leave the bus for other activities.

Taxi

It can be easy to catch a cab in Hong Kong. Just hail them along the streets. Drivers are required to go by taximeter. Always ask for a machine-printed receipt. If unavailable, ask for a hand-written one.


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If you have ANY questions about this post – What To See in Hong Kong – Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple, or Hong Kong, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Thank you for reading this.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels,

Timotheus

Penang Food – Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条)

Penang Food - Tiger Char Koay Teow - header

Penang Food – Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条)

For the past few days, we enjoyed lots of delicious Penang FoodChendul, Assam Laksa, and more. And there was one more dish we have yet to try – the Penang Char Koay Teow. It is a mix of white flat noodles (hor fun) with egg, prawn,  bean sprouts, cockles and chives fried with sweet sauce and black soya sauce.

We explored the popular food street – Carnavon Street – and found the well known Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条). It is located at the junction of Lebuh Carnavon and Lebuh Melayu.

Join us today as I share with you this culinary delight, including what it is, where to find it, how to get there and why this is one of the Penang dishes that you must try when you visit this enchanting city?


Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条) – The Overview & Rankings

Name: Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条)
Cuisine: Asian, Local, Penang Food
Meals Served: Tiger Char Koay Teow
Dining Choices: Dine In, Takeout, Outdoor seating
Family Friendly: Yes
Food: 4.0 out of 5.0
Service: 4.0 out of 5.0
Value: 4.0 out of 5.0
Atmosphere: 2.0 out of 5.0
Prices: $ out of $$$$$
Asia Travel Gems Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0 4 Star Rating


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Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条) – The Video

What does Carnavon Street look like? Where is Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条) located along this street? How is the dish cooked? What does it look like? What else is available at the same coffee shop? Answers to all this, and more in the video below. Enjoy watching!


About Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条)

Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条) is a food stall inside a coffee shop named Kafe Ping Hooi. This coffee shop is located at the junction of Carnavon Street and Malay Street.

Location of Tiger Char Koay Teow - at junction of Carnavon and Malay Street
Location of Tiger Char Koay Teow – at junction of Carnavon and Malay Street, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

There are many famous and popular Char Koay Teow stalls in Penang. Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条) is often listed as one of the top few. The stall received its name from the owner and also founder of this brand. His name has the Chinese word ‘虎’, which means ‘Tiger’.

Tiger Char Koay Teow Stall
Tiger Char Koay Teow Stall, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved
Grandson of Tiger who took over from his grandfather and now runs the stall successfully
Grandson of Tiger who took over from his grandfather and now runs the stall successfully, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条)

It was a crowded morning. Business as usual for them, I am sure. We were fortunate to be able to secure an empty table. After we seated, we ordered the food.

Tip: When you see an empty table. Quickly get it!

There was a bit of wait time for the food to arrive. Yet, it was not that long a wait. When it landed on our table, we could smell the fragrance. Mmmmm.

The famous Tiger Char Koay Teow from George Town, Penang
The famous Tiger Char Koay Teow from George Town, Penang, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

A first taste and we were awed! There was that fragrant taste that Chinese call ‘Wok Hei’. It is not easy to describe this taste. But most Chinese recognize it. And it is something not easily found with most cooked foods nowadays.

Then the heavenly mix of flat noodles with bean sprouts, cockles, prawns, eggs and chives. Flavors that were so full and glorious!

The servings were small. So tempting to order another plate. But, we held back because there was so much more Penang Food to try.


How to Order the Food?

Simply look for the servers dressed in orange polo t-shirts. Give them the order. Tell them where you are seated. Then wait for the food to arrive.

Server at Tiger Char Koay Teow
Server at Tiger Char Koay Teow, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Tip: Payment is immediate upon delivery of the order. Cash only.


Lobak King (五香卤肉)

There were other foods available at Ping Hooi Coffee Shop. Another popular food stall was the Lobak King. They sold the popular five-spiced pork rolls (also known as Ngoh Hiang), and many other items such as bean curd, battered fish, prawn fritters, tofu skin (bean curd skin), and more.

Lobak King food
Lobak King food, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The food was served with two types of sauces. They were the sweet dark sauce and spicy chili sauce. If you are not able to take spicy sauce, just dip the food in the sweet dark sauce.

Everything we ordered was fried to a crunchy crispness. The taste was flavorful. Together with the sauce, it was pure delight!


Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条) – Asia Travel Gems Final Word

Your Penang trip will not be complete without a taste of the popular Penang Char Koay Teow.

4 star rating

And my recommendation for this delectable dish? Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条).

It is simply unforgettable. Even today, as I write this post, I am thinking of returning to George Town, Penang to enjoy the taste of it.

Every ingredient contributed to the full flavor and taste. The prawns were juicy and fresh. The bean sprouts were crunchy. The other ingredients created a mix that pleased the palate.

If only the dining conditions were better. Then again, it is a coffee shop, and it does make it more enchanting.

As I mentioned, the serving was small. While it may be just enough for some, I wanted another plate. I have to fly to George Town for that. And I will do it.

Tip: Take your time. Enjoy each bite. Or you will be like me, yearning for it again.


How To Get There?

Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条) is located at the junction of Carnavon Street and Malay Street. You can’t miss it. The signs are big enough to be seen from afar. See the map below for actual location.

Address of Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条):

179, Carnavon Street, 10300, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

Operating hours:

8.00 am to 2.30 pm, Daily

Contact Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条):

Phone: +60 16-458-0926

By Foot

We did walk to this place by foot. But that was only because it was near the hotel where we stayed – Cititel Express Penang. Check with your hotel concierge if it is within walking distance. If not, then consider catching a cab or take Grab.

 By Train

There are no train services.

By Bus

There is a Free bus service operated by Rapid Penang. It can bring you to major attractions, shops and city events. It is called the Central Area Transit (CAT). Get a map from their website, and simply board their buses at any specially marked stops on specified routes. The only concern here is that you will have to travel within their bus schedules.

By Car

If you drove to Penang, you are at an advantage. Traffic is not as heavy as cities such as Kuala Lumpur. Navigating around is easy, especially if you have Waze app. There is ample parking spaces on the streets. But may be full on peak periods.

By Taxi

They rarely go by meter.

Tip: Negotiate and agree on a price before you take the taxi.

Better Tip: Do not take the cab, go by Grab (see below).

By Grab

This is my preferred option. One reason is that there is no need to negotiate. Another is that the price is usually reasonable and affordable. No hassles.

It is so easy to travel around in cities now because of Grab. Just download the app, state your destination, a driver is assigned to you, take the transport, and you arrive at your destination. Comfortable and easy.

I have switched to Grab for my travels within a city ever since this option became available.


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If you have ANY questions about this review, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Thank you for reading this.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels,

Timotheus

Things To Do In Penang – Entopia Butterfly Farm

Things To Do In Penang - Entopia Butterfly Farm - header

Things To Do In Penang – Entopia Butterfly Farm

After the morning at the awesome Kek Lok Si Temple, we headed for Entopia, the Penang Butterfly Farm. It was a nice drive. On the way there, some parts of the journey was by the sea. We even passed an area that reminded me of the seaside areas of Phuket.

To be honest, I was not very keen on Entopia. I wondered just how interesting can a place filled with butterflies be? Boy, was I wrong! Entopia offered so much more than just tropical butterflies. It was definitely one of the Things You Must Do In Penang!

So now, I will share with you about this awesome place that you must visit. I will provide a video walk-through below, plus my experience at Entopia with lots of photos. Also, useful information such as visiting hours, ticket prices are all in this blog post.

* Tip: You will spend at least two hours here. More if you take a breather at their lovely cafe.

Come join me on this wondrous journey!


Things To Do in Penang – Entopia Butterfly Farm – The Video

I took a lot of videos. There were a lot of stuff to capture on film. There was a wide variety of butterflies. And more than that.

There were other creatures like frogs, snakes, insects, ducks, lizards, dragonflies, ants, and many more. There was also the very cool and scientific exploration of the world of butterflies in the Cocoon zone. Don’t miss all this in the video below.

I have compiled and edited all the videos into one. Here it is. Watch it now!


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About Entopia

How did Entopia get started? All of us have to thank a gentleman named David Goh, the founder. In 1986, his passion for butterflies inspired him to build a butterfly farm that would be a top tourist attraction in Penang.

Bunch of Red Hibiscus became a Feeding Area for Butterflies
Bunch of Red Hibiscus became a Feeding Area for Butterflies, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Since, then the Penang Butterfly Farm had millions of visitors. Yours truly and my friends are now part of that impressive number. In addition, Entopia won many awards and is voted as one of the best destinations in Penang on TripAdvisor. Definitely one of the Things To Do in Penang – Entopia Butterfly Farm. Wouldn’t you agree?

The large attraction has two main zones – Natureland and Cocoon (more information about these are below). In addition to all the interesting creatures, butterflies and animals, the site offers Learning Activities that educate the public all about the exhibits and nature.

Entopia Map
Entopia Map, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved. >>> Click on above image for Larger version <<<

Natureland

Immediately upon entry, we were at Natureland. This first zone has been described as a living garden vivarium. The first area was the Mystery Cave. There were frogs, spiders, snakes and many other creatures.

Mystery Cave

There Were Other Creatures Too
There Were Other Creatures Too, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The Mystery Cave was dimly lit. As we exit, we entered Tiger Falls, and it was breathtaking! The scenery was beautiful with a waterfall as well as plant and flowers everywhere.

Butterflies Everywhere!

More than 15,000 butterflies from hundreds of species were flying freely, drinking sweet nectar from the flowers, and fluttering up into the air all around. We wandered into this peaceful space, awe struck, and immersed in an idyllic and almost paradise-like environment.

A Charming Copper Butterfly
A Charming Copper Butterfly, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved
Info about Tiger Butterflies
Info about Tiger Butterflies, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved. >>> Click above image for Larger version <<<
Common Tiger Butterfly sitting and sipping on a flower
Common Tiger Butterfly sitting and sipping on a flower, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved
Beautiful Blue and Black Butterfly sat on the floor
Beautiful Blue and Black Butterfly sat on the floor. © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved
Yellow Glassy Tiger Butterfly
Yellow Glassy Tiger Butterfly, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved
A Lovely Tiger Butterfly
A Lovely Tiger Butterfly, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved
Another Gorgeous Tiger Butterfly
Another Gorgeous Tiger Butterfly, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved
Cluster of White Butterflies
Cluster of White Butterflies, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved
One of the Many Feeding Areas for Butterflies
One of the Many Feeding Areas for Butterflies, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved
A Pretty Purple Butterfly landed on a friend's hand
A Pretty Purple Butterfly landed on a friend’s hand, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

There Were Other Creatures Too!

There Were Dragons Too
There Were Dragons Too, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved
There Were Dragonflies Too
There Were Dragonflies Too, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Cocoon

After hours exploring Natureland, we arrived at the entrance of the Cocoon. I wondered what secrets this mysterious looking entrance will lead us to?

Entrance to Cocoon Zone
Entrance to Cocoon Zone, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The entire Cocoon is indoors. It has two floors of learning exhibition and indoor activities. There were various installations, videos, multimedia shows, interactive stations and even a mini theater inside.

All these provided a walk-through experience that educated us about the world of the invertebrates. They named the different parts of the Cocoon as the Pandora Forest, Metamorphosis, Lumino City, Downtown Entopia, Breeding Ground, Underground Mysteries and Understory Tales.

Watch the above video for more visuals of Natureland and Cocoon!

Cocoons
Cocoons, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Things To Do in Penang – Entopia Butterfly Farm – Asia Travel Gems Final Word

Entopia is definitely One of the Places You Must Visit when you are in Penang! As mentioned at the start of this article, I had low expectations of this attraction. Mainly because in the past I had been disappointed with many such places that had lots of hype.

But Entopia proved me wrong. As I explored this awesome place, my mind changed its perception of it. Entopia truly over delivered. For the price, it is more than worth it.

One of the things I would advise is to dedicate at least half a day here. This place deserves a slow and deliberate exploration. Enjoy the scenery. Be one with the nature that if offers.

Lastly, do purchase the tickets online and at least 3 days earlier to enjoy the 10% discount. My friends and I did not know of this offer, and we lost out on the 10% discount. But we do not see why you should not enjoy it.


Where is Entopia?

From the map shown below, if you think that Entopia is far from George Town or any city area in Penang, you are not wrong. It is quite a distance away.

As I wrote at the start of this article, my friends and I traveled to Entopia by car. One of my friends drove, and that made getting around Penang quite easy.

It took us about 20 to 30 minutes to travel from George Town to Entopia. We took the route along the coast, and enjoyed views of the beautiful sea. We even passed Batu Feringghi but did not have time to explore it. Maybe next time?

Operating Hours

Opens Daily, 9.00 am to 6.00 pm (including weekends and public holidays)

Entrance Fee

Here is the ticket prices as at January 2018. For current ticket prices, please visit the Entopia website.

Entopia Entry Ticket Prices
Entopia Entry Ticket Prices, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

* Tip: Last ticket sale and entry is at 5.00 pm (but what are you doing visiting at such a late hour? There is too much to see and not enough time if you arrive at 5.00 pm!)

* Tip: Buy your tickets online 3 days in advance and Save 10%!

Address

830 Jalan Teluk Bahang, 11050 Penang, Malaysia

Contact

Email: info@entopia.com
Phone: +604-8888 111

How To Get There?

By Foot

No way. Travel by bus, cab or Grab. Best choice is Grab.

By Train

This is a small town. There are no train services. Travel by bus, cab or Grab. Again, best choice is Grab.

By Bus

You can take buses 101 from Weld Quay to Teluk Bahang, 102 from Penang Airport or 501 from Balik Pulau Town. But honestly, the buses have fixed timings, and are not so frequent. Better if you have a car or commute by cab or better still, use Grab.

By Car

If you drove to Penang, you are at an advantage. Traffic is not as heavy as cities such as Kuala Lumpur. Navigating around is easy, especially if you have Waze app. There is ample car park lots at Entopia.

By Taxi

They rarely go by meter. If you choose to go by taxi, sometimes it may be better to book them for the afternoon or day. This way, you can be assured of getting a ride back to the city, as and when you like it.

Tip: Negotiate and agree on a price before you take the taxi.

By Grab

This is my preferred option. One reason is that there is no need to negotiate. Another is that the price is usually reasonable and affordable. No hassles.

It is so easy to travel around in cities now because of Grab. Just download the app, state your destination, a driver is assigned to you, take the transport, and you arrive at your destination. Comfortable and easy.

I have switched to Grab for my travels within a city ever since this option became available.


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If you have ANY questions about this article, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Thank you for reading this.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels,
Timotheus

Penang Food – Assam Laksa at Air Itam

Penang Food - Assam Laksa at Air Itam

Penang Food – Assam Laksa at Air Itam

The visit to Kek Lok Si Temple was very awesome. We enjoyed the prayer halls, huge statues, peaceful gardens, and the breathtaking view of George Town. After burning lots of calories walking the grounds, we were ravenous.

We made our way down the hill, and found the famous Penang Air Itam Assam Laksa. It was quite by chance that we found this gem. We had heard about a famous Assam Laksa but we did not know it was the one near Kek Lok Si Temple.

Join us today for this delightful and delicious adventure where I will share with you about this famous Penang Food, what it is, where to find it, and why this is one of the Penang dishes that you must try when you visit this enchanting city.


Assam Laksa at Air Itam – The Overview & Rankings

Name: Penang Air Itam Assam Laksa
Cuisine: Asian, Local, Penang Food
Meals Served: Assam Laksa
Dining Choices: Dine In, Takeout, Outdoor seating
Family Friendly: Yes
Food: 4.0 out of 5.0
Service: 4.0 out of 5.0
Value: 4.0 out of 5.0
Atmosphere: 2.0 out of 5.0
Prices: $ out of $$$$$
Asia Travel Gems Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0 4 Star Rating


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Assam Laksa at Air Itam – The Video

What does the Air Itam Assam Laksa food stall look like? How is the seating arrangement? How is the food prepared? What does the laksa look like? What drinks can you get there? And what dessert is sold nearby? Answers to all these questions in the video below. Enjoy watching.


About Penang Air Itam Assam Laksa

The official name of this food stall is Pasar Air Itam Laksa. It was started in 1955 by Ms Lee Lay Hua, and now run by her son, Mr Ang Kak Seong.

The road where the famous Penang Air Itam Assam Laksa is located
The road where the famous Penang Air Itam Assam Laksa is located, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

It is a small and unassuming food stall along Jalan Pasar, next to the Air Itam market. Look out for their signage, and the crowds seated at the tables waiting hungrily for this yummy bowl of pleasure. You can’t miss it.

Penang Food - Assam Laksa at Air Itam Signage
Penang Food – Assam Laksa at Air Itam Signage, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Penang Air Itam Assam Laksa

Assam Laksa is also known as Penang Laksa. It is a dish born from two cultures – the Chinese and Malay.

The Delicious Bowl of Assam Laksa - really good!
The Delicious Bowl of Assam Laksa – really good!, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The unique feature of this delicacy is its thick and sour minced fish soup that is a little spicy. The spiciness is due to a mix of assam (tamarind), lemongrass, galangal (lenkuas) and chili. It helps to reduce the fishy smell of the minced mackerel generously topped on the white noodles (also known as vermicelli).

The noodles are boiled then immersed with the aromatic soup. The chef (also the owner) drains and pours the soup into the noodles a few times. This is done quickly so that the noodles are thoroughly covered in the gravy and the dish stays piping hot.

The chef (and owner) serving a delicious bowl of Assam Laksa
The chef (and owner) serving a delicious bowl of Assam Laksa, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Slices of cucumber, onions, red chili, pineapple, lettuce as well as mint, ginger flower bud and shrimp paste are added with the assistance of a few kitchen staff. The shrimp paste adds some sweet taste to the soup. The bowl is served brimming with the soup and minced mackerel.


How to Order the Food?

There is a long stretch of tables with chairs just next to the food stall. Simply find a table and seats for your party. Look out for one of the staff, and place your orders.

Long row of tables and chairs for customers to enjoy the Assam Laksa
Long row of tables and chairs for customers to enjoy the Assam Laksa, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Tip: Find an empty table quickly. A server will be along shortly to take your order. If you can’t find an empty table, just stand around and wait till the customers have finished their meal, and leave. Be polite. Do not stare at them eating or look impatient.

Tip: Payment is immediate upon delivery of the order. Cash only. For prices – read our Final Word below.


Fresh Sugar Cane Juice

There was a drink stall nearby that served fresh sugar cane juice. It was perfect because after hours of walking at Kek Lok Si Temple, it was refreshing to drink this cooling juice.

Fresh Sugar Cane Juice to go with your bowl of Assam Laksa
Fresh Sugar Cane Juice to go with your bowl of Assam Laksa, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The sugar cane was crushed by this juice making machine. Truly fresh! Watch the video for more.

Making Fresh Sugar Cane Juice
Making Fresh Sugar Cane Juice, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Muah Chee

The bowl of laksa was small. And that was all right. Because we wanted room for more snacks. And just a short walk away, there was a push cart selling Muah Chee.

Stall selling really delicious Muah Chee, near the Assam Laksa shop
Stall selling really delicious Muah Chee, near the Assam Laksa shop, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

He told us he had been selling Muah Chee for many years. And guaranteed quality and taste. He even gave us samples! We were convinced and bought a packet to go.

Muah Chee Takeaway
Muah Chee Takeaway, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

It was very tasty! How come we can’t have this quality and taste of Muah Chee in Singapore?

I remembered I captured a video of a hotel chef making Muah Chee. Here is a shot from the video.

Hotel Chef making Muah Chee
Hotel Chef making Muah Chee, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Check out the video above to see how he prepared this dessert.


Penang Air Itam Assam Laksa – Asia Travel Gems Final Word

Each bowl of this super delicious laksa only costs 5 Malaysian Ringgit! (price at this point of time, January 2018)

4 star rating

That is so affordable, right? It can even be said that it is really cheap because of the value of the dish.

The soup is thick, and has a mix of sweet, sour and spicy taste. Together with the noodles and ingredients, it was a heavenly combination.

It only lost an entire point because of the dining conditions. If it was cleaner, more comfortable, maybe even air conditioned, it might win an extra 0.5 points. Then again, would it cost only 5 Malaysian Ringgit?

The bowl served was small. We wanted seconds. You might want it, too.

Tip: Take your time to savor each bite. We gulped ours too fast. Now I long for it again.


How To Get There?

Pasar Air Itam Laksa is located at the junction of Jalan Pasar and Jalan Paya Terubong near Kek Lok Si Temple. See the map below.

Address of Penang Air Itam Assam Laksa:

Jalan Pasar, 11500 Air Itam, Penang, Malaysia

Operating hours:

10.30 am to 7.00 pm, Daily

Contact Penang Air Itam Assam Laksa:

Phone: +60 12-500 7063

Email: info@penanglaksa.com

Website: penanglaksa.com

By Foot

I do not recommend going there by Foot. Catch a cab, or better still, go by Grab.

 By Train

There are no train services.

By Bus

There is a Free bus service operated by Rapid Penang. It can bring you to major attractions, shops and city events. It is called the Central Area Transit (CAT). Get a map from their website, and simply board their buses at any specially marked stops on specified routes. The only concern here is that you will have to travel within their bus schedules.

By Car

If you drove to Penang, you are at an advantage. Traffic is not as heavy as cities such as Kuala Lumpur. Navigating around is easy, especially if you have Waze app. There is ample parking spaces on the streets. But may be full on peak periods.

By Taxi

They rarely go by meter.

Tip: Negotiate and agree on a price before you take the taxi.

Better Tip: Do not take the cab, go by Grab (see below).

By Grab

This is my preferred option. One reason is that there is no need to negotiate. Another is that the price is usually reasonable and affordable. No hassles.

It is so easy to travel around in cities now because of Grab. Just download the app, state your destination, a driver is assigned to you, take the transport, and you arrive at your destination. Comfortable and easy.

I have switched to Grab for my travels within a city ever since this option became available.


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If you have ANY questions about this review, about Penang Food – Assam Laksa at Air Itam, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Thank you for reading this.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels,

Timotheus

Things To Do In Penang – Kek Lok Si Temple

Things To Do In Penang - Kek Lok Si Temple

Things To Do In Penang – Kek Lok Si Temple

When you visit Penang, one of the Things To Do in Penang that you must do is visit Kek Lok Si Temple. We did, and we are very glad. It was awesome!

After a good breakfast of Penang Fried Kway Teow, we headed for the famous temple. It was a short and pleasant drive.

In this post, you will get to see a video of the amazing place, learn the history of this famous Buddhist temple, see the halls filled with Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Divine Beings, and enjoy the breaktaking view from the top of Penang Hill where this temple resides.


Kek Lok Si Temple – The Video

We enjoyed filming the many sights seen at this wondrous temple. We started on the lower levels, on to the many halls on various levels, to the peak of the hill where the Giant Kuan Yin statue is, and also climbed up the Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas to capture the magnificent view of Penang from above.


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Kek Lok Si Temple – About & History

This is one of the best known temples on the island. It can be said to be the largest  Buddhist temple in Malaysia. Actually, it is made up of a complex of temples and prayer halls that were built over a period from 1890 to 1930.

View of Circular Pavilion garden and Middle Prayer Hall
View of Circular Pavilion garden and Middle Prayer Hall, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

There are two main attractions here. One is the Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas. And the other is the giant statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. There is more information about both below.

One of the unique features of this famous place is that it showcases architecture and artwork from Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism. In doing so, they have displayed harmony in diversity.

Tip: There is a lot of ground to cover. Visit first thing in the morning.


Kek Lok Si Temple – Giant Bronze Statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy

This is the newer attraction at Kek Lok Si. It was completed in 2002. It is located high up on the hillside.

We were very excited to see this huge tribute to Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. When we were driving towards Kek Lok Si, we could already see it from afar.

To get to the location, we took the inclined lift to get there. You need to buy a ticket to ride the inclined lift. Watch the video to see how.

Giant statue of Kuan Yin, Goddess of Mercy
Giant statue of Kuan Yin, Goddess of Mercy, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy is made of bronze, and is 36.57 meters tall. That is about 120 feet.  Wow! This makes it the tallest Kuan Yin statue in the world!

side view of Giant statue of Kuan Yin, Goddess of Mercy
Side view of Giant statue of Kuan Yin, Goddess of Mercy, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

When we were there, we could not resist the breathtaking, magnificent view of Penang. We just had to stop for a while, take a breath, and enjoy the scene before us.

Awesome view of Penang
Awesome view of Penang, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Kek Lok Si Temple – Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas

The other attraction, the Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas was no lightweight either. Completed in 1930, this towering structure has continued to capture much attention from visitors since then.

Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas
Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Within, there were ten thousand alabaster and bronze statues of Buddha. The pagoda itself is 30 meters (98 feet) tall.

The architecture is a harmonious mix of Chinese, Thai and Burmese. The octagonal base is a Chinese design. The middle tier has Thai influence. And the crown at the top is surely Burmese in origin.

View of Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas from afar
View of Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas from afar, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The mix represents harmony in religious diversity. It also reflects both Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism.

On the ground level, there is a huge statue of Buddha donated by King Bhumibol of Thailand. That is why it is also known as Rama VI Pagoda. You can see an image of this statue in the video above.

Lotus Flower in the garden of the Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas
Lotus Flower in the garden of the Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Before we explored the pagoda, we noticed a very beautiful garden next to it. There were lovely flowers such as the lotus shown above. Plus, the landscaping was a sight for sore eyes. Do watch the video above to see the garden.

From the top level of the pagoda, you will be able to enjoy a breathtaking and magnificent view of Penang Hill, and George Town.

Panorama view of George Town from top of Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas
Panorama view of George Town from top of Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved
Panorama view of Penang hill and huge Kuan Yin statue
Panorama view of Penang hill and huge Kuan Yin statue, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Kek Lok Si Temple – Prayer Halls

There were many prayer halls at Kek Lok Si. All filled with statues of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Divine Beings.

Here are photos of some of them. To see them all, do watch the video above.

When we first arrived, we found this prayer hall. There were 3 large statues of Bodhisattvas, all beautifully decorated.

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva
Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

We also found a pretty garden that had this serene Circular Pavilion with a Buddha image.

Buddha in Circular Pavilion
Buddha in Circular Pavilion, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

We roamed around. The place was like a maze. Then we found this small entrance with the sign that said in Chinese – Kek Lok Si.

I love the deep blue colors!

Small entrance to Kek Lok Si
Small entrance to Kek Lok Si, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

This was the entrance to one of the many prayer halls. I love how the many lanterns gave that extra touch, and made for such a nice photo.

One of the many Prayer Halls
One of the many Prayer Halls, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

This next altar was actually on the same location as the Giant Kuan Yin Statue. So beautiful!

Kuan Yin with many arms
Kuan Yin with many arms, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The perimeter of one of the prayer halls featured statues of Buddha all along it. Simply astonishing!

Many statues of Buddhas adorn the perimeter of one of the prayer halls
Many statues of Buddhas adorn the perimeter of one of the prayer halls, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

As mentioned, there were prayer halls that were Theravada Buddhism.

Three Buddhas in Theravada Buddhism Prayer Hall
Three Buddhas in Theravada Buddhism Prayer Hall, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

* Tip: Look up! The ceilings are also filled with colorful and delicate artwork!

Beautiful Artwork on the ceilings of prayer halls
Beautiful Artwork on the ceilings of prayer halls, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

* Tip: Look around! The walls have intricate art that tells stories!

Beautiful Artwork on the walls of prayer halls
Beautiful Artwork on the walls of prayer halls, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Conclusion

As mentioned in other blog posts, we visited during the off peak season. We heard that Kek Lok Si is a magical wonderland of lights and colors during Chinese New Year. During this period, the temple stays open until late at night.

If you can time your visit, best to do so during Chinese New Year. For me, it is a little difficult to plan because Chinese New Year is a big festival where I am from. And I am obligated to stay at home with my family during this time.

Still, Chinese New Year or not, Kek Lok Si Temple is indeed a place you must visit when you are in Penang.

* Tip: Visit during Chinese New Year


Where is Kek Lok Si Temple?

Kek Lok Si Temple is located at Air Itam mountain in George Town on Penang island. It is near and faces the sea. As such, the heights at the temple can offer impressive views of Penang.

Operating Hours

9 am to 6 pm, Daily.

Entrance Fee

Free to enter temple grounds. You have to pay to visit the Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas, and use the inclined lift to the Giant Kuan Yin Statue. Prices change over time. Best to find out when you are there.

Address

Kek Lok Si Temple, 11500 Ayer Itam, Penang

Contact

Email: email@kekloksitemple.com
Phone: +604-828 3317

How To Get There?

By Foot

Best to travel there by bus, car, taxi or Grab. See below.

By Train

This is a small town. There are no train services. And there are no trains to this place.

By Bus

There are local buses, but information on their routes and stops are not well provided. Also, the journey by bus is quite a convoluted one and takes up a lot of time. Better to go by car, taxi or Grab.

By Car

If you drove to Penang, you are at an advantage. Traffic is not as heavy as cities such as Kuala Lumpur. Navigating around is easy, especially if you have Waze app. There is ample car park lots in the temple.

By Taxi

They rarely go by meter. If you choose to go by taxi, sometimes it may be better to book them for the afternoon or day. This way, you can be assured of getting a ride back to the city, as and when you like it.

Tip: Negotiate and agree on a price before you take the taxi.

By Grab

This is my preferred option. One reason is that there is no need to negotiate. Another is that the price is usually reasonable and affordable. No hassles.

It is so easy to travel around in cities now because of Grab. Just download the app, state your destination, a driver is assigned to you, take the transport, and you arrive at your destination. Comfortable and easy.

I have switched to Grab for my travels within a city ever since this option became available.


Book Your Rooms with Agoda and Get Up to 70% Off! Click above image!
Book Your Rooms with Agoda and Get Up to 70% Off! Click above image!

If you have ANY questions about this article, about Things To Do In Penang – Kek Lok Si Temple, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Thank you for reading this.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels,
Timotheus

Penang Food – Gurney Drive Hawker Centre

Penang Food - Gurney Drive

Penang Food – Gurney Drive Hawker Centre

We spent the day visiting the beautiful and breathtaking Kek Lok Si Temple. After a brief rest at Cititel Express Penang Hotel, we headed for the famous Gurney Drive Hawker Centre for what we heard would be really good Penang Food.

There was a lot of expectations because Gurney Drive Hawker Centre is famous. There was supposed to be a wide variety of delicious local food. Many people have written and praised the food there. Was it really great? Continue reading this review to find out.


Food at Gurney Drive  – The Overview & Rankings

Name: Gurney Drive Hawker Centre
Cuisine: Asian, Local, Penang Food
Meals Served: Wide variety such as Assam Laksa, Chao Kway Teow, Satay, Indian Rojak, and more
Dining Choices: Dine In, Takeout
Family Friendly: Yes
Food: 1.0 out of 5.0
Service: 1.0 out of 5.0
Value: 1.0 out of 5.0
Atmosphere: 1.0 out of 5.0
Prices: $ out of $$$$$
Asia Travel Gems Rating: 1.0 out of 5.0 One Star Rating


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Gurney Drive Hawker Centre – The Video

Gurney Drive Hawker Centre was one of those places that you must see to know what it was all about. And after watching the video, go there to experience the place, the food and the vibrant energy. Watch the video now to get an idea of what to expect.


About Gurney Drive Hawker Centre 

Gurney Drive Hawker Centre is also known as Pusat Penjaja Anjung Gurney. It is one of the biggest and most famous places to eat in Penang. There were plenty of food stalls along both sides of the market. And the center is filled with tables and seats for dining.

How the Gurney Drive Hawker Centre looks like
How the Gurney Drive Hawker Centre looks like, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The concept of the Gurney Drive Hawker Centre began in the 70s. I recalled hearing about it back then, too. Over the years, the moved many times to various locations. Today, it is now next to Gurney Plaza.

It is located by the sea, so you will get to enjoy some sea breeze as you have a delicious meal of local delights.


Gurney Drive Hawker Centre

How to Order the Food?

This is pretty much a self service place. What you need to do is to browse the stalls. There is a lot. So take your time to see what each stall offers, and what you like to eat.

When you decide, you make an order at the stall. They will prepare the food. When it is ready, you pay, and collect it then.

Do note that if you see a queue of people waiting, this means you must queue to order and get your food, too. Do not jump queue. It is frowned upon, and you may be embarrassed when you are asked to join the queue.

Below is a photo of one of the popular stalls selling Assam Laksa, also known as Penang Laksa. Notice the queue?

Penang Laksa also known as Assam Laksa,. Notice the queue?
Penang Laksa also known as Assam Laksa,. Notice the queue? © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Tip: The stalls with long queues are usually the ones that are popular because the food served is really good. Join the queue to buy the delicious food.


Food at Gurney Drive Hawker Centre

As mentioned, there was a wide variety of food at Gurney Drive Hawker Centre. Question was – which ones were the stalls selling really yummy food? The answer seemed to be the stalls with long queues, like the Assam Laksa stall in the photo above.

There was another stall with a long queue. The stall that sold the Famous Char Koay Teow.

Famous Char Koay Teow stall at Gurney Drive
Famous Char Koay Teow stall at Gurney Drive, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Char Koay Teow is Fried Flat Noodles with fish cakes, cockles, vegetables and egg. It was quite a wait as each order is freshly made. I heard the queue would usually be quite long. But because it was raining on the day we came here, the queue was a little shorter, about ten people in line.

There was another stall that was popular, but the queue was not long. Again, maybe because of the rain. It was the Famous Indian Rojak Stall.

Famous Indian Rojak stall at Gurney Drive
Famous Indian Rojak stall at Gurney Drive, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

My Malaysian friend told me the food was not that great. The stall was more famous for the person who prepared the food. See the photo below, guy circled in red. He would sing and dance as he did that. He was very entertaining. Watch the video to see him in action!

Famous Stall with Guy Who Sings and Dance (in red circle) as he prepares the food
Famous Stall with Guy Who Sings and Dance (in red circle) as he prepares the food, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Here are a few snap shots of other stalls at the hawker centre. Photo below was a stall that sold Penang Rojak, which is like a local salad of fruits and vegetables flavored with prawn paste and chili (optional).

Penang Rojak Stall at Gurney Drive
Penang Rojak Stall at Gurney Drive, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The photo below is a stall that sold meat and vegetables on sticks. After selecting the ones you would like to have, you would be given a pot of soup or sauce to cook the food on the spot.

Food on Sticks
Food on Sticks, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Thirsty? There were plenty of drinks stalls to choose from. The one shown below was apparently quite famous. The drink was nice.

Famous Soya Bean Drink Stall
Famous Soya Bean Drink Stall, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

After the photo and video taking, we browsed the stalls to choose what we would like to eat. Below is a photo of our haul.

Our haul at Gurney Drive
Our haul at Gurney Drive, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Gurney Drive Hawker Centre – Asia Travel Gems Final Word

The food was very disappointing.

One Point Rating

After hearing so much about the famous Gurney Drive Hawker Centre, I expected so much more.

Everything we tasted was so ordinary.

Nothing to rave about.

For example, the Barbecued Sting Ray we had was so dry. The sauce and chili was close to tasteless. The Penang Rojak was all right but we heard so much about Penang Rojak, we expected better. After all, this is one of the dishes Penang boasts of.

The Wan Ton Noodle? Urgh. How dare they serve such garbage?

We should have gone somewhere else to enjoy great food. And I recommend that you do that. Stay away from Gurney Drive Hawker Centre.

Tip: Dine elsewhere.


How To Get There?

Really? After my bad review, you still wanna try the food here?

Sure, I understand. This is like an icon. So, ok. Here is a map of how to find Gurney Drive Hawker Centre.

It is actually just next to Gurney Plaza. So, go to Gurney Plaza, and you will be able to locate Gurney Drive Hawker Centre.

Address of Gurney Drive Hawker Centre:

Next to Gurney Plaza
Address of Gurney Plaza:  170, Gurney Dr, Pulau Tikus, 10250 George Town, Penang, Malaysia

Operating hours:

Daily, from 6.00 pm till late (not sure of closing hours as different stalls have different operating hours)

Contact Gurney Drive Hawker Centre:

This is a hawker centre. So, there is no contact number or contact person.

By Foot

I do not recommend going there by Foot. Catch a cab, or better still, go by Grab.

 By Train

There are no train services.

By Bus

There is a Free bus service operated by Rapid Penang. It can bring you to major attractions, shops and city events. It is called the Central Area Transit (CAT). Get a map from their website, and simply board their buses at any specially marked stops on specified routes. The only concern here is that you will have to travel within their bus schedules.

By Car

If you drove to Penang, you are at an advantage. Traffic is not as heavy as cities such as Kuala Lumpur. Navigating around is easy, especially if you have Waze app.

Plus, parking is usually not a problem because there is ample space almost everywhere. What we did was park at Gurney Plaza, and walk over to the hawker centre.

By Taxi

They rarely go by meter.

Tip: Negotiate and agree on a price before you take the taxi.

Better Tip: Do not take the cab, go by Grab (see below).

By Grab

This is my preferred option. One reason is that there is no need to negotiate. Another is that the price is usually reasonable and affordable. No hassles.

It is so easy to travel around in cities now because of Grab. Just download the app, state your destination, a driver is assigned to you, take the transport, and you arrive at your destination. Comfortable and easy.

I have switched to Grab for my travels within a city ever since this option became available.


Book Your Rooms with Agoda and Get Up to 70% Off! Click above image!
Book Your Rooms with Agoda and Get Up to 70% Off! Click above image!

If you have ANY questions about this review, about Penang Food – Gurney Drive Hawker Centre, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Thank you for reading this.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels,

Timotheus

Things To Do In Penang – Street Art In Penang

Things To Do In Penang - Street Art In Penang

Things To Do In Penang – Street Art In Penang

One of the Things To Do in Penang was wander around George Town, and find the famous Street Art in Penang. It was great fun because it was going on a treasure hunt. When in Penang, it is something we simply must do. And so must you!

After enjoying the Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul, we felt refreshed and re-energized from the long drive. We had heard so much about the famous Street Art in Penang. And our goal was to find as many of the famous illustrations as possible.

In this article, I will share with you a little bit of how the mural art came about? Who are the artists? Where is the street art located? And most importantly, did we manage to find them all? Continue reading to find out.


Street Art in Penang – The Video

As usual, we shot as many videos as we can of this phenomenon. There is a street view to show you where this place is, and to help you identify the location. And, of course, we captured as many of the street art as we could. Watch the video to see how many we managed to find.


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Street Art in Penang – About & History

After Kuala Lumpur, Penang is the next top destination in Malaysia. She is famous for her white sandy beaches, rich heritage and culture, and the wide range of delicious food.

In 2008, George Town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is due to the her being like a living museum. The streets are filled with buildings that are in it original state, and rich with culture. Since this award, George Town has attracted thousands of tourists.

George Town - World Heritage Site
George Town – World Heritage Site, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

To enhance the status of being a World Heritage Site, the City of Penang held a competition to add signages to this living museum. This resulted in Iron Wrought Structures placed strategically around the town. Read The Beautiful Wrought Iron Works section below for more information.

The next level of creating this living museum was the addition of beautiful street art. Read the next section – The Beautiful Illustrations for more information and photos of some of these awesome murals.

Tip: There are walking tours – check with your hotel


Street Art in Penang – The Beautiful Illustrations

In fulfilling the concept of George Town as a living museum, Illustrations by Ernest Zacharevic from Lithuania were painted on walls of the many charming old buildings. The famous artist created large and fabulous murals that transformed the old town into an open air gallery. Tourists from all over the world travel here to see these amazing works of art and to take photos and selfies of them.

And we were one of those tourists! Well, short of selfies. We captured these beautiful works of art in photos and video. If you have not yet, do Watch the Video above.

Tip: If you are visiting during the hot season, make sure you have a bottle of water with you at all times. It can get very hot during the day. Alternatively, stop once in a while to catch a break and enjoy the local coffee, tea and snacks at the local coffee shops.

Ready for the Street Art in Penang tour? Let’s go!

It was not easy to take the photo below. There were so many people queuing to pose with it. This was because this was one of the more famous and popular street art titled Children on Bicycle.

Don’t they look so happy and carefree?

One of the famous Street Art in Penang - Children on Bicycle
One of the famous Street Art in Penang – Children on Bicycle, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Here was another street art that is very popular. Again, lots of people queuing to pose with it. I had to quickly capture between the posers. It was the Boy on Motorcycle.

The emotion on the faces of this mural art and the one above. The words unspoken but revealed from the body language and body postures. Of this, the above, and all the street art. I find they speak volumes. Don’t you agree?

One of the famous Street Art in Penang - Boy On Motorcycle
One of the famous Street Art in Penang – Boy On Motorcycle, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

I really liked this when I first saw it. It was full of energy and color! So apt for Lion Dance. It was located at a shop selling ice balls (a local dessert that was like snow cones).

One of the famous Street Art in Penang - Lion Dance
One of the famous Street Art in Penang – Lion Dance, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

It took a while for us to find this famous mural. It was Boy On Chair. It was not located near the other street art. You have to do a bit of exploring to find this one.

One of the famous Street Art in Penang - Boy On Chair
One of the famous Street Art in Penang – Boy On Chair, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

This next one was intriguing. I wonder what all the blue color was about? Anyone knows? If you do, please enlighten me and leave me a comment?

Also, my friends told me this was a famous street art. But it was not featured on any list of famous street art in hotel literature. So, not sure if it was famous. Again, if anyone knows, please leave a comment?

One of the famous Street Art in Penang - Shouting Boy
One of the famous Street Art in Penang – Shouting Boy, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The Three Chinese Dolls were really pretty! And the size of this mural is really small. So, you have to really keep your eyes peeled to find it. Watch the video to see where to find it.

One of the famous Street Art in Penang - Three Chinese Dolls
One of the famous Street Art in Penang – Three Chinese Dolls, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The above street art were mostly in one block area. To see more street art, you have to move to other blocks just next to it. The Love Me Like Your Fortune Cat was found in one of the blocks nearby.

One of the famous Street Art in Penang - Love Me Like Your Fortune Cat
One of the famous Street Art in Penang – Love Me Like Your Fortune Cat, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

In the same block as the one where Love Me Like Your Fortune Cat was found, we discovered the famous Skippy street art. Sadly, the elements had not been kind to this awesome artwork. What used to be a giant homage to a famous cat, painted with brilliant orange, is now a faded ghost like image.

Skippy is famous. He was a rescue by LASSie, an animal shelter. Due to a detached left paw, he walked on three legs with a skip. That was how he got the name Skippy.

One of the famous Street Art in Penang - Skippy
One of the famous Street Art in Penang – Skippy, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The people of Penang seemed to love cats. There so many street art featuring cats of all sizes, colors and breeds. There was even a shop filled with everything that has a cat image on it; cups, t-shirts, souvenirs, etc.

There were even a few cute paintings of cats on the walls. Here is a photos of one of them. Watch the video to see more.

Cats on Scooter mural in a shop
Cats on Scooter mural in a shop, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Street Art in Penang – The Beautiful Wrought Iron Sculptures

A competition in 2009 titled “Marking of George Town” was won by Sculpture at Work. It proposed 52 steel rod caricatures called “Voices From The People”. These art installations would mark places that are significant and provide stories of the people and important events.

There were many Wrought Iron Sculptures. We captured quite a few, and featured them in the video above. Here was one of them.

It told the story of the old days when hawkers sold food using a carrier like that shown in the sculpture. This particular hawker was selling a popular local fare called Nasi Kandar.

One of the Wrought Iron Artworks - Nasi Kandar Hawker
One of the Wrought Iron Artworks – Nasi Kandar Hawker, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

This sculpture caught my eye, and illicit quite a few giggles from others who spotted it. It told the story of a tourist taking a trishaw ride. The trishaw is moved by a man pulling it at the front.

Here, the humor is that trishaw puller did not notice the street manhole and fell into it. The tourist reaction is hilarious!

One of the Wrought Iron Artworks - the humorous Trishaw
One of the Wrought Iron Artworks – the humorous Trishaw, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

I noticed many of the street art, particularly the Wrought Iron Sculptures, injected a bit of local humor. Plus, the characters were ‘drawn’ with exaggerated expressions and body language.


Street Art in Penang – The Alternative

As the entire town became a living museum, and the streets evolved into an open air museum, I could see others, artists or not, inspired to create their own works of art on the walls. Here is a wall filled with old posters.

The posters were advertisements from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. I could spot a few famous people such as Teresa Teng, Marilyn Monroe and Bruce Lee.  Perhaps you can find more? Watch the video for the full length of the wall and all the posters to find who you can identify?

Not mural art but just as creative - a wall of old posters
Not mural art but just as creative – a wall of old posters, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Conclusion

We had so much fun searching for as many street art as we could. I am sure we did not find them all. Perhaps you can find more than us? Do take a look at the video for the full number of murals we spotted. Then come back and let us know which we missed out that you were able to find by adding a comment.


Where is Street Art in Penang?

Now where is the fun if I told you where to find each street art?

The best part about this attraction is the hunting. So I decided to just give you a clue. Just like any treasure hunt, you get to know where one of the most famous street art is – the Children on Bicycle.

This particular illustration is sort of in the middle of all the other famous street art. If you can find this one, you can find the rest. With that in mind, you can use the map below to navigate to the area where the street art is.

Operating Hours

There is no real operating hours here. These are paintings on the walls of buildings in public spaces. So, in a sense, it is open 24 hours, 7 days a week.

It is just that it is better to look for these masterpieces during the day.

Address

Practically the whole of George Town, Penang, Malaysia

Contact

There is no one contact number to call. For more information, you can check with your hotel or talk to someone at the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Penang.

How To Get There?

By Foot

This is the best option. The street art are spread over a few blocks. So, it would be better to explore and find them on foot.

By Train

This is a small town. There are no train services. And there are no trains to this place.

By Bus

There are local buses, but information on their routes and stops are not well provided. Better to go by car, taxi or Grab.

By Car

If you drove to Penang, you are at an advantage. Traffic is not as heavy as cities such as Kuala Lumpur. Navigating around is easy, especially if you have Waze app. Also, there are some street art that are a little far off from the others. This can help speed up the search.

By Taxi

They rarely go by meter. If you choose to go by taxi, sometimes it may be better to book them for the afternoon or day. This way, you can be assured of getting a ride back to the city, as and when you like it.

Tip: Negotiate and agree on a price before you take the taxi.

By Grab

This is my preferred option. One reason is that there is no need to negotiate. Another is that the price is usually reasonable and affordable. No hassles.

It is so easy to travel around in cities now because of Grab. Just download the app, state your destination, a driver is assigned to you, take the transport, and you arrive at your destination. Comfortable and easy.

I have switched to Grab for my travels within a city ever since this option became available.


Book Your Rooms with Agoda and Get Up to 70% Off! Click above image!
Book Your Rooms with Agoda and Get Up to 70% Off! Click above image!

If you have ANY questions about this article, about Things To Do In Penang – Street Art In Penang, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Thank you for reading this.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels,
Timotheus

Penang Food – Cendol at Penang Road

Penang Food - Cendol at Penang Road

Penang Food – Cendol at Penang Road

We crossed the new Penang Bridge, and arrived at Cititel Express Penang around noon. I have heard all the good things about Penang Food, particularly the Cendol at Penang Road. Its stall name is actually Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul. So, naturally, since it was around lunch time, after we checked in, left our luggage, we headed for this famous Teochew dessert.

There are so many delicious food in Penang. One of the most famous is this Cendol (sometimes written as Chendol, Cendul or Chendul). Whichever it is, it is a popular dessert that is refreshing and thirst quenching. Continue reading this blog post for more info, photos and videos as well as where to find this awesome Penang Food.


Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul  – The Overview & Rankings

Name: Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul
Cuisine: Chinese, Dessert
Meals Served: Dessert
Dining Choices: Dine In, Takeout
Family Friendly: Yes
Food: 5.0 out of 5.0
Service: 5.0 out of 5.0
Value: 5.0 out of 5.0
Atmosphere: 3.0 out of 5.0
Prices: $ out of $$$$$
Asia Travel Gems Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0 Five Stars Rating


Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul – The Video

Wonder what the stall looks like? What the Cendol or Chendul is made of and how they make the delightful dessert? Where to enjoy your dessert? All your questions (and more) answered in this video. Watch Video Now!


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About Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul 

The food stall selling the Chendul is actually at Lebuh Keng Kwee. How did it get the name – Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul? It was because Penang Road was the place where the founder, Tan Teik Fuang, sold the Chendul back in 1936.

With values such as humbleness, friendliness and always ensuring high quality food is served, the brand has stood the test of time, and till today is loved and enjoyed by many.

In 1977, his sixth son, Tan Chong Kim, took over the business. He further improved the product quality, and made the service faster and friendlier. Under his management, the business grew. The dessert gained popularity.

Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul flagship stall still at Lebuh Keng Kwee
Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul flagship stall still at Lebuh Keng Kwee, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Today, the flagship stall still operates at Lebuh Keng Kwee. In recent years, the brand expanded to outlets across Malaysia. And at the new outlets, more food was offered besides the Signature Chendul.


Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul  – The Dessert

How to Order the Food?

First, join the long queue. See the photo below? Yes, most times, the queue is that long. If you are lucky, it can be a little shorter.

But fret not. Though the queue is long, the service is really fast. So the wait time is short. About 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the length of the queue.

Long Queue for the yummy Chendul
Long Queue for the yummy Chendul, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

When you reach the stall, you will be asked for your order. Simply inform them how many bowls you would like to have.

Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul stall front
Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul stall front, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

When served, pay immediately.

Most people will hold the bowl, and stand on the road side to enjoy the bowl of Cendol. Don’t worry. You will not be alone. Many customers fill up on Chendol this way. Just be careful of cars driving through the road. (Watch the Video to see what I mean)

The stall is actually outside a coffee shop that serves many Penang Food. Some people buy the Chendul from the stall, and then have it inside the coffee shop, along with many other delicious food (see below).

Tip: You will have to get a table before buying the Chendul. 1) Find a table 2) One or two of you sit at the table to hold it 3) The others go buy the Cendol, then bring it in to enjoy at the table

Another Tip: You will have to buy food sold at the coffee shop to have a table. This is easy as there is so many good food to enjoy

The Chendul & The Other Penang Food!

As mentioned above, it is hard to resist all the good Penang Food. Also, the servings are really small. So it is no problem buying a few dishes to enjoy. See our haul in the photo below.

Lots of delicious Penang Food, besides the famous and popular Chendul
Lots of delicious Penang Food, besides the famous and popular Chendul, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Of course, we had the famous and popular Cendol. It was really awesome! To be honest, I was never a Cendol fan. The ones in Singapore tasted all right but nothing to shout about.

When I had a spoonful of this dessert, I was shocked! So this is how Cendol is supposed to taste! It had the perfect blend of fresh coconut milk, green jelly, red beans and gula melaka.

The texture of the green jelly was so soft and slippery. And they must have used really high quality red beans. The gula melaka is a form of sugar made from coconut palm. The type they used here is one of the best I have tasted.

The Famous Chendul aka Cendol, Chendol or Cendul
The Famous Chendul aka Cendol, Chendol or Cendul, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

As for the rest of the food we had at this location, they were all right. But not as good as the famous ones, which I will blog about later. For example, the Fried Kway Teow or Char Kway Teow was rather bland. The one we would have later, the famous Fried Kway Teow, was far superior to this one.

Another delicious Penang Food - Fried Kway Teow - Char Kway Teow
Another delicious Penang Food – Fried Kway Teow – Char Kway Teow, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Tip: Have the Fried Kway Teow at this coffee shop only because it is lunch, and the Cendol is not enough to fill the tummy.

As you can see from the group photo of the food, we also had Assam Laksa or Penang Laksa. This dish, at this place, was all right. When we had it, we thought it was quite delicious. That was until we had the Assam Laksa at Air Itam. More about that famous Penang Laksa in a future blog post.

Assam Laksa aka Penang Laksa
Assam Laksa aka Penang Laksa, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Tip: Of all the food at the coffee shop, we recommend the Assam Laksa (aka Penang Laksa). Only if you choose to dine at the coffee shop.

Notice I did not showcase the rest of the food from the above group food photo? That is because they tasted really not good. Read the Asia Travel Gems Final Word below for our recommendation on what to enjoy at this place.


Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul – Asia Travel Gems Final Word

The Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul deserves top score.

Five Points Rating

As mentioned above, the Chendul is really superb. The combination of the fresh coconut milk, the gula melaka, the green jelly and the red beans created a dessert that is unforgettable.

Each ingredient must have been thoughtfully chosen of the highest grade and quality. So that they mix together so well that other desserts should be of the same standard.

I highly recommend this hidden gem along the unassuming Lebuh Keng Kwee. And here is my Tip:

Tip: Enjoy the Chendul in the comfort of the coffee shop. Order the Assam Laksa, just to fill your tummy.


How To Get There?

The stall is famous. While it is good to have a map to guide you there, there is no problem asking the locals for the exact location of this stall. Everyone seems to know where it is at.

Address of Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul:

Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul
27 & 29 Lebuh Keng Kwee
10100 Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

Operating hours:

Monday to Friday: 10.30 am to 7.00 pm
Saturday to Sunday: 10.00 am to 7.30 pm

Contact Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul:

Phone Number: +604-262-6002

By Foot

If you are staying in a hotel in Georgetown, chances are you should be able to get here on foot. Just check with the hotel you are staying at. First, if it close by and then how to get there.

 By Train

This is a small town. There are no train services.

By Bus

There is a Free bus service operated by Rapid Penang. It can bring you to major attractions, shops and city events. It is called the Central Area Transit (CAT). Get a map from their website, and simply board their buses at any specially marked stops on specified routes. The only concern here is that you will have to travel within their bus schedules.

By Car

If you drove to Penang, you are at an advantage. Traffic is not as heavy as cities such as Kuala Lumpur. Navigating around is easy, especially if you have Waze app.

Plus, parking is usually not a problem because there is ample space almost everywhere.

By Taxi

They rarely go by meter.

Tip: Negotiate and agree on a price before you take the taxi.

Better Tip: Do not take the cab, go by Grab (see below).

By Grab

This is my preferred option. One reason is that there is no need to negotiate. Another is that the price is usually reasonable and affordable. No hassles.

It is so easy to travel around in cities now because of Grab. Just download the app, state your destination, a driver is assigned to you, take the transport, and you arrive at your destination. Comfortable and easy.

I have switched to Grab for my travels within a city ever since this option became available.


Book Your Rooms with Agoda and Get Up to 70% Off! Click above image!
Book Your Rooms with Agoda and Get Up to 70% Off! Click above image!

If you have ANY questions about this review, about Penang Food – Cendol at Penang Road, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Thank you for reading this.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels,

Timotheus