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


==> Visiting Penang? When You Book Your Hotel Room with Agoda, You Can Get up to 67% Off! Don’t Miss This Great Offer! Click Here or Image Below to Book Now! <==


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.


==> Visiting Penang? Wanna try the Penang Air Itam Assam Laksa? When You Book Your Hotel Room with Agoda, You Can Get up to 67% Off! Don’t Miss This Great Offer! Click Here or Image Below to Book Now! <==


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 – 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.


==> Planning to visit Kek Lok Si Temple at George Town, Penang? Book Your Hotel Room with Agoda, and Get up to 67% Off! Don’t Miss This Great Offer! Click Here or Image Below to Book Now! <==


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.


==> Ready to visit Kek Lok Si Temple in George Town, Penang? Book Your Hotel Room with Agoda, and Get up o 67% Off! Don’t Miss This Great Offer! Click Here or Image Below to Book Now! <==


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 – 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


==> Visiting Penang? When You Book Your Hotel Room with Agoda, You Can Get up to 67% Off! Don’t Miss This Great Offer! Click Here or Image Below to Book Now! <==


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.


==> Visiting Penang? Keen to try the food at Gurney Drive Hawker Centre? When You Book Your Hotel Room with Agoda, You Can Get up to 67% Off! Don’t Miss This Great Offer! Click Here or Image Below to Book Now! <==


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 – 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.


==> Planning to visit George Town, Penang? When You Book Your Hotel Room with Agoda, You Can Get up to 67% Off! Don’t Miss This Great Offer! Click Here or Image Below to Book Now! <==


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.


==> Ready to see the Street Art in George Town, Penang? When You Book Your Hotel Room with Agoda, You Can Get up to 67% Off! Don’t Miss This Great Offer! Click Here or Image Below to Book Now! <==


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

Things To Do In Penang

Things To Do In Penang

Penang is awesome! George Town is awesome! There are so many Things To Do In Penang that one trip was not enough. Yes, you can tell by now that I have plans to visit this awesome city again. And soon.

But in the meantime, here are some of the places I visited during my last trip in January 2018.

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 ...
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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 ...
Read More

==> Going to Visit Penang? When You Book Your Hotel Room with Agoda, You Can Get up to 67% Off! Don’t Miss This Great Offer! Click Here or Image Below to Book Now! <==


If you have ANY questions about the above articles, 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


==> Visiting Penang? When You Book Your Hotel Room with Agoda, You Can Get up to 67% Off! Don’t Miss This Great Offer! Click Here or Image Below to Book Now! <==


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!


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.


==> Visiting Penang? Keen to try this Famous Chendul? When You Book Your Hotel Room with Agoda, You Can Get up to 67% Off! Don’t Miss This Great Offer! Click Here or Image Below to Book Now! <==


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

 

Penang Hotels

Penang Hotels

Penang Hotels are many, and any visitor to the city is spoilt for choice. We would like to help you by reviewing as many as we can stay at here. For a start, here is the review of Cititel Express Penang. Click the link below for the review, with photos and videos of it.

Penang Hotels - Cititel Express

Penang Hotels Review – Cititel Express Penang

Penang Hotels Review – Cititel Express Penang After checking out of Hotel Excelsior in Ipoh, we were back on the highways and onwards to Penang. I was very excited as ...
Read More

==> When You Book Your Hotel Room with Agoda, You Can Get up to 67% Off! Don’t Miss This Great Offer! Click Here or Image Below to Book Now! <==


If you have ANY questions about the Hotels In Kuala Lumpur, 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

Penang

About Penang

More info coming soon about Penang-

Where is Penang?

How to get to Penang?

Weather in Penang

How to get around in Penang?

Currency in Penang

… and more … tune in soon


==> When You Book Your Hotel Room with Agoda, You Can Get up to 67% Off! Don’t Miss This Great Offer! Click Here or Image Below to Book Now! <==


If you have ANY questions about Ipoh or Malaysia, 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 Hotels Review – Cititel Express Penang

Penang Hotels - Cititel Express

Penang Hotels Review – Cititel Express Penang

After checking out of Hotel Excelsior in Ipoh, we were back on the highways and onwards to Penang. I was very excited as I have heard a lot about Penang – the arts, the culture, the beautiful temples, the awesome attractions, and of course the delicious food! In a few hours, we reached George Town, and checked in at one of the Penang Hotels. This time, we chose the no frills Cititel ExpressPenang.

These days, many people look for such hotels. After all, when we visit a city, most of the time we are out exploring her. The hotel is just a space to shower, rest and sleep. I believed we found such a hotel to suit our travel needs. Read on to find out what this hotel offers, and how it may be the choice for your next visit to Penang.


Asia Travel Gems – The Overview & Rankings: 

Hotel: Cititel Hotel Penang
Room Rates: US$89 and above (depending on room type) per night. I got a great deal at Agoda – US$41 per night only!
Cheapest Place to Book: Agoda
Location: No. 123, Nordin Street, Georgetown, Penan, Malaysia, 10300
Rooms: Standard, Superior, Family
Service: Friendly, Helpful
Value: At the price offered at Agoda, definitely worth it! Great value for money!
Sleep Quality: As good as it gets for a no frills hotel. Not fantastic but good enough for the price
Cleanliness: Very clean.
Asia Travel Gems Rating:  3.0 out of 5.0 Three Point Stars Rating


Cititel Express Penang  – The Video: 

Would you like to see what you will get when you stay here? I have a made a short video below to help you get a feel of what to expect.


About Cititel Express Penang

Cititel Express Penang is one of the many Penang Hotels located in the heart of George Town. As such, it is within walking distance to the World Heritage Sites, streets featuring Colorful Mural Art, and best of all, the many famous and popular Penang food such as Chendol, Fried Kway Teow, and more.

View of Penang from one of the Penang Hotels - Cititel Express Penang
View of Penang from one of the Penang Hotels – Cititel Express Penang, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The ‘Express’ part of its name indicated to guests that this is a hotel with the bare minimum of facilities and amenities. It is like a slightly higher end of a budget hotel. Currently, as of writing this review, the hotel is still relatively new. As such, the furnishings and fittings are still contemporary and up to date.

The small yet comfortable room in Cititel Express Penang, one of the Penang Hotels
The small yet comfortable room in Cititel Express Penang, one of the Penang Hotels, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

It is about 5 minutes from the Penang Ferry Terminal. So, if you are arriving by ferry, it is very easy access back and forth. The Penang International Airport and Penang Bridge are both just about 20 minutes drive to and from the hotel. Going to Tanjung Bungah and Batu Feringghi? That is just a 30 minute drive.


==> When You Book Your Hotel Room with Agoda, You Can Get up to 67% Off! Don’t Miss This Great Offer! Click Here or Image Below to Book Now! <==


Amenities 

  • Common Ironing Area on each guest floor
  • Express check-in and check-out service
  • Travel and Tour Desk
  • Car Rental
  • Shopping Arcade
  • In-room takeaway menu
  • Complimentary 2 bottles of water, coffee & tea in room
  • Electronic Safe
Hotel has Rain Shower! Love this!
Hotel has Rain Shower! Love this!, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Facilities

  • Enoshima Japanese Restaurant
  • Cloud 9 Viva Karaoke
  • HH Health Therapy

==> When You Book Your Hotel Room with Agoda, You Can Get up to 67% Off! Don’t Miss This Great Offer! Click Here or Image Below to Book Now! <==


What Good Food to Enjoy in Penang?

One of the main reasons to travel to Penang is to enjoy the wonderful and delicious food. There are certain stalls that sell really great food.

Before arriving Penang, I had heard about all the awesome food but only at certain stalls. As a tourist, I had no idea which were these stalls and where they were. Thankfully, the hotel provided a map to show where each of these stalls are located and what were their specialty.

In the coming days, I will share with you more details about each of these gastronomical pleasures. Meantime, here is a list that are near this hotel:

  • Chendol – Teochew Chendol Penang Road
  • Fried Kway Teow – Kafe Ping Hooi – Carnavon Street
  • Bak Kut Teh – Restoran Cheng Heong – Air Itam
  • Assam Laksa – Coffeeshop at the Foothill of Ayer Itam Dam
  • Curry Mee – Hot Bowl Rangoon Road & 50, Lorong Seratus Tahun
  • Hokkien Mee – Ah Soon Kor Stall, Kim Sin San Coffee Centre, MacAlister Road
  • Lor Mee and Wan Tan Mee – Ipon Lane (next to Jelutong Market)
  • Lor Bak – Kheng Pin Coffeeshop – Sri Bahari Road
  • plus many more. Ask for entire list when you are at Cititel Express Penang

Attractions Nearby

There is a lot to see and experience in just George Town alone. With its rich history and culture, the place has earned the award of being one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. This is because of the many original colonial and chinese-style shophouses. Here are a few that are near this hotel.

  • Blue Mansion (Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion) – Leith Street
  • Khoo Kongsi (Khoo Association Clan House) – Cannon Square
  • Arts & Crafts – Armenian Street
  • The Chew, Lee, Tan and Lim Clan Jetties – Weld Quay
  • Kek Lok Si Temple
  • Penang Hill
  • Street Mural Art

There are many more interesting places to visit and see in Penang. These can be found in Tanjung Bungah and Batu Feringghi, and many more. For example, there is the awesome and delightful Entopia. Do take time to explore this amazing city.


Where is Cititel Express Penang?

As mentioned, Cititel Express Penang is located in the heart of George Town. It is within easy access to many of the local attractions, famous food places, ferry terminal, airport and the Penang bridge. Below is a map of its location.


Address: No. 123, Nordin Street, Georgetown, Penan, Malaysia, 10300

Phone: +60-4-259-1188

How To Get There?

By Road

The Penang Bridge connects the Malaysian mainland to the island of Penang. We drove, by car, along the Malaysian Highways, cross the Penang Bridge, and to George Town. This route can be taken by bus, cab or Grab.

By Air

There is a local Penang International Airport. There is a select number of airlines that you can take to fly to this airport. From the airport, you can call a cab or use Grab to get transport to this hotel.


Getting Around

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.


Cititel Express Penang – Asia Travel Gems Final Word

From the start, it was clear that we were looking for a no frills hotel on a low budget. With these expectations, we truly should not expect a fine hotel with top quality stay experience. So, to be fair, while this hotel received a 3.0 rating, this hotel did very well as it lived up to the expectations.

Three Point Star RatingThe room was very clean. Housekeeping did a good job keeping the room tidy, neat and clean.

Also, we wanted a room just for shower and sleep. We intended to spend the days exploring the city. The room was never meant to be a space for rest.

So, while it was small, it was designed to have everything just at the right amount for what we wanted – decent bathroom facilities and a good bed to sleep on.

If you are like us, and travel to explore. Plus, a room is just to store your luggage, return to shower, and a bed just for a good night’s sleep. Then Cititel Express Penang is just right for you. At the prices offered by Agoda, it is definitely great value.


==> When You Book Your Hotel Room with Agoda, You Can Get up to 67% Off! Don’t Miss This Great Offer! Click Here or Image Below to Book Now! <==


If you have ANY questions about the Cititel Express 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

Best Food In Ipoh – Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant (富山茶楼)

Best Food In Ipoh - Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant (富山茶楼)

Best Food In Ipoh – Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant (富山茶楼) Review

After an afternoon touring Ipoh, we returned to have an early night at Hotel Excelsior Ipoh. The plan was to wake early and enjoy a good breakfast at one of the places that has the Best Food in Ipoh. It was the famous and popular Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant (富山茶楼).

We were fortunate that Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant (富山茶楼) was located just behind Hotel Excelsior Ipoh. Just a 2 to 3 minutes walk and we were there. My Malaysian friend advised that we must try this eating place. Everyone who visits Ipoh must try it.


Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant (富山茶楼) – The Overview & Rankings

Name: Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant (富山茶楼)
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese, Dim Sum
Meals Served: Breakfast to Lunch
Dining Choices: Dine In, Reservations, Takeout
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: 4.0 out of 5.0
Prices: $$ out of $$$$$
Asia Travel Gems Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0 Madam Kwan KLCC - 4 Star Rating


==> Visiting Ipoh? When You Book Your Hotel Room with Agoda, You Can Get up to 67% Off! Don’t Miss This Great Offer! Click Here or Image Below to Book Now! <==


Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant (富山茶楼) – The Video

Here is a short video showing the street where Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant (富山茶楼) is located. Also, the entrance, what is at the entrance, the dining area on the ground level, the counters where you order food, and also the traditional push trolley where they bring food to you for you to choose. Also, don’t forget the pics of the food, too.


About Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant (富山茶楼)

Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant (富山茶楼) has been around since 1971. They actually create their own dim sum and manufacture Mooncakes. Mooncakes are delicacies enjoyed during the Mid-Autumn Festival.

They have won awards such as the Premis Makanan Terbaik 2011 Award. This tells you the high quality and standard of their delicious food.

Entrance of Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant (富山茶楼)
Entrance of Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant (富山茶楼), © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The restaurant is popular with locals and tourists. Even with two floors of dining area, the place gets packed and there is usually a long queue.

Thankfully, we went during off peak season in January, and arrived early in the morning around 6.30 am.  Already there were many customers. At least, we managed to get a table immediately. As you can see in the photo below, the place was already getting packed.

Customers at one of the dining areas
Customers at one of the dining areas, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Tip: Visit during Off Peak Seasons (for example, in January),
and you can get a table easily.


Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant (富山茶楼) – The Food

How to Order the Food?

There are few ways to order the food. You can either go to the counters and ask or point for what you wish to have, order from the wait staff, or look at the food brought on trolleys and point at what you would like to eat.

Here is a photo of the deep fried and baked food counter. One of my favorites is the Egg Tarts.

Deep fried & baked dim sum counter
Deep fried & baked dim sum counter, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Here is counter with steamed dim sum such as siew mai, har kow, dumplings, baos, and many other choices. They are all covered.

All you have to do is ask them what they have, and the service staff will open each dim sum carrier as well as tell you what is inside. If you are unsure what are the ingredients inside a dim sum, you may ask them.

For example, you cannot tell what is inside a bao. Ask them and they will tell you what is inside it; for example, a cha siew bao will have Barbecued Pork inside.

Assorted Steamed Dim Sum Counter
Assorted Steamed Dim Sum Counter, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

For the above two counters, just order the food, and they will bring to your table. Alternatively, if you already know what you wish to have, you can order direct from the wait staff.

Another choice would be to stop a trolley when it passes by, and ask what goodies they have on the trolley. The service staff will patiently describe all the food on the trolley, and even show you if you would like to see before you decide. Then order and the service staff will place it on your table.

Old Style Push Trolley still one of the ways they serve at Foh San
Old Style Push Trolley still one of the ways they serve at Foh San, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The Dim Sum!

After we ordered the food, the dishes were served. I am quite the simple person. My usual favorites are the usual fare such as Siew Mai, Har Kow and Cheong Fun, as shown below.

Some of the dim sum we had - siew mai, har kow, cheong fun & tea
Some of the dim sum we had – siew mai, har kow, cheong fun & tea, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The Siew Mai was really good. Fine taste and the texture of the meat is smooth and tender. The Har Kow was a little disappointing. I hate it when the skin of dumplings fall off easily or are a little hard. Their Har Kow was both.

The Cheong Fun was the best! Being Ipoh that has the best hor fun, I am glad this continued to dishes that use this ingredient. It was thin, smooth and so soft. The mix of soya sauce and condiments created a delicious flavor that reminded me of the Bean Sprouts at Lou Wong.

As mentioned, my tastes for dim sum usually are quite simple. And of course, I must have the Cha Siew Baos (Barbecued Baos). Occasionally, I might get adventurous, and will try something a little different. Case in point, the Shrimp Dumpling with Spinach (tray on the left).

Steamed shrimp dumplings and cha siew baos (bbq pork baos)
Steamed shrimp dumplings and cha siew baos (bbq pork baos), © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The Cha Siew Bao good. Nothing to rave about. But, good enough to stand out from other mass manufactured baos sold at coffee shops. The skin could have been a bit fluffier.

The Shrimp Dumplings with Spinach was a surprise! I liked the freshness of the shrimps and how the taste of the spinach and shrimp played off each other to create a delightful combo in the mouth.

After an enjoyable breakfast, we headed back to the hotel to get our luggage and checked out. Next – Penang! Here we come!


Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant (富山茶楼) – Asia Travel Gems Final Word

Overall, I am awarding Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant (富山茶楼) 4.0.

Madam Kwan KLCC - Rating

Not all the dishes are good. But that’s normal in any restaurant right? There are some good ones, and some not so good.

The important thing is the good one must be of high standard and quality. And the not so good ones are tolerable.

Also, it must be noted that while I only tried the few dishes, they are the ones that are popular. Most people who have dim sum will usually order these dishes. So, it is important that these hallmark dim sum be the most delicious of all in the menu.

As you can tell from my review above, they have done well with most of the dim sum. The food stands out from other restaurants but not enough to get a 4.5 or 5.0. These are ratings that are hard to get from Asia Travel Gems.

A 4.0 means this is a place you can enjoy good food. It has some dishes that really delight the taste buds. It stand out from other restaurants but only barely.


How To Get There?

As mentioned earlier, Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant (富山茶楼) is behind Excelsior Hotel, which is in the heart of the small town of Ipoh. If you stay at Excelsior Hotel, you are just a stone’s throw from this restaurant. See map below.

Address of Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant (富山茶楼):

Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant (富山茶楼)
51, Jalan Leong Sin Nam
30300 Ipoh, Malaysia

Operating hours:

Wednesday to Monday, 6.30 am to 2.30 pm

Contact Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant (富山茶楼):

Phone Number: +605-254-0308

By Foot

Generally, Ipoh is not a big town. You can almost walk to anywhere from anywhere within the town. But, do check the map to see how far it is from where you are. Better still, check with your hotel for the distance and how long will it take to get there.

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 Ipoh, 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.

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.


==> Visiting Ipoh? When You Book Your Hotel Room with Agoda, You Can Get up to 67% Off! Don’t Miss This Great Offer! Click Here or Image Below to Book Now! <==


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