Hello from Penang! 🙂 It seems we haven’t been spending a lot of time at home in our condo in KL. When my husband told me that he’s got a conference to attend on this island and that he’ll pay for my fare if I wanted to tag along, I was actually having second thoughts about going.
Yes, really! Carol, with the crazy levels of wanderlust and the constant travel whims! I guess after going to Sabah then to Langkawi (we even have a scheduled weekend trip to Singapore a couple of weeks from now!) in just a span of weeks then attending events in between, I just felt like we were never home anymore (and I am honestly in love with how cosy our condo is) and I know I have a ton of posts to write (all the traveling has given me quite a backlog). I honestly felt that I wanted to just stay still for a bit – preferably on our couch, watching Gossip Girl re-runs or baking.
But hey, I couldn’t pass on the chance of seeing Penang with my husband. I knew I would be jealous if I was left at home. And though I’m missing the ASEAN Ladies’ Circle Coffee Morning this week (one of the events I’ve been looking forward to for a while!), I’m glad I went with him. Penang is just so beautiful! From the moment we spotted the island from the air, I knew I’d have a special relationship with this place.
Come to think of it, I was already aware of some of the great things about living in Penang through AmandaMuse, a vlogger on Youtube that I like. (She talks about beauty, travel, expat life, and motherhood. So if you’re into those things, I suggest you check her out.) I never expected I’ll be visiting Penang so soon but I guess that’s the beauty of my husband’s job. Almost nothing is certain, plans can always change. Guess who’s never bored? The crazy wife, of course. 😉 Anyhoo, we took the 55 minute flight from KLIA this morning and arrived past 10 am at Penang International Airport. Our hotel is at the Batu Ferringhi area (Penang’s well-loved beaches and resort-hotels are here) which is 31 kilometres away – at the opposite side of the island! Instead of taking a cab which would cost us RM74 (Php1010.81, EUR17.81, USD22.57), we took the 102 bus which only costs RM4 (Php54.64, EUR0.96, USD1.22) per person! Crazy price difference! The bus is also a great way to see Georgetown, the State of Penang’s capital, as well. We dumped our stuff at the hotel, freshened up a bit, and went straight for one of the restaurants along the main road in Batu Ferringhi. First order of business was food, of course! It was past lunch time and Penang being one of the most famous places in the world for food made our hunger even worse. (They weren’t serving meals at the Air Asia flight we took because we were traveling for less than an hour! Boo! I love Air Asia’s Nasi Lemak. Yes, I happen to like trying out plane food. KLM is my top pick, just so you know.)
We ended up in a small place that serves authentic Middle Eastern food. Cafe Sanaa did not disappoint. Dishes are freshly made upon order, and the price points for the quality and the amount of servings aren’t so bad either. Our whole meal cost us around RM64 (Php874.22, EUR15.41, USD19.52). Here’s what we had:
The guys running the place are also very helpful and nice. They’re kind enough to give directions and even stopped for a bit of small talk. After lunch, we took the 102 bus to the Komtar Bus Terminal where we were to take the 204 bus (the only type of bus) that will go straight to Penang Hill. However, we were pressed for time and the bus taking quite a while to get to the terminal so we took a cab instead. It cost us RM30 (Php409.79, EUR7.22, USD9.15).
The train ride costs RM8 (Php109.28, EUR1.93, USD2.44) for Malaysians and RM30 (Php409.79, EUR7.22, USD9.15) for foreigners. Keep your tickets as you will be asked for them on the way back to the foot of the hill.
Update: I was thinking of looking for the lock I placed there when we go back to Paris next year but was surprised to see news today that the lovelocks at Pont des Artes are to be removed and the metal railings are to be replaced with glass panels! Well, the bridge was apparently starting to collapse due to the weight of all those locks (45tonnes according to the news! What?!). So I guess our love lock is gone! However, it makes me smile how my husband told me while were on top of Penang Hill that we don’t need locks to symbolise our love as it’s intangible and we ourselves know that it’s true and lasting. My husband is not really the cheesy type but he does have his moments. 😉
We took the 204 bus back to the Komtar Bus Station and the 102 bus back to Batu Ferringhi. It’s a good thing our hotel is near a lot of food places – from restaurants to small eateries down to hawker centres. Being the Filipinos that we are (we practically eat 8 times a day back in Manila), we had to get dinner before retiring to the hotel.
My husband got some shrimps cooked in sweet sauce with cashew nuts and rice. I wasn’t able to take a photo as he was already too hungry. Didn’t have the heart to stop him. Haha!
At night, the main road in Batu Ferringhi comes alive with stalls selling clothes, souvenirs, and other knick-knacks.
We’ll be here for a couple more days for my husband’s conference and while he’s busy working, I’ll probably be doing a bit of sigh seeing on my own. 😉 I’m not the type of wife that can’t do a bit of exploring without her husband. But I’ll leave a couple more places to visit with him on our last day, of course. 😉 More later, Carol P.S. Sorry for any typos. It’s past 1 in the morning here and I need to catch some sleep! Been awake since 5:30am. Zzzzz.