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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Long Weekend Penang Trip - Day 2

After a day of walking on the first day. The second day is a luxury for our feet because we don't have to walk too much. As, I've wrote in the end of my previous post, Cheryl and Kah Wheng drove us around Penang. It's like a Penang historical tour for Huai Bin and I. Sorry again for waking up late and made you both waited for so long. Pai seh :p

Once we pop on to Kah Wheng's car, Huai Bin and I were given two choices for lunch, Ah Leng Char Kueh Teow or Chicken Rice. Since, we already had CKT on the first day, so we decided to go with chicken rice. Sigh, now I regret the decision I made because I didn't know at that time that Ah Leng CKT is the one that you can opt to add mantis prawn to it. We were too late on the 3rd day to go and try T_T

Kah Wheng drove us to Kedai Kopi Thew Chik near Cititel for Goh Thew Chik Hainan Chicken Rice. You'll see two stalls in front. Both are the same stalls.

Well, to me a KL people that tasted some of the best chicken rice in KL. This one seems quite normal. The way they put the soya sauce with oil on the roasted chicken is more Cantonese KL style rather than Hainanese style. Real Hainanese doesn't put any soya sauce or any kind of sauce on the chicken. Nevertheless, it's not too bad. I especially like the springy chicken intestine.

Rating: 3/5

After filling up our stomach. Cheryl asked us what place we wanted to go. I told her I wanted to visit the Peranakan Mansion, which she thought was Cheong Fatt Tze mansion. We reached there around 12.45 p.m. the tour of the mansion already started at 11 a.m. so we have to wait for the next and last tour of the day which is at 3 p.m. We then made a detour to Fort Cornwallis to meet with Sir Francis Light.

Aye, aye sir.

We paid RM 3 each to the entrance fee. If you studied Malaysian history before you'll know that Sir Francis Light is the Mat Salleh from England that got the piece of land called Penang from the then Sultan of Kedah at around 1786 A.D.

Fort Cornwallis was then built to strengthen the defence of Penang's port because this is a very important port for trading of herb and spices. Thus what left here today are the cannons and bunkers. There were also some interesting artifact that were recovered from the archaeology excavation on display in the mini museum there.

After getting to know how Penang end up to be one of the three states in Penisular Malaysia without a Sultan. We drove to Khoo Kongsi next because there's still time before the 3 p.m. tour starts at Cheong Fatt Tze mansion. On the way, we made a short stop at the now most happening clubbing and dining place in Penang Island. QEII. I first heard the name when I went to Hennessy Artistry in The Loft. Only when I come here that I found out that QEII means Queen Elizabeth II because it's at Queen Elizabeth II pier. -_-

Nice view of the pier.

There's a marina here. Yatches owned by super rich?

There's nothing much here by day but Cheryl told me it'll be pack like sardine by night. It's nice to have candlelight dinner here too. A good place for dating.

A twist and a turn (actually quite a lot of turn) and we're end up in Khoo Kongsi. This is one of the oldest building for the Khoo clan . Those with the surname Khoo. Before this, I always thought Khoo Kongsi is some kind of olden days organized triad or something. Kongsi Gelap rings any bell. Only after reading an article in the newspaper that I know that it is an association for the people with the surname Khoo. Just like there's a Seow Kongsi, not really sure it's call a kongsi though.

From what I heard, some businessmen from Taiwan donated money to restore the Khoo Kongsi to it's previous glory. This place even won the award for the restoration project. From the floor plan, I see that this is a very big area with a lot of houses surrounding a temple in the middle. The main attraction is of course the temple itself. I bet most of the people that lived in those houses has a surname Khoo :p

There's two rooms beside the temple that has all the plagues inscripted with the name of a Khoo that made some achievement acadamically. There's doctors, lawyer, accountant and newer one like computer science graduates.

Khoo Kongsi became popular after Anna and the King came here to shoot to if not mistaken. You can get more of the history facts and FAQ in the official website. At the back of the temple, there were a few Chinese drawings. One of the drawings is named The Nine Old Men.

Oh, before we go in, we have to pay RM 5 per adult. It's not free, so prepare some cash if you want to visit Khoo Kongsi.

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion

It's almost 3 p.m. when we arrived at Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion again. Lucky there's not many tourist yet. The fee for the guided tour is RM 11 per person. There's one rule here is that, one cannot take photo of the interior, you can take all you one of the exterior. After we paid the fee, we were asked to wait inside the living room for the tour guide. Do you think Huai Bin and I can hold back and not to take pictures while inside? Of course not.

Alas, while Huai Bin got away with the picture taking, I got caught by the person in charge there while doing the act. Luckily I was not asked to delete the photos I've taken. From the tour, the guide will tell you the story of Cheong Fatt Tze, the original owner of this mansion and why is the mansion built the way it was. Mostly has something to do with Feng Shui.

We were told by the guide that the trishaws outside the mansion are actually props from the movie Indochine. The current owners of the mansion bought it from the production company after the movie was shot here. Seems like a lot of movie has been shot in Penang. I'm too lazy to write the whole story that the guide told us. Come here and listen for yourselft :p Oh, Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion opens for home staying too but you'll have to book a month in advance because they only have 38 rooms. You can book it online through their website.

After visiting so many historical places, it's time pay respect to another temple. We drove our way to Kek Lok Si in Air Itam but not for that temple, the temple we're visiting is our 五脏庙 (stomach). Pasar Air Itam is famous for it's laksa stall.

Look at the laksa broth boiling there. Slurp.

Due to the long weekend, there's so many customer patronizing here even though it's already 4.30 p.m. Which also means the laksa here must be real good. I ordered 五果汤 (five fruits soup) to crunch my thirst. While Kah Wheng went to ordered laksa, century eggs and fried popiah for us. Cheryl taught us to dip the fried popiah into the laksa. Not too bad. I can say that the laksa here is authentic from the sight of the bunga kantan and 虾膏 (prawn paste) alone. It also helps that the broth is full of tiny bits of sardine. A must try if you ever come to Penang. Stayed away from the one in Gurney Drive and save the money for this one. But they raised their price to RM 2.70, normally laksa in Penang cost around RM 2.20 to RM 2.50. Still cheaper than Gurney Drive which cost me RM 3.00. You can get the map from KY.

Rating: 4/5

What we ate at Air Itam.

After a wonderful local hawker meal. There's two options that we can take. One, go to Kek Lok Si. Two, go to Penang Hill (Bukit Bendera). We opted for number two for two reasons. One, there's a long traffic going to Kek Lok Si. Two, the new Guan Yin statue is still under construction. How wrong are we because when we got to Penang Hill there's also quite some traffic but not as many as Kek Lok Si. We went to buy the ticket for the tram and found out the next tram available is at 8.30 p.m. That's about 3 hours of waiting. Logically we forgo that option to wait. So, Huai Bin and I just took some pictures and suck it up. The tram come and go in a 15 minutes interval by the way.

The last time I went up the top is 20 plus years ago if I remember correctly. ":)

We sneaked to the exit and took the picture of the tramp tram.

Kah Wheng then drove as back to the hotel so that we can take a shower and a short rest before we go for dinner later at night.

At about 8.30 p.m. Kah Wheng pick us up from the hotel and drove us to a place the usually go for hokkien mee (prawn noodle) and oh chien (oyster ommelette). I forgot to ask the road and the area. So, you'll might have to do a search yourself based on the signage. Anyone knows where is 三条路 888 福建面 (3 roads 888 Hokkien Mee)? lol

Hokkien mee is another famous Penang local delicacy besides laksa. Which from my experience the best tasting one is still found in Penang. You can add extra ingredients like egg, fish ball, pork ribs and roast pork to your hokkien mee here. I ordered one with everything. After I saw Huai Bin's bowl of ice kacang, I ordered one too. Really different from the one we find in Kuala Lumpur. The fish ball here is square in shape and the secret is that one fishball is cut into half, according to Cheryl. She ordered a kind of longan drink called "geng geng" which comes not in a glass but a small glass bottle like what 100 Plus used to be in before it changes to plastic bottle. Hokkien mee here is not too bad but I think it still lack of something which I don't really know what lol.

Rating: 3.75/5

It's time to indulge in alcohol and loud music after dinner. So we're back near Cititel Hotel, just across is the SoHo. We chose a pub called SOI 11, which at first I thought is SOI II. The area here is something like the Jalan Pinang clubbing area or Heritage Row, Jalan Yap Ah Shak, where a few clubs and pubs are in the same area. One of the biggest club here is Slippery Senoritas I think.

We drank 4 buckets of beer with 6 bottles in each bucket. Mostly drank by me and Huai Bin because he kept daring me to bottoms up, which made me puke a few time.

When we're still sober.

At about the third bucket. Huai Bin spotted there's three ladies sitting in another table. He then dare me to go and get to know them. Which, I chicken out at first. Not enough alcohol maybe. After a while, I took the opportunity to take picture for Huai Bin and the girls and get to know them too. LOL. I only got one of their Facebook.

The three girls we met there.

At about 2 a.m. and me and Huai Bin are fully intoxicated, we decided to call it. Kah Wheng dropped us at the entrance of Cititel and went home. I was walking towards the entrance when Huai Bin dragged me to the opposite direction. Even in this kind of state, he still remember that we planned to follow the recommendation on the MAS in-flight magazine "Going Places" to try out Sup Hameed, which is just a stone throw away from our hotel. Just happen that the May issue is about food.

It was drizzling and Huai Bin cannot walk straight, so I have to help him a bit. We already know what to order before we came here. It's not from the recommendation in "Going Places". We passed by the stall before so we know what they serve. We're going to order...

Guess what?

Huai Bin helped took this picture.

Still no clue?? I'll show you the uncut version of it.

Yes. We ordered SUP TORPEDO. For those uninformed, Sup Torpedo is also known as Bull Penis Soup. ^-^

Huai Bin requested the torpedo not to be cut into small pieces, so the boss give us one big bowl to share. It cost us RM 15. The texture is a bit like beef tendon only softer and more chewy. The soup is where the taste is because the torpedo tasted bland. I especially like the bread that comes with the soup. Very old school. Contradicting to popular belief, we didn't feel any different after drinking the soup.

Rating: 3.5/5

The dissection. Sorry, I was drunk.

After trying out the special soup. We went back to our room and slept away. Funny thing is that Huai Bin didn't remember a thing from the moment after he took the pictures with the girls we met in SOI 11.

Guess where we went on the third day?

The third and final day. It's my friend's turn to drive us around and to the airport. Good to have friends in Penang. Stay tuned.


Linora 'Aronil' Low said...

eewww grossss laaaa

Bangsar-bAbE said...

So geli la!! I can't believe you actually ate the penis!

CUMI & CIKI said...

saw ur fb shots. v cool

Cheryl Wee said...

Hey Simon, I found a map for the Presgrave St. Hokkien Mee,100.334294&spn=0.010232,0.019226&z=16&msid=106046132529307654556.00046384502fd3692fb76

Simon Seow said...

Aronil: sedap...

Sue Lynn: In life, one must always try different things

Cumi & Cuki: thanks ;)

Cheryl: arigatou

kampungboycitygal said...

haha though i love eating but the sup torpedo can't turn me on lo

M-Knight said...

WOw... u were lucky they didn't ask u to delete the photos at Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, as me I was told to delete it....:(