February 1, 2009

Around Penang

Bus 101 from Batu Ferringhi to Georgetown runs every half an hour - very convenient and only cost RM2 per person one way (much much much cheaper than the hotel car, which is RM45 one way!)

We took the bus to the centre of town and got off in front of Komtar and we walked around - a good way to find food and look at the city, though I've never been so hot and sweated so much in a long time.

We found ourselves some yummy food (funny that!). Here is the Kueh Kak lady, with our food below, first pic. The stall is the famous one on Burma Lane. A close-up of the dish, Kueh Kak (almost finished) is shown below. It's like Fried Kueh Teow but instead of noodle, cubes of rice flour cakes (which actually taste a bit like noodle) were used. It had bean sprouts, eggs and was served on top of a banana leaf - very yummy especially with local drinks - we had teh tarik and local coffee (ask for kaw or thick/strong)!




We found our way to the Chowrasta market where I had been to many times as a child. There are countless stalls selling foodstuff downstairs (see picture below), a wet market at the back and stalls offering clothes upstairs upstairs. There were the very familiar food that I grew up eating - pickled nutmeg, as well as the dried nutmeg, tau sar piah which is a biscuit, fruits - both fresh and pickled... There were also lots of ointment for all sorts of ailments.


We then went to the Khoo Kongsi temple. I was a little bit disappointed that it doesn't seem to be a temple that the locals use anymore. The only people we saw were a security guard and a number of tourists. The main temple building was covered with netting material - I suspect that was to protect the old structure and its details. I expected to see and smell burning incense and also to be asked to remove my shoes before entering the temple, but none of those happened.



Interestingly there were many villages on stilts around Pengkalan Weld, near the jetty. We went onto the Chew Kongsi village. Houses were built about a meter above water level supported by beams, with wooden platforms connecting them to each other. It was cool in the village, possibly because of the seabreeze, but in some parts, the smell was not pleasant... almost nauseating.

IMG_3480 IMG_3479

We came across this house pictured below, with buckets that make up its foundation... I guess that they must have cut out the bottoms of the buckets, line them up on top of one another around the beams, then pour cement... (click on the image to enlarge photo).


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