Penang Travelogue – (Part 4): The Flea Market @ Lorong Kulit

A man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I have a penchant for exploring flea market. Early in the morning, I took a Grab car and made my way down to the flea market at Lorong Kulit which is located next to the City Stadium.

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Lorong Kulit operates from 6am to 1pm daily. When I reached there at 8:30am, only half of the stalls were opened. By 10am, most of the stalls were set up for business.

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This place was pretty rundown and may not strike a chord with people. Before arriving in Penang, I read up on blogs introducing Penang and I thought most of them were quite “commercialized”, mostly sharing on the main attractions which I thought would not bring justice to many unloved spots in town.

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It was said that Lorong Kulit had a reputation for being a thieves’ market. There are times when you may chance upon stolen goods among other used goods on sale. But seriously, how would anyone be able to differentiate?

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This van was literally filled with junks!

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As time passed by, Lorong Kulit roared to life. Curious onlookers would gather and browse for any interesting goods they could buy at bargained prices.

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Old watches, hand-held games, necklaces and books.

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A friendly uncle greeted me while reading his newspapers. He might not have much products to display but his countenance exuded self contentment and happy with a simple life 🙂

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Electrical, hardware stuff, old shoes and luggage on display.

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Old mobile phones in which some of them belonged to the first generation!

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I was really tempted to buy a used mobile phone here but decided against it as it would be a hassle to find charger and battery separately.

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Mobile phones of many brands and surprising, not a single iphone could be found!

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Old kettles, pots and clocks of which some of them could be antiques.

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Stones and old krises.

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Pirated DVDs as well.

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Household pets on sale too!

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Hamsters and mice.

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Sugar gliders which were prohibited to be kept in Singapore..

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Tropical fishes (swordtail).

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Budgies (Budgerigars) which are an extremely popular pet bird. My parents allowed me to keep them when I was young as they were quite cheap (about $15). I kept a pair but it did not last long as they were smart enough to open the cage and flew away.

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They even sell used stuff toys. I would be surprised if anyone buys them for their children.

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There is no guarantee what you would unearth at Lorong Kulit flea market. Even if you leave this place without buying anything, I am sure that the experience of browsing through the stalls would be greatly pleasing to your eyes.

I had an interesting encounter as well. After exploring Lorong Kulit, I wanted to book a Grab car to bring me to Lebuh Armenian only to realize that the earlier Grab trip was still in transit. I was puzzled and messaged the previous driver to end the trip (in which he did). When I tried to do a fresh booking, that previous driver accepted my booking immediately. It dawned on me that this Grab driver was actually waiting for me and to prevent me from booking another driver, he deliberately chose not to end the trip so that I could make a booking through him again. Something new I learnt. What an experience!

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Address: 625, Jalan Dato Keramat, George Town, 10460 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Interested to visit Penang? Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page and stay tune for the next blog post.

All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

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Penang Travelogue – (Part 3): Gurney Drive Hawker Centre, Kimberly Food Street, Kopi and Toast @ Gat Lebuh Chuliah

Some advantages of staying at The Gurney Resort Hotel & Residence are the accessibility to shopping malls (Gurney Plaza & Gurney Paragon) and Gurney Drive Hawker Centre where there are galore of food options.

Gurney Drive Hawker Centre

The Gurney Drive Hawker Centre is currently situated at the northern end of Gurney Drive, just next to Gurney Plaza. It comes alive when evening beckons and transforms into a food paradise.

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This hawker centre is quite similar to Singapore’s Newton Food Centre as it caters mainly to tourists. As such, do expect the food prices to be higher. However, it is a convenient location for visitors to try out delectable local fare without needing to travel too much. Some of the famous Penang food you can find here include wanton mee, fish meat noodles, lok-lok (as shown), prawn noodles, satay, char koay teow, rojak, seafood and many more.

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The halal corner of this hawker centre was packed with customers!

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The soup base of this bowl of Penang prawn noodles tastes spicy.

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The version of Penang Ice Kacang – shaved ice topped with red beans, sweet corn, attap seeds, glass jelly, syrup and evaporated milk.

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After your meal, take a walk along the street at Gurney Drive to visit the pasar malam.

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Address: 172, Solok Gurney 1, Pulau Tikus, 10250 Jelutong, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Kimberly Food Street

Lebuh Kimberly is a popular food street in Penang. Having heard of many good reviews of the legendary Kway Chap at Restoran Kimberly, I thought I should give it a try.

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I am not sure whether it is a culture for food vendors to use their hands to handle the food. I did feel uneasy when I witnessed that.

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This bowl of Kway Chap comes with sliced duck meat, pig intestines, pig ear and pig tongue.

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A taste of their signature dessert – Si Koh Soup (filled with ginko nuts, longan & lotus seeds).

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If you are not a fan of Kway Chap, there are other food choices down the street.

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Lor Bak stall.

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Duck noodles.

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Penang laksa, Hokkien mee and roasted delights.

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Address: 137 Lebuh Kimberley, 10100 George Town, Penang, Malaysia

Kopi & Toast @ Gat Lebuh Chuliah 

Kopi & Toast at Gat Lebuh Chuliah is a cosy café which serves simple breakfast for you to start the day. It is pretty near to the Weld Quay clan jetty and wall murals are also within the vicinity.

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The boy and girl on a swing is just next to the café.

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Reminds me of old school days.

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Butter and kaya toast with black coffee.

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The toast was very much similar to what I had tried elsewhere though. What I like about this place is that it provides a good spot for you to rest while scouting for wall murals.

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Address: 63 Gat Lebuh Chuliah 10300 Georgetown Penang, Malaysia

Interested to visit Penang? Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page and stay tune for the next blog post.

All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Penang Travelogue – (Part 2): Toh Soon Café 多春茶座, Penang Street Art Painting, Penang 70s Ice Ball, Khoo Kongsi and Lebuh Armenian Old Coffeeshop

I wandered up to Campbell Street after my lunch at Joo Hooi Café and unknowingly I stumbled upon Toh Soon Café which was one of those places I wanted to visit in Georgetown much to my surprise.

Toh Soon Café 多春茶座

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There are many blogs on Toh Soon Café so I am not going to rave about how good it is. I had read that customers would usually wait up to an hour or two just to get a seat.  I had originally planned to come here at 8am in the morning to queue up and I was surprised to find a seat immediately in the late afternoon. So fortunate!

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The hot water for making of coffee was scooped from the big oil drum and the staff toasted the bread directly over charcoal oven. It was not an easy job as crowds streamed to Toh Soon Café at all times of the day. Imagine how busy the staff would be.

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Toasting in progress.

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Fragrant coffee pair with simple kaya toast bread. If I don’t remember wrongly, this cost about RM4.50.

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A simple and nice aroma of Hainanese coffee with condensed milk.

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To make it easier for readers to find Toh Soon Café, look out for Ban Heang pastry shop. Toh Soon Café is just beside it.

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Address: Lebuh Campbell, George Town, Penang Island 10200, Malaysia

Penang Street Art Painting

 Here in Georgetown, the street art and wall paintings would keep you mesmerised throughout the day. These murals have successfully transformed quiet streets into whimsical and thought provoking ones.

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It all started with a street art project called Mirrors George Town by George Town festival 2012. Since then, street art has been popping up all over the inner city and has stirred up quite a media frenzy with Singapore being a nearby country also catching the wall mural fever.

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Regardless of whether the wall murals were popular or not, they could be seen everywhere.

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Cat hanging from the balloons.

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Local community in Penang.

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The ever popular Boy on Chair. The mural is located across the street from the Anak-Anak Kota clubhouse and Khoo Kongsi entrance.  It was painted by Ernest Zacharevic during the 2012 Georgetown Festival.

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A Girl Preparing Fire with charcoals, just opposite Boy on Chair.

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This wall mural could be found at Ban Heang pastry shop beside Toh Soon Café.

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A Cat Prancing Upon a Rat which was part of the 101 Lost Kittens Project.

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Along the street Lebuh Armenian you could find this painting of 3 little girls with different costumes.

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The Shouting Boy.

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Two Men Pushing the Wall.

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The Trishaw Man selling Goods.

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A Lady Offering Joss Sticks on the Altar.

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Skippy the Giant Cat at Gat Lebuh Armenian.

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The Musicians.

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The Boatman.

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Brother and Sister on a Swing.

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Boy buying Soya Bean Curd.

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Kungfu Minion breaking out.

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At the intersection of Lebuh Victoria and Gat Lebuh Armenian, you would reach Ming Xiang Tai Pastry shop.

Image may contain: outdoor  “I Want Pau” street art mural depicted a boy and a girl stretching their hands from inside a window towards a parked bicycle loaded with steamed buns outside the Ming Xiang Tai Pastry shop.

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Little Children on a Bicycle street art mural painted by Ernest Zacharevic.

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Lion Dance Breaking Out of a Wall.

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Magician at Lebuh Armenian.

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This shop provides bicycle rental.

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Exploring more street art at night.

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Just checking out the wall murals could take you almost a day. By the time I finished, my shirt was drenched with sweat. So, wearing comfortable shoes and light clothing would be useful. I guess it would be tiring to remember where are each wall mural located. My take is to grab a street map which is readily available at the airport and hotels and head down to the streets to stroll at your own pace. You may be amazed by how much you could cover within a day and the best part of it is that it is free!

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Penang 70s Ice Ball

Apart from being famous for street art at Armenian Street, it is also popular with visitors who can satisfy their cravings for 70s ice ball.

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The popularity of ice ball goes back to the old school days. Over here, an ice ball sells for RM5.

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My impression of the size of an ice ball should be similar to that of a fish ball. I was wrong. I was pleasantly surprised it looked pretty huge.

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About the size of a small bowl.

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Rainbow ice cream and peanuts stuffed inside the ice ball.

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A must-try dessert in Penang!

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Khoo Kongsi

The Khoo Kongsi is a large Chinese clanhouse with elaborate and highly ornamented architecture, a mark of the dominant presence of the Chinese in Penang, Malaysia. Leong San Tong exhibits rich Southern Fujian architecture. It is found along Armenian Street, near to the Dragon Ice Ball.

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Intricate carvings everywhere on the walls, pillars, and roof.

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The entire building is covered with intricate tiled shard work, mural paintings, wood and stone carvings.

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Take a walk behind the courtyard and see the life of the locals.

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Anna & The King (starring Chow Yun-Fat as King Mongkut and Jodie Foster as Anna Leonowens), was filmed at UNESCO world heritage site Khoo Kongsi!

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Delve further inside you can find more art gallery and a small museum.

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Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi opens daily, including Sundays and Public Holidays from 9am to 5pm.

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Address: 18 Cannon Square, 10200 Penang, Malaysia

Old Coffeeshop @ Lebuh Armenian

A set of kaya toast and coffee is expensive in Singapore. Not surprising. However, there is this old coffeeshop at a corner of Lebuh Armenian Street that serves decent and wonderful toast.

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The interiors of this coffeeshop are pretty dated but customers continue to be allured by its charm.

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And this set of kaya toast and bread cost only RM2.70!

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With more to come, stay tune for the next blog post 🙂

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Interested to visit Penang? Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page and stay tune for the next blog post.

All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Penang Travelogue – (Part 1): Snake Temple, Lee Clan Jetty 姓李桥, Chew Clan Jetty 姓周桥, Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendol, Joo Hooi Café and Ming Xiang Tai Pastry 名香泰餅家

Unlike many travel destinations where visiting once is enough, Penang gives me all the reasons to return again and again. A large proportion of population in Penang are made up of Penangite Chinese and this makes it even easier to communicate with the locals and travel around.

When I arrived at Penang airport, my first task was to purchase a local SIM card (1GB for RM$26). Knowing that there would be lots of traveling, transport cost was one of the major factors to take into consideration. With a SIM card, I would be able to get connected to local network and more importantly, explore Penang by Grab service instead of hailing normal taxis which could charge you exorbitant fees. I figured out that using Grab service would end up saving about 50% to 60% in transportation cost.

Snake Temple

My first stop was the Penang Snake Temple. It made sense to have this attraction in my initial itinerary as it was just three km from the airport in Sungai Kluang, Bayan Lepas. Built in honour of Chor Soo Kong at about 1850, legend has it that he was also a healer and sometimes gave shelter to the snakes of jungle.

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Being a tourist attraction, the snake temple has attracted locals to set up shops selling touristy items.

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Penang is well known for its street art. I was given a glimpse of some of the masterpieces at the entrance.

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The temple is filled with the smoke of burning incense and a variety of pit vipers. The vipers are believed to be rendered harmless by the sacred smoke, but as a safety precaution, the snakes have also been de-venomed but still have their fangs intact.

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I skipped the altar section and went straight to the snake exhibit.

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I was encouraged by the staff to feel the python and most probably, he would be asking me to carry the snake and take pictures for a fee which I declined politely.

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The snake farm was situated inside the temple. This was the spot to go if you were looking to get near to any kind of snakes.

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Venomous vipers, huge pythons and different types of cobras were found here.

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It was a worthwhile experience visiting the snake farm. I was a tad surprise that the snakes were quite active instead of coiling at a corner sleeping away.

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Albino pythons which the snake handler told me they do not bite humans.

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A huge python which I was cautioned not to touch it.

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A rare sight of an albino cobra spitting its venom. Did you see the venom on the screen?

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Another active cobra spitting its venom. I learnt that cobras which do not have “eyes” on the back of their hoods are usually able to spit venoms.

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Not a spitting cobra.

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The snake handler invited me inside the King Cobra’s house.

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He said this king cobra only dine on snakes.

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The king cobra was captured in Indonesia.

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Trying to get closer to this 3m long king cobra to snap a picture.

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The king cobra was getting stressed out and started to get aggressive. I am getting out of here..

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Other residents in the snake farm included quails.

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Cats. Shouldn’t they be allowed to roam around?

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An over 100 year old land tortoise.

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And many geckos. I thought the snake temple was worth paying a visit though one should not spend more than an hour inside.

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Outside the snake temple, there were 2 coffeeshops selling Chinese roasted delights and Indian dishes.

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Opening Hours: 06:00 – 19:00

Location: Bayan Lepas

Price Range: For Temple: FREE

Snake Farm: Adults – RM8, Kids – RM6

Lee Clan Jetty (姓李桥) Georgetown

Visiting the clan jetty is one of my checklist items. I have always wanted to visit these waterfront settlement housings located along the main road of Pengkalan Weld.

Clan Jetties map
Image Credit: Penang Discovery

While many visitors chose to flock to Chew Jetty (pretty touristy), I decided to pay Lee Jetty a visit first.

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As I stepped foot onto Lee Jetty, I paused on a corner observing the traditional houses built on stilts that made them looked as if they were forever stuck in a time capsule. Nevermind that I had to battle with the sweltering heat. It was an experience exploring these heritage buildings.

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The Clan Jetties are unique Chinese settlements that have been around since the 19th century. There are eight different clans that still reside here, with each individual jetty named after their surname. Look at the villages on stilts that house the descendants of Chinese immigrants.

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A girl returning to her jetty house after school.

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Various types of houses.

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An elderly resident stood at his gate and beckoned me to try out the ice cream. I did not try though.

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I reckoned if the owner turned this residence which was situated next to the sea into an Airbnb, there would be many bookings.

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Unfinished construction of bridge crossing.

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After Lee Jetty, I moved on. My next destination was the popular Chew Jetty which was about 5 mins walk from the Lee’s. Along the way, I snapped pictures of the streets.

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A Jambul song bird.

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Have you tried Penang white coffee before?

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A local coffeeshop outside the Tan Jetty selling cold beverages. What a perfect respite after soaking in the afternoon heat!

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Another food stall at Tan Jetty but there was nothing much to see there so I continued walking.

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A bicycle rental shop.

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A local “mama” shop.

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Selling cold beverage is one of the best options in Penang. Here is a lorry conveniently transformed into a drinks stall at a corner of the road.

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Chew Clan Jetty 姓周桥 Georgetown

As I mentioned, Chew Jetty is a touristy spot where you could see some of the wooden houses transformed into shops selling souvenirs and eateries.

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Hey, Ahmah and Ahsoon (Grandma and Grandson) at the entrance of the Chew Jetty. One of the factors contributing to the popularity of the Chew Jetty was due to the movie of Ice Kacang Puppy Love ( 初恋红豆冰).

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When you are tired from walking, renting a bicycle is an option.

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A house that is pretty dated.

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More houses were built inside. While these traditional jetty houses were pleasing to the eyes, visitors would need to take note that some of them belonged to the locals and taking pictures of their residence were prohibited.

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As you delved into Chew Jetty, these touristy shops became a common sight.

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Street art souvenir post cards and apparels on sale.

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Note books with street art imprinted on the covers.

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Penang white coffee – I think you can find these in NTUC over in Singapore though you have to pay a premium for them.

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Back to old school days! Have you tried these ice sticks before? 🙂

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A hip café opened by youngsters selling fruity beverages.

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A stall selling durian puffs. Do give it a try if you are feeling peckish.

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A street dog lazing in the afternoon.

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On the right of this picture was a restaurant selling big bowls of ramen.

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It did seem ironic to me that this restaurant was selling Japanese ramen instead of local cuisines. After all, visitors wanted to visit Penang to try its famous local dishes right?

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So huge! Don’t think of trying it if you are not travelling with a food buddy.

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Boats lining up along the Chew jetty. It is a nice place to enjoy the scenery as well.

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As I completed my tour of the Chew Jetty, I popped by the coffeeshop near the entrance to try out their coffee.

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The smell of aroma coffee for RM1.10.

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 Address: Pengkalan Weld, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendol & Joo Hooi Cafe

Just directly opposite the Chew Jetty are the streets to spot all kinds of street art. As such, you would not need to travel by car. Just walk across the road will do.

However, I decided to visit Joo Hooi Cafe for my lunch and chendol. The Penang Road Famous Teochew Chedol and Jooi Hooi Café are located at Lebuh Keng Kwee

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I was snapping some pictures and in a matter of few minutes, the queue started to form again. You have the option to dine inside the café (or I called it as a coffeeshop as it was not air-conditioned) instead of standing under the unforgiving heat. I chose the former.

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Joo Hooi Café packed with customers on a typical weekday. If you are intending to visit Joo Hooi Café, you would have the chance to taste most Penang famous dishes such as Assam Laksa, Char Koay Teow, Lor Bak,  famous Chendol and Ice Kacang.

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Whipping up many dishes of irresistible char koay teow, I am sure she had won many fans.

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I ordered these 2 dishes – enough to fill up my empty stomach.

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The prawns tasted juicy and nice!

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Choose to gulp it down or savour at your own pace. On a fair note, I wouldn’t say the best Penang food are found here but Joo Hooi Café certainly provides a one-stop location for you to get a taste of local delights.

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There was this stall also selling char koay teow outside Joo Hooi Café. The owner plied his trade using his left hand.

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Each plate of char koay teow cost RM6, cheaper than that from the stall at Joo Hooi Café which cost RM7. A downside was that you would need to stand on the roadside to eat.

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Address: 475 Jalan Penang, 10000 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 5pm daily

Ming Xiang Tai Pastry 名香泰餅家 @ Penang Road

Stepped through the old shophouses (just beside Joo Hooi Café) you would find Ming Xiang Tai authentic Cantonese-style pastries.

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Fresh pastries of different flavours on display.

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Some notable pastries on sale include Trishaw Egg Tart, Salted Egg Tart, Salted Egg Pastry, Pandan Kaya Puff, Wife Pastry, Wutaro Yaki and Wedding Cookies.

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The most popular item at Ming Xiang Tai has to be the Ko-Cha Siew Bao which is selling at RM2.20 per piece.

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Take a bite on these Golden Pillows (stuffed with chicken meat). Each piece sells for RM2.20.

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I bought a few pieces and tried. Even after I left them overnight, they still tasted as nice!

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Stuffing inside the Golden Pillow.

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Stuffing inside Ko-Cha Siew Pao.

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Tastefully designed boxes fitting for gift giving.

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More than just eating, this trip to Penang presented the chance for me to explore pictorial worthy ambience. I took my time in Ming Xiang Tai and feasted my eyes on its rich interiors, decorated with traditional household items dating back to 1940s.

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There were many more places I covered which would be shared in subsequent blogs. If you think its good, share it!

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Address: 475-A , Jalan Penang George Town, Malaysia (beside Joo Hooi Café)

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Interested to visit Penang? Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page and stay tune for the next blog post.

All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.