POSB Smart Buddy – FREE Watch with E-Payment for Schools and Selected Merchants

The POSB Smart Buddy programme / 储蓄银行智能伙伴计划 was launched in in 19 primary schools in August. This ground-breaking programme uses wearable tech (a free watch) to teach students how to save and spend wisely by helping them track their savings and spending habits digitally.

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Image Credit: POSB Smart Buddy

What makes POSB Smart Buddy watch stands out is the function of e-payment. The watch helps children take an early step towards digital payments and also monitors their activity levels. Parents can in turn remotely pre-set their child’s daily allowance, send them emergency money, and monitor their kids’ spending, savings, eating habits and activity levels – all with an accompanying app.

The programme further creates a digital payments ecosystem within the school where the school’s canteens and bookstores are set up with digital payment terminals. Students can simply tap and pay with their free POSB Smart Buddy watches.

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Image Credit: POSB Smart Buddy

During the demo session, we were given a first-hand experience to set up the Smart Buddy watch and made purchase on the spot.

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The steps to purchase were straightforward – basically, you would just select your orders and click “Pay Now” at the terminal.

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Tap your Smart Buddy watch over the Nets machine and balance will be deducted.

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Parents can monitor their kids’ expenditure from the app, anytime and anywhere!

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You can also use your Smart Buddy watch at any of these merchants.

Look out for the NETS contactless symbol when you pay.

Paired with a mobile app, you can instantly allocate allowances, check on savings or spending, and be informed of your child’s whereabouts with the bus tracker and in-school locator feature. Most of all, you get to do them all while on the go.

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For more information on POSB Smart Buddy or requesting your child’s school (if they are not yet on board) to adopt this programme, click here.

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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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Fun with Kids in Perth – (Day 3): The Core Cider House (Fruit Picking), New Moon Dim Sum Restaurant, Fremantle Markets, Cicerello and Kings Park

Hello Perth! It is always good to self drive in Australia as car hire is affordable. The last thing you want to try is taking their taxi. In fact, we rarely come across any Singaporean visitors not self driving when visiting Australia.

Day 3

We fondly remembered the sumptuous dim sum breakfast we had the day before and on our final day, we drove out to Northbridge again to try a new Chinese Dim Sum Restaurant but not before we had a mini-tour of Chinatown in our car.

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We patronized New Moon Restaurant which served steamed dishes from the steamed trolleys.

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Although the outlet had space constraint it was made up by the quality of their dishes.

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Authentic and traditional dim sum dishes are the highlights of New Moon. The staff were responsive and would initiate to approach diners to try out different varieties of dim sum dishes.

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Some of the yummy dishes.

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The sight of BBQ pork buns made us hungry..

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Pork spare ribs and siew mai.

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Mango puddings.

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We will visit New Moon when we return to Perth again.

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Address: 63 – 65 James Street, Northbridge

 

How about more fruits picking? We didn’t get enough of fruits picking in The Fruit Corner at Pickering Brook and ventured back the same place to explore another orchard by the name of The Core Cider House (which was about 1-2km apart).

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The moment we stepped out of our vehicle, the sight of big apple trees greeted us. They were just right in front of our car where we could reach them easily 🙂

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It was a weekend and many locals gathered here for picnic and let their kids played. There is also a restaurant located upstairs which has a full view of the orchards.

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How good is this to laze in their beautiful setting and enjoy the spacious grounds where kids can play and run about safely. What a feel of countryside that is just half an hour drive from the city.

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Our experience at The Core Cider House was much better than The Fruit Corner. We heard that there is an admission fee to enter the orchards but we weren’t sure about that. At least we weren’t charged during our visit. We would only need to pay for the fruits we picked. We reached there just in time before the owner closed the orchards. The friendly staff there shared with us about their knowledge of fruits and the apple picking process. Remember to BYO bags!

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Looked at all these red galaxy apples on the ground!

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Rows after rows of red juicy galaxy apple trees in blossom.

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The kids could reach for the apples and picked them easily. There is nothing like picking fresh fruits straight from the trees – a simple and educational experience for the kids to remember!

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Green apple trees.

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Pear trees.

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This was the best fruit picking experience we had so far.

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The Core Cider House has a apple shed markets that were open at weekends from 10am – 4pm selling fresh fruit, mixed fruit hampers, Core jam and chutney, freshly squeezed orange and apple juice as well as ice cream.

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Address: 35 Merrivale Road Pickering Brook, Western Australia, Australia

Opening Hours: 10am to 4pm

 

Fremantle was next on our travel bucket. The Fremantle Markets only operates from Friday to Sunday. Finding a parking lot was difficult and we eventually found a spot at the highest level of a multi-storey carpark. Be prepared to spend at least half a day when visiting Fremantle and much walking is expected.

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We felt nostalgia and visited the Lolly Shop. Everything was still the same!

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We made a beeline for the ever popular Fremantle Bakehouse and tried the all day breakfast.

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An all day breakfast, famous fluffy pancakes, homemade chunky steak pies and sausages rolls, range of sandwiches filled with local fresh product and tempting rolls are just a few items on offer.

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Next we visited the Fremantle Markets, a busy indoor market dating to 1897 with stalls selling food, local produce, clothes & handicrafts.

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Crowds thronged the Fremantle Markets on a busy weekend.

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The shop owner did not mind that we did not buy anything and happily dished out different variety of juices for us to sample.

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There was an inexplicable joy in us just browsing the market and seeing the fresh fruits and vegetables.

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Address: Corner South Terrace & Henderson Street Fremantle, Western Australia 6959

We bought a huge bag of bread for $2 from the Fremantle Markets and headed to the park to feed the sea gulls.

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Big and Small M had a ball of time playing in the park and mingling with the locals.

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The Tourist Wheel has been in Fremantle since April 2013 and provides unprecedented views of Fremantle town and harbors.

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We visited Little Creatures Brewery which was opposite the park. Little Creatures is an Australian brewing company based in Fremantle, Western Australia, originally established in 2000 by the original brewers of the Matilda Bay Brewing Company.

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Next to Little Creatures Brewery is the Fishing Boat Harbour where we visited Cicerello’s to try its fish and chips.

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We had so much leftover bread which the kids used it to feed the sea gulls.

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We like the concept of alfresco seating overlooking the scenic Fishing Boat Harbour.

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Ordered some simple dishes to try.

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Why spend $1 to buy fish food packed in a small container when you can buy a big bag of bread for $2?

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The kids continued feeding the sea gulls and fishes after the meal.

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Address: 44 Mews Rd, Fremantle WA 6160, Australia

Opening Hours: 9am to 8:30pm

The sky was beginning to turn dark and we visited a neighbourhood playground.

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Before visitng Kings Park and Botanic Garden to enjoy scenic view of Perth City at night.

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Address: Perth WA 6005, Australia

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We love to travel! 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 5): Penang Hill (Bukit Bendera), MoonTree 47 @ Muntri Street, Chocolate and Coffee Museum and Pinang Peranakan Mansion

It was a short 3 days trip but I was contented with the places I managed to cover. On the final day, I am determined to cover some important landmarks to pen down in my travelogue.

Penang Hills / Bukit Bendara

If you feel that the weather in Penang is hot and humid, try beating the heat by taking a tram ride up to experience the cooling environment of Penang Hills. I booked a Grab from Gurney Hotel and the 9.5km distance took me about 10 mins to reach.

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Penang Hill or affectingly known by locals as “Bukit Bendara”, is one of the most popular tourist attractions.  Setting on a hill with elevation of about 833 m (2723 ft), you would need to take funicular railway. From my experience, it is better to plan your visit here by 10am as anytime later would require you to queue up pretty long before you can hop onto the tram. I guess that is the time when most tourists have taken their breakfast in the hotels and coaches would be sending them here.

If you are an adult tourist, a 2-way ride would cost you RM30.

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The ride took about 10 mins before reaching the peak. Along the way, the funicular railway would make intermediate stops for locals (who are staying up the hills) to alight.

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Look at the crowds!

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The first point that greeted me was the “Sky Walk”.

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The Sky Walk is a suspension bridge hanging over the treetops. It is opened daily with no admission charge. It’s time to pause here and see the breath-taking view of beautiful Penang.

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Surrounded by pines tree, the serenity of the hills will provide a much needed breather and relaxation from the hustle and bustle of city life.

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From the Sky Walk, I also caught the view of the famous 13.5km long Penang bridge. What a majestic sight of an eagle hovering over and greeting us!

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There are some notable changes to Penang Hill since my previous visit 3 years ago. I noticed they have included additional “attractions” within the hills such as Little Village, Love Lock and Owl Museum.

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The Little Village is a beautiful spot to take wedding shots. Take a walk in and you will find the Love Arch, Dwarf Village, Rabbit Garden and the green surroundings of Mother Nature.

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The Dwarf Village.

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Just a 2 min walk up the hill would bring you to this attraction called the Love Lock. This is an adaptation of the popular love lock concept around the world, in the likes of Rome’s Ponte Milvio and Germany’s Hohenzollern Bridge, which has found its place atop the scenic Penang Hill.

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Launched on Valentine’s Day of 2014,the lover’s promenade hosts the promises of eternity for couples who seal their affection with creatively-decorated padlocks.

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Padlocks of various sizes are available for you to purchase and profess your love before sealing it at the wide fence.

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The Owl Museum might be an activity you would like to look out for. The museum open daily from 9am to 6pm and it is South-East Asia’s first museum dedicated to owl-themed art and craft. It boosts a fascinating collection of over 1,000 exotic and unique arts and craft artefacts collected from 20 countries including Japan, South Korea, Uruguay, China, Vietnam, Thailand, England, Indonesia and France.

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The museum’s owls are made from a myriad of materials such as wood, stone, metal, glass, clay, plastic, buffalo horn, seashells, beans, plant fibres, crystal, porcelain, earthenware, paper and recycled items. Special collections on loan from private collectors are also on display.

I did not visit the Owl Museum as I was short of time.

Penang Hill Owl Museum
Photo Credit: Penang Trails

The famous David Brown’s restaurant at Strawberry Hill.

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Exploring the flora of Penang Hills which houses some interesting plants such as Dipterocarp forest, parasitic plant, Exorhopalia Ruficeps, Hazel Maingaya Malayana and many more.

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Climbed up the flight of stairs and I made some interesting discovery…

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Located on Penang Hill is a 32 counder cannon that is not short of historical value. It is made of bronze, an alloy of copper and tin commonly used in 18th and 19th century artillery. This cannon was probably transported from town to hill as an ornament or to warn the presence of pirates.

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A children’s playground and on the right is the Sri Aruloli Thirumurugan, or better known as the Penang Hill Hindu Temple, is one of the oldest Hindu temples in Penang. I did not dwell here for long as I vividly remembered we were badly bitten by mosquitoes in the previous trip.

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The other end of Penang Hill houses some eateries for me to satisfy my hunger pangs. Astaka Bukit Bendera is a 2-level food court at Penang Hill (Bukit Bendera), within a short stroll from the upper station of Penang Hill Railway.

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Penang Hill Lily Ice Kacang is one of the stalls at the lower deck. Worth to give it a try if you have a sweet tooth! Penang Hill’s opening hours are everyday but you need the train to go up there. The train service is from 6.30 am – 10 pm on Monday to Friday. On weekends or public holidays or school holidays, the train operates from 6.30 am to 11 pm.

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Address: Perbadanan Bukit Bendera, Jalan Stesen Bukit Bendera, Air Itam, 11500 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.

MoonTree 47 Cafe

I read much about Muntri Street that it is famed for its wide range of themed cafes in Penang. Situated along the Jalan Muntri in Georgetown Penang, Moon Tree 47 cafe makes it a cool place to chill out with friends while enjoying the Peranakan styled interiors and old school settings.

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I thought MoonTree 47 has the “instagram worthy” factor. Just the whimsical setting at the entrance was enough to draw me in.

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Alas, the staff did not allow me to take pictures of its interiors without ordering anything. I was not a nice touch and thumbs down to the customer service. Nonetheless, I ordered some light snacks and took the opportunity to take as many nice shots I could of this place.

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There was an open courtyard with water feature which I loved to hang around while enjoying the sight of aquarium fishes vying for feeds.

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Nothing much to say here but pictures are certainly worthed more than a thousand words!

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A dated Dumex tin.

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A local resident of MoonTree 47.

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This is my order – 3 spicy chickens with lemon tea. It looked so appealing to me. Time to treat my tastebuds with delicious snacks. My expectations of MoonTree 47 were high. While the interiors met my expectation, the customer service fell short. Very short. One of the spicy chickens was uncooked and tasted cold (supposed just taken out of the fridge) when I took a bite. I feedback to the owner nicely and he offered to cook it again but I politely declined as I needed to make a move. The outcome – no discount was offered to me and I had to pay for the uncooked chicken. 😦

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Address:47 Muntri Street,10200 Georgetown,Penang, Malaysia Penang, Malaysia

Chocolate & Coffee Museum

I continued walking and chanced upon Chocolate & Coffee Museum which was previously known as The Chocolate Boutique on Leith Street, in George Town, Penang. It specializes in retailing branded and high-end chocolate products, mostly to foreign tourists who arrive by tour coaches. The boutique occupies a double storey bungalow that was formerly the New China Hotel.

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Admission to the Chocolate & Coffee museum is free. The best part of this museum, to me was the air-conditioning.

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Usually there will have a tour guide who will explain to you about the history of chocolate and how they are manufactured.
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The museum was quite small and I completed the tour within 10 mins. Near the exit was a chocolate section where you can purchase many varieties of chocolate. I find them quite pricey and did not buy any since I am not a fan of chocolate too.
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Address: 22, Leith St, Georgetown, 10200 George Town, Penang, Malaysia

Pinang Peranakan Mansion

Next on my itinerary was the Pinang Peranakan Mansion. I have a knack for anything that has to do with Peranakan and what’s more, visitors are allowed to take pictures here. I heard there is another Peranakan Museum in Melaka which does not allow visitors to take any photos.

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The Peranakan is a prominent community in the Straits Settlement particularly in Penang, Melaka and Singapore. I thought Pinang Peranakan Mansion is a must visit for all to experience a glimpse of to have a glimpse of their rich lifestyle and of their many customs and traditions. Many well-known personalities have visited the mansion and one of them was Ho Ching.

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Fancy to have a trishaw ride?

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This Chinese courtyard house was much like a typical large Baba home of eclectic style, incorporating Chinese carved-wood panels and English floor tiles and Scottish ironworks.

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In Straits Eclectic and Chinese homes, the front hall or parlor is typically separated from the rest of the house by an ornately carved wooden screen. It was said that this timber divider acts as a ‘ spirit wall’ to prevent evil spirits from entering by obstructing their straight paths.

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The main staircase incorporates the use of both local and imported materials in its construction, handrail with balusters of cast iron, from Glasgow, Scotland.

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At the second level of the mansion, the space was prominently occupied by over 1,000 pieces of antiques and collectibles. This Baba Nyonya museum is also housed in one of Penang’s heritage mansion of eclectic design and architecture.

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A traditional bridal room with typical Nyonya matrimonial bed. A perfect place to take wedding photos.

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I don’t remember there was a section selling jewellery collection in my previous trip.

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A complete tour of Pinang Peranakan Mansion would take between 1 to 2 hour. The admission fee for an adult is RM20 while it is free for children below the age of 6.

I was amazed that I was able to cover that many places in Penang (there was not much trace of fatigue in my legs).  This trip was packed with many wonderful memories and the local street food of Penang would definitely be a strong draw for me to return again.

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Address: 29, Church Street, 10200 Penang, Malaysia

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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 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.

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.