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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

Not a spitting cobra.

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

He said this king cobra only dine on snakes.

The king cobra was captured in Indonesia.

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

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

Other residents in the snake farm included quails.

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

An over 100 year old land tortoise.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

A girl returning to her jetty house after school.

Various types of houses.

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

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

Unfinished construction of bridge crossing.

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.

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

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

A bicycle rental shop.

A local “mama” shop.

Selling cold beverage is one of the best options in Penang.

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.

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).

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

A house that is pretty dated.

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.

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

Street art souvenir post cards and apparels on sale.

Note books with street art imprinted on the covers.

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

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

A hip café opened by youngsters selling fruity beverages.

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

A street dog lazing in the afternoon.

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

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?

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

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

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

The smell of aroma coffee for RM1.10.

 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

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.

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.

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

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

The prawns tasted juicy and nice!

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.

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

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.

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.

Fresh pastries of different flavours on display.

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.

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

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

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

Stuffing inside the Golden Pillow.

Tastefully designed boxes fitting for gift giving.

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.

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

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

 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.

Advertisements

Lost in Iceland Travelogue – (Part 4): Svinafellsjokull, Icelandic Horses and Strokkur Geysir

Iceland had always been one of our dream vacations. Exploring Iceland’s untouched and beautiful landscape has become an educational journey for us. The country is popularly visited during summer due to the mid-night sun effect where it never gets fully dark between mid-May and early August. Come winter, a muted light shines over the island for a few short hours each day. There are lesser visitors and the entire experience was just us and nature.

Svínafellsjökull

On our way to Golden Circle, we passed by beautiful Svínafellsjökull which is a breathtaking outlet glacier of the Vatnajökull glacier and the scenery and views are simply stunning. There are glacier tours available where you get to walk through a wonderland of glacial ice sculptures, meandering through ice ridges and the deep crevasses of the glacier.

There aren’t a lot of trees in Iceland (we only realized after our trip!). Iceland is a volcanic land and it is filled with many glaciers and countless other natural wonders.

The Icelandic Horse

One of the purest breed on earth, the Icelandic horse is a unique breed of smallish horses that came to Iceland with the first settlers from Norway 1100 years ago. Archeological digs in Europe have revealed that it is descendent from an ancient breed of horses that is now extinct outside of Iceland, where it has been preserved in isolation.

Do you know that once an Icelandic horse leaves Iceland it is not allowed to enter back into the country? All around the country, nearly every field seems to be filled with them, slowing grazing or play-fighting with each other. They are cute in their little own ways.

Icelandic horses have heavy double layer coats to help protect them from the harsh Icelandic climate. They come in many colors and can even appear in up to 42 different color combinations! Some types of Icelandic horses coats even change color by seasons. Best of all, Icelandic horses are super friendly. They will walk towards you readily and allow you to cuddle them. A road trip in Iceland is never completed without experiencing the therapeutic effect of Icelandic horses.

Strokkur Geysir

Strokkur (the churn) is currently the most energetic spouting spring in Iceland. It is a much-visited geothermal geyser that erupts every 8–10 minutes and reaches heights of 20 meters. According to history, it was set off during an earthquake in 1789, having then been quiescent for some time.

Big M was too comfortable resting in the campervan while we were on long road trip. The first thing she did when alighting from the campervan was to take a deep breath and inhale the wonderful and pure Icelandic air.

The Geysir is a popular tourist spot and one of the main attractions in Golden Circle. It was no surprise to see many visitors here.

Take a walk around the area and the smell of sulphur permeates the air. We remembered the time we were in Taiwan at 小油坑 Xiao You Keng experiencing sight of bubbling water and smouldering fumaroles on Yangmingshan which you can read in our blog here.

A bit of geography lesson.

The Strokkur Geysir erupts every few minutes so this is going to be a rewarding trip as we can get to see it erupting many times.

Waiting and waiting…

Picture time while waiting 🙂

Up and away to the heavens!

We waited and we filmed the action 🙂

It is worthwhile to note that most visitors focus on witnessing Strokkur erupting but may have missed out on other geothermal features such as mud pools, fumaroles and other geysers which are located around it. As the sun sets on the horizon, it created a dreamy effect on the landscape.

Geysir Center

Just across Strokkur Geysir is the Geysir Center. It was getting dark and this was probably the only place for us to explore.

A place to shop for souvenirs and clothings.

While we have our brands of winter clothing back in Singapore, we thought Iceland has its own high quality winter wear by 66°NORTH.

Fresh Icelandic Mountain Air on sale!

We had our dinner at the food court in Geysir Center. It looks pretty similar to Ikea’s dining concept.

The menu is special to us as it is uniquely Icelandic.

Traditional Icelandic lambmeat soup.

An idea of what we ordered. So many Icelandic dishes to try but our stomach are limited.

Fish of the Day

Chicken Nuggets.

Delicious chicken wings.

We just love traditional Icelandic lambmeat soup.

Dessert time! How about trying some Icelandic ice cream?

We felt Icelandic dishes are really delicious and what a perfect way to pamper our tastebuds on this road trip. It’s no secret that visiting Iceland could be pricey so be prepared to spend for a trip here. For example, the Fish of the Day cost about SGD $23, chicken wings/nuggets SGD $16 and Icelandic lambmeat soup about SGD $32 (assuming SGD $1 = ISK $56 from the rate at the airport).

There are many reasons to love this small Nordic country and discover why you should visit Iceland once in your lifetime. We found our reason and probably hope that we can be here again.

Click here to read blog post on Lost in Iceland Travelogue – (Part 3): Svartifoss, Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss Waterfalls

Click here to read blog post on Lost in Iceland Travelogue – (Part 2): Hvannadalshnukur, Skeioararsandur Bridge Monument and Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

Click here to read blog post on Lost in Iceland Travelogue – (Part 1): Renting a Campervan and 8 Tips on Self Driving in Iceland

Interested to visit Iceland? Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page to stay tune on the next travel post.
Disclosure: 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.

 

Food Discovery – Chua Kee Seafood Gelang Patah Johor 蔡記海鲜

Let’s talk about food. This topic can arouse the attention of happy food-goers who are willing to travel miles just to taste some of the best local food. We blogged on Star Chef Seafood Restaurant at Gelang Patah previously and after that dining experience, we were hungry for more.

Chua Kee Seafood Gelang Patah Johor 蔡記海鲜

Nestled at Jalan Nusaria 3, Taman Nusantara, 81550 Gelang Patah, Johor, Malaysia is where you can find popular Chua Kee Seafood Gelang Patah Johor 蔡記海鲜.

A quick google check shows the distance of Restoran Chua Kee to Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour is just 11km or 15 min drive.

We were there during lunch time and the sun was scorching hot. There are ceiling fans and we were just glad to find seats around that area.

As you can see, Chua Kee Seafood Gelang Patah Johor 蔡記海鲜 is a restoran selling the usual “zi-char” dishes. The setting is definitely not contemporary but there must be something about their dishes that draw crowds of customers.

What We Ordered

This was what we ordered.

Sin Chew Bee Hoon – RM $9

Fried Rice – RM $8

Mix Vegetables – RM $8

Handmade 3 Slices Assorted Vegetables – RM $12

Dry Fried Prawns – RM $30

Fo-Yong Egg – RM $6

Sambal Kangkong – RM $8

Claypot Porkbelly & Salted Fish – RM $12

A heart-warming 8 course lunch 🙂

Our total bill adds up to RM $101.55 (SGD $35). We thought the price was pretty decent and we had a hearty meal. Guessed we will revisit Gelang Patah again to go for more food discovery.

Durian for Thought

We were in for a treat as durian season is here again. Just across Chua Kee Seafood was a durian stall.

Are you a durian lover? It packed a different feel if you get the chance to try durians in Malaysia. The stall owner grew these durians by himself and called them as “kampung” durians.

3kg for RM $60

Small M, obviously is not a fan for durian …

Although it was not fantastic, these kampung durians come with many seeds and full of flesh 🙂

It was nice that Chua Kee allowed us to eat the durians here provided we cleared them after eating.

Restaurant name: Restoran Chua Kee 蔡記海鲜
Address:  No 1 Jalan Kacang Panjang, Gelang Patah 81550, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
GPS: 1.447108, 103.586133 / 1°26’49.6″N 103°35’10.1″E
Tel: +60 7 510 3198 | Mr Chua +60 12 761 0529 | Lily +60 12 762 8255
Hours: 11:30am to 11:00pm (closed on alternate Weds)

If you enjoy reading our travelogue, do give a like on Katong Kids Inc Facebook Fan Page by clicking here.
Disclosure: 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.

Check Out Kulaijaya in Malaysia – Super Cowboy

A short drive away from Singapore of slightly more than 40km is a place called Kulai. Kulai (simplified Chinese: 古来; traditional Chinese: 古來; pinyin: gulái), is a town in the Kulaijaya district of Johor, Malaysia. Continue reading “Check Out Kulaijaya in Malaysia – Super Cowboy”

Amazing Car Makeover by EA Detailer!

Our Honda Civic has served the family well without any problems, honestly. As typical parents, we used our car regularly to ferry our kids, run errands, family outings and many more.

Speaking about kids. It’s inevitable for them (even adults) to snack inside the car during the journey. Most of the time, biscuit crumbs etc has unknowingly “littered” our car interiors. And lo and behold, such crumbs is going to invite unwanted pests like cockroaches, ants and bugs into our car.

I should be concerned about the cleaniness of my car and our health. Afterall, I’m using the car regularly. It’s important for my family to sit in a clean and fully sanitized car.

When EuroAuto Lounge EA Detailer invited me to try out their service, I took it up without hesitating. It’s high time for me to do something beneficial for my car and family! Continue reading “Amazing Car Makeover by EA Detailer!”