Swingin' da MoODz

Wilkommen Sie in die "Bitchy World"! Just babbling about things in my life in general, nothing more or less :P

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Penang Finale: Batu Ferringhi

Day 4: April 14, 2006
This is the last full day in Penang and we planned to go to the beach, Batu Ferringhi. We made 2 reservations at the hotels there, the Bayview Beach and Casuarina and they are both at the end of the beach.
We decided to go have a look at the Bayview first and what we found there was that there was a problem at the main entrance area, some pipes were leaking so they shut down the main entrance area and use the door on the side of the hotel instead!…then we took a look inside the hotel…crowded and busy as hell with kids running around and such. Not like I hate kids but it’s just too busy for us..we just wanted to relax at a beach, peacefully..if u know what I mean.
So we ended up with Casuarina, the cheaper hotel next to the Bayview Beach. It was 200RM a night which was quite cheap compared to the hotels in the area. The Casuarina is known for oldies becoz the hotel is old-styled ..and …old. Even though it looks old and all but the place was clean and staffs were very nice!! So I had no problem staying there for a night..if more than that..i might, hehe

A view from the hotel room.

By the way, all the rooms here have a sea view which I think it makes sense. Who wouldn’t want a sea view if they come to the beach? Too bad the Ferringhi beach has many jellyfish so it’s not good for swimming.

I understand now why old people like staying at this hotel..it’s just quiet and peaceful, although, I saw some kids there but there weren’t too many.

One thing I don’t like about this hotel is that it’s old. The air-con there was just a total bitch. Some weird ass, never before seen stuff. You have to turn the control knob clockwise to turn it on..they said u can adjust the temp but I don’t think so. Because we had some problem dealing with it so we called downstairs and had them looked. They told us that it’s central air..which to me, it means, “It’s either gonna be too hot or too cold.”

I forgot to take the photos of the room..so u probably don’t get the pictures, hehe.

Some garden view :)

See?, good thing about all sea-view rooms, everyone gets to see the sunset! (If it matters..)

Sunset at Batu Ferringhi.

After some swimming, some falling asleep at the beach, and unintentional sunbathing, we went to explore the night market. It was quite a walk from the end of the beach to the beginning..but u wouldn’t notice because there were so many shops along the way. I’m sorry again, forgot to take photos :(

I got some souvenirs and then we had Indian food. It was GREAT, one of the best there I think. If I'm not mistaken, the restaurant was called "Jewel of the North". Too bad it was so much that we couldn’t eat them all. The chicken masala was awesome. The Tandoori chicken was fine..i was too full to appreciate it :(

Chicken Masala (There’s supposed to be seasoned rice, too, but I already ate it)

Tandoori Chicken

We took a trishaw back to the hotel, it was kinda fun :)

A trishaw..

So there goes my last day in Penang…pretty memorable, I wouldn’t mind to come back here again but probably will stay at a different hotel, though..i just like to experiment things :)

The casuarina at night.

Day 5: April 15, 2006 (Back to Bkk)

We left the hotel at 8am (ohh I missed the free breakfast buffet *sniff*) and got to the airport around 9am. We made an arrangement with the hotel for the transportion, it was 50RM and we got a nice van! It was 35RM from the airport to Georgetown and it was more than 15RM from Georgetown to Batu Ferringhi so I think it wasn’t a bad deal at all.

The flight back to Bangkok with AirAsia was 10.25am. The line at the check-in counter was very long unlike other airlines…I guess that’s how it always is, the ghetto cheap-ass airline usually has more people becoz more people can afford it…including me, hehe.
So this trip is fantastic and memorable to me, only one thing..I got a cold on the last day..that is just not the kind of souvenir I want!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Penang Part 3: The Kek Lok Si Day

Day 3: April 13, 2006 (Kek Lok Si Temple)
I have to warn you guys that if you are so not interested in the Chinese Temple or Buddhism of any kind, please skip this post, ok?

Today we started out pretty late with Kek Lok Si Temple, the famous attraction 3km. away from Penang Hill. It took us a while to get there from the hotel becoz the temple is not exactly in Georgetown (it’s in Air Itam where I believe it is another town).
Once the taxi dropped us off on the road at the foot of the hill, we found out that we had to walk our asses up to the temple. Fortunately, the stairs weren’t too steep and there were shops along the way, under the roof, which I think it’s quite cool becoz I remember when I went to some temples up the hill in Thailand..u just basically have to walk up the steep stairs which are directly underneath the sun! Another pleasant thing I like about Penang is that the shop ppl are not as aggressive as the Thai ones! They asked u politely if u wanna buy anything, if not, they would just leave u alone. The Thai ones?? They would just keep bothering u until u r out of their sight or someone else comes instead. If u don’t believe me, just try walking in Siam Square or MBK area, especially in Bonanza (it’s opposite to MBK that connects to Siam Sq.) some of the jean shop bitches are just too scary we had to walk around the other way to avoid them.
Ok let’s get back to Kek Lok Si, it took us awhile to go up the hill..then in the hallway there was a stinky toilet and this huge rock with Chinese letters. Too bad that my Chinese language skill is ZERO, otherwise, I’d have a lot more stuff to talk about, hehe.

HMM.. how do I start this..WELL, Kek Lok Si temple has so many levels with many small temples in it. This is the temple on the first level.

The First Temple.

Me at the temple balcony with the Chinese looking thing, hehe.

Enough posing for now, let’s see inside the temple!

The Buddha Statue inside.

The candle jars were quite interesting to me becoz I’ve never seen them before. In Thailand, they use the candle sticks not jars like this :)

This is a pole next to the Buddha statue, see how interesting it is??
On the pole itself there are many many little Buddha statues on it, neat!!

The Miniature Buddha Statues on the Pole

From the first lvl, u can see the view of Penang and also the pagoda on a higher level of the hill:)

As u can see from the pagoda pic, there is a stairway, right? So we went up the stairs and we found a dead-end!! The doors to the upper lvl of the hill or the temple up there were just locked..so we just walked up there for nothing (well for some nice view if u r quite optimistic).

There weren’t much stuff on the second level that interested me, only the Chinese style doors. They just reminded me of the acrobatic Chinese period series I liked to watch when I was young.

A lovely Chinese-styled door to the balcony, you can also see the city view there.

A nice view of the Pagoda from the second level:)

The third level is more interesting, there is a bigger temple with monks doing their daily ceremony and big statues of Chinese monks or the Chinese angels that people worship.

I wish I could read the signs :(

The Chinese Monks

It was very fascinating to me becoz I’ve seen Chinese monks performing their ceremony only in Chinese movies! Did I mention that I was a huge fan of acrobatic Chinese period series? One of the monk was looking at the camera..i hope it wasn’t sinful to take the photos…

There are two ways u can go from the third level, left to Kuan Yin Statue and right to the Pagoda. We took a left turn first becoz I wanna get on the cable car, hehe.

It costs10RM for one-way and 20 for round-trip, if I remember correctly. We just bought the one-way ticket becoz we wanna walk back down but when we were one the cable car and saw the stairs..we changed our mind. Luckily they are thoughtful enough to have another ticket booth up there also, hehe.

The Kuan Yin statue is just HUGE!!!! And the temple area around the statue is just fabulous! They are still renovating the place when we were there, u will see some construction stuffs in the photo.

The Kuan Yin Statue with unfinished poles.

Is it possible that they are building it according to the photo in this welcome sign?

A view from Kuan Yin statue.

Nice garden at the temple :)

Do you see this entrance to the temple? There are carved stones in 12 different animal shapes according to the 12 Chinese years; ox, rat, tiger, rabbit, goat, horse, snake, dragon, monkey, chicken, dog, and pig.

The funny thing is earlier that morning I was just watching TV in the hotel room and the show was like a documentary about your personalities according to the 12 Chinese years. And now I’m here seeing the 12 Chinese years..how coincidence! Or, rather, DESTINY!

A cute dog stone..just like cute dog year ppl such as me, haha.

A souvenir shop and also where the cable car is.

It was 5pm already when we were done with the Kuan Yin Statue and that’s the time it’s closed so we caught the last cable car ride back down to the third level. We went to have a quick look at the Pagoda. There was some fee to get in which I can’t remember correctly but it’s not much.

The temple on the Pagoda side is just as nice and beautiful as the others! There are a few Buddha statues inside also for people to pray and stuff but it was after 5pm already so not many ppl around there to be seen.

One example photo of the Buddha Statue.

Cute tiny orange-looking trees in front of the temple :)

The Pagoda

The door in front of the Pagoda, another nice city view :)

So yeah, that was my Kek Lok Si experience, it took me half a day to see all of it. If u ask me, this is the place you must never ever miss when you come to Penang.

Before ending my third day in Penang, we went to have dinner at the Revolving restaurant in the City Bayview Hotel. If I remember correctly..the Buffet dinner is around 37RM++ a person on Mondays-Thursdays and 45RM++ on Fridays-Sundays, from around 6-7pm to 10.30pm. If you are interested, please check with the hotel for an accurate info :)

Well, we made a reservation for 8pm, the restaurant is nice, I guess. You can see the city view and some boring hotel roof-top view also, hehe. It’s not that great becoz it doesn’t go around smoothly. The food was nothing special, no pork, like usual since it’s Halal certified. There were some international food and local food. The only memorable thing there was dessert! Nice dessert selection they had, hehe. The reason I’m not all impressed with it coz it’s quite noisy since so many ppl go eat there as groups or families..also a few couples. So imagine the kids running around inside the revolving restaurant like a playground. Luckily, I didn’t spill any hot coffee on them by accident, oops!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Hello Penang!! Part II (Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion)

Day 2: April 12, 2006
We started our tour today by going to Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion. The guided tour started at 11am and we got there just at lil earlier than that so we had some time to look around and take some photos.
This place is absolutely gorgeous!! The wonderful indigo blue house originally owned by Cheong Fatt Tze, a Chinese guy from a poor family long time ago that migrated to South-East Asia (Indochina back then?) and worked very hard then became a weatlhy man. Well if u wanna know more about the history of it, u can go check it out here for a brief version or cown down to Penang to have a tour yourself :)
Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take photos inside the house. We can take photos from the outside, that’s all. By the way, the fee to visit this place is something between 10-12RM, sorry I can’t remember exactly :P

The guide there was a Chinese woman. The stuffs she was telling us is about Cheong Fatt Tze, the history of this place, the restoration, and A LOT about Feng Shui, Yin-Yang and stuff like that which was interesting...only that I found her kinda annoying sometimes because she wanted us to participate too much and didn’t want us to fall asleep so she kept asking questions and really trying to squeeze the answers out of our mouths which made me feel like I was listening to a bitchy teacher or something.

The front part of this beautiful mansion.

I really love the decoration here..

After the tour of this place we went to Penang Museum which is not so far away from the mansion. The museum was fine, I guess. We were forbidden to take photos in there also but I did anyway, haha:P

Nothing much in the museum that I found it that interesting..mostly some props and photos. I’m sorry to Penang ppl but I’m just not a person who’s interested in history.This is the photo of a Chinese wedding bed in the old time..i think..

Oh I forgot to mention, on my way from Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion to the museum, it was like a lil after noon so the school was over or something. So many school kids were out and about and I saw the Penang(or Malay rather) school bus which I found it quite ghetto looking and more like a prisoner bus..

When we finished with the museum, we were trying to find St. George’s Church, the first church on the island or something like that, but the map we got for free(made by tourism Penang, I think) is really fucked up and we got lost. (And yes it was really fucked up, not that we were to stupid to figure out the map becoz we found the museum later on and we also compared the map with the free one..it was totally on different street!)
So we got tired of getting lost in the middle of nowhere and decided to go have a cup of coffee at Komtar instead. Since it’s a famous shopping mall..we were hoping to find something like..er..Starbucks :P

Well, well, well..I was being a lil optimistic. Komtar was actually quite old and a lil ghetto. It reminded me of a shopping mall by the Victory Monument in Bangkok called Center One which is ghetto also.
Anyway, we did find Starbucks :) here’s the proof, haha. And yes I did look terrible becoz it was very sunny and hot, ok??!

Me looking tired in Starbucks :P

We got some rest and having some Laksa noodle, the famous Penang food (that’s what recommended in the Lonely Planet book), it tasted weird, btw, some noodle with tamarind soup..tamarind!! Well, too bad I forgot to take the photo :(
Anyway, we decided to continue our journey by going to Kuan Yin Temple, a Chinese Buddhist temple. It was sooooooooo crowded when we got there, so many Chinese ppl there. Too bad I couldn’t get good photos becoz it was so bright and clouded with smoke from the incense sticks thingy.

According to the free ghetto ass map we had, Khoo Kongsi was supposed to be walkable from Kuan Yin temple so we decided to walk there. So here we go again, ladies and gentlemen, we went right where the spot was on the map and it wasn’t there…
After awhile I decided to forget it and got tired of walking..so I went back to the hotel and got some nap instead :POh on our way to Khoo Kongsi expedition..i found this interesting Islamic Place, though, I don’t know what it is and couldn’t find out either coz they were doing their muslim ritual in there.

Before ending my second day in Penang we went to have some food for dinner at another muslim restaurant next to SOHO Free House.

It’s pretty popular, according to the amount of ppl eating there. It opens until 4am and the food was great!! I had rice and honey chicken…so delicious!

I know it looks like kinda messy and dog food alike..but the taste is awesome. So there goes my 2nd day in Penang..2 more days to go :)

To be Continued: My 3rd day in Penang (The Kek Lok Si day)

Thanks to Wikipedia