Adventure in Penang, Malaysia

Published November 1, 2010 by Mary Jane

Morning All, yes I’m awake at around 8am this morning. Got a day off today since it’s the Melbourne Cup day and I don’t work on Tuesdays. Still got the hayfever which is keeping me awake at night when I start rubbing my itchy eyes. Anyways, I’ve recently came back from Malaysia/Singapore trip it was only a short trip for a week so I’m going to quickly cover the things we did in Penang, Malaysia. I’ve never been to Penang before and this was my first time there. We were only there for two days. I went with Pandabear, my mum and my mate Shirlyn 🙂

We booked ourselves into the hotel “G hotel” a lovely place to stay, modern and the great thing about it is that there’s a huge multistory shopping centre called Gurney Plaza just right behind it. How convenient for a lazy shopper like me. heheheh…so we checked ourselves in and my mate Shirlyn’s daddy works in Penang so he was going to arrange all our dining outings. Yay! I love it when there’s a local person who can take us around, save us researching and testing out which restaurants served great food. Since we only have 2 days in Penang, Shirlyn asked me whether I wanted to visit the temples or do some scenery visits. I was like Nope! I’ll be happy to spend the two days shopping and eating 🙂

So day 1, I decided to get my hair done as the Aussie dollar was quite strong and it’s expensive to get my hair rebonded (straightening your hair chemically) so I checked out the salon within the shopping centre plaza. Came across a few of them and checked out their prices and decided to go for this salon which uses Shisheido products for straightening hair and treatments. I’m a Shisheido girl – I used their make up and skin care products most of the time, I was surprised they even have hair products too! I was amazed to see that all the hair stylist were male so I asked them how come there’s no female stylist? They replied “it’s too hard to employ female stylist, they end up finding a rich boyfriend and quit their job” hehehe, I see. So the hairdressing dude told me it should take approximately 3 hours for rebonding and if I want to colour my hair it will be additional 2 hours. I was like that’s 5 hours in total wasted on my hair. So I told them, I’ll just rebond my hair and maybe colour my hair the next day. That way I still have some time for shopping 🙂

The hairdressing dude was pretty clever, he was feeling my hair and said to me would you like to try our 7 process Shisheido hair treatment cos your hair is very dry and after rebonding probably would damage your hair slightly. It didn’t take too long for the dude to convince me so I went for the hair treatment. Anyways, it turned out that I had so much hair and because of the 7 process treatment plus a free trim, it too me around 5 hours in total to get my hair done! The end result was great, my hair is straight and nice and silky except I can’t wash my hair for two days due to the straightening chemicals!! Argh!!!

So onto the food part since I didn’t get time to shop for day 1. But here’s some of food we’ve ate. I’ll do a full post on the restaurants review separately. So Shirlyn’s dad is a CEO of an Electronic company in Malaysia and he gets his own private driver named Naga. Naga is a lovely Indian dude, he’s ever so cheerful and has a beautiful smile. It’s great as when ever we need a ride to places, Shirly’s daddy would call Naga and he’ll be waiting outside. It was upper class treatment for us to ride in a Mercedes every where we go 🙂 I call him the Ninja Naga, cos he seems to appear out of nowhere. Then I was told when we have our dinner he would wait outside till we finish and drive us home. But what does he do outside?? Doesn’t he get bored?? I was told he gets paid for doing nothing usually he takes a small smoke and sits in his car resting or chatting to some fellow drivers outside.

So Shirlyn’s daddy (aka Uncle Lee) took us to a Japanese restaurant – apparently there’s many Japanese restaurants in Penang, some are rubbish according to Uncle Lee this particular restaurant sells the most authentic Japanese food as the chef is Japanese and so is the owner. So I was so excited as I love Japanese food. Man, can I tell you it’s one of the best Japanese food I’ve ever had…so many varieties. Uncle Lee ordered so much cos my mate told him I was a big eater 😛 in the end we were struggling to finish some of the food. But here’s some snap shot of some of the food we’ve ordered…

So for brekkie the next day, Uncle Lee decided to take us for some Roti Canai and he was so thoughtful that he even freezed packed some durians for us. As at the time we were there durians aint in season, so he freezed the different varieties of durians for us so that we can enjoy the lovely durians. Well, for Pandabear anyways. Mummy and I both hates durians, it must be a Malaysian thing – cos we both don’t like the strong pungent taste of durians – to me it tasted like cross between garlic, rotten cheese and sweet custard. But, I was willing to try a few pieces as Uncle Lee promised once I’ve had durians 3 times, I’ll fall in love with it. This is my second time with Durians!! Surprisingly, they didn’t taste too bad, quite sweet 🙂 I didn’t fall in love with it but hey…maybe my third time with durians may just do the trick! Uncle Lee mentioned he would only take us to this Roti Canai shop cos it’s clean, I was like are there any dirty stories about Roti Canai? He replied “yes, there is but once I tell you. You would never have roti canai again!!” so after me hassling Uncle Lee to tell us the stories, he was quite stubborn and refuse to tell me the stories. Till this day, I still don’t know about dirty story of roti canai…

Roti Canai with curry

Roti Canai with curry

freshly freezed durians

freshly freezed durians

So after brekkie, Naga the Ninja dropped us off to shopping and Uncle Lee has to go back to his office as he’s a very busy man! So off we went it’s shopping for me. I think there was about 5 stories worth of shopping, so we started from the top floor and worked out way down. Btw, I didn’t get my hair colour done. Didn’t want to waste more time on my hair. I love shopping at this complex not only there’s so many shops to look around but lots of little stores in the middle of shopping centre selling knick knacks 🙂 Most of you would know I love my knick knacks and they were really cheap too. So I bought a large bag worth of knick knacks from different stores = a very happy Maryann. We decided it’s best to split up with Pandabear cos he wants to look at his ‘guys stuff’ and I’m sure he will nag me or talk me out of buying my knick knacks so it’s best he doesn’t tag along with us girls. We set a time to meet up back at the hotel at 6pm for dinner. So that gives us approximately 5 hours to shop.

Now I’m fast shopper, I give myself approximately 5 minutes for each shop so I can cover all the shops – when I spot a good shop I would stay there for up to 15-30 minutes trying out their clothes. I decided, I may as well spend most of my shopping money in Penang as it’s definitely going to be cheaper in Malaysia than Singapore due to the exchange rate! There was a money exchange place right in the shopping centre – how convenient they must get tourists here all the time. So I exchanged 1/2 of my shopping money and went off shopping. I ended up buying some cook books, some clothes and lots of knick knacks and when I looked into my wallet I only got some money left. I decided to head down to my last stop – Shisheido skin care products and found out their make up and skin care is actually quite cheap compared in Australia. So I ran out of money and borrowed my mate’s money and off I went buying my shisheido products and because I have bought a certain amount, they gave me a free nice pink bag 🙂 and a gift voucher of RM50 so I was happy to hunt around to spend my RM50 – so I ended up buying a work shirt for RM50 and a pair of socks.

So time flies when you’re having fun, it was dinner time. Uncle Lee has came to meet us for dinner and bought us some freshly squeezed sugar cane drinks and oh we also had some snacks while we were shopping too..here’s some photos of it…

Anyways, dinner is Chinese and it’s a huge Chinese restaurant – I would think this place hosts regular wedding functions. So we were escorted to our VIP room and all the staff knows Uncle Lee, he must be one of the regulars there and they know what he’s going to order! The food was delicious, fresh produce a variety of prawn curry, steamed fish (was caught live outside from the tanks, I couldn’t bear watching them catch our fish cos I won’t be able to eat it afterwards), abalone dish with lots of vegetarian items. The Chinese food here are really great 🙂 Uncle Lee really knows his food…some photos of the dishes we ate…

To end off our last dinner, Uncle Lee took us to Nonya House which specialise in traditional Nonya dishes 🙂 what a great idea…the whole restaurant is actually a house and when you walk inside it has a traditional Malaysian taste with it’s decorations. Apparently all the interior decorations were decorated by the owner himself. Ofcourse, the waitress greeted Uncle Lee, once again I believe he’s one of the regulars here. Uncle Lee suggests that we try this fruit drink which is kinda like a rare fruit we don’t have it in Australia. But sorry I can’t remember the exact name due to my fish memory. It tasted like a cross between guava and lime and they served it with a dried plum. The dishes there I’ve never tasted them before – it was awesome and tasty 🙂 Uncle Lee saw me digging in and started ordering more and more dishes until I told him I think my stomach is going to explode and that made him stop ordering….here’s some of the dishes we had…

Uncle Lee was really strict in where he brings us to dine, so we didn’t have any hawker style street food as he didn’t want us to get sick. Just as well as I had a minor food poisoning in Singapore later on 🙂 I must have gained like a few kgs eating all these exotic food. We had a wonderful time in Penang and would definitely pay another visit but next time we would explore the scenary routes such as the beautiful beach, temples and perhaps the night market (Uncle Lee told us he wouldn’t recommend us going cos there’s pick pockets there…)

Thanks to Uncle Lee & Auntie Lee for being so hospitable to us and showing us around during these 2 short days worth of trip.

till next time Penang…

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