To all parents and teachers, if you want to know how much you need to invest for your kids to be a musician, and how wide the scope of music, and the type of intrument is, from East to West, from European to Chinese music, most of them can be found in this shop located in Midland Park, Penang.
I was in the shop to buy some accesorry for my daughter's dulcimer, a kind of string music intrument.
I was with a happy VT couple - Aussirose from Australia onboard the ferry from Butterworth to Penang.
When disembark, I can't startup my car, the battery was dead. Very soon, the traffic instructors on deck offer their assistance. As it is difficult to jump start an automatic transmission car, what we did was to push the car disembark the jetty. It was ashame for me to invite Ann and Howard to push a car on ferry, but I hope it would become a funny memory to them.
On the jetty, the officer on duty help to do something, soon I decided we need to change the battery as the old one was more than 2 years 2 months old.
The mechanic arrived with a fresh battery 20 minutes later. We have our problem fixed with a little bit extra charge, but I believe it was a norm.
This was not the fondest memory but a reference for others who might meet this in future.
Durian - The King of Fruit.
The Durian festival is organized by Ministry of Tourism during the month of June till July at Anjung Indah, Balik Pulau. My office friends and I went round Penang Island and we stopped here to enjoy eating some Durian and local fruits like yellow rambutans, mangosteen and other fruits on season.
A tip, when you missed Penang Food. Siamese Laksa and Penang Laksa both types of Laksa you can find in Penang. So I include them here as my favourite and hope be your favourite too.
Siamese Laksa Gravy:
3 big onion - sliced
10 - 15 cili padi
5 red cili
2 serai - sliced
1 pc of belacan
Blend all this ingredients and tumis with 4tbsp cooking oil. Add 5pc asam keping and 4 limau purut leaves. Add 1liter of water, salt, sugar, fish sauce and msg...Add 1tbsp tomyam paste and tomyam chili oil..Add 1 bunga kantan (cut into half). Add 1 425gm sardine in tomato sauce..Finally add 250ml thick santan...Taste again and adjust and let it simmer for 15 minutes. There finish..
You need to boil the Laksa noodles (I used Eka Laksa beras - smaller size). Garnish with cucumber, chili, bunga kantan, slice onion, boiled egg and pour over the laksa gravy..There can eat now.. Thank you for taking some of your time to read this recipe..
The historic city of George Town is my favorite place of getting around in Penang. I am tired of skyscrapers and tipping those bell boys in star hotels. Here in George Town, Penang, I can live for a month spending less cash with greater experiences. The uncles and aunties who take care of me in those old shophouses are sooooo nice and friendly. Great time talking with them.
Fondest memory: I fell in love in front of Kapital Keling Mosque close to Little India. Penang is my second home.
How could you miss the ever famous local Penang dish,Laksa. Penang Laksa is a sour, fish-based soup dish. It’s made up of specially prepared white Laksa noodles, shredded mackerel, finely sliced vegetables like cucumber, chillies, onions, pineapple, lettuce, mint leaves and ginger buds.
This all time authentic local dish can be found all over Penang in most hawker centers.You’ll sure to love it.
500 gm fresh laksa (rice noodles)
heiko (black prawn paste mixed with boiled water to flowing consistency)
1 kg ikan kembong (mackerel)
1 bunga kantan (ginger flower) - cut into halves
6 stalks daun kesum (Thai basil leaves)
2 cups tamarind juice
2 tsp salt
1 tsp oil
1 tsp sugar
3 stalks serai (lemon grass)
3 cm piece lengkuas (galangal)
250 gm shallots
12 dried chillies - soaked
1 cm piece turmeric
1/2 cm piece belacan (shrimp paste)
1 small cucumber
1 stock lettuce
100 gm mint leaves
3 fresh chillies - sliced
1 onion - finely sliced
Put fish, salt and 5 cups of water in a pan and bring it to boil
When fish is cooked, remove bones and keep fish aside
Simmer bones for at least 30 minutes
Add ground ingredients to fish stock and bring to boil
Add tamarind juice, daun kesum, ginger flower, sugar, fish meat and oil
Simmer for 20 minutes
Gravy should be kept warm till serving time
Put the laksa in a bowl and garnish the laksa with shredded vegetables. Ladle gravy over it and add a little heiko sauce on top. Best eaten when it's hot.
There is a new Botanic Walk, about 10 minutes walk, from the free car park near the Batik Shop to Moon Gate, and continue to the entrance of the Botanical Gardens. The section between Moon Gate and the entrance is still under construction and should complete soon.
It is a very pleasant shaded walk with some up and down slopes. The old alternative is the pavement along the road which is often busy with other pedestrians and oncoming traffic.
This first picture caught a local picking the leaves called "Sarawak leave" which are edible. At this rate, all the plants of this species will be picked. Hopefully, awareness of potection public property for enjoyment of all is higher amongst the younger generation.
This elegant Moorish style clock tower was built in 1897. A contribution from a rich local Chinese businessman Cheah to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.
It is sixty feet tall to commerote the sixty years of Queen Victoria.
Located near the roundabout at corner Fort Cornwallis outside Swettenham Pier of Lebuh Light and Lebuh Beach. Used to chime correctly but I think the clock is no longer accurate timed.
Next to this clock tower, is a new addition inside the roundabout - a shining metallic fountain resembling a split betel nut (Pinang) - see picture.
Overall, one of my favs - a nice Victorian landmark made in Penang.
Dewan Sri Pinang is a popular venue for cultural events like concerts, plays or musical performances by foreign or local groups or state events or kindergarten graduation ceremonies.
Regular exhibitions of education, housing or art fairs are also held. Political parties or chess tournaments also used this venue.
Diagonally to this public building is a small garden that has been nicely replanted and guarded at night. Inside the garden is a historic 19th fountain donated by a successful local Chinese dignitary during this period by the name of Koh Seang Tat whose lavish mansion once stood where Dewan Sri Pinang is today.
Penang foods and snacks - "MUST TRY"
1. fried kuay tiao -very very good, all the best one in malaysia!
2. asam laksa -sour asam + fish soup + noodles, yum yum!
3. "xiang bing" -ingredient is "brown sugar".
4. otak -steam, no bbq
5. "pork ngo heong" -its no minced pork
Some say it smells like hell and taste like heaven. But for many local Penangites and Malaysians and Singaporeans, the durians of Balik Pulau in Penang is irresistible.
The main season is around May to June and a shorter season in November-December. There are many famous durian lines and hybrids with names like "Ang he" (Red prawn), D2, D24, Ganja. Varying from fleshy, sweet, dry, sticky, aromatic, bitter, reddish, yellowish, whitish, seedless.
Some overeat and can gain weight, develop sore throat or fever. It is believe that drinking water that is poured into the inside shells of the durian has a cooling and postivie counter-effect.
Choosing durian is an art. You can shake it, drop it or smell it near the stalk, check if the stalk is freshly severred, see if there is any visual crack or worm holes. Durian sellers often poke s sharp knife and draw out to smell if durian is of high quality or not.
Best is to eat at the spot. Fresh. If poor quality, reject. Bargaining of price of a durian is an art. Generally durian seller cannot be trusted 100%. Beware that durian thorns can prick.
This 65th storey tall building is the landmark of George Town. It houses most of the State Council deparments and a central bus network system. It is no longer the premier shopping center that it once was.
K.O.M.T.A.R. is the acronymn for Kompleks Tunku Abdul Razak, the second Prime Minister of Penang. Komtar is located where Penang Road and Macalister Road meets which is the heart of Georgetown.
There is a restaurant and a souvenir shop at the top of the tower for a great panaromic view. The are sky bridges from Komtar to newer neighboring shopping complex of Prangin Mall.
The Malayan Railway used to stop at Perai and then with a ferry get to Penang Island to a jetty across the road to this old Railway Building with the clock tower.
For many decades, this Clock Tower was the landmark of Penang Island, the tallest building that can be seen by all who approaches to Penang Island by the only mode of transport that is by sea.
Today is houses the Customs Department. And if you take the ferry, you will see the Clock Tower welcoming you with the taller Komtar and Penang Hill in the background.
The island of Penang is small enough to explore easily in about one week. With an area of about 285 km², it is about the same size as the islans of El Hierro, Antigua or Malta. It is very close to the mainland and actually connected to it through a 13,5 km long bridge.
The State of Penang also comprises a narrow stripe of land adjacent to the coast in peninsular Malaysia.
These pictures show different air shots of the State of Penang.
Penang is the oldest of the Bristish settlements in the Straits of Melacca, but everything is relatively new and modern here. As a matter of fact, the city was founded only about two centuries ago in a former moor.
Due to its strategic location of its port on the long route from Europe to China it soon prooved to be vital in Britain's plans to replace the Dutch in the control of the region.
In order to increase the population, the British authorities offered land to anyone wanting to establish on the island. That is why people coming from all of Sout East Asia (Burma, Thailand, India, Malaysia and, particularly, China) were attracted to the island and they all have left their traces in the local culture.
The prosperity of Penang declined when Singapore became the main trade centre in the area. This has allowed for the preservation of a much more authentic and picturesque Chinatown than almost anywhere in South East Asia.
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