I’ve been back in Manila since Monday morning, and I’m now waiting for another flight out. I’ll just be gone for the weekend, to attend the Visayas leg of the Philippine Blog Awards, since I missed the main event in Manila. But this post is not about this trip, it’s about my last weekend in Penang.
My work week has ended at 6am this morning, so I checked out of Sunway to move to a more budget friendly accommodation. I’m now in my room at the Hutton Lodge, a beautifully restored colonial-style house. Ironically, despite the huge price difference, my Internet connection here at Hutton (wireless, very low reception) is heaps better than my Internet connection at Sunway (wired).
Still, rather than regret the amount I spent, I just tell myself that here at Hutton, I don’t have this view outside my window.
Penang was shrouded in gray when I looked out the window. I went back to my book, resigned to the fact that there’s nothing I can do to change the weather. The plane’s descent seemed to take forever, the landing bumpy and for lack of better term, swerve-y. Soon enough, I was stamped back into Malaysia and driving through highways and streets made familiar by my previous trip.
The rain poured in earnest as we were driving towards Georgetown, where I’ll be staying for the next couple of days. I decided to go back to Penang because I felt I missed a lot when I hurriedly left the island last June. This time, I’m taking my time to get to know the city.
“Oh wow,” we exclaimed, almost in unison. We were 185 feet off the ground, riding the Space Shot, one of Genting Highlands’ most popular rides. Genting Highlands sits approximately 1,850 meters above sea level, so we were really high up. We marveled at the scene before us: Kuala Lumpur in the distance, the Petronas Twin Towers looking like tiny cellphone charms rising above the clouds that shroud the city. Majestic blue mountains surround the sprawling metropolis, making the view much more breath taking.
“Damn, we should have brought our camer–WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRGGHHH!!!”
One of the things that was presented during the press conference we attended in Malaysia was the ASEAN Pass. The ASEAN Pass is a set of four prepaid vouchers that would let you travel to up to four Southeast Asian cities served by Malaysia Airlines for as low as US$229 in economy class or US$729 in business class.
Malaysia Airlines’ Airbus A330 that we rode from KL to Manila. Forgot to take a photo before another plane parked right beside it. Pfft.
Of course, the big question is, what’s the asterisk?
First off, a disclaimer: this is not meant to be an end all and be all of Malaysian food. The food and restaurants featured in this post are a small sampling of Malaysian cuisine. And of course, these are my favorites. I have to admit that I have never really been adventurous when it comes to food. Sure, I’ll try the weird stuff, but not when I’m alone. So when I’m off wandering solo, I’d usually stick to the familiar, and steer clear of anything that looks spicy, which is a hindrance since a lot of Southeast Asian nations have a penchant for chili. Thanks to Marie, our tour guide, we were enlightened to the wonders of Malaysian food. Now I know what to order next time I find myself back in Malaysia.
I never thought I’d go shopping in Malaysia. It’s always Singapore and Bangkok that I associate with shopping, never Kuala Lumpur. I have other trips in the works, so shopping isn’t really something that I should be doing. But I’m weak, so I succumbed to the call of several material items. Well, chocolates and tea.
I was the only one in our group who walked away empty handed from our shopping stop at Sungei Wang last Sunday. Of course, Monday changed everything. Jonker Walk in Malacca is just plain evil. Not only is it overly crowded with daytrippers, there are plenty of stalls selling all kinds of knick knacks and food that are calling out for you to buy them.