The Long Awaited Trip to Penang

Hello boys and girls!

Work has been a bitch so I could only find time to post this now, like 5 months after the trip. 😛 Well even though it’s like super outdated, I still have to write about it because.. basically.. not only was it my virgin trip to this part of Malaysia, it’s also my (okay, are you ready? But don’t laugh at my misfortune) first time taking the plane. Yes bloody first time. At the age of 20. If you hate me this is the best time to rejoice, yay!

So I managed to crawl out of my cave on 5 March, boarded the plane at about 2pm-ish with Baby and our usual travel friends – Wendy & Wesley. Took about 1 hour to reach our destination and were greeted with an airport which looked like our Terminal 1 when it first started.  Then we waited for what seemed to be another hour for Wesley’s rented car to be ready. We finally arrived at our hotel room at Paradise Beach Resort in the late evening 🙂 The staff were uber friendly there – I likeeee!

Because it was a free & easy trip, there wasn’t any itinerary. We went to the reception counter with our growling stomach to enquire about the nearest seafood eating place to dine at. Then we were chauffeured (paid ok!) to this place because there weren’t any parking spaces left on a weekend:

East Hokkaido

I wouldn’t say the food there is fantastic. They came with quite small portions and they are not cheap either. Standard and prices are quite comparable to the seafood here in Singapore. But the service there was fantastic because the waitress assigned to our table were so attentive to us that we tipped her before we left. But being so honest she surrendered the money to the management because she felt weird being tipped for doing her job. Haha! Anyway, pictures.

W&W Chilli crab
Coconut drink
W&W
   

After eating, our chauffeur drove us to the biggest night market in Penang which is called:

Ferringhi’s Night Market

The night market stretches along the street just like our very own pasar malam, just way longer. You definitely would not be able to explore the entire place in just one day. But in my opinion scouring the entire night market isn’t necessary since the stuff sold in every store are rather repetitive. And the shopkeepers are really NOT flexible when it comes to price haggling. They’d give me excuses like, “It’s already the lowest you can find here” or “It’s already the cost price”. Huh like COME ON do you think I would believe that crap? That a pair of  (forgot which brand it’s an imitation of) boardshorts would cost 80RM??


But as much as I hate that place we went there again on the second night, NOT to find better buys there but for our foot reflexology! If my memory doesn’t fail me it should have lasted an hour, at the price of a 40-min session in Singapore or cheaper. Hehehe that was probably the highlight of the trip lor!! But unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of that as I was too engrossed with playing mahjong on the iPod touch.

Day 2 was more of sight-seeing and visiting cultural and religious places. We went to the church (actually outside only because the place was locked up), Indian temple as well as the Chinese temple which homes one of the world’s largest sleeping Buddha


Penang is actually quite similiar to Singapore. If I’m not wrong they could also be of the same size? Oh and they have their very own butterfly farm too! Not much difference from the one we have at Sentosa. On top of butterflies they have snakes and other creepy crawlies as exhibits as well. But it’s definitely not worth the price of an admission ticket.


After the first 2 days in Penang, we felt a little bored so we went to the information counter at our hotel to ask if there were any programmes in place for inexperienced tourists like us. And we were enticed by

Rope fishing

5 words: Waste of Time and Money 😦 The boat we were on was so miserably small and it kept shaking because of the strong current. Across our boat was a group of Caucasians on a LARGER boat that didn’t seem that shaky. All of us were feeling so nausea and the boat driver had to get us back onshore after 15 minutes at the sea! I doubt there were even fishes in the first place. For your information, this experience cost me 120RM.  -_-

Probably the workers already knew that we’d return empty-handed, so they brought us to this island where they could whip up a rather sumptuous lunch for us to cover up some of our losses. We had chicken chop, satay and lots of other meat and fruits. And the best (or could be the worst) part was, there were wild monkeys lingering around the area attempting to steal our food! AND THEY WERE FIERCE AND STEALTHY LOR!

They thought stealing our fruits wasn’t enough ok? They even drank our PEPSI when we left our cans unattended on the table. Ewww stupid monkeys. :\

On our last day before our departure, we visited the Peranakan Museum which was the setting for our Little Nyonya show. The exhibits are not as elaborated as the one we have here, but they are more original and authentic I guess? The place looked just a Peranakan home.

When I got back to Singapore I felt this indescribable ecstasy, I don’t know why. Penang wasn’t all that fun and if you realised, we didn’t manage to taste any authentic Penang food because we couldn’t find any 😦 Maybe we needed to do more research before embarking on our trip but honestly, I wished we went to Bangkok instead (which was our original plan but was changed because of someone who stood us up).

So, in conclusion, Penang is only fun if you’re not a Singaporean, or have never been to Singapore. For every attraction you see in Penang, you’d definitely see something similiar in Singapore, which was why I never felt I left home. Hahaha! (But it was still a good getaway especially after my horrible internship experience nonetheless)

Okay that’s all for now.

I’ll be blogging again to lament about my work -_- Sorry folks but this is kinda unavoidable.

X

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A Short Trip to Desaru

I know I haven’t been blogging but do you know? You can request to follow me on Twitter (not a public account by the way, so it’s still up to me to decide who should follow me HAHAHA but don’t worry, if your intention is clear I would allow without hesitation) because I update there most of the time. And honestly, I kindda lost the urge to blog but guess whuttttt??

THE QUEEN IS BACK!! For good ‘coz I haven’t found a weekday job to keep myself occupied and I think I won’t be working since I’m interning soon. I think I deserve a break so..

I shall blog! Let me first blog about my long awaited trip to Desaru! Believe it or not it was my first trip in more than 10 years! I shall unabashedly announce that I only renewed my passport (expired in 1999) this year. Go ahead and laugh all you want.. I find it funny too. Anyway Desaru would also be my virgin trip with baby in celebration of our first year anniversary! Yep, first year already. 🙂

It took me a very long time to persuade my parents to allow me to go away during the Hungry Ghost Festival. To calm them down I promised to bring along every amulet they gave me 😛 If my memory hasn’t failed me, I think I went there with baby and two other friends (baby’s colleagues Wendy and Wesley. For convenience sake I shall call them WW since they’re a lovely couple too) on 15 August. It was a Sunday and we went there by CAR straight after work. Adventurous hor? And of course since it was my first getaway in MANY years, I was very excited and even went online to learn more about my destination..

Comments online were MOSTLY negative (i.e. many lizards, mosquitoes, bad service etc.). My mood was dampened a bit but I realised I would enjoy more if I went there with a lower expectation. And baby’s explanation makes sense too.. People only make the effort to give negative feedback but the good ones are always kept silent. So travelers, do take online comments with a pinch of salt..

So I got into the car at about 6.30 pm and arrived at Pulai Desaru Beach Resort at about 9.30 pm. The car ride there was pretty scary because you know, the street lights along Malaysian roads are SO dim! Some roads didn’t even have street lights and we had to rely plainly on reflective signs (so cheapo lor). If I said I wasn’t a single bit worried about my safety I would be lying. But thank God that was the only negative experience I had in Desaru 🙂

ROOM SERVICEFirst day was just checking into our resort rooms, ordering of room service, playing Monopoly Deal and planning of activities for subsequent days. Nothing much.. I just knew we were entitled to breakfast buffet for the 3 days of our stay there. Thankfully for baby and I, our room was BIG, well-furnished and clean. Hehe!

CROISSANTBaby and I woke up pretty late the next morning so we only had like, 30 minutes left for breakfast buffet? It was still the fasting period for Muslims so I half expected the food to be a bit blant.. cos you know, muslim chefs couldn’t taste the food and make them right.. BUT surprise surprise! Food was SPLENDID although it was only buffet! Their croissants would be one of the things on top of their scramble eggs that would make me visit Desaru again. You had to toast them yourself and trust me, the CRISP of the croissant was just awesome. I felt like a Queen having breakfast there lah and we practically had it facing the beach. Aww man, life was damn good I swear!! We had the same food (NOT SICK OF IT DEFINITELY!!) for two days. Amongst the good breakfast food we had were baked beans, chicken sausage and some other stuff which I’ve forgotten.

BABY CROC <3 After our first meal we headed to the crocodile farm by car! We were the only visitors there and had to pay RM10 on top of our admission fee (forgot how much) for a guided tour. The farm.. honestly, had nothing much except if you’re a huge fan of crocodiles. It’s an eye-opener for me because I could hold a baby croc with my BARE HANDS! Awesome or what? Teehee.. The skin was so smooth and soft and.. You get the idea!!

CROC EGGWe also learned that the crocodiles there consume humans skinned chickens probably left over from the wet markets. Some were even too lazy to move and eat. No wonder they looked so FAT. Hahaa, but cute nonetheless. The oldest crocodile there was over 100 years old! I was also given a crocodile egg (hatched already obviously) from the minders as a souvenir! 🙂 It’s now seated nicely on my dressing table.

ME AND LIL GOAT Right after crocodile farm was fruit farm! We wanted to try go-kart but it was pouring on our way there so plans changed. Unfortunately for us, it wasn’t the “right” season to visit the fruit farm because durians have ripe and eaten up! What’s left on the durian trees are some miserable-looking under-ripe durians 😦 Sigh! Maybe baby and I will go on a durian trip at Malaysia again! Tour guide was informative and helpful too. Thumbs up! But what made me miss the fruit farm was however, NOT the fruits but the mini zoo in there. Haha I kindda neglected the animals there for the goats! Awww I’ve never touched and fed so many goats in my life 🙂 But you have to pay a meagre sum to feed those poor things.. RM1.00 for a stalk of grass. I think the caretaker noticed that I enjoyed feeding them so much that he gave me a free stalk on my next purchase! SO NICE OF HIM!! Therefore RM2 for 3 stalks altogether. Yay, happy girl was me. 🙂

We had trouble finding places to eat though partly because it was still fasting period and many coffeeshops were closed and also because Desaru was kindda deserted! But it was OK, ‘coz we eventually found a decent place to dine at. For the first time, too, in my life, I broke fast with the muslims. Hahaha so dinner for DAY 2 was a mini buffet at this independent looking coffeeshop. RM10 per head. Then, we headed back to our hotel/resort and waited for the bus to bring us to the FIREFIES!! Initially I wasn’t that excited ‘coz I’d seen fireflies before during my P5 camp. But then again, Desaru surprised me..

ON OUR WAY TO WATCH THE FIREFLIESWe had to be on a ship to watch the fireflies because those pretty little things were hidden among the bushes surrounded by the waters. So our tour guides had to literally alarm those flies by splashing water towards the bushes. Within a second, the bushes lit up like Christmas trees! Sparkle sparkle, so nice!! And the best part was, they even captured some flies with their hands and GAVE THEM TO US! That night, I held so many blinking flies with my bare hands! It felt like a fairytale and it was a wonderful experience that P5 camp never gave me 🙂 The outing lasted for about 30 minutes? Well spent! It was a pity they didn’t provide us bottles to catch the flies (I know it’s a cruel thought but they are TOO PRETTY to resist!!). That would make an AWESOME souvenir. Hahaha But I think by the time we reach our resort, it would be dead. 😦

Day 3 was.. more or less shopping at Johore (City Square mall) thanks to WW’s willingless to accommodate to my shopping request (paiseh). Shopping malls were SUPER far (felt like we were going to Woodlands checkpoint) from Desaru so I think ah, we must had used up a lot of petrol during the journey. The items were priced ALMOST the same as Singapore’s so don’t be fooled. Hahaha.. But some were definitely a bargain. Baby and I ate so much there including some Italian ice cream. 🙂

DEPARTURE At night was the BEST part. We had dinner at this restaurant (weird that we couldn’t locate it on our second day using GPRS) which was owned by these Malaysians whom we felt were Singaporeans. Hahaha.. They had this claim on their signboard that they were voted BEST FOOD by Singaporeans.. so ah, cannot doubt their standard right? We had a SUMPTUOUS meal there which included CRABS! Woohoo, life was so good!! AHHHHH

And finally, we had to bid Desaru farewell on day 4! Wesley had to work at 9 am so we got to leave by 6 am to avoid the traffic jam! It was a rush but still I managed to find time to snap some last shots. I knew I was gonna MISS Desaru so much!! So if any friends plan to go Desaru again, DO LET ME KNOW OK?? 🙂

Oh yeah being Singaporean, I bought DAMN LOT of chewing and bubble gums back. HAHAHA.

More pictures shortly! Roll mouse over for description 🙂 Apparently nothing appears 😦 Don’t worry I’ll get it fixed pronto. Meanwhile just enjoy the visuals. More pics on my FB album 🙂

OUR PASS TO BREAKFAST BUFFET ORANGE JUICE CHOO CHOO TRAIN FOR KIDS BABY AND ME AT CROC FARM BABY AND I AT FRUIT FARM SOUVENIR FROM FRUIT FARM ITALIAN ICE CREAM DAY 3 DINNER :) CRABS MAN TOU TO GO ALONG WITH CRABS

Desaru would be one of my first getaways definitely! I’m on a lookout for a more affordable destination to spend my holiday at.. Probably the next place would be at Thailand? And gradually we’ll explore Europe, I hope! I shall prepare a list of countries I’d like to visit in awhile!! ^_^

More entries comin’ riiiiiight up!