Friday, January 05, 2007

Penang Trip - Part 3

Our next destination takes us to , another great tourist attraction, Kek Lok Si temple. For a more politically correct explantion click on this , Kek Lok Si. The picture is taken upon the arrival at the foot of the hill which the great temple is located on. Found a car park usherer and followed his directions, RM5 please, non negotiable. Private parking ma, so pay lo.

As we made our way up we had to walk past small little stalls before we reach the courtyard of the temple. It reminds me very much of my last trip to this temple which was more than 15 years ago. It hasn't changed much. Still selling junk to rip off small kids. The only things that have changed is that they now have Chelsea Football Jerseys for sale at this stalls, it used to be Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United Jerseys only.

At the half way point you will reach a small, filthy pond, filled with tortoises. The water so filthy it was green and sticky, just imagine slime. One guy was seen arranging vegetables , tied up in rubber bands. Caught his eye and he spoke in English, RM1 for each to feed the turtles. I said no thanks. We walked on.

We walked further up and we managed to see a very nice vegetarian restaurant. Looks posh but I wondered who would be eating the food in there. Took a peep, and found it to be empty. It was about 1pm. I thought this restaurant might signal that we have arrived at the temple site itself. But we reached another landmark, a mini pagoda, with two Buddha Statues, open air one. I believe this to be the actual court yard which leads to the main temple grounds. We found another attraction. There were a few persons sitting by the walkway, I assume they were attractions too, but when I tried to take a picture, the old lady snarled and spoke in perfect English, " No Pictures Please !"

Okay , the was something I did not expect. But a short climb of a few flights of stairs ( the beginning of many that day) we arrived at the actual Temple grounds. Kek Lok Si, is nice, beautiful , and we managed to get to the summit of the Pagoda. Then we went on to the site of the huge Kuan Yin Bronze Statue, located at the summit of the hill. Awesome sights. Tourists here and there, but for us we just took a few pics and left before we have to que up again to go back down the hill. Oh ya , we donated a few bucks to see the Pagoda, and then we donated another a few more bucks to use the Horizontal Lift to reach the Kuan Yin Temple. Walking is no longer encouraged. There was a prayer room specially dedicated to the different types of buddha too. I thought this temple is one of the nicest compared to Thean Hou Temple in KL.

So after visiting the temple, we managed to sample Air Hitam Market's Asam Laksa. Personally I think that this Asam Laksa was quite tasty compare to the Pg Road one. It looks dirty, but surprisingly no LAO SAI after eating this. We also managed to find , Tau Sar Pneah, Halal Ones. We grabbed a few boxes for our office colleagues. I must say these biscuits are quite tasty, my colleagues loved it.

After temple, we met up with Scully. He brought us to Balik Pulau to try his favourite CKT. But the stall not open. So we came back, and had Lrg Selamat Big Prawn CKT instead. Yum yum. But the highlight of the day was Roti Babi, home made from his house. When he mentioned his aunties were making Roti Babi, my eyes widened. Most superb tasty Roti Babi.

We got back by 7pm. Sun set was never spectacular in Penang, at least thats the impression you get from the view in the hotel room. We made arrangements with Tamiya, to meet up later that night. He will bring us to sample , what they claim to be the best WanTon Mee and Best Hokkien Mee in Penang. So they brought us to one eatery in Third Street. After trying it, so so only. Cheh. Prawn mee oso, like that only. I just noticed something. Penang Hawker food serves their chili sauce, prawn sauce, sambal , in the soup spoon. In KL, they will give you a little saucer to store your kicap, chili sauce or sambal. So in Penang they expect you to pour everything into the noodles.

We had a little party at a place they call SS. The mood for partying also SoSo only, just likes the initials of the place. Anyway the next day we were heading towards Jerejak Island. I like to call it the Island off the Island of Penang. Before we went to the jetty we headed towards Feringgi Beach, then off to Balik Pulau to find that illusive CKT and Prawn Mee and Pasembor. All three also we found, and the food was awesome. Although the CKT was probably not the same one Scully mentioned, but it was nice. We found this kwai lou trying the famous Asam Laksa for the first time. It was so tasty, his lack of ability in using the chopsticks didn't stop him from eating his asam laksa.

After lunch we headed towards Bayan Lepas to the jetty. Our tummys turned on us once we reached the island. Must have been food poisoning. Overall the island was relaxing and slow. The service was nice, and place was quiet. For two days, Sayang wasn't feeling very well. We had to look for something light and watery to eat for dinner. So we drove around town for awhile and we found this porridge shop. Unlike most CKT and Prawn Mee Stall owners, these fellas do not speak Cantonese. It means , it is not very popular with tourists.

We ordered Teo Chew style porridge, the ones made with long rice and was very watery type. Ordered black meat ( something like char siu but is not), mui choi ( nice one), ordered one vege and we had Stewed Phoenix claws ( chicken feet la).... wakakaka. Everything was nice. Definitely stumbled upon a gem here. This porridge stall is located at Lrg Selamat and open only at night.

By the next morning we were eagerly going to check out after breakfast. Tummies still not feeling very well. We happilly left Penang Island as soon as we got into our car. Heading south , we were comtemplating whether to stop by Ipoh or not. In the end we did.

Onn Kee Taugeh Ayam. From no appetite , also made us got appetite. I ordered a bowl of Kwai Teow Soup while Sayang had her rice. She finished everything (not bad for someone who has tummy ache), that just proves how good the chicken was. Simply the best la.

Overall the trip was a success. My face was round before the trip , and it got rounder after the trip. We managed to try out some of the best hawker foods in the country. Best chicken from Ipoh. I certainly did not realize how cheap the food was until we came back and had Chili Pan Mee in Chow Kit. It was RM4.60 per bowl and we had to order 3 bowls for the two of us.

Our friends from Penang , definitely made this visit a special one. They really brought us around and showed us around really very well. Special thanks goes to Karyn and Shades(wink). Of course Scully who provided us a piece of his Roti Babi.