Friday, April 14, 2017

Penang - The Pearl Of The Orient (Day 3)

Staying put in the same hotel relatively is a matter of convenience. Its the packing prior to journeying and checking into the next hotel I sometimes find is dreary. Moreover, trending slowly in front of my 50's is the phobia of forgetfulness. I seem hyper worried about leaving behind my things in hotels. Thus, I tend to check and re-check over and over again if I have completely packed everything. Of course, hand-phone is the most precious, oh, my other half-half as well, otherwise I won't have money to travel, even my skin care and dirty night shorts and t-shirt are valuable too. So far so good, touch wood, nevertheless, unless I force move my butt to move to another hotel, I am limiting my chance of rating those hotels. In Seberang Jaya, Light Hotel (Penang Part 1 & Part 2) seemingly is the best so far based on our few previous experiences compared to Sunway Hotel that definitely need refurbishing though I can't comment how it is now. Pearl Hotel on the other hand has been permanently banished due to their blur service and back dated plunging in wifi connection whereas I can't exactly nail why we have yet reconsidered Ixora Hotel after our one and only stay sometime back.

Needless to say then, we booked three nights in Light Hotel because as I have said earlier, it pretty much lives up to our expectations. Still, the same buffet breakfast continuously does push me to mundane land. As it is I eat like a bird or should I say I am basically a nibbler, I guess we should have checked with the hotel if we can forgo breakfast when we booked our room. We didn't, so there's no point harping about it albeit "never is never too late for anything" is one of the principles of nava-k. In this instance, it was definitely late. Dot! Breakfast on the third day then opened up at the nearby Restaurant Akbar. Supposedly a must try according to cousin, especially their fluffy and crispy roti canai teamed with fish curry and dhal curry. I couldn’t agree more. Unlike those thick doughy dense roti canai I’ve tasted, this one must be hailed. Akin you want more, at the same time, you are uncertain whether you can still eat because flat bread, aka paratha is rather filling. Unless of course for big or little piggies, most of us presumably should be satisfied with one piece considering that we have also washed it down with teh tarik. Filling!

Returning back to Light Hotel thereafter, in between the two to three hours before departing, I luxuriated over a traditional Indonesian massage in Ratu Spa. Located on the first floor of the hotel itself, Ratu Spa is a one stop high end spa for hair, body, beauty and spa treatments. Rustically adorned with wooden paneling and picturesque deco, you can be assured of total calmness, away from noisiness and busyness of people and city in this akin a secluded and also "pin-drop"silence ambiance. Service is neither a let-down. Warmth genuine customer service from the moment you walk in, until you leave after the treatment. 

I opted for the 90 minutes aromatherapy massage, not my first time though, prior to wrapping in sarong and surrendering to the well trained female masseur in the equally admirable traditional treatment room. Masseur truly knew what is expected out of her at the back, in front and knuckles of her hands. Rather a rough-tough massage I must say, and in such a traditional Indonesian massage, you should be prepared for the unpleasant and gross burping of masseur to get rid of your wind/angin and not hers please. The burping is akin an Indonesian magical charm for releasing tons of stress and body aches your body most probably is badly yearning for. That's why whenever I am in Seberang Jaya I sort of won't miss a massage in Ratu Spa. Slightly pricey but worth paying to feel a whole lot better. Of course, there are other shop-lot and house concept massage centers, these however were a jittery for me once I noticed aplenty slippers and shoes at their entrance as well as the unpleasant reception area. Wonder what the agenda is inside??  You tell me. 

We then departed from Seberang Jaya and journeyed to Passions Of Kerala, Taman Brown, Gelugor. Walking in after parking across the field in front the houses at about 1.45 pm, it was quite a relief since there were only a few customers. Otherwise I can't imagine being seated in this no frill cramped up dining area. Obviously as the name implies, its Kerala Cuisine, apparently traditional home style cooking made from scratch and what else should be the call for lunch except banana leaf meal. Rice alongside curries, chutney, pickle and side dishes, we also included fried fish, mutton parathal and chicken parathal. As we tucked in, we looked at each other and agreed that it is basically a decent meal but surprisingly have been highly rated by others. Oh really?  
Can't be faulted I agree, however, the subtle spicy hints didn't tremendously kick-bang to instantly kick-pack-punch our palates. Unfortunately no. Maybe because we are accustomed to big bold flavours of food. Then again, of course to each its own, still, I think some people sometimes tend to over-aggregate. Well, when free food review is a concern, perhaps its easier for our fingers to pick up alphabets to coin impressive beautiful words. Just my thought. What say you please?

Our next stop was at St.Anne’s Church. I insisted. Been on my wish list for the longest time, finally. Fantastically maintained big compound, you should allocated at least an hour at St. Anne's Church which has been in existence since 1833 and have been non-stop drawing thousands and more pilgrims on St. Anne’s Novena and Feast. Regardless whether you are a Roman Catholic or of other denominations or religious faith, you should preferably visit St.Anne's Church. I'm a Hindu, so what? In the eye of god, we are all equal, every religion practice realistic values and principles, above all to respect each other and every other religion. It is only the hard-cores who believe in lines and boundaries between human beings and animals. Come to think of it, despite the scorning sun that massively flamed and dehydrated my skin, I felt a sense of inner and outer peace. Thank you god! 


On our way out from Bukit Mertajam, we stopped by for the famous Kulim Pasembur and Cendol. Another must try I was told, though I was not gamed for their Pasembur, aka Indian Rojak. Cendol on the other hand was sincerely appreciated during this late afternoon. Nice! I wouldn't mind awarding a high credit since Cendol loudly screamed "fresh-fresh-exciting". Steamed pulut/glutinous rice drenched alongside coconut milk, brown sugar and green wormy cendol. Would I consider it as out of this world? Question mark!

20 minutes most to most simultaneously sweating and tucking into cendol, later we had another stop at the road side stall to pack some pickle/jeruk between the varieties of local fruits preserved in apple cider vinegar, honey and fine sugar. Hygienically made and a healthier version according to Pak Ali as he has confidently stated on the plastic bag. You can opt for the pre-packed ones or pick your choice while also considering the other food stuffs I wasn't really keen. For me, sourness is one of the most trilling tastes, therefore, I settled for a big bundle of jeruk. Mouthwatering indeed!     

Finally, we arrived at the airport to fly back to our slowly and surely built over the many years nest while cherishing the 3 days in Penang. Tiring to a certain extent due to travelling from one spot to the other, our Malaysian hot weather is never friendly and traffic in Penang is hell even during weekdays. Imagine driving or being stuck in the jam during weekends? Whatever, I am keeping my fingers crossed so that I can return to "The Pearl Of The Orient" to explore Batu Ferringhi Waterfall, Butterfly Farm, Penang Botanical Garden, Fruit Orchards and for Penang food love.

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