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We’ve finally reached the fourth and last destination of our Malaysia road trip, the lovely Gergetown, Penang. Singaporeans may know Penang for its beautiful beaches, picturesque locations, and of course, the Penang Char Kway Teow! After leaving our previous destination Kuala Lumpur, we wanted to take it easy with a slower-paced itinerary - one with a focus on relaxation, Instagrammable spots, and famous delicacies.
Here’s what we did during our three-day road trip in Penang!
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We stayed at the Seven Terraces Hotel, a four-star hotel located in the center of Georgetown. We chose this hotel specifically because it was closely located to many of our destinations of interest.
Built in the 19th Century, the hotel reflected Anglo-Chinese traditional heritage architecture and consisted of a row of seven terraced houses (hence the name)! Compared to our hotel in KL, Seven Terraces had a more peaceful and secluded vibe with its main entrance on a quiet lane and rooms accessible through a private courtyard. Here, we couldn't help but feel like we were transported back in time.
Photo: Seven Terraces - Penang
Just a short walk away from our hotel is the Camera Museum which houses over 1,000 cameras including an extensive Leica camera collection, a rare Magic Lantern projector from the 1900s, and a silent movie projector. Being photography enthusiasts, we were super excited when we got the chance to hold some of the vintage cameras! And of course, we also spent a lot of time taking photos in the museum to commemorate the moment.
For those of you who love photography, you can head over to this online store called YL Camera
which has all sorts of cameras, lenses, photo accessories, tripods, and even drones! Or if you’re just looking for a simple disposable camera to bring along on your trips, you can get ones from Kodak and Fujifilm from RM38-RM60 (~S$12.12-S$19.14).
Photo: Asia Camera Museum
The Camera Museum is not the only Instagram hotspot in Penang - just an eight minute walk away is the Cheong Fatt Sze Mansion, a Peranakan-style estate from the 19th century which was one of the filming locations for Crazy Rich Asians! Also known as The Blue Mansion, this was the place where Rachel Chu and Eleanor Young had their famous mahjong face-off. Just another three minutes away from the mansion is another filming location, the E&O Hotel which you may recognise from some of the movie’s opening scenes!
If you need help with that OOTD inspiration to embody your inner Crazy Rich Asian, check out Duchess & Co
, a homegrown Malaysian fashion brand infusing classic designs with modern elements. Browsing through their Facebook shop made us immediately fall in love with their modern cheongsams and ruffled dresses! Another Malaysian brand - Mimpikita
, also reimagines Malay garments as luxurious, breathable casualwear, as well as Anaabu
which specialises in unisex designs inspired by traditional costumes.
During our trip, Penagites told us that trying Penang Char Kway Teow was a must! Just a short drive from our hotel was Siam Road Char Koay Teow, an old school store labelled as Penang’s Char Kway Teow King. At only RM6.50 (S$2.80), this delicious plate of goodness is served with pork lard, cockles, and rice noodles. It was so good that we slurped everything up!
Another popular Penang dish is the Penang White Curry Noodle, which we enjoyed at a small food court at the entrance of Tan Jetty. Penang’s White Curry Noodle has a more distinct and fragrant taste than regular Curry Mee with its milky, silky taste. You can also create this mouthwatering dish in the comfort of your home by buying the MyKuali Penang White Curry Instant Noodle, which was also named by the Los Angeles Times as the second best instant noodle in the world! At MyKuali
, you can also buy Penang Hokkien Mee Instant Paste or Penang Hokkien Prawn Noodle Cups. Yum!
Since we spent a lot of time in shopping malls during our road trip to KL, we decided to switch things up by shopping at local pop-up markets in Penang. We visited two places - the Hin Pop Up Market which was a Sunday flea market showcasing products from small businesses, independent artists, and crafters, as well as Jetty 35, a heritage-focused space housing a cafe, art gallery, and numerous arts and crafts stalls.
In fact, Penang is home to many novelty and lifestyle e-stores such as WRITER
, and The Warung
We also visited a few art galleries, including the Daichi Art Space which showcases an impressive collection of classic and contemporary visual artworks from Malaysia, China, and Southeast Asia. Seeing these beautiful art pieces made us want to buy some art pieces to decorate our home! While talking to some visitors at the gallery, they recommended us to check out Artisan Malaysia
, a website selling customised and affordable artwork by Malaysian artists.
Want to be a walking piece of art instead? Online store Earth Heir
sells handcrafted Malaysian heritage pieces such as woven tote bags and motif jewellery - all handmade and hand stitched by artisans from women’s cooperatives, indigenous tribes and refugees. Not only will you look good with these jewellery pieces, you’ll also be doing good for the environment since Earth Heir’s products and packaging are made from natural fibres and biodegradable materials.
After walking around the whole day, we would go for a relaxing massage at Penaga Spa. We signed up for a 3-day package and enjoyed an amazing foot and back massage which instantly got rid of all our muscle knots. We also liked how the spa had a homey, rustic ambience which was very different from the usual lavish, luxurious-looking spas that we would visit in KL or JB!
Those who want to feel relaxed at home can also purchase these high-quality, affordable foot and handheld massagers from GINTELL
. The products go as low as RM398 (~S$127.19) for a portable massager, and sometimes even lower when there are seasonal sales.
At night we loved to visit Apong Guan, a store selling Malaysian peanut pancake turnover dessert, also known as Apam Balik. Apong Guan has been selling Apam Balik for over five decades and is an old-school favourite among many Penangites. We especially loved how fluffy the pancakes were, as well as their sweet fillings of shredded coconut flesh and sliced bananas.
You can attempt to make your own version of the Apam Balik with these pancake machines from the Newstore Malaysia Online Store
. Newstore also has tons of other products such as Takoyaki machines, waffle machines, and chocolate fondue sets so you can make your own delicious desserts with your family!
Another must-do in Penang is to visit any one of their gorgeous beaches! We drove all the way to Batu Ferringhi Beach from Georgetown on the last day of our road trip, and although the ride took almost an hour, it was absolutely worth it. The sandy beach was clean with clear water, shady trees, and dreamy hills in the distance.
While laying on our picnic mats, we browsed through some famous Malaysian swimwear brands to inspire our next beach outfit, such as Pink N' Proper
with its signature braided straps, and Ozero Swimwear
’s one-piece swimsuits in Italian Lycra. We also loved the brand La Bumba
which featured both cheeky cuts and classic shapes!
On the way back from Batu Ferringhi, we also stopped by AugustFame, a plant nursery specialising in succulents which are meant to promote fresh air and relaxation. Succulents have become rather trendy in Singaporean homes, with some homeowners preferring artificial ones that require less to no care! If you want to introduce some greens into your home, check out Ruma
to shop their artificial potted plants, or browse through their range of designer home furniture, home decor, and tableware.
From immersing ourselves in local culture to treating our taste buds with amazing food, this Malaysia road trip allowed us to experience all our neighbouring country had to offer. Upon returning to our Little Red Dot, we were also able to bring along our treasured memories and share them with our loved ones through our souvenirs and stories.
With that, we’d like to thank all the vPost readers who journeyed with us on this road trip, and we hope to see you again at our next destination!
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