Having a reputation as a food paradise, be it haute cuisine, or cuisine bourgeoise (hawker fare), Penang offers a heady and exotic mix of delicious cuisine to choose from. In a word, Penang food is both famous and fabulous. When people mention Penang ...
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|Sightseeing Holiday for a weekend|
|Written by Administrator II|
|Monday, 21 September 2009 15:09|
Penang’s Gastronomic and Sightseeing Holiday for Singaporean or short holiday tour in Penang
For those who are looking for a short breakaway, Penang is the right and great place to unwind, enjoy and relax. It is just a short one hour flight away, with many interesting sites and fabulous food.
Most Singaporean feel very comfortable, at ease and relax visiting Penang as they are quite familiar with Penang’s rich multi ethnic culture, food, lifestyles, languages and the friendliness of the people. They don’t seem lost unlike when travelling to other holiday destination.
The charm of Penang has always been interesting to Singaporeans. Unlike Singapore, which is now a super ultra modern city, Penang is still a little lacklustre but maintaining it’s quaintly and charming old school way of life. Most Singaporeans coming here tend to experience a nostalgic feeling especially when they start exploring George Town. They feel it is like taking a step back yesterday once more and able to get a small peep back of what they used to know Singapore as it was during the 50’s and 60’s. It not common for Singaporean visitors to say “Oh we use to have this. What a shame we pull it down”. Well, it’s always nice to recall those treasured sentimental memories when seeing something that made you think back.
For those interested in eco tourism, Penang’s lush green tropical gardens, parks and hills offer some fascinating sights like those at Balik Pulau and Teluk Bahang. The beaches at Batu Feringgi are also attractive and well developed.
When it comes to Penang street food, Singaporean probably won’t find any problem fitting and adapting to it. In fact, many Singaporean come to Penang for their annual “food pilgrimage”!!! Most would agree that Penang hawker food is more authentic and the hawkers are able to dish out the full flavours of the foods. This is because many of the hawkers here still keep to their originality in the preparation and the usage of the ingredients.
The exchange rate is another reason why visiting Penang is always worthwhile. At RM2.45 to a Singapore dollar, visitors from Singapore only have to pay $1.40 for a bowl of noodle that cost RM3.50. It means Singaporean will automatically get a discount on whatever they spend in Penang!!!
The open sky policy now practice by both governments has seen several budget airlines getting into the lucrative Penang-Singapore route. Joining in after AirAsia was JetStar, Tiger Airways and SilkAir which fly in directly at rock bottom prices.
From the airport, there are several ways to get to your destination. You can hire a car/coach, take the taxi or use the public bus known as Rapid Penang. The booth for car rental is just on the right side of the arrival entrance whereas the main taxi booth is on the right in front of the exit.
If you prefer to drive, use the North-South Highway which will lead you straight to Penang. The journey takes approximately eight hours. An alternative would be by rail with an interchange at Kuala Lumpur. This journey will take up to twelve hours.
Penang is not all old charms. There are lush green parks and garden that’s worth venturing. Penang Hill, Tropical Spice Garden, Balik Pulau durian plantation, Penang Botanical Gardens and The Butterfly Farm are all within reach from each other. For the sun and beach, Batu Feringgi offers some fascinating and gorgeous beaches with plenty of water sports.
There are also celebrations of various ethnic communities’ festival and annual events organise by the state government. The Penang International Dragon Boat Festival, Penang Bon Odori Carnival, Penang Bridge International Marathon, Thaipusum, Chingay Performance, Hungry Ghost Festival, Nine Emperor God Festival, celebration of the Jade Emperor on eight day of Chinese New Year, the Feast of St.Anne and “open houses” during Hari Raya are all held with great prom and on a grand scale.
The Gurney Drive Hawker Centre with over ninety stalls gives you different varieties of street food in one area. This is a popular multi ethnic food centre which enables visitors to eat all sorts of Malay, Indian Muslim and Chinese food. The other is at the Esplanade Hawker Centre. Here you find mouth watering and delectable mee udang, mutton soup, fried mee, mee java and pasembur.
For durian feast the best time will be in late May till early August. The best durian plantations are located Balik Pulau. The road leading to the town is absolutely scenic and serene and at some points you able to look down at the lowland and the shoreline with the horizon and beyond. As the road winds towards the edge of the slope you catch glimpses of durians hanging in the tree and nettings down below to catch the falling durians.
If you are coming in group of five or more, it is worthwhile to consider hiring a minivan/coach with a driver from the tour companies. You can also arrange for them to transfer you from the airport to the hotel.
|Last Updated on Friday, 04 June 2010 09:15|