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Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Great Escape -- Penang So So Fun Part 4: Penang Hill, Chinahouse, Near Death Experience and more FOOD!

To see the previous parts of the trip : Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Here comes the final part of our trip :D
It's still Day 2, and nighttime comes...
I was thinking how should I present this post, should I present in a story kind of way? coz what happened that night is just...I don't know...unforgettable I suppose...

15. Bukit Bendera, Penang Hill 升旗山
anyways, from Batu Ferringhi, we drove all the way back to Penang Hill.
Thanks to the GPS, we were lead to the hiking trail of Penang Hill! Total darkness and you hardly see anyone around LOL anyways, after another half an hour of driving, we still arrived at the main entrance of Bukit Bendera aka Penang Hill. It's almost 9pm already. Bought our tram tickets and went to the boarding area. The tram station looks so different from what I remembered! Totally revamped. And the best part that almost made me cry, the super fast tram car! It took only 6 minutes to reach the top, 6 MINUTES!!! I remember 8 years ago, it took me 45 mins (i'm quite sure I'm not exaggerating)

 I am so grateful with whoever that changed the tram. 

Oh yeah, check out the view while you're on your way up. 

Sorry, not much photos coz we only stayed there for half an hour.
Sounds like a waste? but not really, that's enough time for you to take in all the beautiful scenery and enjoy the super Genting-like atmosphere.
Really enjoyed walking in the cool breeze.
anyhow, there's not much to do up here coz most of the shops and restaurants are closed.


16. Chinahouse
after our short sightseeing at Penang Hill, it's time to grab a bite again.
Chinahouse, another hipster cafe situated within Georgetown. From the exterior, it doesn't look very appealing LOL, but the moment you step in, I think it will take sometime before you close your mouth haha..
It's one amazing place.
Awesome ambience. Blend of eastern and modern elements.

It a weekday night but the place was so loaded! Mostly local young adults, laughing and chitchatting in hokkien, some are dating... There's a pulse to this place, you can feel it.
We had to go all the way to the back of the restaurant for our seat, and it took minutes to walk from the front to the end of the restaurant. You'll see why.

 The front part of the restaurant is a vintage coffee bar and bakery.

one whole table of yummy looking cakes and pastries.

check out the interior man
Old School

Just to show you how huge (in this case, LONG) the restaurant is
Yes they have a map!

 Very artsy setting

The posh and sort of romantic courtyard

and so, we ended up at The Canteen
a classy vintage area, dim lights, with a bar and a live stage
too bad there wasn't any performance on that day

We ordered cakes only because the host said there's not much too order because it's late.
Chocolate Pistachio -- RM10.00
a bit upset with the small portion :(
but it's quite nice afterall
dense cake but doesn't taste too greasy

 Mushroom and Onion Quiche -- RM8.00
saw this at the tray and I knew I gotta have it hehe
my all time favorite savory treat
Love the strong scent of butter and cheese together with the sweet taste of onions
and the crust is very crunchy
oh gosh, mouth watering now haha

Walnut and Espresso Cake -- RM10.00
To be honest, can't really remember the taste (forgive my suckish memory)
well it simply implies that, this one is not very special haha

 Jamaican Black with Brandy and Rum -- RM15.00
funny story here, my friend thought it's a chocolate cake and ordered it
but turns out to be a bitter and strong flavored cake.
My friends don't really fancy it, but I kinda like it.
Probably because I'm a fan of rum and raisins hehe
Take a bite and your mouth will be filled with the scent of brandy and rum (honestly I don't know how to differentiate them, but I know it taste like alcohol haha)
The cake has a moist texture, which not everyone likes.

and there we are, chilling out at a quiet and classy place

 Piano Table! so cute.

funny toilet sign that caught our eye

153 Lebuh Pantai, 
10300 Georgetown, Penang, 

The Unforgettable Experience
We were still hungry though, so we decided to go back to our hotel and hunt for food around that area, we even thought of grabbing some beer at one of the Upper Penang Road bars and pubs when it's midnight. And so, we drove....
Suddenly, there was a strong disgusting smell that seems to come from burnt tires. But we knew it well that our tires are in good shape.We blamed the terrible air quality at first LOL Without much thought, we head towards the petrol station, pumped the oil, while the burnt tires smell still lingers in the car. 

Just when we were driving along the bustling Penang Road...
Weekee's voice put all of us into silence, and horror in the next second.
"The Car is on Fire"
he said it with such calm voice at first and it took us seconds before we register the true meaning behind his words. Our gaze drop on the bonnet and gawd we saw bright flames and suddenly everything comes in. The smell, the heat, the imaginations and the fear. It was seconds only but my head was playing images of explosions, crying and blood. The worst part was seeing the image of me and my friends screaming together.
It's amazing how my brain can make up so much stuff in a few seconds LOL Paranoid me haha

okay back to the story,  After accepting the fact that our car is on fire (and it may explode anytime and we will die), all of us jump, yes JUMP(coz we find ourselves 1.5 meters away from our car) out of the car swiftly. Then we have a friend who was lying down at the car boot, gosh we're so damn frightened when the boot doesn't open. Our friend who was stuck in the boot end up crawling to the front seat and jump out of the car without her shoes LOL

But the fear didn't stop there even though we're away from the car, the fire is still burning at the bonnet, if it does explode, I doubt any of us can leave unscratched. We were frightened, helpless, we wish someone could tell us what to do. And suddenly, many "uncles" came in and asked us to stay back, while they stepped in front to check the car. It may sound like they are very fearless, but trust me, I saw how they hesitated and their voices shaking slightly. It's a bonnet on fire afterall, if it sparks off the engine, oh well, I'm sure you can see us on the newspaper next morning. The uncles were discussing on where the fire came from, in a very urgent tone, some say don't spray water, some say we need to get sand....while other uncles start getting water from places nearby....
Finally, they decided that it's not from the engine. A sense of relief ran through us. They started spraying water on it, but the fire is not yet extinguished, and finally, one uncle borrowed a fire extinguisher from the nearest restaurant and put out the fire. 

While the uncles were doing their thing, six of us stood frozen at the side, just watching, and worrying. 
When the fire really got extinguished, only our souls came back to us LOL
And there, words like "Luckily, Thank God, 好彩" came out. We just feel so grateful that we are still breathing and talking to each other. Then we start to recall how everything happened, the burnt tire smell 3 hours ago, the fact that we went to a petrol station while something was burning in the bonnet. We just realize how lucky we are, if this happened at the Penang Hill hiking trail with no one to help us, if this happened at the petrol station, if we didn't come back to Penang Road... oh gosh, I can't imagine how much trouble we will get into. 
I know I might sound very exaggerating, in fact I find it surprising that I actually had so much thoughts in such a short time and how my imaginations ran so wild even though it's just a bonnet on fire . But it's true, there's a possibility of us screwing things up and die in a car explosion. All of us just felt so so so grateful. And I realize how vulnerable life can be. 
All of us were left stunned, speechless and scared. 
We don't feel like eating at all.... 

 Wanna say a huge huge huge Thank You to the uncles that helped us
Truly witnessing 1Malaysia
some actually carried pails of water, some didn't bother about the danger and stepped forward to check the bonnet, some were running around looking for fire extinguisher, some helped us to push the car as well. 
Gamdong die me...

turns out there's some overheating of wires near the head lights, probably why it sparked off fire. 

The aftermath :
everything happened at the busy penang road, with loads of tourists around.
We saw one angmo kept on asking the uncles what happened, 凑热闹, macam yes lor! haha
then after the fire went off, there's like one whole army of motorcyclists who swarmed towards our car, all with walkie-talkie in their hands, took photos of our car, macam big news liddat LOL
we were worrying that what happened that night will come out in newspaper haha....den die die lo
but turns out there's a more serious car accident that happened somewhere else, and the motorbike army left
and we're alone, and we start to worry about what to say to the car owner (FYI: the car belongs to a friend)
guilt was taking over...
we start to blame ourselves...
well really wanna thank the car owner for being very understanding
he didn't even ask for compensation from us...
felt so bad...

after all the trauma, we decided to head towards the mamak stall nearby
turns out, they are the ones who lend us the fire extinguisher
and yet they didn't ask us to pay either...
feel so grateful to have kind and generous people like them

17. Sup Hameed
crowded mamak stall with tables lined up along the roadside, the food must be good hehe
specialty here: Sup Kambing

Sup Kambing
they serve it with plain bread 
dip the bread in the rich flavor soup, it's really yummy!
Love the strong taste of spices and meat stock

love the super strong mutton flavor, and the texture of the meat is just nice 
ahhhh mouth watering again

Sup Ayam
same soup, only different meat

I ordered their Maggi Goreng as well, quite yummy hehe

Sup Hameed
48 Jalan Penang, 
10000 George Town, Penang.

18. Cycling around Georgetown and Sisters Char Kuay Teow
after all the trauma from yesterday's incident, we went back early and sleep
and here comes our final day!
Started off our day with some work out -- cycling!
There are plenty of shops that rent bikes in Georgetown, you can find one effortlessly.
We rented the bikes for RM10 and you can use them up until 7pm if i'm not wrong
very worth it right?? too bad we only cycled for less than 3 hours. 

Gosh I couldn't cycle well!!!
it's been too long since the last time i cycled OMG
there were many times where I almost fell
but after a few hundred meters ride, things get stable

So, our initial plan was to cycle to Jalan Macalister to have our breakfast at the famous Sister's Char Kuay Teow and then cycle around the streets of Georgetown, especially the city hall area. But turns out we were wrong about the distance, the crazy traffic and our cycling speed LOL
crossing the road is one big issue!
It took us around an hour to reach Jalan Macalister and we were sweating like cows when we reached

So, just as the name suggest, the stall is run by two sisters.

Sisters Char Kuay Teow -- RM5.00
slightly more expensive
but the special thing about this is that there's some crab meat flakes on top that enhances the fresh and sweet taste. The kuay teow is very moist and chewy, love the texture. Love the blend of eggs, chives and fresh cockles. Ho Chiak!
kinda regret that I didn't order a second plate.

Yam Cake -- RM3.00
Love it! Soft and fluffy. Together with the sauce and shallots, one awesome snack.

Sister's Char Kuay Teow
@ Lam Heng Coffee Shop
185 Jalan Macalister, 
10400 Pulau Pinang

Cycled all the way back to our hotel and checked out in a hurry.
Carrying our bags, we decide that we should try the cendul before we head towards the airport.
And there, we see the trishaw uncles before us.
I felt kinda bad, coz our luggage are quite heavy! especially after all the shopping
but at least it's nt a long journey, just down the street.

19. Teochew Cendol at Joo Hooi

check out the crowd man...
the trishaw uncle say this is the famous cendol place...
located at one of the lanes beside Penang Road

check out the beautiful color of green and red
love the crunchy sweet beans and the strong scent of gula melaka and coconut milk
awesome dessert in a hot day

Penang Rojak
again hehe....this time, love the fact that they sprinkled lots of peanuts
and the awesome HarGao (Prawn paste) 

and that's the last stop of our Penang trip
head towards komtar and took bus to Penang International Airport

Kafe Joo Hooi
475 Jalan Penang,
 10000 Georgetown, Penang.

No matter how fun a place can be, the people you travel with is still the most important thing that affects your mood...
Just wanna say thanks to my buddies during this trip
Thanks for bringing so much laughter
Thanks for being my model haha
and thanks for driving so much!
Love you guys so much, hope we'll have a trip again soon!

To see the previous parts of the trip :
 Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

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