Chinese New Year (2012) trip to Kuala Lumpur and Penang, Malaysia – Part 1

I have been long wanting to save the memories from our trip to Penang this Chinese New Year (CNY). You know what this trip was? Sheer therapy. Sigh.

No, I don’t have a very taxing life whatsoever, by God’s Grace!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But that doesn’t mean I don’t need a vacation, right? I mean, who says no to vacation even while on vacation? You get the drift. So, I need vacations once in 2 months. K thinks I am very reasonable.

This CNY saw us – K, O, L, X and myself travel to Kuala Lumpur (KL) for a night’s stay and then head straight to Penang. We spent a solid 4 day vacation and I loved it. I saw some very picturesque, movie-ish sights and heard some amazing sounds, appeased my taste buds, went through an amazing aroma therapy to soothe my olfactory nerves and wound it up with amazing massage. If you ask me what was the take-away from the trip, I will only be able to smile and show you photos. And well, that’s precisely what I will do now!

Since I am posting after like 6 months, I will summarize our trip with a lot of photos here πŸ™‚

We spent just one night in KL. K did take some pictures of me with the Petronas Towers in the backdrop but it was 12 midnight when we did that and so you know why I am not sharing those here. Firstly, we took those snaps by posing on our hotel’s terrace with Petronas miles away in the backdrop. Secondly, we just didn’t have the alertness to change the lens either – too sleepy after a fabulous meal.

We took a bus to KL from Singapore. As soon as we arrived in KL, all the blaring traffic sounds seemed to drown in the rumbles that our stomach made. We were so hungry and if not for that amazing Taiwanese restaurant right opposite the bus-stop, we’d have probably ended up eating each other. Seriously!

The proof of our hunger is highlighted below. We had decided to click the pictures of food and see how forgetful food made us. We definitely knew our priority. And so, presenting to you, the half eaten table of absolute heaven.

I know that any food tastes good when hungry. But trust me when I say this – this restaurant is one li’l paradise on Earth and someday when we tour KL, I will look for this. I have the restaurant card as well. They had such amazing vegetarian dishes, you know. Let me be honest. Sometimes, when I travel and I see the variety that non-vegetarians have,Β I feel jealous. Secretly, I even imagine how things would have been if everyone were made to be compulsorily non-vegetarian by choice. Ya right, compulsory and choice. I am soΒ crazy that I amaze myself. Anyways, I would love to go here once again !

So, after a night’s stay in KL, we left for Penang and spent 6 hours in the bus. On the way, we bought raw mangoes, cut and peppered, peppered water melons and just about every fruit we could find. We also had some amazing red-bean pau. I know, I know, I tend to talk of food always. I promise you that I CANNOT help it. Sorry for shouting. (:P)

So, once we reached Penang, we checked into our resort. The funny part of the trip is that there were 3 guys and 2 girls. So, the two girls stayed together and the 3 guys stayed together. And trust me, it was fun. Within those 4 days, I longed to meet K, called him 100 times over the intercom when we were not travelling around the city togetherΒ and basically made sure that everyone thought I was not just crazy but could get crazier.

But, I had an amazing time with L. We gossiped at night, discussed books for she loves reading books and philosophy a lot. It is always interesting to meet people with such myriad interests and such a wide ken of knowledge. It is refreshing.

With views like this, I could just stay in my room for 3 days and come out feeling invigourated.

Our resort was also famous for its water sports and we could see that as part of the view as well. Catch this-

See what I mean? Watching water sports enthusiasts and children playing with sand is something I won’t mind doing at a stretch. It is just so rejuvenating – the air, the sights, the humidity and the freshness, the smell of sand, light drizzle as you stand on the porch – it is absolute bliss.

After soaking in the amazing hospitality, we set out for dinner and just visit the street market. It being CNY period, we wondered if we will get a nice place to eat at all. Most of them close down. We went to one of the popular streets there by bus. I must say that I love the bus ride, listening to the natives speak in Malay, a smile always plastered on their faces for visitors. It is just so refreshing to not get a seat in the bus, stand with a group of friends and just chat away to glory and squeal in delight if you catch something fun. Yes, we are like a college gang that way.

Along our way, we saw a hotel and one of the natives said that that was the hotel that was totally flooded during the tsunami killing many of its occupants. If you had seen how beautifully they have revamped it atop a small knoll, you wouldn’t believe that it was destroyed during the tsunami. Also, this hotel housed the only baby survivor, a 1-year old who stayed awake, blissfully unaware of the commotion around.

After walking down the streets, K, X and O used their instinct to narrown down on one restaurant. We chose to sit out and watch the local activities while we waited for our food. Sorry, no photos of the food. I forgot to click them 😦 However, we did meet a very cute girl who kept hovering about her mother who ran the place and was helping her serve food. She even served beer cans to customers and I could see that some tourists were uncomfortable taking the beer can from the li’l one. She was just so adorable. I wanted to squeeze her cheeks and all that but well, you can’t really do that so openly everywhere, you know!

She just refused to pose and I had to literally stalk her with L to capture this.

Finally, somewhere near the storage area she decided to give me one of those looks.

Some more snaps of the walls inside the restaurant:

Red the auspicious colour for the Chinese and you can see the red lanterns and red decor here.

And some picture collage there.

I love exploring the local delights and getting a whiff of the natives’ way of living. It gives me a high to see their outfits, their noses (yes, that too!) and just observe patterns and soak in on the exhilarating blend of cultures! This is another thing I must be grateful to K for. He loves travel and I love his instinct. Thank God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After a big meal of baby kailan (green leaves)Β stir fry, mushroom soup (our soup came later actually), veg fried rice, stir fried toufu and a lip smacking green apple drink, K and I retired to the resort and spent time by the beach together. After about an hour, with a heavy heart, we retired to our respective rooms. L and I chatted for a while and discussed the various spa options. I read Manju Kapur’s Custody and drifted off to sleep dreaming of what the next day might be like.


  1. Jas · June 27, 2012

    A zabardast vacation that was πŸ™‚ and food pictures… how can your post be complete without food pictures.. πŸ™‚

    • kismitoffeebar · June 27, 2012

      hehe, so true Jas ! How can my post be complete without food πŸ™‚ Other parts coming up subsequently!

  2. Destination Infinity · June 27, 2012

    I am surprised that you even get vegetarian options in restaurants there. In South India its easy to get a lot of vegetarian foods, that are very tasty. So, I have never wanted to eat anything else. But if I am put in a place (like central Europe) that has very limited vegetarian options, I don’t know what I’ll do! Maybe I can carry an electric rice cooker (along with so many podi’s and pickles) with me…

    It’s always good to take a break and go for a vacation. I prefer short vacations. I want to be back home as soon as possible… somehow I sleep better at home, than in hotels! πŸ™‚

    Destination Infinity

    • kismitoffeebar · June 27, 2012

      DI, seriously, there are lot of veggie options if you can eat tofu as well πŸ™‚ I tell you, it takes a while to acquire a taste for anything that hasn’t been part of you for long but once you start exprimenting, you may love it πŸ™‚ or maybe not. In that case, you will prefer to carry around a small cooker and Aval like my friend S does πŸ™‚
      But I love experiencing the local cuisine and don’t mind anything veggie. Sometimes I can live off fruits if nothing and I try to eat the local fruits:)
      Arey, I know what you mean by missing your bed. I jump into mine as soon as I reach home. Well, my love for travel and having family alongside helps a lot πŸ™‚

  3. lifesong · June 27, 2012

    Loved reading this πŸ™‚ Your description is so nice. Lovely view from your hotel. So did you try any water sports?

    • kismitoffeebar · June 27, 2012

      Thanks so much lifelong. You write so well yourself πŸ™‚ really !
      No, we did not. We tried wading in the pool. And that is water sports for me. Honestly, we packed this trip with a lot of events as you will see eventually and didn’t have the time to tell myself that I can do water sports even though I can’t swim for a centimetre πŸ™‚
      Soon, someday, by God’s Grace!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Phatichar · June 27, 2012

    You’re a great travel writer πŸ™‚

    • kismitoffeebar · June 27, 2012

      I can’t tell you how that feels coming from such a splendid writer such as yourself. Thanks so much :)) *jiggle wiggle*

  5. greenboochi · June 27, 2012

    Kismi…………………. so, it was Penang!! Super!! πŸ˜€
    My hectic day at work is still continuing… my eyes are drooping now but i am still in office and on-a-call for about 10 hours now.. I managed to quickly run through your post.. will send you a detailed email later.. and comment here after reading slowly later.. sorry 😦

    • kismitoffeebar · June 27, 2012

      Gb gb :))

      Cutiepie. Thanks so much dearie. You do this inspite of a 10 hour call. Can I like hug you big time ? Penang was super fun gb. Plan a trip here and K and I will take you there:)
      Offo, take your time and tell me araamse if I made you jealous :p
      Hugggg πŸ™‚

      • greenboochi · June 28, 2012

        ** BIG hug **

        awww… thats so sweet πŸ™‚ You are going to hear from me soon!

        and yes yes.. you made me jealous πŸ˜›

  6. Visha · June 27, 2012

    I am not able to see a single image of picture in ANY of the blogs. Neither yours, nor lifesong’s. For that matter, all the wordpress blogs 😦

    Please let me wallow in my sadness and let me come back tomorrow here..I hope I see at least one pic..sigh..

    On the description front, I second Phatichar πŸ˜‰

    You know how to make me jealous Toffee….I havent had a vacation with Zack since my honeymoon…and you know how that went πŸ˜†

    But I wish you make more and more of such trips, so that I can visit such beautiful places in my mind…courtsey you πŸ˜›

    • kismitoffeebar · June 27, 2012

      Visha can’t seeics ? 😦
      Tell you what ? I will email them to you, okay ? πŸ™‚
      Visha, thanks so much dearie πŸ™‚ arey, bring zack after he is done with the project and come off here. One more honeymoon can happen, you see πŸ™‚
      You are one beautiful person re! Huggggg πŸ™‚

      • Visha · June 28, 2012

        guess what…wordpress is still the same shy bride, not allowing me to see the pics…but my hero of the day became Gmail….yayy…now I am able to see all the pics…gosh..they are so so so beautiful and I wish I could make that trip with you two πŸ˜‰

  7. Srinivas Sundaram · June 27, 2012

    That is a travelogue that might just put Penang on people’s vacation plans :-). You should consider contributing such articles to tourism sites…

    • kismitoffeebar · June 27, 2012

      Penang deserves that you know ! Wait till I share the photos that look like straight off a heaven. And you will ask me about Penang and plan a visit too πŸ™‚
      Thanks. I had not considered that. I just cling onto memories and writing the experiences makes me very very happy. Someday, I may do that :))
      Thanks so much again!

  8. My Era · June 27, 2012

    I am a big fan of Malaysia ….absolutely love the place.
    KL ranks very high in my list of places with superb restaurants that offer wonderful variety of food πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€
    Awesome pics and a wonderful travelogue…waiting for the next part πŸ™‚

    • kismitoffeebar · June 28, 2012

      Ooooooooh! Yes, Malaysia is truly a wonderful place and there is so much to see. Have you been there before?
      Yes, yummy yummy food, absolutely!
      Thanks ME πŸ™‚ Will post the next part soon πŸ™‚

      • My Era · June 28, 2012

        Oh yes, I have been to Malaysia twice πŸ˜€

  9. techie2mom · June 27, 2012

    Hey, great vacation πŸ™‚
    You could have tried para-sailing though, you don’t need to know swimming for that. And your food looks so yummy.
    And the place looks so awesome, it’s like a riot of colours πŸ™‚
    LOL on “made sure that everyone thought I was not just crazy but could get crazier.”

    • kismitoffeebar · June 28, 2012

      Thankeeee πŸ™‚ Ya man, I must try para-sailing atleast. Tche, how can I not try it atleast once? I will, mayeb when we visit the island again πŸ™‚
      Yes, it is indeed a riot of colours – well put that! πŸ™‚
      Ya, I can be quite crazy πŸ˜›

      • techie2mom · June 28, 2012

        Hey, it’s ok not to try it, if you didn’t want to….
        But if you want to then this is a good excuse to visit the island again πŸ˜‰

      • kismitoffeebar · June 28, 2012

        Will do will do πŸ™‚ You really make me long for it πŸ™‚ Oh, the second day is up. See the pics for am sure you will love the peace πŸ™‚

      • techie2mom · June 28, 2012

        yeah, i was just reading that, let me put here though that you look lovely, beautiful, calm and all that πŸ™‚

      • kismitoffeebar · June 28, 2012

        Me?! That swing outdoes everything.

  10. Pingback: Chinese New Year (2012) – Trip to Penang via Kuala Lumpur: Part 2 « kismitoffeebar
  11. Elegant Chic · June 28, 2012

    What a wonderful post! πŸ™‚

  12. Bikramjit Singh Mann · June 29, 2012

    I want to go there tooo and that para sailing WOWOWOWWOWOWO .. you know this reminded me of the NCC days back in india, We use to have a winch or a Jeep and it would pull .. amazing

    DO go for it para sailing its a beautiful feeling .. I can vouch for it

    and the foooooooooooooood oooh la la la

    • kismitoffeebar · June 29, 2012

      Oh all of you make me long for para sailing, really! i will. and maybe in a couple of months by God’s Grace!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Thanks Bikram πŸ™‚ Your memories sound so wonderful and reminded me of my own school days.

      • Bikramjit Singh Mann · June 29, 2012

        yes go for it πŸ™‚ you know such things like para sailing , or sky diving one cant do it daily , its only on holidays and like we get to do them so I think one shud do it .. dont know when we get another chance πŸ™‚

        if you get a chance to do sky diving do that tooo

      • kismitoffeebar · June 29, 2012

        You are so right ! πŸ™‚ I will Bikram. Sky diving?! Ooooooo, I have fear of heights. Oh but well, I will do it. That should help me conquer the fear πŸ˜› Thanks much πŸ™‚

  13. The Girl Next Door · July 2, 2012

    Loved the post, Kismi and the pics. πŸ™‚

    Glad you had such a lovely vacation.

    The hubby has been to Malaysia on work and he loved it. I haven’t ever been there, but would love to.

    • kismitoffeebar · July 2, 2012


      Thanks πŸ™‚ Please do visit Malaysia sometime and pls do so via Singapore for obvious reasons πŸ˜›
      And I am sure you will love it! πŸ™‚ Some places are so so breathtakingly beautiful!

  14. Pingback: Chinese New Year: Trip to Penang via Kuala Lumpur – Part 3 « kismitoffeebar

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