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 🙂
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, 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 so 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 together 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) 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.