Friday, August 15, 2014

Day 3 in Malaysia (Penang): A quick tour around Penang Hill and Kek Lok Si Temple


Did you know that Penang is a thriving Malaysian destination? It sure is! Considered as one of the country’s well-developed states (being technologically advanced and highly urbanized), Pulau Pinang (in Malay) is an island state that nurtures an interesting multicultural community. The “Pearl of the Orient” is also known for its remarkable heritage sites, multiracial citizenry, and diverse yet sumptuous cuisines.


STARTING OUR DAY ON TOP OF PENANG HILL

We were told that watching the sunrise from Penang Hill was a must-see, as the stunning panorama would really catch you in awe. But we still felt exhausted from exploring George Town the day before, so we decided to visit the famous peak right after breakfast. 

Penang Hill offers a beautiful panoramic view of the island and its skyline. But before anything else, we secured our trip up the peak by purchasing a round trip ticket (30 RM for the entrance fee and tram ride). We made sure to come in early, as to avoid the rush of people. 


The sun was already scorching hot outside, especially when we finally reached the top. Sadly, there wasn't much shade to go underneath in. Yes, there were trees lined up near the entrance/exit. But we were soon exposed to the heat when we climbed further. Putting on some sunscreen was the only thing that kept running in my head. Then again, it was too late for that! Anyway, the sun didn’t wear us down, as there were a lot of attractions on site that still kept us distracted.


There’s just something about stunning skylines that just draws my admiration, as the view from up the hill was awe striking and breathtaking. But what was even more interesting was that Penang Hill hosted several other attractions. When we visited, there was a live animal show near the Owl Museum & The Cliff Café. We also saw the Flag Garden, a Mosque and a Hindu Temple. A playground was also present for kids, amidst a park where guests can stay under a good shade. 


We also checked out David Brown’s Strawberry Hill, where we ordered a slice of Strawberry Cheesecake. The pastry was quite expensive but delicious nonetheless. 


The ride down Penang Hill was a smooth one. We even got the seats in front of the tram, so we were able to see everything along the cliff railway. It was a steep ride, but still an exciting one.


HOW TO REACH PENANG HILL FROM KOMTAR

There are buses that are Penang Hill bound. You just have to wait for the No. 204 Rapid Penang bus at the KOMTAR bus terminal. A one-way ticket costs 2 RM, for an hour’s worth of road travel.

ADMIRING THE KEK LOK SI TEMPLE --- FROM AFAR!

When we left the Penang Hill site, a Rapid Penang bus was already parked outside, waiting to pick up passengers. We went aboard, and requested to be dropped off at the Air Itam passenger stop. Air Itam is the gateway to Kek Lok Si Temple (a few minutes away). 

We already had plans to see the remarkable place of worship. But something in us wanted to go back home, minutes after eating lunch. I guess the sun being up and mighty got us to back down in our visit. So we skipped the temple visit, but still relished the sight of its beautiful façade before boarding the bus back to KOMTAR.


Kek Lok Si is actually as the largest Buddhist temple in all of Southeast Asia. The "Temple of Supreme Bliss" is also home to a 7-storey handcrafted ‘Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas, and a 30.2 M bronze Kuan Yin statue.

Before anything else, we had our lunch at Kim Hai Thong Café, where we ordered some steamed dumplings, fried pork with rice, and fresh coconut drinks. We were able to sample everything for just 20 RM.


SOUVENIR SHOPPING IN PENANG

Penang isn’t just filled with heritage sites, as parts of it are already commercialized. So when we got dropped off at KOMTAR (the tallest building in the capital state that stands 65-storey’s high), we immediately went mall hopping to see if we could bring home any souvenirs. Along the way, we were able to dine at Wong Kok Kitchen in Pranglin Mall, where I ordered a Kimchi Beef meal, and a plate of Lemon Grass Chicken with rice for Rubel. We were able to buy a few packs of Oldtown White Coffee in Pranglin as well.

SAVOR Delight Delicatessen's DELICIOUS AND AFFORDABLE MEALS

There was a newly opened eatery near Pedal Inn that we tried right after coming from the mall: Delight Delicatessen by Lorong Macalister. The small restaurant just opened last November 2013, so they were still on a soft opening when we came in. The experience was actually quite nice, and the food that they served were delicious as well. They even gave us free slices of their Chocolate cake during our stay.

Rubel and I ordered their Spaghetti Bolognese delight set, which came with a Spaghetti Bolognese platter, chicken meatballs platter, peach iced tea, fresh apple juice, and free flowing ice cream


EXPLORE MORE OF GEORGE TOWN

If you still have some energy left in you, then try to explore more of George Town. If you loved seeing the sites during the day, then you will surely enjoy its splendor at night.

Explore & Be Free!
Mai

Read More About My Malaysia Trip Here:

Day 5 in Malaysia (KL): A great end to a 6-day journey!

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