17 November 2009

Penang...still charming

We just came home from a 3days-2 nights family trip to Penang. The kids have been to Penang before, but then, my little girl was only 1. So her memory of that trip is hazy. But they will remember this trip much better.

It was quite fun. We stayed at the Park Royal Hotel, situated along the Batu Feringgi stretch of beach. Our family room was sizeable and comfortable. Room service was prompt, tasty and surprisingly reasonable in terms of pricing. This time around, I set aside my fear of the sun and accompanied the kids to the pool and beach each day of our 3 days stay. They loved it, especially my little girl.

The only thing that scared her was her ride down the water slide at the pool. She took her maiden attempt on the water slide with her father, held securely in his arms, or so it seemed. My husband, however, went down the slide too fast which resulted in both of them going under water for probably about 2 seconds, as he did not hold her above water. But that short time was sufficient to cause her to have ingested some water, and she was sputtering and tearful when they emerged from the water. Nope, she didn't want to go on the waterslide again.

Until the next day, when I persuaded her to try it again, and this time Mommy would hold her and no going under water, I promised. She bravely agreed, and as promised, I went slow and held her high when we went into the water. Still, that was all she wanted of the water slide.

We didn't have much time to sample Penang hawker fare. For lunch on the first day, we ate at Joo Hooi Cafe, which my husband remembered was quite good. We were disappointed with the assam laksa - Kong Heng in Ipoh does a far better assam laksa! The char kway teow, so famed in Penang, also came in as average.

We bumped into cousins who were also staying at the Park Royal. They too have a little girl, who is the same age as ours. The 2 little girls had a ball of a time playing together, and seemed fascinated with the fact that they too, are cousins. Well, our cousins suggested we eat in Ferringi Cafe, a mere 5 minute walk from the hotel, for dinner one night. The food served, Asian-fusion, was rather creative and everyone enjoyed their orders. Except for me, unfortunately - my Nasi Briyani was not too well done; perhaps that was not their forte. For lunch, our cousins took us to Sweet Cherry, a Thai restaurant. The food there was excellent and reasonably priced. We would go back there next time we are in Penang.

We managed to squeeze in Penang Hill (once is enough, for me) and the Toy Museum (in need of maintenance and upgrading). All in all, it was a very enjoyable trip and Penang still has its charm.....indeed, the Pearl of the Orient.
(picture from Park Royal hotel website)

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