Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Malaysia, Penang (Clan Jetty)

The Clan Jetty of Penang is a walking distance to the Heritage Area of Georgetown. As it falls on a Sunday that day, the jetty was extremely crowded with tourists and local holiday-makers. The residents, on the other hand, could be seen making full use of this opportunity to set up stalls, mostly selling souvenirs, in front of their homes. 

The Clan Jetties have been around in Penang since the late 19th century. There are presently 6 jetties in total and each belonged to a particular clan. This means that the residents living in the jetty all have the same surnames.

In the past, the clans living in the nearby jetties could be antagonistic towards one another as rivalries over work consignments often occurred.

Walking along the planks, I came across a nicely kempt 'corridor', with potted plants on the side. I was amazed at the level of cleanliness here because the water below did not look like it was clean enough for anyone to take a dip. Notice the fire extinguisher? It's really important to have this because fire is quite prone in the area.

To someone who doesn't live near the sea, this was definitely a rare sight for me. Imagine waking up in the morning, looking out of the window and watching the sunrise... pure bliss...

All the houses here are on wooden stilts. I also noticed that some houses have air-conditioners. It's really amazing how modernity and economic progress has positively affected the lives of the people here. 

If you read the history of the clan jetties, these areas could be referred to as slums in the past because these are actual settlements of the poor immigrants who came to Malaya. The immigrants ended up building houses over the sea and lived in very unhealthy and dense conditions because they had no money to buy lands.

Many boats can be seen along the jetties. I guess many who live here continue to make a living as fishermen.

Look at these nets and cages! They are in various shapes and sizes, for they have different purposes. Well, that's all for now. 

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Malaysia, Penang (George Town)

Yay!!! It has been a long time since I last update, but I'm back with more adventures.

I went to Penang last June for a short trip. There were quite a number of places that I really wanted to go to but there was just not enough time. Even then, I did enjoy my trip tremendously and this is one trip which I want to do all over again.

This was my mode of transport in Penang: the Hop on hop off bus. There are two routes available - the City tour and the Beach tour. I took both routes during my short stay.

Overall, I find the bus comfortable and I could choose to sit in the air-conditioned area or the open-top area. Plus, the bus goes to all the attractions in Penang so it is really convenient.

I alighted at George Town to visit Penang's cultural and heritage area. Lines of beautiful shop-houses greeted me and I love how the buildings were carefully restored and maintained. Most of the shop-houses were occupied by restaurants and souvenir shops. 

There were many tourists in Georgetown as it was the weekend. 

Featured in the photo above is a town-bike, a four-seater bicycle in striking shades of red and yellow. Families can rent these town-bikes to explore George Town or they can ride a bicycle or rickshaw. It was pretty interesting but in the end, I decided to take a walk at my own leisurely pace.


The Lebuh Aceh Mosque in the background is a 19th century mosque built by the Acehnese when they settled down in Penang. The mosque is historically significant as it used to serve as a place where pilgrims going to Haj congregate before they depart to Mecca by sea. 

I went for mural hunting in George Town. It was fun and I really walk a lot that day. These are some of the murals which are not that popular with tourists.

The murals make the place very interesting. At noon, the heat became quite unbearable so I decided to explore areas that have more shade. 

My next post will be on the Clan Jetty Heritage Home. Until then, stay tune!!

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Indonesia, Bali (Good Food)

I have some friends who told me that the food in Bali was not to their liking because they tasted bland. And then there was another group who said that it was difficult to find Muslim food so they had to end up eating bread. 

Well if you had the same experiences as my friends, I've really no idea where you had dined, because I found quite a lot of yummy Muslim eateries. And if you have the inclination to opt for extremely spicy food like my father, it's not a problem at all. In fact, some of the food in Bali would definitely make you breathe fire all the way up to the rooftop! 

So for a start, I'll recommend some of the places which I've been to.

This was my lunch in Warung Nikmat, at Kuta. It was the most enjoyable lunch I had in Bali because the food here was simply the best. I had urap (steamed vegetables with grated coconut dressing), grilled chicken, begedil (fried potato patty), and steamed rice. You really shouldn't miss this place! 

Photo credit:

Most of the patrons here were locals and the foodstall looked very unsophisticated from the exterior, but it does not mean that it did not serve good food. The stall was also clean, which makes eating here very comfortable. In fact, there were many other stalls that maintained a high level of cleanliness and so, to tell you the truth, I preferred eating at 'warung' (small eating house) like this to fancy restaurants while I was in Bali. 

Another 'warung' in Kuta, which I would recommend is Nasi Pecel Bu Tinuk. Its mixed vegetable with peanut sauce dressing was really fantastic. I remembered the first time I was here.

Behind the glass display, I pointed at the cabbage, cassava leaves, papaya leaves, and bean sprouts for my 'pecel'. Then, the stall lady served my 'pecel' with the peanut sauce. Next, I pointed at the chicken and fish satay so that I had some meat to go with my steamed rice. 

Honestly, I didn't know most of the dishes there. I just went with my instincts and pointed at the foodstuffs that I wanted to eat. And my food turned out great. Sometimes, you just need to be more adventurous than usual. And learn from experiences.

The third eatery that I went to is Kedai Ceret in Denpasar. This place is charming and unique, with kettles hanging on the ceiling and bicycles along the entrance of the stall. Let's just say the interior design was unique. Food wise, it's not as good as the other two, but it served something new which I had never tried before.

In this eatery, I chose different types of food on skewers. Then I gave those skewers to the lady to cook them. At that time, I didn't know what to expect, so I settled on one of the benches and waited for my food.

The food on skewers was sweet, because they were dipped with black ketchup before they were grilled. The food was then served with chili sauce. It was an interesting discovery but truthfully, it's not something that I would go for the second time. However, I would still recommend this place because of the fun factor in learning new dishes.

Last on my list of recommendations is Sawah Indah. Anyone going to Ubud must go to Sawah Indah! The food there was really good and I couldn't rant enough about this restaurant. This was the only restaurant that I went to and for the price I paid, it was really worth it.


If you want to try some halal bebek (duck meat), this is the restaurant to go to. Right now, I'm craving for that bebek. Wooo... woo.. How I wish Ubud is just across the causeway. The bebek was finger-licking good. Besides bebek, the grilled chicken there was also not anywhere comparable with KFC. This place is a million times better. 

I wonder how long they took to marinate the meat because I could taste the spices well. And the best part is, these meat are grilled, not fried. So I felt that I could really cut down on the calories while in Bali.

There were other nice food stalls, but these are the ones which I had patronised and taken photos. Try looking at other blogs to find out more about the culinary in Bali because there are loads of them so do not worry.

That's all from me for today. Ciao.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Indonesia, Bali (Bedugul)

I've been to Bali twice, but this was the first time I went to Bedugul. What I like about Bedugul is its cool climate since it is located on the central highlands of Bali.

We started off early to go to the Kebun Raya Eka Karya (Bali Botanical Garden). We had a nice stroll in the garden although the flowers there were not as pretty as those found in Melbourne. There were actually more vast, open spaces than plants in the park.

There was also an adventure park within the garden but we didn't go for it. A number of families were seen having a nice picnic near the park, but that's about it.

I went to Candi Kuning market after that. It was around 11 am but the market was quite quiet. It came to me as a surprise because markets were usually the busiest and the most chaotic place you would want to go to. Later on, I learnt that there was an election going on where people had to poll for the right governor to represent their district. Well, this explained why there were not many locals at the market at that time.

There were quite a number of stalls selling all sorts of crackers. I could name a few; there's tapioca, spinach, soybeans and potato crackers in the photo. 

After walking around, we ended up eating in this stall located at the market. I thought eating where the locals ate would be a great experience. Furthermore, I wanted to eat satay! Satay is one of my favourite food and it is basically small chunks of meat barbecued on a skewer.

This was the satay which I had ordered. I found that the satay in Indonesia was a bit different from Singapore because it was served not only with peanut sauce, but with black soya sauce as well. And this was rabbit meat, something which I had not eaten before.

Besides satay, we ordered fried noodles, which turned out to be Maggi noodles, and chicken bakso with rice cakes. Overall, the meal here was tasty, and now I know what the local Muslims here eat.

After eating, I visited the most beautiful mosque I had ever been to. It has a Persian blue dome and the dome seemed to be calling us right into its courtyard. We took our time praying in the mosque for awhile. 

This mosque is also perched on a small hill overlooking Lake Bratan, so the view up here is really spectacular. 

I could spend hours after hours standing here, looking at the lake while feeling the soft wind on my face. I felt refreshed after having some icy cold water splashed on my face earlier on. And being in the house of worship also brought along the feeling of calmness and tranquility in me. All these made me felt very fortunate to be in this world.

This was the entrance of Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, the well- known temple on the southern shore of Lake Bratan. Most of the iconic images of Bali are of this temple so seeing it first hand was really exciting.

The temple had a very nice garden, with many trees of different shapes along the pathways.

This was one of the temples in the compound and here's Pura Ulun Danu.

Not as nice as those postcard photos, but I've been here. Yeay!! On this note, I'll end my post here. Ciao!