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Penang News, Issue #003 - Penang Food, Teluk Bahang, Websites and Advertisment
March 31, 2008

Firstly, let me thank a few of you who beside joining my newsletter wrote to me. It inspires me to share more about lovely Penang. If locals can take their time to thank me, I really felt gratified. I want you to join me to share your experience.

Wow, time really flies as it is the third month of 2008. At first, I thought a monthly newsletter to my subscribers once a month is fairly easy. It is not true. It has been another bustling month as the demand and queries coming in does not allow me to sit and write all my journals anymore.

Enquiries about bus schedules, the ones you can trust, the places you can stay. Where are my favorite places in Penang. Interesting places and fares, tickets. I have not thought about that as a local, truly.

Read further how I turn a personal web site to a travel guide within months.

It is getting pretty exciting and buzy so I have revisited some places I know and do more enquiries. Our locals are still not exposed so much to the internet world but being photograph for some puts a smile on their face. For others, it is still a no no. So I have to contend myself to their experience.

Also the Malaysian election fever is over and Penang now is in the hands of the Opposition. We will see some good changes and maybe lots of resistance but nothing bad, give the time to heal for the losing parties.

Some latest news in Penang happening.

Rapid Penang buses will no longer stop at the Komtar bus interchange from Friday onwards. Rapid has been charging prices lower then other bus company so locals are not happy with that. For those depending on Rapid for transport, the terminal stills stand at Penang Jetty station.

Now what do I have in this newsletter? :

  • Penang Food Scene

  • How I turn a personal site to a travel guide?

  • Teluk Bahang

  • Ecosway, your own shopping mall offline and online

  • Segara Ninda

  • Advertisement

  • Recipes

Enjoy reading, ya!


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    Penang Food Scene

    And it is all about FOOD!!!

    There's fresh crab, live from the tank, and bowls of miniature clams ready to pop out of their shells for sauteing in a spicy sauce with garlic and lime. The air smells of roasted duck and skewers of charcoal-grilled chicken. One stall sells herbal soup; another grills seafood on a stick.

    Welcome to my Food Paradise, my neighborhood hawkers center. Yes it is. As I sat and watch the going on. Hello Dolly plays on the boom box. Claim one of the white-plastic tables and take note of the number on the side. Then go from stall to stall, giving the cook your table number and ordering in small, medium or large portions -- clams, the oyster omelet, fried rice, stuffed eggplant, chicken satay.

    Sit down and put in your drink order to the guy in the red shirt in charge of cleaning off the tables. Try the lime juice spiked with a sour plum to wash away the heat. Then wait for your food to arrive. Pay when it does -- maybe the equivalent of Rm10 to RM12 for everything, including beer.

    Miss the street food in Penang, the island off Malaysia's west coast known as the cultural and culinary melting pot of Southeast Asia, and you miss a nightly movable feast that takes place on street corners and outdoor food courts like this one called hawkers centers.

    Books have been written about Penang's hawkers. Most started out as traveling pushcart vendors hawking their food from portable kitchens with stoves powered by gas canisters.

    Lately things became more organized with licensed vendors operating permanent stalls in centers where hygiene standards are high.

    Malaysia is officially a Muslim country, but the crowds who come out nightly to eat mirror Penang's diverse population, a fusion of ethnic Malays, with roots in Indonesia; Chinese and Indians who joined British colonialists in transforming the island into a center for the spice trade, and later tin and rubber.

    A walk though the compact streets of the old port city of Georgetown is literally a religious experience, with Hindu temples and Chinese temples, mosques and Christian churches within blocks of one another.

    When it comes to food, locals come together to seek out their favorite hawkers for the best Chinese coconut tarts; Nasi kandar, Indian Muslim fare; or laksa, a Malay noodle soup of fish, tamarind juice, pineapple and mint.

    ''Penang is food paradise,'' a local man who was born here told me. Perhaps he's biased, but there is a long list of foods to sample.

    Real foodies would probably be happier at a local spot such as New Lane Hawkers Centre -- crowded and chaotic -- with tasty duck-meat noodle soup ($1) and wet spring rolls (also $1) stuffed with tofu and turnip.

    Eating this way is an easy way for tourists to meet locals. My favorite for this became the bright and clean Esplanade Food Centre on the seafront at Fort Cornwallis in the old British colonial district.

    Malay Muslim families and students from a nearby school gather here in the late afternoons for snacks and drinks.

    Following a self-guided tour of traditional craft- and food-purveyors mapped out in a brochure published by Penang Heritage Trust, we walked along Lebuh Chulia, nicknamed ''Lonely Planet Street'' for the small hotels that cater to backpackers, and found the Kimguan Coffee Factory.

    Ong Kok Weng, the owner, wasn't in, but his helpers were there mixing up a batch of beans to which they add sesame seeds, margarine, salt and sugar.

    A few blocks away in Little India, we found Bala Murugan's drink shop where we went mornings for 25-cent cups of the Tarik, or ''pulled tea'' sweetened with condensed milk, and nasi lemak, triangle-shaped packets of banana leaves stuffed with rice, coconut and fish.

    Penang has many good restaurants, and when we wanted to escape the heat and crowds, we sometimes combined a meal in air-conditioned comfort with a street stop for tea or dessert after.

    Searching for dessert later, we stopped at an Indian cafe a few doors down.  He hoped we'd order dinner, of course, but all we wanted was the honey ice cream we saw advertised on his sign board.

    What we got was a thin pancake filed with warm bananas and topped with ice cream drizzled with honey.

    Heaven. Agreed? If not, come to Penang and very soon, I will conduct a food tour for you.

    My Friend Wit Choo on her quiet moment appreciating Penang Food scene

    How I turn a personal site to a travel guide?
    It was not meant to be a travel website at first. Because I am not a qualified guide, did not passed any examination to show tourist around. But within months of sharing my family or Penang cultures, visitors starts to ask many questions when this events happen and whether they can be accompanied to learn more about the events.

    The humble and modest me, says I will write more in the web site. Can you imagine that? Long story short, many words of encouragement got in so I am learning all the nitty gritty for my visitors. Like bus flight tickets, or accommodation, hotels, budget stays, eco tour even to advertise for some locals who doesn't have internet knowledge. I learned and boy it was really exciting.

    But my point is, all this is not possible if I have not succeeded in building a good website. Everyone can build web site nowadays, but to build a successful one is another story.  Find out how I did this website step by step here.

    So if I take more time replying queries, I hope you understand that I am learning too about tours, hotels bookings, properties too. It never stops, I would not know what is next and it is supposed to be a personal web site.

    Teluk Bahang

    Teluk Bahang is the further town in Penang. Right up the northern tip of the island. Still unexplored in the major sense but nevertheless it has alot to offer.

    Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve was declared the Penang National Park on 4th April 2003 by our Acting Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. The Penang National Park comprises 1181 ha of forest and 1381 ha of wetlands. Located at the north-western corner of Penang Island, Malaysia, it is the most remote part of the state. Penang National Park is all lush green and the fragrance of the sea breeze is enchanting. Its ecosystem consists mainly of tropical lowland forest with coastal features. Be it beaches, hills, forest trails or even lake, it offers big biodiversity as a national park. Read how we revisited Penang National Park by boat here.

    Also we took a boat tour to many parts of the island. Many photos of the beautiful shorelines can be found in here

    Initially the queries were about where to stay in Teluk Bahang. That is how I started to find out more of hotels and budget places.

    So to enjoy Teluk Bahang, you can stay in a few places, 3 star or no star, up to you to choose.

    We got a reliable guy so we went on an exciting journey as he shares all the hidden parts of Teluk Bahang Shorelines. It was awe inspiring as if time stood still here. Iskandar has a few passenger boats and 2 fishing boat if you decided for Eco or fishing trips. Recently Iskandar and I did a trip for some photographers and we totally had so much fun. Fishing village, cultured fishing areas in sea, mangrove in south of Penang, Sungai Tukun, Turtle laying, Muka Head lighthouse. We did it all in one day. We had a jolly good time! yes!

    Ecosway, your own shopping mall online
    Patrick start off with wanting to advertise his Ecosway business online. Researching it with him how to present it online ends up with me joining him and owning a mall too.

    It is really an offline business and running it online to enjoy the other perks by the Ecosway organization.

    The queries here is not too bad. My downline has grown to 40. In the first two months I did not understand the system even after Patrick telling me not to spent much except 15eV per month in case there are people joining you in the business and doing it offline in countries where Ecosway is already there.

    Ecosway is in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei and Australia. All countries have their own system of doing the business.  Example Australia, if you have an online mall but shipping is expensive then your customers won't buy. But when Ecosway open up in Australia, the shipping cost is very low in that country. People can shop online or go offline to the shopping centres, still all this is accumulated under your group. Mutual marketing is spreading like crazy.

    Even if you sign up in Malaysia, extend your ID to all your friends and get them to pay their sundries, food stuffs, vitamins, household items. You actually saves alot of money in the end. Write to Patrick here and he can tell you more. Patrick has started with Cosway when it started way back 7 years ago only in Malaysia. So use my ID (X567331) and log into any Ecosway countries you are in.

    Talk to Patrick here if you don't understand what I say. I talk better with cultures and tradition. For succesful business, ask the expert who is already working form home and having two kids not having a 9 to 5 job. Ecosway is his job.

    The beautiful things is it gives you a online office to check all your downline purchases and auction you can participate.

    Segara Ninda

    Talking to Tengku Yahaya of Segara Ninda, a heritage house right in the middle of town was  like going back in the Strait Settlement history. When you come for our month end event, the Upper Penang town event, this heritage homestay is just opposite it.

    Diving in Langkawi and Malaysia

    Langkawi consist of many islands. Pulau Payar with the reef platform is great for snorkeling and scuba diving. Langkawi Coral has the only reef platform in Malaysia and it is here in Pulau Payar.

    Whether you need an extended holiday in Langkawi while in Penang or holiday in Langkawi, you pick the choices and let us know. The packages are affordable and the kids would love it very much. It is even good for honey mooners. Even if you can't dive like me, you can snorkel and look at all the under water sea life and marine parks.


    Need any flowers for your sweetheart, loved one in hospital or anything else. Visit

    There is flowers for every occasion. Delivery can be arranged.



    Try Renting to Explore the Island without Any Commitment

    Another way to explore Penang without the commitment to buy timeshare is to rent. Timeshare rentals are the perfect way to get to know this exotic locale without having to pay for day to day accommodation in a hotel. Additionally, timeshares generally offer higher quality services and amenities than do hotels.


    Penang food # 3

    Green Papaya salad is a Nyonya family secret recipe. And Nyonya Food as you know is part of Penang Food. The Nyonya Green Papaya Salad can be enjoyed with hot sticky rice. I love our papaya salad which uses semi ripe fruits. If you use a totally green fruit, you may need to wash off the bitterness. Add a little salt and mix well, marinate for 5 mins, wash off with cold or tap water. Rinse off the water.

    Nyonya Green Papaya Salad

    Papaya as you know has healing properties and good for your bowels. Healing properties in terms of swells. For example if you have leg sprain or eye swollen, the doctors gives you a medication using papaya extract. That is how good papaya is. And if you have a hard time going to toilet, take more papayas. It is an effective way to clean your bowels.

    The Nyonyas eat lots of herbs and fresh spices in their diet. Raw fruits are usually combined to make a wonderful dish.

    Nyonya Green Papaya Kerabu


    Pickle Papay (Kerabu Bok Kua) - Green Papaya Salad

    1 medium size greenish orangy papaya approximately 600 gms
    Dried Shrimps 100 gms
    Shallot 60 to 70 gms, peeled and sliced thinly


    Sambal Belachan 2 to 3 teaspoons
    Fresh Prawn (Optional)
    Lime  (Keat Lar) - preferably or Lemon juice 3 to 4 teaspoons
    Sugar to taste  - 2 to 3 teaspoons
    Salt to taste - 1 to 2 teaspoon

    Method for Preparing Green Papaya Salad

  1. Peel papaya, cut into fine shreds or use a vegetable grater

  2. Soak the dried shrimps in hot water till it softens maybe 5 to 10 mins. Peel off the shelf and pound coarsely in a mortar and pestle or grinds coarsely in the grinder . Still bitable bits.

  3. In a mixing bowl, add sambal belachan, lima juices, sugar and salt. Mix till well blended

  4. Add in shredded papaya, dried shrimps and shallots and combine well.

  5. Final tasting for balanced of salt and sugar. If not, add more to taste. it should leave a tangy, sweet lingering taste in your mouth

  6. Serve immediately

Remember to spread the word to subscribe for my newsletter for secret recipes.

Cheers for now, I wish you enough!


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