Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Balik Kampung CNY- Penang

Well well, we are very much already into the 9th day of CNY and it's time to start getting back to normal mode. However, i find that very difficult and i'm still munching on CNY cookies I brought back from home and i'm pretty much still in holiday mood. (maybe CNY was just an excuse to be in holi mood..haha).

Anyways, one of the things that i had been looking forward ever since i was a kid during CNY was the little red envelopes or ang paus. Probably this will be what all kids are looking forward too until they are married because traditionally, once you are married, you are no longer eligible to collect ang paus but have to give out ang paus instead. ;p. Inside each red envelope, there will be new notes (during CNY, everything is new); the amount varies depending on who is the one who gives the ang pau to you. Of course, for me usually my grandmother and parent are the one that gives me the biggest ang pau. hehe.. The ang pau symbolizes good luck, that's why it's in red.

Ang pau, hong bao, red envelopes..hehehe..

Actually there's a lot more traditional customs related to CNY but i'm not gna talk bout it today as im not very sure of all the traditional customs either. But, besides the red envelopes, i love eating the mandarin oranges during CNY. Those cute lil round oranges which are very juicy and sweet are said to bring wealth too because in Cantonese they are called 'kam' which actually means gold. Wa, so the more you eat, the more 'gold' you will earn in the coming year..haha.. usually dad will buy one big carton of mandarin oranges back because as we go visiting relatives and friends, we will bring the oranges along for exchange too.

CNY can be a very excting time because it is the time when family gathers (as everyone grows older and gets busier with life, you don't get to gather as a family a lot sometimes) and travel together to visit relatives and friends. Maybe, nowadays lesser and lesser people travels back to their kampung or hometown, but i enjoy traveling to different parts of Msia to visit my aunts, uncles and cousins which I probably see only once a year. Sometimes, situations can get awkward, especially if you only see each other once a year and people changes in one year, and your aunt and uncle all will start saying things like 'oh, how tall you had grown, how thin/fat you become, how pretty you had become, where's your bf/gf etc' but it's good to catch up on everyone progresses in life and see how each other had change over the year. My bro, for eg, had change tremendously since my relatives all last saw him.

My mum enjoys making pineapple tarts and i love the pineapple tarts she made because the fillings are abundant, she is not stingy on them unlike those sold outside and the crust is so crispy and bake just to perfection. Besides, she always mold the tarts into round shapes, which made the tarts more appetizing too. hehe

Even before CNY started, half of my mum tarts were already gone!

This year, we went to dad's hometown for reunion dinner. We had dinner at my 4th uncle house with his family and my youngest uncle. As usual, we had steamboat for reunion dinner and of course, there's plenty of food to go with the steamboat that makes you eat till you explode. The sambal my aunt made was superb too.

Reunion dinner

For the rest of the days in SP, i basically went from house to house visiting all my relatives in SP, eating from house to house because every of my aunt and cousins will bring out all the goodies and cook a lot of nice food while i was in their hse. A lot of places are closed due to CNY, so i spent a lot of time watching CNY programs on TV, eating, talking, playing cards, and swimming at the hotel.


We also drove down to Penang from SP on our 2nd day of CNY. Penang is only about 45 mins away and I got to meet up with HT there. :)

Penang bridge still undergoing construction

The 1st place we went was for desert at this shop called Sugar Dynasty along Nagore Road. It was freaking hot in Penang and nothing like the cool breeze we enjoy all the time in KT.

For the health-conscious customers these days

Of course, one can't miss out on the very famous Penang char kuey teow when they are in Penang right? Business minded people especially in the food industry are smart these days. They open for business even during CNY and charged customers more expensive than usual.

This Lorong Selamat char kuey teow is one of the most popular in Penang but this plate cost RM 7. More expensive than usual but they give about 4 medium size prawns

Penang is also famous for their tau sar peah, so we also stopped by Ghee Hiang, one of the famous and original tau sar peah brand to purchase boxes of tau sar peah home. The tau sar peah, when eaten fresh, tasted even better.

Ghee Hiang

After loitering around DD's grandma place the whole noon, i was craving for cendol. So, we went to Penang Road for the famous (there are so many famous food in Penang) cendol. This stall is located at the side of the road, but the amout of ppl flooding the stall and standing around the stall to fin up their bowl of cendol is certainly causing traffic congestion on the road.

But good news to all, they have branches in Johor Bahru and Subang. Now, we don't have to be in Penang to enjoy this famous cendol :)

Father and son so busy that even if you run away with their cendol, they won't rmb you

Yummy cooling cold cendol on a hot day

There's a coffee shop right beside the cendol stall actually and DD said their Penang laksa is also very nice. So, we went into the coffee shop and ordered a bowl of the laksa. We were lucky to had a place to seat in the coffee shop. But, i still like the Penang laksa sold somewhere near the Kek Lok Si market.

Penang laksa

There's actually a reason why most ppl prefer standing and causing traffic congestion to enjoy their cendol because in this coffee shop, there's a sign that reads :

To translate, it actually says that, the coffee shop runs on a small modal, so whoever who sits in the coffee shop will need to order a drink, if not they will be fine a minimum amout of 40 cents! And how true. The min i sat down, the coffee shop uncle came forward and asked me to ordered a drink and pointed the sign to me. haha. I supposed if they do not imposed such a rule, no one will order any drink from the coffee shop because everyone will be drinking cendol :p

When I was younger, my parents would usually bring me to the snake temple in Penang just for the fun of it, you know to look at the snakes literally hanging around the temple freely. However, it's been ages since I went there and this time round, they decided to revisit the snake temple again. The snakes are all still there, hanging out freely as the olden days on pillars and trees but I was relieved to learn that they can only be hanging around at designated areas now.

But, it is safe to walk around this temple. The snakes had meditated before and they had all turn into vegetarians too. haha! Just kidding. It is safe to walk around because all the teeth of the snakes had been removed, so they can't bite :)

Can you see the snake? The white arrows are pointing to the snakes. The number of snakes had decreased tremendously since i last visited the temple maybe 15 years back?

It was a short break up north, but a fulfilling one gaining some extra pounds indeed! :)

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3 fondue dips :

are u sure u gain extra pounds? i think u ve lost a few..
omg.. i can see ur bone!!

good to see u hav fun and all the nice food pics, how i wish im back in msia now. sob~

i miss the cendol in penang!
the bos of the coffeshop will charge u extra 40sen whn u bring in the cendol..so bad...LOL

the cendol hv branch in subang? address got ah? =P

Stunning GIRL in the mid of hawkers,wuakakaka!