This post was extracted and edited from a previous post published on my other blog, www.foodtrail.wordpress.com on January 13th, 2013. A reminiscence of my time in Penang.
It was a 2-weeks break away from work during the busiest time of the year, Christmas and New Year. From taking the funicular railway up the Penang Hill to a bus ride to explore Balik Pulau and a daily morning walk along the east coast of the island. The weather in Penang at this time of the year is usually cool in the morning and evening, with a mildly hot and humid temperature in the afternoon. Some the morning was the best I could remember - a full moon descended behind the distant hill and a sea eagle had its morning feed on a small wetland monitor lizard on top of a building.
My partner and I visited Balik Pulau on this trip. We took the RapidPenang bus number 401E at the Queensway bus station. The fare was 2.70 Malaysia Ringgit (less than AUD$1). Balik Pulau is located on the southwest side of the island - probably the last remaining old township on the island that managed to escape the big developers massive commercialism and destruction. The municipal surrounding is rich in history and cultural values with vast pasture farmlands of fruit plantations, herb farms, goat farm, paddy fields and traditional Chinese and Malay fishing villages. It is an inland township close to the west coast of the island with stunning surrounding hills, state forests and the best sunset view. I love Balik Pulau and its layback lifestyle. But, land on the island has become so scarce that before long Balik Pulau may grow and prosper into another big satellite town due to its proximity to the newly opened Penang second bridge.
Balik Pulau is well known for its Penang laksa - Asam Laksa and Siam Laksa at the Nan Guang Kopitiam. This coffee shop or “Kopitiam” is also popular with its Nutmeg juice with sour plum, an unusual acquired taste but refreshing for the hot and humid weather.
This side of the main street in Balik Pulau has predominantly Chinese shops.
The other two streets from the historical 1882 water fountain roundabout have mostly Malay and Hindu Muslim shops. I came across a Malay coffee shop on this side of the street in front of the roundabout, called the "Restoran Roundabout", selling nasi campur (rice with curries) and a traditional mee goreng and mee rebus stall. I had the mee goreng at this coffee shop, which was very good and tasty. Perfect with a glass of hot "teh tarik".
Penang Insights blogs about travel and food, sharing with anyone who enjoys traveling to other destinations, taking photographs, meeting people, experiencing new cultures and traditions, enjoying cooking and trying other cuisines.