Friday, August 14, 2015

Family trip to Penang...with a brompton in a bag

For the SG jubilee week, we took a relaxed trip to Penang. Naturally I had to bring my foldie along.  Not for the campaign for a lane event but basically as a effective way to get around to see the sights. This was how I did it using the bag by Vincita. Deflate abit of air from the tyres.. put the brompton in. Zip up and go. 
packing my Brompton in the Vincita Bag 
hand pump, cage and multitool kit
Cayla and Momo posing with SG favorite food - Chicken rice @ Changi airport 
It took us 1 hr flight time from Singapore to Penang. Flying via budget air was uneventful but pleasant. Landed in Penang and we went searching for a late lunch. 
Desmond and Cayla leading the way
Penang street has lots of art that shares with u the information of the street in a art/fun way
This was our 2nd visit to Penang. What I like about it was the street food and also the electic art murals that are spread around the old historical area. Old and grity but it somehow draws me closer to it. Anyway, here's some photos of the street food.
a typical roadside stall @ Penang
Food tastes best with company dont u think?
Char kway tiao - sorry for the blur photo ... I was shaking with excitment
so lovely kway tiao soup. 
Needless to say, we stuffed ourselves silly with CKT, wanton noodle and many many goodies. Reflecting on the food, I felt the one that was most memorable was actually the simple Kway tiao soup at Bangkok Lane.
It's really hard to have a simple dish that can stand out among so many good food. I felt it did because it was simple, honest cooking. We asked the lady what was the "magic". She told us, they had to put the pig bones, and whole duck to make the soup base. It will take several hours and later on, shred the duck meat. The fish ball was also manually made. Not bought off the super market."Alot of work but ok lah.... " The lady said. 
Look out for this stall at Bangkok lane
shy owners when we gave them a thumbs up for the super noodle soup. They were smiling ear to ear!
There is really a lot of pride in what they do. And this is sadly not the case in Singapore local street food. I think our reputation for having best street food paradise in Asia have been overtaken by cities like Penang. Really.
Coming back to cycling bit in Penang. 
When you go on family trip, one of the way you can get some cycling is to wake up early. Do an hour or so and by the time you come back, it's just nice for breakfast. Easy and relaxing. 
The early morning light also gives the town a nice tone
Stay lighted on the rear
beautiful art that complements the gritty rundown environment. 

trishaw for carry goods. Eco and cheap.
Best of all if you want to earn more brownie points for your next bicycle or bike adventure, offer to pick up all the stuff your missus wants and carry it back via the bicycle. Its really effective!
uncle painting over the old coffee tins
Local kopi brand
carrying coffee orders for the missus - photo credit Desmond
Looking at the town, I also noted that there were more and more hipster cafe sprouting up like wild mushrooms.... like this one. 
cafes like this can be found all over Penang....
Frankly, I am not sure if this is a good thing. I feel that alot of the original Penang lifestyle is being hollowed up, making way for yet another hotel or cafe. As I admired the creativity of the art mural
pieces and nice fancy cafes, I could see many elderly sitting in a corner, looking dazed and empty. They must be wondering...."what the hell is happening to my community"  
The irony of me writing this is that I am also guilty of intruding to their space and lifestyle. :(
old uncle trying to get by collecting cardboard and drink cans. 
What would be a good balance of keeping the old and introducing the new? I hope the people of Penang would be wise enough not to milk the golden goose too much. And this is something we should also reflect on for our sunny island. Are we also going to fast too soon? What are your thoughts? I love to hear from you.
My photos link of the nice experience here 


  1. Wow, great pics esp of the makan. I share your concern about the "modernisation" of Penang. Cant be help I suppose but can be managed. Penang is still in that regard, far ahead of the Little Red Dot in being able to observe and experience the old ways. Momo and Cayla are growing so quickly! :)

  2. Thanks Bro Al, I admire alot for Penang for preserving the historical part of their island. Yes, like u mentioned, there are alot we can learn from them.

    Momo and Cayla send their regards to you!

  3. Your picture are totally so nice. I appreciate your concern about moderation of Penang. The picture of the article were so pretty. Such a wonderful collection. Small wheel bike are also called balanced bike. I like you post and also have to en ovation with

  4. Enjoy reading yr blog.
    Being a Johorean living here for last 30 years, Penang is small but you pen it with a big heart.
    The next time you come to Penang, let us host you to cycling lane that connects Queensbay to the town. of course not forgetting the best of hawker food in Penang !
    Best wishes.

    1. Hi Winson, Thank you for the kind words. I enjoy Penang, learnt alot of the history and from chatting from the regular folks there. Its a very special place and I hope it can stay the way it is for ever and ever.

      It will be good to chat u and friends up there over a simple kopi and good penang makan. Till then. ride safe and keep in touch!

  5. Good read Taiwoon, next visit to Penang let us know. Winson is my friend too will be glad to meet you.