Sunday, February 1, 2009

CNY holidays in Malaysia (3)

Taiping / Penang / Malacca (3 days)

Taiping is a quiet pensioner's paradise with century-old trees lining its roads. However, Taiping is famous for its cheap and delicious food. Some of the famous Taiping delicacies are: chendol, char kway teow, popiah, nasi lemak, etc...

Places of interest include:
Taiping Lake Garden was built in 1880. It is the oldest and certainly one of the most beautiful lake gardens in Malaysia. The tranquility, beautiful lake view and misty mountain scenery are something that you will never forget.

Above right: look at the water lilies in the lake...

The drooping branches of ancients raintrees are familar sights that never fail to attract visitors' attention.

Above: Taiping downtown is a collection of pre-war houses many dated back to early 20th century. Most of the buildings are 2/3 storey and still bear a lot of old world charm.

Above: The Clock Tower is the iconic landmark building of Taiping. Located in the middle of Jalan Kota, which is a major road so you can never miss it. The clock tower section is now used as a information center.

Maxwell Hill (Bukit Larut), the local Chinese called it “Kopi Sua” or “Coffee Hill”, is the oldest hill resort in Malaysia, having been founded over 100 years ago. It is 1,250m above sea level and is about 13 km with temperature of 15-25 Celsius at day time.

The hill is still rich with the tropical nature and is also one of the oldest and smallest hill resort in the country. At the hill top, you can see the whole Larut plain. There is absolutely nothing you can do at Bukit Larut except for a quiet and relaxing moment from hustle and bustle city.

Recognise this bridge and you would know we have arrived at Penang.

This place is another food paradise... penang laksa, penang char kway teow, lor bak, ban chiang kueh, chendol, lok lok etc. Now it's time for some leg exercise...

This is Penang's famous Kek Lok Si Temple (Penang Hokkien for "Temple of Supreme Bliss") and one of the best known temples on the island.

Above right: a view of Penang town from Kek Lok Si Temple.

Bt Bundera (Penang Hill) is 830m high and it's much cooler than in the city below. We arrived at Air Itam to find out that cable tickets were sold out for the next 3 hours. We went ahead to buy the tickets. After 3 hours of food spree, we returned to Air Itam.

The funicular at the railway station took us to the top but got to change trains halfway. On the way it passed several small stations where the local people got off. There are some small hotels and guesthouses on this stretch. The railway was built in 1923 and it takes about 30 minutes to reach the top. At the top of the hill, there is a tea kiosk, restaurants, souvenir stalls, a mosque, Hindu temple, and the old Bellevue hotel. The summit offers a magnificent panoramic view of Georgetown, the mainland and Penang Bridge. However, it was rather hazy thus couldn't see very clearly.
Our last stop was Malacca. We have been here so many times. Get sick? Of course not... the FooooD...
By the way, Malacca has a latest addition - Eye on Malacca. It is situated on the banks of Melaka River, just opposite the old Cathay Cinema near Jalan Hang Tuah bridge. Standing 25m high, Eye on Malacca is expected to be bigger than Taman Tasik Titiwangsa’s Eye on Malaysia, as two other attractions have been added on to it – a trampoline bungee and a pirate ship.

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