29 December 2012

Melaka, Malaysia

Visited Melaka for a few days, which is slightly similar to Penang where I have been staying as it is an old colonial town and port.  It was ran by the Portugese, Dutch then the British Empires over the last millennium.  Nowadays it is a pleasant touristy town upon the river with evening market on Jonker Street and local 'nonya' food cuisine, a blend of malay and chinese local to the area.
Here is popiah, a giant fresh spring roll:
Bicycle rickshaws are still common transport but more for tourists than locals I think:
Night scene with street eats:
Down by the river:

26 December 2012

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Singapore

Despite the huge number of shops and malls to visit in Singapore I have also had time this past few days to enjoy Singapore Zoo and have some culture around the Chinatown area of Singapore.  Located in Chinatown is the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum complex, an impressive 4 story temple finished in 2005, the tooth relic is said to have come from the ruins of another temple found in Myanmar.
The main stupa housing the tooth relic is encased in 320 kilograms of gold all donated from various devotees, photographs were not permitted upstairs where the stupa was but it did look nothing less than mint condition and an unbelievable amount of gold in the room.
Here is the temple from outside:
 The main hall of the temple:
Cast iron prayer bell:

25 December 2012

Christmas in Singapore

Have had a good time in Singapore over the Christmas holidays, I think most of the locals just use the holiday period as an excuse to hit the shops and malls. Orchard Road was extremely busy, which is where most of the large malls are located, it did have good lights and decorations all the way along the road.

Had a walk around Marina Bay the other evening, I have seen this before but it doesn't fail to impress heres a few shots, the balloons in the bay are part of the new years decorations...

22 December 2012

Penang Food, Malaysia

People ask my why I enjoy staying in Georgetown so much, and like any good local would tell you its the food, Penang being famous for its great variety and tasty dishes. Usually I am too busy tucking into my evening meal and enjoying it to remember to take a photo of it, but i have remembered a few times so heres what I've ate this week...
 A dish of 'curry chicken won ton mee' - some curried chicken with noodles in soy, pak choi, pork, it came with a bowl of soup with won tons in aswell.
Yesterday's lunch was a platter of duck, chicken, pork, sausage, rice and sour soup in the 'First Famous Duck Rice' restaurant which was recommended by a local and took abit of finding on Lorong Suso (Milk Lane) heading out of town.
I have to say the Indian food is my favourite though and here is a fantastic vegetable thali from Sri Anand restaurant.
Will take a picture of the best meal ever - tandoori chicken naan set from the Kapitan restaurant before I leave later on the nightbus to Singapore to finally meet my friend and enjoy the Christmas Holidays.
And here it is, the photo does not do it justice as this is the best tandoori chicken you can get...

19 December 2012

Street art in Penang, Malaysia

Something a little different today, Georgetown in Penang is famous for being an old colonial town in Malaysia with a very high number of protected buildings. However over the past couple of years street art made of wire sculptures has cropped up to show a little bit more about the history of Georgetown. I did lots of laps of the backstreets today learning what the streets have been traditionally used for and how they came about their names. The examples below show Malay Street where there used to be numerous butchers, myself on rope walk, then at the bottom the street where designer Jimmy Choo once worked.

13 December 2012

Langkawi, Malaysia

So I decided to have a change of scenery from Penang this week. Got a bus up to the top of the west coast of peninsular Malaysia and hopped on a ferry over to Pulau Langkawi, a beautiful island that has been touted as a holiday resort for a number of years, being a duty free island to attract tourists for cheaper alcohol.
Ive stayed on Pantai Cenang, which is the largest beach over 2 km long and beautiful. Despite being busy with backpackers and malay tourists the beach looks empty all day as people avoid the midday sun as its been rather hot, with a few thundershowers thrown in in the evening.
Have enjoyed the week, working abit on my tan and playing hac-e-sac on the sand.

1 December 2012

Penang, Malaysia

So flew to KL at the start of the week then got the bus up to Penang, where I will stay for maybe 2 weeks, as I'm just relaxing this month before meeting my friend in singapore for Christmas. Until then Penang is my home, I've visited before and am a fan thanks to the huge amount of food on offer, all indian dishes in little india, malay food and tons of Chinese food, so a great range to choose from. This week I've had tandoori chicken, vegetable thalis, chicken rice to name a few, been running a couple of times to combat all the meals i have eaten.
Today I walked out of town to visit the Burmese and Thai Buddhist temples, the first housing a large standing buddha, then over the road a 30 meter long reclining buddha.

Above shows alms baskets which people purchase to donate to the monks (as monks do not ever take money only food and other donations)

Me in front of the large reclining buddha in the thai temple

A mosiac dragon shining in the sun and below art work on the temple wall