From the 4th until the 7th of February 2015, 21 participants including media and travel agents participated in a programme called Kembara Cuti-cuti 1 Malaysia (KCC1M) organised by Gaya Travel in collaboration with Tourism Malaysia’s Domestic and Marketing Division and Tourism Malaysia Pulau Pinang Office.
As readers might have known by now, the main objective of programme is to update the participants on the latest tourism products available in Malaysia while offering them the chance to gain first-hand experience so that they will be able to effectively promote the visited destination. The trip to Pulau Pinang was actually the last leg of the KCC1M 2014 series, which unfortunately had to be held in early 2015 due to unavoidable circumstances.
For the first time ever, the KCC1M programme to Penang was also joined by Volvo Malaysia, represented by the brand’s two most sought-after models, XC60 and XC90, which made the journey smoother, safer, comfortable and upscale.
What we covered during the programme:
Penang Hill is a gorgeous escape from the city below. Located in Air Itam, about six kilometres from the city of Georgetown, Penang Hill or also known as Bukit Bendera comprises a total of six hills altogether namely the Strawberry Hill, the Halliburton’s Hill, the Flagstaff Hill, the Government Hill, the Tiger Hill and the Western Hill. Attractions here include age-old church and mosque, diverse flora and fauna, and the love lock corridor. The best way to reach the summit is by taking the Penang Hill Funicular Train with return train tickets sold for only RM10 per adult and RM4 per child (do take note that these prices are applicable for MyKad holders only, different prices applies for non-Malaysians: RM30 per adult and RM15 per child).
Should visitors become hungry when being uphill, we suggest that they make a stop at David Brown’s Restaurant & Tea Terraces, a colonial styled establishment offering splendid dining experience amidst greenery overlooking the spectacular view of the city down below. The restaurant serves generous selections of lunch, high tea and dinner menu with typical English favourites like steak and Yorkshire pudding. The restaurant opens from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. every day.
Strawberry Hill, Penang Hill
P: +6 04 828 8337
Ghazal Parti is a musical show that combines music, song, comedy and dance elements, widely known in the northern part of Malaysia like Pulau Pinang and Kedah, explaining why the patois often used during the show originates from northern Peninsular Malaysia. Musical instruments commonly used in each Ghazal Parti performance include harp, violin, accordion, flute and tambourine. But as times change and more and more modern influences shape the music we listen today, Ghazal Parti now also incorporates modern instruments like saxophone, trumpet and bongo.
Ghazal Parti has long been easily accepted by the locals, particularly the Muslim community, due to its Arabic and Persian influences. In fact, it is still considered as an important part of culture by certain families in northern Peninsular Malaysia and can be commonly found in weddings and various festive occasions. Formerly, the female characters in the show were played by male dancers dressed in women attires. However, to comply with societal norms, actual female dancers also partake in the show to assume female characters.
Contact Person: Omar M. Hashim (Fajar Irama Ghazal Parti group)
P: 013-422 0091/ 019-516 1788
Hop On Hop Off Penang
Officially launched on 16 November 2014, Hop On Hop Off Penang, which is operated by Elang Wah Sdn Bhd, offers a daily tour along two routes – the beach route and the city route – while stopping at 33 designated stops that cover over 50 most popular attractions in Pulau Pinang including Komtar, Botanical Garden and Blue Mansion. Moreover, the routes pass several major hotels in the city, making it easier for travellers to move around. Passengers can stay on the bus throughout the entire route, including hopping off and on at any of the designated stops.
The double-decker bus is air-conditioned and accommodates 60 passengers at a time. It is also equipped with a pre-recorded and live commentary, free Wi-Fi and disabled-friendly features. It has an open upper deck should the passengers want to enjoy riding under the sun while breathing in fresh air. The bus service runs from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. with 20 to 30 minutes’ interval between each stop and priced at RM19 for Malaysians and RM45 for foreigners. Tickets are sold at authorised ticket agents, the mobile counters at Gurney Drive (Stop 1) and Chowrasta (Stop 9), on-board the HOHO buses, and online at myhoponhopoff.com.
Elang Wah Sdn Bhd
No. 98-3-3c, Prima Tanjung
Jalan Fettes, Tanjung Tokong
10470 Pulau Pinang
P: +6 018 306 5546
Jawi House Cafe Gallery
According to Mr. Nuril Karim, the Manager and Head Chef of Jawi House Cafe Gallery, Jawi Peranakan refers to the Muslim hybrid community resulted from intermarriages between local people and traders especially from India, Arab and Turkey. There are generally 200,000 of them left, mostly found throughout Malaysia and Singapore. Though the community is greatly influenced by Malay culture and customs, Jawi Peranakan maintains a distinct identity as can be seen through their architecture, clothing, jewellery and cuisine.
In terms of cuisine, Jawi Peranakan community extensively uses Malay herbs with Indian and South-East Asian spices in its dishes, which can easily be found at Jawi House Cafe Gallery. Part of Jawi Peranakan menu is Nasi Kacang, Special Jawi Peranakan Laksa and the community’s staple, Nasi Lemuni, which is rice is cooked with lemuni (Vitex trifolia) leaves, hence the name, along with lemongrass, ginger and coconut milk. Moreover, the dish is said to have high health benefits especially for mothers post natal recovery since the dish is believed to enhance blood flow, balance the hormones and restore digestive system. To maintain the authenticity and its original taste, every dish here is cooked using the original recipe passed by the chef’s mother. The gallery is open every day except Tuesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
85, Armenian Street
P: +6 019 474 5703
Jump Street Trampoline Park Penang
Located in the atrium within the D’Piazza Complex in Bayan Baru, Jump Street Trampoline Park Penang, which was officially opened on 10 January 2015, is the second trampoline park in the country after Jump Street Kuala Lumpur.
“Fitness shouldn’t be boring,” claimed the CEO of Jump Street Malaysia, Duncan McGilligan, when he was giving briefing about the venue. That said, Jump Street aims to revolutionise the way Malaysians think about fun and fitness by providing ample of spaces and exciting activities for Malaysians to enjoy that involve trampolines, of course. Besides being fun, jumping on a trampoline also burns calories faster because 10 minutes of jumping on trampoline is equivalent to 30 minutes of jogging, making it quicker for jumpers to lose weight.
Jump Street Penang covers a space totalling 27,000 square feet that features eight activities including Big Bag, The Wall, Foam Pit, Dodge Ball, Slam Dunk, High Performance Court and the newly added Tower Jump and Beatle Beam. To play, all jumpers need to wear a special pair of Jump Street grip socks for safety reasons. The socks are reusable and only cost RM4.50 per pair. Jump passes are available at RM20 for the first hour during off-peak days and RM25 for the first hour during peak days. Travellers may check out their website (www.jumpstreetasia.com) to learn more about its on/off peak periods and activities available. Jumpers are advised to book their slots in advance to avoid disappointment because the sessions sell out quickly and only 150 people are allowed to use the trampolines at one time.
Besides trampoline activities, this attraction also has Jump Cafe that serves healthy organic meals and freshly brewed coffees. Take it from us: this cafe serves one of the best meals that we ever tasted. Our favourites include Barley-Grain Salad and Chicken Tikka Tacos, which are delicious yet healthy too! Though its main purpose is to serve the jumpers, walk-in customers can also choose to dine here without having to pay entrance fee.
Atrium of D’Piazza Mall
70 Jalan Mahsuri, Bayan Baru
11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang
P: +6 1800 88 5867
Penang Tropical Spice Garden
Tropical Spice Garden is a popular site among travellers when in Penang due to its extensive varieties (over 500) of exotic tropical flora, particularly spices. The garden was initially conceptualised by David and Rebecca Wilkinson who assembled a team that included a landscape designer, Lim In Chong, and Frederick Walker, as the Project Manager. Interestingly, this former rubber plantation is now transformed into a beautiful garden without negatively impacting the natural environment as the initiators had followed the natural terrain as closely as possible. They also use mainly recycled materials salvaged from pre-war shop houses or sourced from local antique stores.
The garden comprises a Spice Museum, a Garden Shop, a Spice Café, a Gift Shop and a Cooking Class Centre where visitors are taught to make dishes by using spices freshly taken from the garden surrounding them. We recommend that visitors should not miss the guided tour held along the three trails namely the Spice Trail, the Ornamental Trail and the Jungle Trail due to its enriching content – the facts acquired here may even surprise the most informed visitors. The garden is open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Admission fees start at RM26 per adult and RM15 per child.
Lot 595 Mukim 2
Jalan Teluk Bahang
11050 Pulau Pinang
P: +6 04 881 1797
Penang Time Tunnel
Penang Time Tunnel Museum, as the name suggests, chronicles various chapters of Pulau Pinang from the moments British found the land, during Japanese invasion all the way to early 21st century. It features 12 small tunnels altogether, highlighting Pulau Pinang’s history through images, fun facts, life-like figures and dioramas. Interestingly, stories and designs are carefully presented to suit both children and adults with limited attention span.
Apart from the history, the museum also comes with a 3D Trick Art area, a Fluorescent Room and an Inverted Room where visitors are allowed to take pictures for free in all areas. Penang Time Tunnel Museum charges RM22 per adult (MyKad: RM14) and RM12 per child (MyKad/MyKid: RM7).
No. 39, Jalan Green Hall
10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang
P: +6 04 261 9181
Lost Paradise Resort
Lost Paradise Resort is built out of love, started by a big-hearted paediatrician, Dr. Chew, who aims for a continuous financial support to a cause he highly believes in: creating a better future for children with special needs. Thus, besides being an exotic styled escapade, Lost Paradise Resort also functions as a learning centre where children are taught with enough attention and affection. Guests may expect nothing but warm family treatment when they are here.
Featuring 40 spacious suites and rooms, each room/suite is personally furnished with antiques bought during Dr. Chew’s travels abroad, including a massive 70-year old traditional bed from the Majapahit era, now sitting beautifully in the Maharaja Suite. All rooms are fully air-conditioned and equipped with LED TV and complimentary Wi-Fi. There are also infinity pool, spa, BBQ area and huge garden overlooking the blue Andaman Sea for guests to unwind and put their feet up. Suite/room rates here start at RM250 nett.
262 Jalan Batu Ferringhi
11100 Pulau Pinang
P: +6 04 890 4800
Jeruk Madu Pak Ali (Pak Ali’s Honey Pickle)
On the final day of the KCC1M programme, we managed to have a quick glimpse on the whole process of making the well-liked pickles at its factory, an experience we found enlightening. But what we found the most striking was the fact that the factory still uses manual labour (specifically 35 employees) to cut almost 5,250kg of fruits every day! It means that each of the employee is tasked with cutting up approximately 150 kilograms of fruits daily, all in the name of providing high quality pickles across the country.
All the pure hard work and dedication of the employees surely paid off when the company bagged the top prize at the Penang-level Bumiputra Entrepreneur Award Ceremony organised by the Penang Bumiputra Development Council back in 2010. Today, Jeruk Madu Pak Ali Enterprise receives strong support from agencies such as the Malaysian Agriculture Research and Development Institute, Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority and Penang Regional Development Authority.
Lot 652-655, Kawasan Perindustrian IKS Perda-Tasek
14120, Simpang Ampat, Seberang Perai Selatan
P: +6 04 588 3781