Thursday, 21 September 2017

Superstar Libra Cruise Penang Day 4 - Tour Penang For Free

Our third destination for the SuperStar Libra Cruise is to Penang (Day 4)

Picture Courtesy of Penang Port

The SuperStar Libra reach the Penang Island at 8am and the ship was berthed at Penang Port (Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal). Strategically located next to the Penang town, there are so many things you can see and do which is within walking distance or you can call a car sharing apps like Grab and Uber to send you to some of the other attraction Penang has to offer; like Penang Hill, Snake Temple or the Batu Ferringhi Beach.

But if you are on a budget, you can see also see part of Penang without spending a dime; seriously. You just take a short walk to the Feri Terminal Bus Station where you can board the Penang CAT FREE Shuttle Bus. 

The Hop OnFree Central Area Transit (CAT) ply the route between Weld Quay Jetty and Komtar on a 15-minute intervals from 6 am-12 midnight. See the above map for reference of its point.

Exploring the grounds of the UNESCO World Heritage City has never been this convenient with the 19 CAT stops in between all the famous heritage landmarks of Penang! You can climb onboard the CAT bus and explore all the wonderful heritage sites of Penang. You can take a tour of the Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower, Fort Cornwallis, Penang War Memorial, City Hall, Penang Supreme Court Building, Cathedral of the Assumption, Penang State Museum, Goddess of Mercy Temple, The Pinang Peranakan Mansion, Church Street Pier, Mahamariamman Temple, Khoo Kongsi, Cheong Fatt Sze Mansion, Francis Light's grave and many more heritage sites!

Since i have been to Penang many times over, site seeing is not in my list this round. Before boarding the Penang CAT Free Shuttle Bus, we decided to pay a visit to the popular tourist attraction of Chew Jetty. The Chew Jetty is just a minute walks from the Feri Terminal Bus Station.

One of the unique features about Chew Jetty is the entire village is built on stilts above the sea; so you won't be surprised to see the sea below your feet when the tide is up.

At this village, you can see some of the houses have been converted to commercial outlet; selling from souvenirs item to food and etc.

One of the popular food here at Chew Jetty; is the Big Bowl Noodle.

Our first stop of the FREE CAT Shuttle is at Komtar. For anyone going to Penang, you can;t missed out on tasting some of the popular Penang street food. This round I will taste out a few famous fare; starting with the famed Char Kway Teow, the signature Nasi Kandar and the famous Penang Cendol.

For this trip, since I am moving around the  Penang CAT Free Shuttle Bus route, I decided to taste out some of these famous eateries within walking distance of each of these stop along the route. My first pit stop is at Lorong Selamat (less than a 10-minute walk from the Komtar bus stop) which is famed for the Penang style Char Kway Teow. For direction, view the map below.

Laden with fried pork lard, it makes the noodle with an extra punch. Here the Char Kway Teow is cooked with Chinese Sausage, Cockles and Prawns.  Other Penang favourite dishes that are served  at this coffee shop includes the Loh Bak, Sotong Kang Kong, Fried Oyster and more.

After the meal, we decided to stroll around the Komtar area where there is an attraction called The TOP @Komtar. There is much attraction here that you can do like the Rainbow Sky-Walk, 7D Discovery Motion Theatre and more.

After the short visit at Komtar, I decided to quench my thirst with a cendol drink from the Penang Road Famous Cendol. It is just a short walk from Komtar. For direction, view the map below.

This place is packed and there is a queue lining by the cart with a lot of tourist for this famed cendol, but don;t be fooled as there are a number of shops carrying the same name; so it is best to see our photo for the right one.

Price RM2.90. You can also try out the other Penang food at this coffee-shop Assam Laksa, Fried Oyster, Popiah and Char Kway Teow too.

As I was walking to my next food destination; I pass by the Pasar Chow Rasta. You can easily buy a few of the popular Penang snack from here.

This market is also very popular for its preserved fruits.

Since I am doing a walking tour and would like to taste out another famous Penang dish, I decided to try the Line Clear Nasi Kandar as it is within walking distance from the Penang Komtar and also have a bus stop for the Penang CAT Free Shuttle bus service to take me back to the port. For direction, view the map below.

Line Clear Nasi Kandar is one of the earliest Nasi Kandar vendors in Penang. Again, don't be fooled by the signboard as there is 2 shop with the same name. The original one is in the lane beside the shop; you should not missed it as there is a queue lining there.

You can choose your favourite dishes like fried chicken, beef, squid, prawns and the famed fish head curry.

As I am on my own, calling a fish head is too much for one person, so I decided for an order of squid, beef and vegetables with a combination of curry sauces (RM17.10). This mixture is what makes the Nasi Kandar unique; as the multitude of flavours from each of the curries is intertwined with each other.

For those that love cafe hopping; can try out this 2 popular cafe; the first of which is the Awesome Canteen which has a rustic charming interior of the olden days shop house which is in 1950's era; which serves cakes, coffee and cafe food.

or you can walk across the street to the China House - Penang Longest Cafe.

serving artisan coffee and an array of cakes and dessert that makes a sweet tooth drool.

Why this is Penang Longest Cafe: You can take a walk of more than 2 minutes from front to end. In between there are many seating areas for you to spend time in each which its unique charm. This is my last pit-stop as it was time to head back to the ship.

Link to our other post for the Cruise Holiday

Map to Lorong Selamat Char Kway Teow

Maps to Penang Road Famous Teochew Cendol

Location map to Line Clear Nasi Kandar

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

SuperStar Libra Cruise Phuket Patong Beach Tour - Day 3

Our second destination for the SuperStar Libra Cruise is at Phuket Patong Beach (Day 3)

Upon arrival at Phuket, we were transferred to deep sea Port of Phuket where when we disembarked, for our Patong Beach Excursion.

On the way to Phuket, we were briefed by our friendly tour guide aka Dove on what we are things to do, to eat and to buy from Phuket, Thailand.

After a 45 minutes bus ride; we reach the Patong Beach at the JungCeylon Mall which happens to be the biggest mall on Phuket. It is conveniently located where you can easily access to the fame Bangla Street, the famed Patong beach and the Banzaan Fresh Market.

This mall also houses a number of Thai souvenir shop at lower ground, the Big C hypermarket where you can buy almost all the Thai produce to bring home and the upmarket Robinson Store and many others.

As a foodie, we have decided to make our way to the Banzaan Fresh Market

where you can buy or eat all the Thai local fresh fruits,

and fresh seafood like lobster, crabs, prawns, fish, shellfish

(take a look at the video of the live seafood offering) and more.

Here, you can buy the fresh food and vegetables from the market and bring it to the first floor where most of the shop will be able to cook for you any style from their menu.

The cooking price range for each dish is around 100-150 Thai Baht.

Opposite this Banzaan Fresh Market is a Muay Thai Stadium. There are fight schedules mostly in the evening if you are staying overnight in Phuket.

Next on is a walk pass thru the fame Bangla Street which is also known as the beer street. This is the most happening street when nightfall; to be when you are in Patong Beach although we would have left by then. This road is closed at night and we were told that it is usually packed with tourist.

After a brief walk, we finally reach the beach area where you can swim, paragliding, or just take a brisk walk on the sandy beach

360-degree view of Patong Beach

or just laze around the beach for some sunbathing while enjoying your sip of refreshing freshly pierced coconut drink.

There are some street food and restaurant along the way that you might like to taste.

or go for a relaxing Thai Massage.

Soon, we were back at the mall after a brief walk around the Patong Beach to check out the food bazaar,

 souvenir shop and the Big C Hypermarket to purchase the Tom Yam Thai Instant Noodle. After which it was an hour drive back to the port.

Monday, 18 September 2017

SuperStar Libra Cruise Langkawi Cable Car - Day 2

Our first destination for the SuperStar Libra Cruise is at Langkawi (Day 2)

Langkawi Cable Car Entrance

Upon arrival at Langkawi also known as the Jewel of Kedah; we had 3 hours to spend on this beautiful island. As the ship is berthed in, we decided to make a visit to the Langkawi Cable Car and the Langkawi Sky Bridge.

This cable car facility provides an aerial link from the Kampung Teluk Burau to the peak of Gunung Machinchang stretching 2.2 kilometres and up to 15 minutes ride from base to the top.

If you are one of those that fear height Acrophobia then the Langkawi Sky Bridge which is the world longest curve suspension bridge might not be for you.

A purchase of the Sky Cab Cable Car ticket at RM40.00 (for Malaysian) comes with free entrance to SkyDome, SkyRex and 3D Art Langkawi.

SkyDome offers a 360 degrees 3D image projections with 12 HD projectors which can cover your field of view and let you experience a surreal experience where you can view from any angle.

Sky Rex - which features a 4D effects is 5 minutes ride that is made out of a fun-filled journey that assaults using senses-physical platform drops, dynamic motion, blasts of air, water spray, vibrations, dramatic lighting, surround sound and 3D film projected to the front and both sides of the tram, combine to give a realistic experience.

While the 3D ART Langkawi which is hailed as the Biggest 3D Interactive Art Museum in Malaysia offers a vast experience and come alive photo shoot opportunity for the visitors.

With 21,000 square feet of built-up area, it features more than one hundred 3D interactive paintings, artistically painted by a group of talented international artists.

This is another tourist attraction by Langkawi SkyCab in collaboration with Art In Paradise Langkawi that provides a new dimension and experience to visitors

For some of the exhibits, you are able to step inside or crawl into some of the exhibits to pose the best memory shot.

Make the right pose with the characters and you become the subject of the artwork on display. This is almost a surreal gallery and is a must see and does on your visit to Langkawi.