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Penang News, Issue #002 --Air Travel Tips, Thaipusam, Floating Procession, Advertisment and food
February 29, 2008

What a month! February has come and gone and I have my hands full with activities. There is simply no rest. Overall it has been an exciting and busy month.

So the second issue of my Penang News is here, on the last day of the month. I still made it and now shares with you what I have been doing the past few weeks.

What do we have in this second edition of our newsletter?

  • Tips on Travelling in the plane
  • My Thaipusam Story
  • Teluk Bahang Floating Procession
  • Chinese New Year
  • Towns and Streets i Know
  • Diving in Pulau Payar, Langkawi
  • Advertisement and Timeshare
  • Penang Hokkien Mee

Enjoy this reading!

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Tips on traveling in the plane

Traveling in a plane at the economy or coach section for a long period of time can sometimes be very stressful to health. The few tips below will ease your flight experience.

  • Drink plenty of water and if you wish take alcohol, consume moderately.

  • Keep a water bottle handy, get it refilled from time to time to always have water to drink at your convenience.

  • Eat light meal in the flight. Take snacks like fruits, cheese and crackers between meals.

  • Bring extra cushion or travel pillow for neck and back support. One pillow provided in the plane is not sufficient.

  • Wear eye shades and ear plugs to rest more peacefully.

  • Wear a comfortable light jumper or cardigan to keep warm, cabin temperature is usually set at 22 to 24 degrees Celsius (72 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit).

  • Apply a lot of moisturizer on the skin, especially on the face and hands to avoid dryness of the skin.

  • Use lip balm to keep the lips moisturized.

  • If you are wearing makeup, do not remove it before rest. It keeps the skin from losing moisture in the flight.

  • Walk around constantly whenever possible to improve blood circulation. This will avoid DVT (Deep Vein thrombosis).


My Thaipusam Story

Read about my Thaipusam experience when my son decided to participate in Thaipusam. Read some before and after pictures of his face after skewering with the miniatures "Vel". No blood, it is amazing but scary for me.

We were there for solid 2 full days after which we were completely exhausted due to the heat. I must remember to get a cap or glasses on the next year. But it was a rewarding time as I was able to shoot some video with my new found toy.

See get the page and view 9 videos. Some of quite good but a few may sound blurry due to the music from trumpets and drummers. There is no escape from crowd or loud blasting of music. I was not very comfortable when I saw some kavadi bearers wearing spiky sandals. It was a yucky to me.


Teluk Bahang Floating Procession

Flaoting Procession in Teluk Bahang, after Batu Ferringhi is a unique sea festivals. Mostly tourist and far away devotees traveled by bus for this festivals.

We went for the Teluk Bahang Floating Procession with Chandra's sister and friend from Seremban, another state in South Malaysia. Susila, is from Teluk Bahang so it is kind of a home coming for her.

The waves were quite strong and the most ladies had a tough time releasing their lantern in the sea. Releasing the lighted styrofoam dish to Sri Singamuga Kaliamman the female deity is a way of saying thanks for fulfilling the wishes. The whole sea from afar as we drove back to Georgetown looks like a sea of light. Earlier the beach was filed with all Indians.

Also the deity was taken out for a sea ride and returned early due to the total Lunar eclipse.


Chinese New Year

This year Chinese New Year was fun. Was too busy having guest and no chance to take photos or videos. But I would not miss out on the last day.  You will see the videos of nyonya ladies doing their traditional dance. Nothing fanciful but very authentic.

I was able to upload the Hokkien New year at Chew Jetty. It was a meal fir for a king, and a king he is. Over 15 roasted piglings, wines, cognac, food and what ever the Hokkiens can offer, it is all on the table. The video is ok but bad sound due to the fireworks, crackers and lion dance.  But let me tell you, it was a helaluya time for all the people present.

See the video here.


More writings on town and streets I know

I started writing about the towns I lived in. The places and hidden spots worth visiting. One of the very first towns I wrote was Air Itam, a place I grew up. As I wrote, I remember shortcuts we used running from one street to another. All the places I talk about are places I passed on my way walking to school or market. I like the idea nothing much has changed in this part of town.

The Chinese War Memorial, The air Itam Dam, Kek Lok Si, Penang Hill, Cheng Kon Sze and many other are places of my sanctuary even in my childhood times. the bat Temple is a rare find, near to Penang Hill.


Diving in Langkawi and Malaysia

Langkawi consist of many islands. Pulau Payar with the reef platform is great for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Whether you need an extended holiday in Langkawi while in Penang or holiday in Langkawi, you pick the choices and let us know. The packages are affordable and the kids would love it very much. It is even good for honey mooners. Even if you can't dive like me, you can snorkel and look at all the under water sea life and marine parks.


_______________________  Advertisement____________________________

Check out Master Xu Shi Ying who came here from China to showcase our forefather traditional folk art. A master of dough figuring, he sculptors using wet dough specially prepared. He uses a secret recipe to prepared the dough so that it last and won't be taken by the ANTS!

We had a good discussion and Master intend to take me to his village in China to observe all the traditional art only done in the village. Cross your fingers, if all is fine, we might get to private tour to China to visit these far away villages. some other art includes candy blowing, the surviving few and the popular paper cutting.




Try Renting to Explore the Island without Any Commitment

Another way to explore Penang without the commitment to buy timeshare is to rent. Timeshare rentals are the perfect way to get to know this exotic locale without having to pay for day to day accommodation in a hotel. Additionally, timeshares generally offer higher quality services and amenities than do hotels.



Penang Food # 2

Penang Hokkien Mee

Penang Hokkien Mee (Prawn Mee or Mee Yoke)

Servings for 3 to 4 people

  • 200 g pork ribs
  • 300 g med whole shrimp, save shrimp shells & shrimp heads for stock
  • 300 g yellow egg noodles (yellow mee)
  • 300 g thin rice noodles or rice vermicelli, (noodles also called beehoon)
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 10-12 cups water
  • 1/2 tbsp palm sugar (Substitute: dark brown sugar)
  • salt
  • 5 cups bean sprouts
  • 2 cups kangkong  (water convolvulus, water spinach), cut into 1 inch lengths
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, halved for garnish [optional]
  • 1 fried fish cakes. sliced thinly

Ewe Chang (Fried Shallots for garnish)

  • 10 shallots, finely sliced and fried in oil till golden brown (Cool and keep in air tight container if not used immediately)

       Ingredients for pan-roasted Chili Sauce :

  • 1 cup peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar [Substitute: dark brown sugar]
  • salt
  • 1 cup chilly paste
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 8 shallots

To Prepare pan-roasted Chili Sauce :

  • Using a mortar & pestle or blender, grind garlic, shallots and chili paste

  • Heat wok on high, add peanut or vegetable oil, add ground paste, bring to a rapid boil, add sugar and salt to taste

  • Reduce heat to low, pan-roast until color darkens, and oil starts to ooze from paste - be careful not to burn!

  • Immediately pour the pan-roasted chili sauce into a small bowl, set aside

To Prepare Prawn Soup :

1) In a stockpot, add pork ribs, 6 cups water, onion, salt to taste, bring to a boil, simmer 30 mins or more, to extract the maximum flavor of the pork ribs. Strain stock, when ribs are cool, pick meat off bones, reserve for garnish.

2) In another stock pot, heat 1 tbsp oil, sauté shrimp shells & shrimp heads for 5-10 mins, add 4 cups water, flower crabs, salt to taste, bring to a boil, simmer 20 mins or more to extract the maximum flavor of the shrimp shells. Strain stock, discard shrimp shells & heads [and crabs, if using], add the fresh shelled shrimps to stock to cook briefly, remove with a slotted spoon, reserve for garnish.

3) Combine the pork stock and the shrimp stock. Bring to a boil, add 4 tbsp of the pan-roasted chili paste, more if you like it hotter.  Add palm sugar, salt to taste, simmer for about 20 mins, then reduce heat to keep soup hot for serving.

4) Meanwhile, lightly blanch bean sprouts and kangkung in boiling water

5) To serve - add to each individual serving bowl, bean sprouts, kangkung or spinach, thin rice noodles and yellow egg noodles. Garnish with pork, shrimp and fried fish cake.  Pour piping hot soup and top with fried shallots and hardboiled egg half. Serve with a spoonful of extra pan-roasted chili sauce, to add to your taste

Happy Eating.


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