Penang Hostel: Container Hostel

I stayed a night in Penang as part of my overland journey to Bangkok. I was looking for a simple stay near the ferry as the night was meant to break up the monotony of the overland trip.

Container Hotel was more of a hostel than a hotel and it was situated right by the ferry. It’s a great no-frills stay if you’re not too picky.

Container Hotel group operates multiple hotels in Malaysia, including Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur. The concept is similar, a budget hotel option housed in containers. You can’t see it from the exterior but inside, the rooms are made in refurbished containers.

We stayed in the female private pod which was super affordable. Your privacy is accorded with the black out blinds.

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Overland journey to Bangkok: trains, bus and ferry

I have no idea what on earth possessed us to do the long route to Bangkok. In total, we spent about 11 hours + 20 hours = 32 hours (inclusive of transfers) taking a long road trip up to Bangkok.

Yes, I know there is a shorter route. Hey, where is your sense of adventure? We travelled in late Dec, spent New Year’s Eve in Bangkok and flew back to Singapore via Scoot.

One way road trip to Bangkok

No. Route Type Price Time  Link
1 Singapore to Butterworth Sleeper bus 45SGD 10hours Starmart Express via RedBus
2 Butterworth to Georgetown Ferry RM1.20 15 mins Penang Port
3 Georgetown to Butterworth Ferry 0 15 mins Penang Port
4 Butterworth to Padang Besar Train
#9500 /9208
RM29 2h 25 mins 12go.Asia
5 Padang Besar to Hua Lumphong Sleeper train #46 1225THB 17h 10mins 12go.Asia

Total costs in SGD: $103.69
Time spent (not including land transfers): Approx 32 hours

We booked all train rides and bus rides about 1 month ahead. There is no need to book ferry rides. The booking was really simple once you figured out how you are going to reach Bangkok.

Why did we do it?

My roomie and I always enjoyed road trips and we were inspired by this Tripzilla article that travelled to Bangkok by train entirely. Instead of doing the entire trip by train, I decided to break it up to include all forms of overland public transport – bus, ferry and train.

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Penang hostel: Muntri Inn

The last of all Penang posts!!

Travel buddies xoxo

Our flight back to Singapore was quite late and since we did web check in, we didn’t have to be at the airport until about 8/9pm. Since we had to check out at 12pm, this will leave us homeless for quite a bit so we decided to book a cheap single room at another hostel.

I recommend other travelers who are in this predicament to do this as well. Penang’s weather is erratic with frequent downpours, there may be a chance you are relegated indoors and the last thing you want is to left homeless. A single room at any hostel is a good deal for the comfort and shelter.

We got a single room at Guest Inn Muntri

Pretty nice place with some hang out areas. There’s free instant coffee if you like. I had Penang white coffee btw.

You can play pool too

The hostel had good reviews on travel websites such as Tripadvisor and hostelworld.com

Price list, Sept 2012. We paid about SGD20 for a single private room to hang out before our flight

Restrooms at the back. I had a nice shower before we left

A small cosy room. Don’t worry, it was us who messed up the place

This is also the end of Penang posts!

Guest Inn Muntri Sdn Bhd

No. 17, Muntri Street
10200 Georgetown
Penang, Malaysia
Tel : +604 263 3228
Fax : +604 262 3229
Website: http://www.guestinn.com.my
Reservation : booking@guestinn.com.my
Facebook : Guest Inn Muntri

Penang food: New Lane

Last Penang food post yay! I’m slowly bit surely, clearing my Penang (September) posts which leaves… some Bangkok and Costa Cruise posts to clear from last year’s travels.

So on our last night, we were looking for somewhere to eat before we finally roll home on our fat tummies.

This is New Lane

In the morning, breakfast is served (I think) and in the evening, dinner

No idea what happens in the afternoon, probably, it’s too hot to work. A lot of locals stop here on their way back to pack food home.

Like most hawker food in Penang, not exactly healthy but the food were affordable (not necessarily cheap) and good. We also noticed that there doesn’t seem to be much vegetable-based dishes. I was dying for some fibre.

Assam laksa

Beef noodles – one of the best I’ve had for sure

Char Kway Teow with duck eggs and seafood, the duck eggs make this dish saltier as compared to chicken eggs

Wanton Mee which was unmemorable

What happened to Roger’s hair?

Ah balling in ginger soup

Osmanthus jelly which paled in comparison to the one I had in Hong Kong

New Lane Hawker Street
Lorong Baru (New Lane),
Off Macalister Road, Georgetown
10040 Penang
Next to Sunway Hotel, Penang
Opens from 5 – 11pm

Penang food: Ete cafe

Last few Penang posts I promise!

During our last day in Penang, we were determined to hunt for a nice cafe to sit, chill and live out some chi-chi dreams so we found ourselves at Ete Cafe. This cafe is run by a Taiwanese couple with their teenage daughter. The whole family trained at Le Cordon Bleu in France. The French desserts are all hand-made by the couple.

Also, they don’t do the Espressos and lattes, instead, they serve siphon coffee that is prepared on the spot.

With the Taiwanese mei mei

Ete cafe is pretty small that are able to fit perhaps, a maximum of 12 person

Desserts

Cakes and macarons

a wide range of coffee beans to pick from

The owner uses this funky machine

This is call siphon coffee I believe

Of course Ikea is too main stream for the cafe, check out their furnishings.

Crate for a table and a tree stump for support

Shu and I shared Strawberry & Lime fruit tea – Sweet and a tinge of tangy after taste

Sea salt caramel cake

A very traditional French dessert, Mont-Blanc

They shared wth us their dreams of owning a cafe and decided on Penang due to its affordablity, location as well as the availability of an international school for their girl. From our conversations, it sounds like they really enjoy the laid-back culture of Penang.

They are very hospitable people and we stayed there for a good two hours just chatting with them. If you’re keen to visit, dogo slightly later than their official opening hours. We were there at 11am and they weren’t open.

With the family

Ete Cafe 79 Lebuh Carnarvon
Georgetown 10300 Penang
Business Hours: 11:00 am – 6:30 pm

Penang food: Aik Hoe Restaurant

Last few Penang posts!

For our last dim sum breakfast, we decided to settle on Aik Hoe Restaurant which was listed on Time Out Penang for being of of the best value dim sum restaurants.

Restoran Aik Hoe

It was one of those rustic restaurant filled with lots of old school charm. If I’m not wrong, this is a family-run restaurant.

Three generations operations

Instead of peddling dim sum on carts, you have to self-serve and pick out the dim sum that you want.

The old school stuff they use

Picking out the stuff we want

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Penang sight: Pinang Peranakan Mansion

We decided that we had to do some touristy things so we headed to Penang Peranakan Mansion. Word’s that The Little Nyonya filmed part of the show there. But then again, don’t they seemed to have film it at every other Peranakan location?

At the entrance with a bus load of tourists who arrived at the same time

The grand hall – you can pick up a free goreng pisang (fried banana fritters)

The roof window that provided the light for the courtyard

Just behind the courtyard

One of the sitting rooms

I think it was something yucky here

The furniture was perfect for our Vivi inspired photoshoots. Wrong clothes choice though

Taken with Shu’s Olympus Pen art setting

Antique television spied

Still in art mode – Shu looks so effortless heck care

I reckon this is one of the rooms of the teenage Nyonya

Just nice for the three of us – no shoes are allowed on the upper floors. I was kind of afraid someone will steal my new Hush Puppies.

Last shot of the mansion

In all honesty, don’t think I really picked up much facts about Nyonya and Babas beacuse we didn’t have a tour guide to explain the artefacts. I reckon you will gleam some interesting nuggets if you did the tour. This mansion was grander than the one I toured in Malacca, however, I think the Malacca museum retained more authentic flavour.

Pinang Peranakan Mansion
29, Church Street, 10200 Penang, Malaysia
Opening hours: Everyday (incl public holidays), 9am to 5pm.
Admission charges: Aged 6 and below free, Aged 7 and above RM10

P.S The website says videography and photography are not allowed but this doesn’t appear to be the case obviously!

Penang food: Eng Loh coffeeshop

Up bright and early for a chirpy start. Hi guys, this is my new smile!

If you’re planning to visit the Penang Peranakan Mansion, you might want to drop by Eng Loh coffeeshop for some breakfast first. The coffeeshop is directly opposite the museum and serves some interesting bread.

At the junction of Eng Loh’s location

There are plenty of bread options available ranging from the more Asian choices to Western stuff such as the American breakfast.

Double exposure

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Penang sight: Gurney Drive boardwalk

For some weird reason, my friends and I enjoy hanging at board walks to take pictures and gaze into the never ending horizon. Well… we tried that at Penang too but unfortunately, we were there at low tide.

This was what was left

Being the shameless people we are, low tide doesn’t stop the camwhores in us.

But it’s not stopping us

We were so broke we took out the cameras and polaroids to lelong

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