Tagged: chinese

Georgetown, Penang Island, Malaysia

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On Penang Island I stayed in the old historic UNESCO town of Georgetown on Love Lane at 56 Red Inn. The hostel cost about $8 for a 6-bed aircon dorm with a toast breakfast. Love Lane street is lined with guesthouses and sits in the middle of Chinatown; however, this Chinatown is not like any other I’ve seen. The building are all thin and double story with old European-looking facades. Georgetown is the artistic hippy section of the island and it shows.

I arrived in the late afternoon and went to Red Garden for dinner with some girls from my hostel. Red Garden is an outdoor food court with a stage for live bands. The exterior of the area is lined with food stalls from around the world. I had Thai food since it had been a while. After dinner me and one Swedish girl had a beer across the street from our hostel at a Beatles bar. Beer here is incredibly expensive- $4 for a bottle.

On my first and only real day in Penang I woke-up and headed to my first yoga class in over three months, at Sunalini on Love Lane. The class was $10 and not worth it. We did three poses and some stretching and that’s it.

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Afterwards I walked around the artistic part of Georgetown. The area has murals scattered randomly on the buildings, iron UNESCO sculptures, coffee shops, book stores, artistic stationery stores, vintage clothing stores, etc.

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Afterwards I walked through Little India which is right nearby. I ate lunch in Little India at Restaurant Sri Ananda Bahw An and got tricked for the first time as a tourist in Malaysia. I ordered the chicken curry which said $4. I was served the curry along with a leaf with 3 small heaps of vegetables, and two dipping sauces. At the end I was charged $7 because apparently the vegetables were extra. I assumed it was like Myanmar and you just got extra small dishes. Now I know.

Then I paid $3 to see Khoo Kongsi, a Chinese Malaysia house in the middle of Georgetown. The house is the oldest clan house and is know for having gold painted walls, wood carvings on the walls, paper lanterns and huge wooden furniture. I expected a large house, or at least that’s how it’s described, but it ended up just being the facade and one room. It was beautiful but a complete rip off for the money.

I spent the rest of the day wandering the streets and catching up on errands. I walked past the blue mansion that was a break taking shade of blue.

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For dinner I ate street food with a girl from Finland and a girl from Sweden who I also ate with the night before. We had Won ton mee, noodles with steamed and fried wontons in a dark sauce. I also got a tomato carrot juice. I had been wanting to try the fresh tomato juice and it was just as bizarre as I suspected- very watery.

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The next morning I took a bus to the Cameron Highlands with Sweden and Finland.

Vientiane, Laos

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I did a three night stop in Vientiane, a 4 hour drive south from Vang Vieng. I checked into my first real hotel, which I desperately needed to do after Vang Vieng. I stayed at Vientiane Garden Hotel. I chose it because it has a pool and I wanted to spend the majority of the three days relaxing by a pool and sleeping in my king sized bed in my own room. I lucked out that the hotel is 2 blocks away from the Chinese food street, right next to the 2 popular backpacker hostels, and I had 3 HBO English channels. The guests at the hotel were mostly couples my age and a few older Asian people, which was almost perfect. No new friends to make, a few old friends across the street, and pure relaxation.

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I watched a bunch of movies, swam and relaxed by the pool and ate a lot of pho. My first night I did take-out from two different Chinese restaurants. I got steamed pork dumplings from a Hong Kong restaurant, and steamed Chinese broccoli with garlic from a Guandong restaurant. Tasted just like home.

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My second day I went to C.O.P.E. while. It’s a hospital/rehabilitation center for Lao people who lose limbs mostly due to unexploded ordnance, but also from everyday accidents, like motorbikes accidents. The organization makes all their own prosthetics. The exhibit itself is not that impressive but what they are doing for the locals is. They’ll accept anyone who comes willingly.

On the way to C.O.P.E., which is outside of the tourist downtown section, I ran into the local fruit/vegetable market. I stopped at a stall and had pho. On the way back I bought a bunch of fruit at the market (a papaya, dragon fruit, and Japanese pears) along with banana chips and a grilled corn. Later that night I had the best noodle soup of the trip. A mix between Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese- broth with ramen, sliced pork, minced pork, pork/veg dumplings, and toppings (lettuce, mint, chilies, lime.) I’m still dreaming about it.

I had signed up for a yoga class but ended up not making it. Both trip advisor and the teacher said it was in town but it turns out it’s not. It’s about 3 miles from where I’m staying, and the downtown is less than a mile wide. Was very disappointed when I learned that. Will need to find one asap in Cambodia.

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My last night I went to the night market along the Mekong with my NZ friend from Vang Vieng. The market was huge and along the modern park but it was all clothes, and modern clothes at that. We walked through but ended up grabbing soup on the street nearby. We then went to a Western Heineken bar called Max’s Grill. It’s the first time I had cider since getting here and it tasted amazing and refreshing. At $4 a pop it’s definitely a treat, but when in Rome. The bar was filled with all locals though and there was a local band that sounded great but looked 15 years old. The bar reminded me of Brutopia in Montreal. Liked that.

Stir Fried Chicken with Sugar Snap Peas, Carrots and Mushrooms

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It’s the start of spring and it’s time to start eating healthier. Tonight I made Spring Stir Fried Chicken with Sugar Snap Peas and Carrots . I added mushrooms (which I love) and voila- healthy Chinese food, perfect for the approaching bathing suit weather.

Feel free to add any veggies that have a similar cooking time as snow peas.

Sprinkle scallions on top of dish for serving