Well folks, this is it. The last day we were in Malaysia. With a heavy heart and fond memories, here it is. By the way – during the times traveling around in the van – a great portion of our stay – they always has this radio station on. Check it out!
A look out the window of our hotel room on our last day in Penang.
The little free mini bar always had neat little treats inside. This is one of those international Kit Kat bars. To be honest, it does taste different – chocolate here seems a lot tastier.
A Coke can commemorating the World Cup.
We got all ready and waited a couple minutes in the lobby for Annie and her parents who took us out to breakfast!
Maxim Dim Sum Restaurant in Georgetown. I had always thought of dim sum as a lunchtime thing, but people here in Penang take their dim sum at breakfast time.
A really big place, very open and airy.
A great idea; dim sum creates a LOT of little dishes to clean!
Big – and packed to the gills for breakfast.
Little pork buns.
Think this was a rice noodle dish.
These were like little dark skinned potstickers – very moist.
Ladyfinger with pork.
Egg yolk buns.
I remember these were sweet and good as well.
Crispy outside, nice chewy innards.
Buns with chocolate pudding like filling.
Little custard tarts.
We took this tea with our big meal.
A dry crispy outside with a prawn filling.
A chewy fried flat with a filling.
I think these were tofu – had a kind of smoky taste.
Little pieces with a slivered almond coating and sweet paste filling.
The buns at top had a red bean paste filling and the below was filled with custard.
Just completely demolished! One thing I found great – I asked if they had one of our favorites here – honey walnut prawns. They had never heard of it, which makes me think it’s an invention just for dim sum in the United States. It’s fried prawns with a honey and mayonnaise sauce and glazed walnuts.
After that big meal they wanted me to try one last Hokkien Prawn Mee! We checked out Granny’s Hokkien Mee. Far be it for me to say no to a last taste of one of Penang’s famous flavors.
When you order at a lot of restaurants, you pick up an order chit and fill it out and give it to the server (click image to enlarge).
A combination of duck and pork.
The final bowl of Hokkien Mee.
Going to miss Penang so much! Our next stop was Penang International Airport, where we said our goodbyes to Annie and their parents. everyone was so kind here! She even sent us off with some of the new MyKuali tom Yum noodle and a couple bags of fresh chilli paddi! Thank you for everything!
We checked in and got through security. We had a little time to kill, so looked around a bit.
Excuse me; what?
Saw this first on our way to Langkawi and had asked Thomas about it. He explained it’s a cup of corn with butter and salt. I told him how in the US we have corn on the cob. I got the feeling that he thought that was really odd!
Here’s the plane for our first hop to Kuala Lumpur.
When we applied for our passports a few months ago, the lady at the passport place asked where we were going. She said she’d be scared to fly on Malaysian Airlines. That sentiment was echoed by lots of people I told to about the trip – they’d say ‘oh wow that exciting – wait, what airline are you flying?’ I’m going to say quite clearly here – I wasn’t worried at all. It was a short hop to Kuala Lumpur (like 55 minutes) and just like any other airline, they don’t want anything bad to happen. We hopped on and had a great flight – probably the softest landing of any of the 8 flights we had during the entire trip. I’d fly them again any day! Especially since that would mean we were on our way to or from Malaysia!
We got to Kuala Lumpur and much like Singapore, it was a lot of walking all over the place. We had to transfer our luggage from Malaysia Airlines to EVA, go through security and stuff and figure out where what was. This shot is of us when we were up in the air on our EVA flight from KL to Taipei’s Taoyuan Airport.
The flight took about 4 hours or so, and the next part of our trip would be the only rough spot really.
Time for a bite to eat at Taoyuan. We had a three hour layover until our next flight, which would be a 10 hour bender to Seattle. It had been a long day already and departure was at 11pm. Since we had the time, we walked around and looked for instant noodles. Turns out if we were in the domestic terminal, there was a 7-11 that would’ve had some, but here there weren’t any to be found. I asked the guy at the Burger King.
Got some little pork buns to chow down.
Some milk tea sounded good too.
She looks like us – waiting for a flight.
Poor Kit – we were absolutely exhausted.
I’m guessing the characters are phonetic? First and third must be like a ko sound?
Much like Mello Yello.
Out one of the windows we could see the Hello Kitty plane!
Checking boarding passes before we got to wait in another area to board.
Kit noticed this guy staring at us, then I noticed it too. He just kept staring… And staring… And staring! If this is you, you could’ve taken a picture and it would’ve lasted longer – I did!
This is after the hell. This was the worst flight I’ve ever experienced. It was really hot and there was no air conditioning. The worst part was that there was the most violent turbulence I’ve ever dealt with. If I hadn’t had my belt on, I definitely would’ve flown out of my seat. After we returned, we found out there had been a typhoon over Japan at around the same time. We were at around 40,000ft, but it was right around the time we were crossing over Japan. I thought I was gonna puke. I’m really glad though that it all happened at the tail end of the trip – way better than at the beginning! Anyways, this pic of after all of that and we were about to have the second meal, about an hour or two before landing.
Not a lot to do on an airplane but look at the little navigation screen slowly update your journey and watch movies. I thought I’d review the in-flight meal: Pork Porridge!
Here’s some marinated carrot with some chicken.
Not just any butter – butter from New Zealand!
The little biscuit thing actually wasn’t too bad.
Fish floss! It’s like powdered fish that’s been sugared.
Pork porridge with fish floss. Pretty good.
Apple, pineapple and honeydew. In flight meals from EVA were pretty dang good. We got two meals during the flight. The food on all the flights were actually decent – and included.
Our flight from Taipei left at 11pm on October 4th. Our flight arrived in Seattle – and arrived at 7pm on October 4th. The flight took 10 hours. Really a strange thing for our brains to deal with. United States Customs was pretty slow but went well. Since we’d brought back food (instant noodles, chocolate and fresh chilli paddi), we got shunted to a different lane for xray. The Department of Agriculture agent had a look through everything. She was pretty nice and we chatted about instant noodles a bit. She said they were probably one of the most common things to be coming through for inspection! Another agent came up and has a look and she mentioned to him how I have a website where I review instant noodles. ‘Oh yeah? What’s it called?’ he asked. I showed him my t-shirt and said ‘it’s The Ramen Rater!’ ‘I was on the just yesterday! We get a TON of instant noodles through here!’ Wow – so people from Customs are looking at the blog. Pretty cool! They pulled three instants that had chicken in them and let the rest go. Now we were home which was weird. What a trip!
Some things I noticed on my trip: here, our roads are huge – really wide and lots of them. In Malaysia, they streets are more narrow. We only saw maybe two cars that had been in accidents during the whole trip and here we see cars on the side of the road due to accidents at least once a day. There’s so much more room and not a million motorbikes weaving in and out of traffic; why do we hit each other so much?
I think the most stark difference between the US and Malaysia was how people come together. Here in the USA, we call ourselves the great melting pot. Well, everyone seems segregated – these people live here, these people live here etc. In Malaysia, it truly felt like everyone lived, worked and played together quite harmoniously. I think we could learn a lot from how things worked in this aspect from Malaysia.
(Click image to enlarge) In closing, I would like to say this trip really changed my perceptions of the world. Before this, the farthest I’d been from home was the east coast and Canada. At the beginning, I mentioned I felt like Frodo (or was it Samwise) in Lord Of The Rings when he said ‘this is the farthest I’ve ever been from the Shire.’ On returning, I feel kind of like Frodo looked when having a drink at the bar with his mates; glad to be home but forever changed by the experience. It was just amazing; all preconception of how it would be there was different than what it was. I definitely have caught the bug – the travel bug. I want to explore and see it all; especially in Asia. I also dearly wish to return to Penang someday and experience the tastes we were able to experience there again. I want to thank everyone at Sky Resources/Sky Thomas Food Industries Sdn Bhd for the warm welcome and for this experience. I also want to especially thank Annie and Thomas Tang and their parents – you made us feel so welcome and your kindness and smiles warmed our hearts – thank you and we hope to see you again!
It’s been just over a week now since we’ve been home. The whole jet lag thing is some real stuff – I think we’re just on the tail end of readjusting to everything.