We were actually just in Penang in August, but after our wonderful family trip to Hong Kong, we decided another trip before the end of the year was in order. So with lots of greedy people in our family (and one Baba), we decided to head to Penang.
We chose the earliest flight there on Silkair, and arrived at 920am. Since there was 12 of us arriving, missing one BIL and my dear husband who was busy tying up loose ends at work, I arranged for a 16 seater mini bus to pick us up from the airport, and to head to several places around Georgetown first, before checking in since Georgetown is between the airport and Batu Ferringhi where the hotel is, and check in would be later in the afternoon. We could have also just headed for the hotel and hung out at the pool, but I was eager to get straight to the food, of course! For this mini bus we paid MYR 150/hr (minimum 4 hours). They also have smaller vans, but as we had luggage, they advised a larger van was better. We tend to like to arrange transfers with the hotels so we don’t get lost, especially since there are so many of us, and start the trip on a sour note.
The transfer was ok, but the driver is just a driver and not one of those who have lots of makan recommendations. Luckily we have our own resources, so the first stop was the amazing fish ball noodles at Jalan Macalister/Burma Road, just across the Camera Museum, which I think I should visit next time. The kids loved the noodles. The chye tow kueh along the road is pretty good too.
After that we went to Armenian Street to walk around and take a look at some street art, but it was blistering and most of the kids and oldies were not that interested. One SIL brought 3 of the boys on a trishaw ride (how do they cycle all that weight around ???) while the rest of us walked had a pit stop at the famous Ming Xiang Tai bakery, and bought some pastries back. We particularly like their egg tarts and chicken floss tarts.
Then we headed to the famous Penang Chendol, where we also bought some ngor hiang and assam laksa. The driver was rushing us (I’m not sure if he had another booking or something), so we headed to the hotel. Because this is peak season and many of the rooms were already booked up, we ended up getting the Kings Club rooms, so while waiting for our rooms to be ready we hung out at the lounge, and they even very kindly allowed us to eat our assam laksa there! So thankful because it was pretty yummy (although the Kok Sen one is better), and I had no idea how we were going to eat it. I’m also amazed that my boys loved eating it.
The rest of the day we hung out at the hotel and had dinner at Hard Rock Cafe, because it had been a long day. I was alone with the kids, sans hubby, so I was eager to get them to bed and didn’t want to venture out too far. After their shower I let the on-demand movies babysit them while I had mine, and that night I had the whole entire king sized bed to myself with the kids on the trundle. More about that in a later post.
The next day we had a leisurely breakfast while waiting for the BIL and hubby to arrive. After which we headed to Escape Park, which was highly recommended by my cousin’s husband who is from Penang and coincidentally was there (with my uncles and my mother!), the day before we left. We took a public bus from just outside the hotel to Escape and back, and it costs MYR$1.20-1.40. Children might be half price, each driver told us different things, and we just paid what they requested. Apparently you can redeem your bus rides against your ticket entrances.
This park is great for kids, especially adventurous ones, aged 5 and above, and adults too. But my 2 younger ones also had a lot of fun chasing the fowl around, and doing the Monkey Course for toddlers. Yes, even my 2 year old who went on this course so many times! She was concentrating so seriously, but we had to literally tear her away from it when it was time to go. She looked like such a pro in the harness!
And for the adults, well my SIL said the Jungle Swinger was more scary than any rollercoaster she had ever taken before, and she is quite the adrenaline junkie! We didn’t try the Monkey Business main climbing station because the queue was so long, and the course seemed very long, but we did spend an entire day doing everything else, so there is plenty for everyone! There are also spots for oldies to take a rest and enjoy the nature, contrary to what the ticketing people told my mum and other relatives when they dropped my cousin’s kids off there.
- They do not allow water in the park as they want you to buy theirs.
- The people at the front desk aren’t the most helpful or friendly, (even my mum came to that conclusion too) which is a shame because the other staff working the activity stations are, some even very much so.
- There are a lot of food options (and ice cream too), in an outdoor food court kind of thing. We had the prata and chicken chop which were very decent, as is the Nasi Lemak but it’s very plain and small, you’d need something else; the fried noodles assortments were all pretty disappointing.
- The website says they have a playroom for under 4YOs but it was not open on the day we were there.
- We were there on the weekend, so it was crowded with groups and with lots of kids. I’d imagine it would be a breeze on a weekday.
We would definitely visit it again if we are ever in Penang! Find out more info on Escape Park here.
Look out for my next post on Georgetown, Penang, and on Hard Rock Hotel Penang.