Christmas in Ipoh & Penang 2015 – Part 1

Last year just after our Korea trip I decided to take a whole week off from work during Christmas week and go back to Ipoh. I also took advantage of an offer to stay two nights in Penang at the By The Sea resort (opening promotion offer was RM400 for a two bedroom apartment). Well, I thought, since we’ll be in Ipoh for a full week, we could fit in 3 days 2 nights further up in Penang. It has been about 2 years since my last visit anyway.

We had always done only a few days in Ipoh, usually over the CNY or long weekends. But this time we had some time to stay longer, although we had to come back a day earlier due to some unforeseen commitments. But 8 days is more than enough time for everything we wanted to do. Besides, this was the first time we spent Christmas away from home.

On Saturday morning we helped EFC man the popcorn counter for their Children’s VBS, after packing up during lunch (we had our fill of popcorn for brunch) we set off on the PLUS highway up north. We reached Ipoh just before dinner and went straight to my BIL’s house for a Christmas gathering.

The next morning, was Sunday, time for dim sum brunch. Over the past 20 years in Ipoh, we’ve tried lots and lots of dim sum places – from the traditional old-timey places to the upstart new ones to the noveau fusion places. These days we get recommendations for new or undiscovered smaller places (most of the time from my SIL). Today, we were going to visit newly opened Aeon Falim, so we went to try Sun Kim Aik in Jalan Lahat en route to Aeon.


It’s located on a row of very old shoplots (although the shop isn’t as old) on the very busy Jalan Lahat. So busy that’s it damn near impossible to make a right turn or reverse out of the parking.


Restaurant was overflowing with patrons, which is always a sign of good business.

So anyway, on to Aeon Falim. Recently, Aeon has been on an aggressive expansion mode in Ipoh. A few years back there was Station 18 in Pengkalan, then 2 years ago they opened one in Klebang (in Ipoh, not the Klebang in Melaka).


A lot of the shops in the mall wasn’t opened yet, but that didn’t stop the throng of people from coming.


After Aeon we went back to town and en route home, we stopped by the new Chang Jiang White Coffee place. They use to own a few coffeeshops in Ipoh, but now they run this place from a refurbished one-storey bungalow. A cold iced coffee for some respite from the scorching Ipoh heat.

So we spent the rest of day playing chor dai dee and eating roast pork, two of the important things in life.


That night we went for dinner in Taman Seri Botani. Very good food as usual, goes without saying.


Don’t ask me what my nephew is doing in this picture.


The next morning we set off to Penang with my MIL and my nephew.

First stop – to Taiping to eat char kuey teow at the Larut Matang Food Court. The famous stall wasn’t open, so we had to make do with a second choice. The other thing to do here – buy the squirrel brand hiong peng.


Chinese Methodist church.

Then it was onward to Penang. This time we took the new 2nd bridge.



Straight into the island, we went to Kek Lok Si. Not to visit the temple (did that before), but to eat the Ayer Itam assam laksa. It’s the famous one beside the wet market. I know its always mentioned as the best in Penang, but I thought it was as great the one opposite inside the food court. Anyway, maybe they had an off day.


From Ayer Itam, we took a long drive to Batu Ferengghi to our hotel. By the Sea is a newly opened apartment, but some of the units are managed by the developer as a service apartment available for short term rentals. During our stay we were probably the only ones in the whole apartment complex. It has a nice facilities podium overlooking the sea.

We really like our apartment. Its fully furnished with 2 bedrooms and full kitchen facilities.






we took one room while my kids took another, plus an extra bed set up for my MIL. I guess my nephew is sleeping on the couch, then.

To be continued.

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