Published on January 25th, 2022 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Our Honda Accord Journey To Penang Island And Back
The decision to take the new Accord for a road trip was unplanned.
We decided to take a road trip to Penang after almost 18 months of being in Klang Valley without making an interstate drive. Yes, we had missed our second favorite island destination in Malaysia. The first being Redang.
Road trips pre-Covid was a common practice and were mostly for relaxation by the beach. Peninsula Malaysia has great beaches on the east and west coast and many resorts and small family run hostels that offer great value.
After all, Peninsula Malaysia has a network of 250,023km of roads to explore and the longest highway (which is a toll highway) covers more than 740km.
We have never appreciated star rated hotels as we only needed clean beds and bathroom when on holiday. The rest of the time we will be on the move when on holiday or just sitting and watching time tick by at the beach. This is what a holiday means to us.
Star rated meals and eat till you drop buffets made no sense for its wastage and we have yet to get better meals at a star rated restaurant when compared to small family run restaurants.
We do not fancy food that is Instagram ready, instead we want food that tickles our taste buds and have us wanting another ‘go at it’ after a few hours. That is what we call tasty food and ‘beautiful presented food’.
So, we started our journey to Penang early and took a few detours along the way to small towns along the SmartTag Toll highway.
A coffee here, a noodle there, we tasted what ordinary Malaysians enjoyed in small towns, served by two or even three generations of chefs.
We arrived in Penang just in time for lunch. Penang post-Covid lockdown was a little worrying. Ferringi Beach was like a ghost town with many star rated hotels closed and sadly some of our favorite little eating shops having to close as well as foreign tourist paid their overheads daily. With zero foreign tourists, only a small handful of hotels were open to local tourists at exorbitant prices.
We decided to stay in the heart of Penang town at a simple place with easy walking distance to most of our favorite local shops. We do not need to check food reviews or google some one else’s rating for the best local food.
Just use your eyes and nose. We could get our local noodles, soups, cakes and pastries easily and when the sun was about to settle, it was to the beach to watch the day come to an end and say good night.
If you see local food being prepared by foreign workers or young people, then keep walking. If you see an elderly, sometimes grumpy person ‘working’ the wok or ‘chopping away’ at some roasted meat, then set your nose to ‘ON’ to double check the aroma.
This is where you need to stop and get your meal. All the many ratings and food reviews will just get you crowded locations with long lines as the rest of Malaysia have read the same (flowery) reviews and seen the many stars added (boosted by the restaurant owners) with mediocre food and high prices.
Remember, do not believe the hype.
The next day we took our time to leave the island (but must be before 4 pm to avoid city office traffic) and made our way back to Klang Valley. No side town stops, just straight back home with ease in the Honda Accord 1.5 Turbo.