C has been crazy busy with work, and badly needed a break, so last Tuesday, he figured that he could take two days off work (and by off work, I mean not be in the office, not not work at all), and suggested going on a short holiday. It was really last minute, so we didn’t have time to do any research on other destinations, and decided to go to Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort, since we loved our last stay there. He used his miles for our air tickets, which meant that we could fly via Silkair and not pay too much for the flights.
Our Penang getaway was from Thursday to Sunday, which left me with only Wednesday to pack our luggage. I had diarrhea and a slight fever that day, which got me worried because I really wanted to pig out in Penang, but thankfully, I was all better by the evening. Noah insisted on helping me pack, which basically meant that he tried to pack himself into the suitcase, before chucking the clothes haphazardly in. He was so excited that we were going on holiday that he couldn’t fall asleep that night, despite our constant reminders that we had to wake up extra early the next morning.
Packing himself into the suitcase
Our flight was at 8am, so we woke Noah up at 615am, and were out of the house by 630am. He was pretty cooperative, apart from insisting that it was night-time, not morning yet, because “the sky is so dark”. We had a quick breakfast at the airport before boarding the plane, and Noah was happy that he got a window seat. There was no in-flight entertainment, but it was a short 1.5 hour flight, so I figured it would be fine. Plus, I brought some things from his entertainment kit along, just in case, but Noah was more interested in looking out of the window, raising and lowering the window shades, getting juice from the flight attendants… you get the picture.
Ready for take-off
On our last trip to Penang, C rented a car from Big Thumb Car Rental, so we got our rental car from the same company again for this trip. Noah was quite tired by this time, and fell asleep quickly after asking if he could nap in the car.
Napping with Tiger in the car
We had some time to kill before we could check in at the hotel, and decided to re-visit the Purrfect Cat Cafe. You’ll need to spend a minimum of RM18 per person (not including young children), but you can choose to purchase the merchandise and/or the food and drinks, so we bought two pairs of socks and ordered a snack. We were the only ones in the cafe at 10+am, so Noah had a great time harassing all the cats. They’ve got some new cats which were more jittery, and we had to keep telling Noah to calm down, because he kept running towards them and offering them toys.
Harassing the cats
I loved this ‘chao bin’ cat!
After a while, we decided to give the cats a break, and dragged Noah off to have lunch at a nearby coffeeshop, Kheng Pin Cafe, recommended by C’s friend. It has the best Lor Bak, and I regret not ordering a bigger portion. Noah had the chicken rice, which seemed pretty popular as well, while I had the wantan mee with everything on it.
Lunch at Kheng Pin Cafe
We headed to the hotel after lunch, and thankfully, our room was available at 1pm (check-in is at 2pm). C got a family room this time, with a king-sized bed and single bed fitting comfortably into it. There was still plenty of space for us to move about in the room, which we really liked. I didn’t take photos of the room, since I already wrote about the hotel during our last trip, but here’s one of Noah lounging on the king-sized bed while waiting for his turn to bathe.
SOP during holidays: watch cartoons!
Sleeping on his own single bed
The view from our room
Trying out one of the hammocks in the hotel’s garden
We chose Rasa Sayang again because we wanted easy access to the beach. Sure, it’s a bit inconvenient, in that we had to drive for about half an hour to get to town when we wanted to eat, but traffic wasn’t very bad, and the trade-off was definitely worth it. We visited the beach on all four days we were in Penang, and loved how peaceful it was, compared to the crowded beaches in Singapore/Sentosa.
Every morning, we would have a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, then head to the beach so that Noah could play in the sand and dig for seashells, before going for a swim in the hotel’s pool. We didn’t do a single touristy thing, but that was the plan anyway. It was such a relaxing trip, and I think all three of us really treasured our family time together. C and I talked about how much Noah has grown, given that he absolutely hated the sand and cried when we forced him to walk on a tiny sandy/grassy patch in the hotel’s garden when we were there in 2014, and how he loved playing in the sand so much during this trip that we had to force him to leave the beach. Noah didn’t dare to go near the water on our first day there, but worked up the courage to let the waves wash over his feet a little on our last day. Maybe he’ll be braver the next time we visit Penang!
Breakfast before beach-time
At the beach on Day 2
Playing with sand
I laughed when I saw Noah leaning on C while digging in the sand
Father and son
Trying to lie down
Happy boy at the beach!
Day 4 (touching the water!)
Family wefie at the beach!
At about 11+am, the Rasa Sayang staff would wheel the popsicle-maker out to the pool, and all the kids would gather to help shake the tray and make popsicles. So fun, right? Noah was so thrilled to be able to have a popsicle all to himself, especially since it was getting quite hot around that time, and he would gobble it down before jumping back into the pool again.
What’s going on?
Shake, shake, shake!
Hiding in the shade to eat his popsicle
Back into the pool!
C arranged to have a tennis session with the staff on our second day there, so I brought Noah to the Adventure Zone at Golden Sands Resort. The Rasa Sayang guests have free access to the facilities at Golden Sands, so we spent about 1.5 hours there. If you’re planning to go, don’t forget to bring a long-sleeved top and a pair of socks, or you’ll have to buy them before entering the play areas.
Playing at the indoor playground
On our first evening there, we had dinner at the Tsunami Village Cafe (yes, horrible name, I know), which was nice because of the great view and cheap food. We did have to swat some pesky flies away while we ate, but that’s the way it is when you’re eating outdoors, no?
Dinner with a view
We loved the food at New Lane Hawker Centre the last time we were in Penang, so we had our dinner there on Friday evening. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as crowded as we’d thought it would be, and we got a table quite easily.
I needed some retail therapy, so C brought us to Gurney Plaza on our last evening in Penang, where we stocked up on some books at Popular, and I scored a Cath Kidston bag that was 60% off. The auntie in me was super pleased that I could use my Popular card there to get a discount on the books, and Noah was happy to have more new books to read.
New books! Yay!
We managed to get a late check-out on our last day, as our flight was at 6pm. We had enough time to go to the beach before having lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe nearby, and even squeezed in a short nap. Noah was disappointed when we told him that our holiday was over, and kept asking why we had to go back to Singapore, but thankfully, he didn’t bug us too much, and was generally well-behaved on the flight back.
Time to go home
Studying the safety guide
Staying at Rasa Sayang definitely made our Penang holiday really enjoyable, and although I caught a cockroach in the toilet (I trapped it under a glass), we would probably still choose to stay there the next time we’re in Penang. The four days really flew by, and I’m just patiently waiting for C to suggest going on another holiday again soon! Till then, it’s back to our daily routine in Singapore…