Penangers seem to love drinking coffee. Coffee is served almost everywhere in Penang and at anytime of the day. Good quality Penang coffee can often be found at small roadside stalls, mobile hawker centres, coffee shops, clubs, hotels and even at fine dining establishments. Coffee is drunk to wake up, to get a lift during the day, before and after meals, and also during the wee hours of the day at numerous 24 hours cafes and restaurants.Due to the unique roasting process, the type of coffee popular with Penang coffee drinkers can only be found in Malaysia, Singapore, and parts of Southern Thailand. Traditionally, the coffee beans are roasted over a wood fire roaster. The combined roasting and caramelizing process produces a special aroma with the right degree of bitterness and body much revered by the local coffee drinkers.
As cited by a Wikipedia source that Penang is situated amidst the greatest Robusta coffee producing regions in the world, namely Sumatra and Vietnam, Penang coffee is naturally primarily Robusta based. The quality of Robusta beans does vary tremendously over the regions, and the best Robusta beans, feeding upon the enriched volcanic soil near the Krakatoa volcano, can be found in the Lamphong District of Sumatra. It is also the same area where Kopi Luwak (reputed to be the most expensive coffee in the world) originates.
If you are looking for a good time to visit Penang, I would recommend Chinese New Year which is the only time of every year when Kek Lok Si lights up and looks colourful.
Another attraction to visit is Penang Hill – this one was very memorable due to my experience of going up to the mount of the hill which is really very high above the sea level. Kek Lok Si, Penang Hill, Botanical Garden and Batu Ferringhi are within a rather close proximity to one another – and they are must-visit places in my opinion. I’d spend more time in Batu Ferringhi and Penang Hill if I get to go to Penang again. I have to admit that my tour of Kek Lok Si was the most exhausting one, since it is the largest temple in South East Asia and did took me and my friends the whole day exploring it and taking photos of the decorative lights till 11:30pm when all the public transport stopped operating and we had to get help from a police station to find us a taxi to send us back to our accomodation in the Hutton Lodge.
(Description coming up)