Exploring Penang On Foot

This post is a bit overdue. But it is an example of what Nic and I love about Penang. There’s much to see, explore, appreciate and love.

Visiting art galleries is something we do when we’re free. It’s great to check in on the latest artists, especially up and coming ones. I still nag Nic about going back to his art. He really ought to. He does very well when he paints. And I am most certainly NOT saying this because he is my spouse. I say this because I’m going to be a very Rich Woman in my twilight years because I get to pick and keep the best art pieces in his collection ;-). LOL.

Visiting Galeri Seni Mutiara in Armenian Street
Visiting Galeri Seni Mutiara in Armenian Street

When we visited Galeri Seni Mutiara a few weeks back, it was an exhibition of watercolour pieces by Ong Choon Hoe. From the art, you can glimpse the soul of the artist. This one certainly loved boats and the sea. Every piece seemed to be about fishing boats of Malaysian fishing communities.

Ong Choon Hoe's watercolour piece
Ong Choon Hoe's watercolour piece

Another stopover once we were done with gazing at watercolour art was to this quaint tea house along King Street. I’d found this place when I was involved in a charity treasure hunt a few months ago. (It has now moved to a more happening address; now it’s the same row with the Pitt Street Goddess of Mercy Temple. Look out for a bright green shophouse near the flower/garland stalls).

Nic chatting to the tea master, Mr Oh
Nic chatting to the tea master, Mr Oh

Mr Oh’s little tea house was quirky! Laminate tables and plastic chairs. Cobwebs on the ceiling. Totally old world feel. He brews his medicinal pu-erh tea in his slow cooker. You can have pu-erh tea by the glass jug at RM1.20. He also sells pu-erh tea cakes and pu-erh tea in loose leaf form.

Pu erh tea cakes - the older they are, the pricier they get!
Pu erh tea cakes - the older they are, the pricier they get!

Pu-erh is a warming tea with a signature dark colour unlike most chinese teas. Mr Oh’s master (or sifu) is the original tea master who uses specially concocted pu-erh tea to help people who suffer from illnesses and ailments. He was not shy in telling us that his master helped cure a man who had prostate cancer by getting the man to drink pu-erh tea daily!

A jug of pu erh costs RM1.20
A jug of pu erh costs RM1.20

I know that pu-erh tea is good for slimming (not that I want to grow slimmer!). It’s also a good tea to drink as it is not cooling unlike jasmine tea. Pu-erh tea is great after a meal of oily food. In Chinese dim sum eateries, you can get a type of tea called “Kuk Po” which is a combination of pu-erh tea leaves and chrysanthemum flowers. As pu-erh warms and chrysanthemum cools, marrying both is essentially a Chinese method of ensuring proper yin and yang! Too yin creates health problems like chilly hands and feet while too yang creates an overheated body system. That is why balance is important especially in food!

Nic sipping tea in a quaint tea house.
Nic sipping tea in a quaint tea house.

Mr Oh chats in English and Hokkien so you can drop by anytime for an affordable cup of tea. He probably has some 60s music playing too.

What a strange combination huh!