Category Archives: market

Backpacking Penang – Chowrasta Morning Market

This is what Chowrasta Morning Market, in Penang, Malaysia looks like. Almost all the locals who live in Georgetown, comes here to get their daily cooking materials and other household items. Even the morning hawker does his grocery shopping here.

corner of bustling chowrasta market in the morning

crowded street @ chowrasta market

If you are staying in a guesthouse in town, do check this market out, as it is interesting to see so many stalls selling different ingredients, both wet and dry being sold here, which will later be master crafted to create the many different yummy hawker street food.

haggling at the vegetable stall @ Chowrasta Market Penang

Plenty of fresh seafood at the Morning Chowrasta Market

It is these hawker dishes that make Penang “The FOOD CAPITAL of MALAYSIA”.

Chunks of eel meat for sale! Sushi anyone?

one of the only few butchers here that wears a shirt while selling pork

typical chinese sundry shop selling dried food stuff at Chowrasta Market

selling dried anchovies, and spices

Besides wandering around soaking in the local morning activities, make sure you check out the many street stalls where you can get some local breakfast as low as RM 2.

This is the cheap fried noodles. This has been regarded as “poor mans” food. Most of them are vegetarian noodles.

This is the economy noodles. Usually branded as "cheap mans food", it is actually quite tasty. Some of them are fully vegetarian. Costs about RM1.20 per packet

Check out the fried bread. It may be unhealthy but it tastes darn good. This is how they make it.

He prepares the dough first

the dough is then deep fried

deep fried dough is then turned into yummy fried treats. Tastes like fried bread, some that are empty inside and some that has fillings.

BBQ smoked pork and chicken slices. Yumsssss! Goes great with bread!

The pork porridge, soup noodles, and deep fried “Ewe Jar Kuih” or elongated fried bread, are just great in the mornings. You can also find the chinese glutinous rice dumplings, that are filled with assorted nuts, meat, mushroom and salted egg.

Chinese glutinous rice dumplings called "bak chang" in Hokkien, or "Chung" in Mandarin

Besides food and fresh produce, you can find assorted home accessories sold here too.

There are stalls selling joss sticks, incense and other offerings to the Chinese Gods

Pets like rabbits, dogs, cats and fishes are for sale….

pet fish for sale!

Chowrasta Market starts early in the morning around 6.30am, and usually ends around 11am. It gets pretty hot around 10am and there isn’t much left to see. So make sure you give the market an early head start.
If your guesthouse is somewhere around Upper Penang Road, Muntri Street, Love Lane, or Penang Road, Chowrasta Market is a 10 minutes pleasant morning walk as there isn’t much traffic and people.
More on how to get here and the map where the market is check out Chowrasta Market Penang



Filed under backpacking, budget hotels penang, market, Penang, Penang hostels

Backpacking Melaka Just to eat !

Many people purposely make a trip to Melaka just for the good food that Melaka is famous for.

START: Intentionally in their mind they normally start with famous dishes like Chicken Ball Rice, Satay Celup, Nyonya Food, Portuguese Seafood or Nyonya Kuih, and then somehow END: they always stray away, and start eating almost anything that is branded as “Famous” (In short, there is a tendency to have a double chin or grow a burger face after your visit) .

happy meal : gold fish cheeks and michellin body gear

Believe me there are plenty of stalls with the FAMOUS sign! Famous Chendol, Famous Laksa, Famous Chicken Ball Rice…As the number of tourists and food-enthusiasts increases, so has the number of stalls selling the same food. So don’t start to worry when you find 10 “Famous Nyonya Chendol” Stalls in one street! If you go to the original stalls, make sure you are ready to queue! If not, just follow your nose!

Talk to the locals, and they will DYING-ly stress that you have to eat at the original shop. “Where it all began”. woooooooooooooo
But we say, “Eat anywhere as long as it tastes goooood”

This is our first trip and we walked aimlessly. So we are only going to tell you what is what. But not where you can get the best food.

dip dip satay celup

Satay Celup : I must say, this is a very unique dish! You cant find it anywhere else in Malaysia. It is great to eat together with your friends and family. The pot in the middle is a communal pot. It is usually self service, so just go over to the freezer and pick what you want. There is meat on skewers, vegetables, seafood, and many more. My favourites are the prawns, the kangkung vegetables and the meat balls! Then everyone will dip their sticks in to the pot full of peanut sauce.

(For all you people out there, please do not dip and eat and then dip again into the pot! Its for everyone in the table to share)

Poh Piah: Next is the po piah. Its basically a mix of chopped up vegetables, bits of meat, sea food and egg wrapped and rolled in a thin flour skin. The roll we found in jonker was without any gravy. There are some versions that come with gravy which makes it taste more savoury and easier to swallow. (not that dry)

hand rolls filled with egg, vegetables, seafood and bits of meat

The famous Nyonya Chendol . This is a superb dish to have after a tiring day of sightseeing in Melaka. Me? I just have it any time of the day,as I need my sugar fix regularly! This Sweet desert, that is made up of red beans and green flour strips topped with plenty of shaved ice, and then given a generous dose of brown palm sugar and coconut milk!

Sometimes they add sweet corn to the mix also.

nyonya chendol melaka- very nice cold sweet treat

Freshly Baked Biscuits: Every where you go. you will see a lot of biscuit shops. Among those that are really nice are the “tau sar” (mung bean paste) biscuits, the palm sugar filled biscuits and the pineapple tarts!

buying freshly baked "tau sar" biscuits

freshly cooked green bean biscuits and pineapple biscuits

Dumplings: Also do try the chinese dumplings sold in chinese coffee shops are at Jonker walk! Glutinous rice, wrapped with meat, chestnuts and mushrooms.

chinese rice dumplings made of sticky rice, best eaten with tomato or chili sauce

This is a MUST HAVE! Nyonya laksa! It tastes so much different from the Laksa in Penang, Siam, and Sarawak.

This soupy noodles are a little sourish and have a curry taste to it, rich in tuna! egg and comes with egg and sliced vege.

Very different from the other laksa's in Malaysia, sour and curry-ish

Chicken ball rice! Dont really know what the fuss is all about. Only difference between this and the conventional chicken rice is that the rice is in ball shapes! In the end, we also need to smash up the balls to eat it. So you need to try it and see if it is worth the hype!

the famous chicken ball rice

We found this stall on Jonker. Fried Jackfruit! Sweet and savoury taste together exploding in your mouth!

fried jackfruit - great to much on, but can be heaty to the body if eaten alot

We will explore again very soon and update on where are the best places to eat in Melaka! 😀 Happy exploring oops i mean eating in Melaka!


Filed under backpacking, backpacking melaka, being happy while backpacking, market

Thieves Market in Penang!

Your underwear or your shoes got stolen in Penang?! Fear no more! Find it at the Thieves Market! (Or so they used to say)

Have you lost a pair of shoes recently?

Still hot and fresh from the victims pocket, comes an array of colorful items that were purportedly stolen can be found here. Penang’s “thieves market” as it is originally called is located just behind the state stadium downtown.
Back 10 years ago, this place used to sell plenty of stolen goods hence the name “Thieves Market”. So if you had a shoe stolen or an umbrella, chances are you would find it at the market the following day. This market has since evolved to be an everyday morning junket cum dry market where everything from car accessories, household cleaning items, brass trinkets, antique charcoal fueled irons, to someone’s old one-sided shoe. Locals use this opportunity to sell what they think is saleable.

Here are some of the items that managed to catch my eye!

To get here: The City Stadium is located at Lorong Kulit, right next to the Lorong Kulit Flea Market and the Rapid Penang Bus Depot. Rapid Penang Bus Nos. 11, 201, 202, 203 and U204 pass near the stadium. Check this site for more info

Vendors start setting up stalls at ~8.30am every day. The market is open till ~ 12pm. It gets real hot fast there. So we suggest you go early. Maybe come around 9am when they open?

Conclusion: this place is a good example of a local flea market. Great place to wander and spend time here in the mornings. There are also fruits and food stalls nearby where you can grab some breakfast. It’s different from the other places in Penang. The only similar (but smaller) market is the afternoon market at the corner of Armenian Street and Carnavon Street. Its right in front of the Islamic Museum. Market starts illegal business from 5pm daily (subject to police raid).

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Filed under market, Penang