The beauty of days gone by…

I love those beautiful old colonial buildings in Penang and how they have restored and preserved them like the one that houses the nyonya restaurant that we went to on our first night on the island and the one that is now being used as a karaoke club.

Soon after I arrived in Penang that day, Eugene took me to Bangkok Lane where I was filled with awe and admiration of the houses there…

Bangkok Lane, Penang

We can hardly find any in Sibu anymore – most would have been demolished and replaced with structures of modern designs that I, for one, would not find impressive – perhaps there are people who would appreciate them a lot more than I do.

I saw this boutique there and was tickled a bit by the name…

MyCloset, Bangkok Lane

…as it made me wonder what skeletons they have in it and whether it is time yet for them to come out clean. Wink! Wink!

This also attracted my attention…

Roses, Bangkok Lane

…and no, it was not the spelling error in the sign or the awkward grammatical structures used but truth be told, I really did not know the meaning behind the number of roses that you give somebody. I did hear something once though, about giving 99 red roses to the one you love and that in a way would tell her the 100th rose would be her. Gee! Ain’t all that so very romantic? Eyewwww!!! Muahahahaha!!!

The following day, Bananaz took me and the rest somewhere in the vicinity of this place for lunch…

Nagore Place, Penang

…and there were a lot more nice old buildings there like these, for instance…

Jalan Nagore, Penang 1

But in my humble and honest opinion, I do think that they should not paint them like this…

Jalan Nagore, Penang 2

This reminds me of some places in Singapore where they make the buildings so colourful and they would even fix multi-coloured neon lights and equally glaring spotlights in an attempt to make it all look so grand and eye-catching but they come across to me like some kind of fairyland and seem to have lost their natural unpretentious authentic appeal.

If I may deviate a little, after lunch that afternoon, we stopped by this bakery cum cafe…

Continental Bakery & Restaurant Penang

…in that same area. It was a simple decent place – not one of those classy joints that you see everywhere these days and yet it seemed very popular with people going in and out non-stop the whole time we were there and all the bread and cakes, hot from the oven…

Continental breads and cakes, Penang

…would all be gone in a blink of an eye.

Edmund bought these cream puffs for us snd insisted that we should try them…

Continental cream puffs, Penang 1

…and indeed, they were very good…

Continental cream puffs, Penang 2

…but I do prefer the ones we have here, those that I had for dessert at my Christmas party in December last year…except that ours are a lot smaller.

Now, earlier that same day, I saw this building…

Old Majestic Cinema, Penang

…as we were walking along Burmah Road towards Tune Hotel and the New World Park. If  I’m not mistaken, it used to be an old cinema and now stands as part of the remnants of a fire that destroyed the whole row of the beautiful colonial-style structure.

I certainly hope that they will not bulldoze it to the ground but will try and rebuild it and restore it to its former glory. After all, these are but the shadows that remain of the beauty of days gone by…

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

49 thoughts on “The beauty of days gone by…”

  1. When it comes to restoring and preserving old buildings, Malaysian should really look at the western countries. Not only in Penang the old buildings are painted like a disco hall, even in Melaka the same..and the Perbandaran people are so proud of them…aiyoh..even some of the locals also like. So tacky la. Go to any European country, you can hardly see something disco like on their buildings.Sad!
    Cis…I thought only buildings..mana tau dalam diam you go and selit the cream puffs!!!…grrrrr!

    Hahahaha!!! Must have food mah – even a bit or else everybody would be jumping up and down asking and grumbling why no food.

    Ya, I love the old cities in the UK – they’re so unique with a special charm of their own. Haven’t been to Malacca for a long time. The last time when I went in the 90s, I went to Jonker Street – my friend wanted to buy me some curry powder from a nyonya lady there, I noticed that all the shophouses were closed and deserted. My friend told me, they were all owned by Singaporeans…and they would come on weekends to stay there…and enjoy our nice and cheap food…and do their shopping. Dunno now…

    1. Shereen, next time have to be a bit smart… must come here with tummy full… else very cham u kno… I oredi terkena alot times… LOL!

      Older and wiser… Well, at least, some people have the capability to learn and remember… 🙂

      1. I sure makan already but still cannot tahan Arthur’s godaan..hahahaha

        I thought these breads and cream puffs would not be so effective? Bet you have a lot there in NZ – much nicer ones too…and I’m sure these will pale miserably in comparison with the ones that you make yourself.

  2. I took precaution today. LOL… sked kena tipu, so makan dulu. Wonder if Shereen did the same. Hahahaha!

    Ehh… I never knew there’s meaning behind the number of roses you give ppl…(prolly because the last rose i received was goddamm 8 years ago… *SNARL*) I think the grammatical error was because it was directly translated from Mandarin… it looks like that to me… especially the last one… probably translated from “Ai Ni Tian Chang Di Jiu’ ( 爱你天长地久)

    Sigh… roses… roses…. I missed all my roses… too bad cannot plant here in KL… live in an apartment so cham… wud thing oso cannot plant!

    Ok…so now you know. We learn new things every day, eh? Hehehehehe!!! 😉 As for the direct translation bit (my current students do that all the time), we’ll have to wait for Bananaz to see what he has to say…and he can consult his Mango. LOL!!!

  3. how come all the house have the same style??

    The old colonial architecture. Look closely, they’re not the same…the window designs, the stone carvings on the roofs and walls and such.

  4. So you really like Penang ha? do relocate yourself and the whole family here lah, anyway i am looking for more Penang bloggers ma, and we can go kara oking everyday.muahahahahah

    the last picture is a place forlorn and bygone, i think that was an old cinema, if i am not mistaken, Rose Chan used to perform there, her first act of dancing with the python was first acted out there, i was told….

    Oooo…Rose Chan? Hmmm…I guess you were too young to have had the chance to go and watchher. LOL!!! Nope…I only love these old buildings but not the jam – getting to be as bad as KL’s….and standard of living is a bit too high plus I cannot imagine being cooped in those high rise bird houses.

    1. Eugene… I’ll probably be in Feringghi somewhere in July…I go ‘honeymoon’ for my 9 years anniversary… kakakaka. LOL. Perhaps if both of us free dun mind… can bring me and my two boys go karaoke and treat me for some goodies? I wan to eat laksa… laksa and more laksa. And I’m craving for kerang with satay sauce, pasembor, char koay teow… oooo… YUMMY! Or mebbe can go picnic together with ur family.

      Eeee….Feringghi, so far. I heard taxi from there to Queensbay or airport over RM100. Throw in RM20 or RM30 more, can stay TWO nights at very nice and decent hotel here. You’re going to stay at Hard Rock kah? Lagi mahal… Come Sibu better – definitely cheaper if not nicer. Anyway, July still a long way off.

      1. Aiyaks… where got so much money to splurge in Hard Rock hotel? LOL… actually I have business to attend to in Feringghi, so going there and mix business with pleasure. Been dying for some sort of getaway… it’s been quite stressful for me these days.

        Sibu – no stress, nothing to do – just rest and relax…eat and sleep and maybe go for nice strolls around some places here. No shopping to be done, so save another bundle there. Best place to go and unwind!

  5. wow that cream puff looks really really really good…and filing oh my

    Hah!!! Come to Sibu. I think there’s a place here with better ones but smaller… 😉

  6. I have been to that bakery few times, just walking distance from the Royal hotel… their buns are very fresh, used to buy back some to Ipoh.. 🙂
    Penang and Malacca has their historical buildings… Ipoh still have but they are all located in old town… quite run-down already in fact..

    Hmmmm…I must stay at Royal next time, so I can survey the area and get to know it better. That’s how I familiarise myself with places when I travel. What a waste if they do not restore and preserve those buildings in Ipoh. St Michael’s is one – such a beautiful school – old colonial buildings.

  7. Penang is doing great! Just like Singapore, kudos to them for preserving the old colonial buildings. hope other states follow suit and don’t simply demolish in the name of development.

    A bit too late for Sibu – all gone… But if you asked me, I would think that Singapore’s a bit overdone. Not nice at all. They did not just restore and preserve – they modified…and unfortunately, a bit too much and not for the better. 😦

  8. Was updating Mango on your blog about Penang over brunch about you mentioning to do Chinese translation and beauty of Penang..fast forward..oblada obladi. Mango said very soon Bananaz’s Chinese would be much better than her so no need Mango to do translation *ahem*. Oh yeah she says ‘Hi’ & sends her warmest regards to you and all the rest of the Red Garden gang.

    Regards to her too. Oh? So Bananaz is slowly turning into a Mango lah? A Bango? And Mango becomes a Mananaz? LOL!!! 😉

  9. Hmmm!…only know Penang has nice food but never know that there are these beautiful colonial style buildings that still exist till these days. Yes!…they should be well preserved and restored and NOT demolished.

    Aiyo!…simply lovely!…the bread and cakes and especially the cream puffs. Feels like getting a bite of it…yummy!…yummy!…

    Well, Kuching is doing a pretty good job too. I don’t like India Street though – a bit over but Carpenter Street is fine. Should keep it that way… Lots of places with nice cakes in Kuching – Tom’s, Nee’s….

  10. How come no mention of the Bangkok Lane Mee Goreng? Did you not try?

    You click the link…and you will get to see the mee goreng, I had at Bangkok Lane…and the mee rebus my friend had too. I thought I did mention more than once over the past few posts that I had that?

  11. Love Penang very much and each time when I travel back to Penang, first thing I will do after the Penang bridge toll would wind down the car window take a deep breath to fill up my lungs ‘Penang wind’ haha. Just after crossing the main span can visibly see my small bird nest on top of Mutiara View and would say ‘great to be home’ but not anymore now that condo is sold.

    Wah! Sold your condo? Good price eh? Must be filthy rich now then… Next time, belanja big makan ok? 😉

  12. Oh ‘Majestic’ cinema almost forgotten its existence though seldom watch movies in there would mostly go for Rex, Capitol, Odeon, Federal & Cathay that’s about all Bananaz can recall and not to overload the RAM further..haha.

    There’s an old cinema along Penang Road too but I think that one shows/showed Tamil movies. Probably something like the Coliseum in KL…

  13. Beautiful place! My last trip there was so long ago and never got to travel around.
    Ah… at last saw food at the end!

    Retired now…so can travel a bit, enjoy life. Any direct Miri-Penang Air Asia flight? None from Sibu…but they have from Kuching. So much better, less of a hassle as no need to transit in that LCCT!!!

  14. Just wonder how much 999 roses will cost on a normal season not on Valentine’s Day? For the rich like STP sure no problem but poor people like Bananaz will have to make good use of the money for food on the table practically eat the ‘roses’ for a month or two.

    Not me! I’d rather buy 999 char siew pao or siew mai…and then can sit down and eat together. Hehehehehe!!!! Jokes aside,I would rather use the money to go out to a nice expensive place and have a good dinner – not one of those with the cut-throat packages though…another thing I would avoid! 😦

  15. Roses? Dun even dare to think of receiving one stalk…what’s more 100 to 1000…ahhahaha

    Aiyor…why? So sad! After kahwin…and have anak, romance has gone out the window? Hehehehehe!!! 😉

  16. Sad to say but I think the old building will certainly be bulldozed. No enough land

    Unfortunately, money speaks the loudest…and money is the root of all evil. Period.

  17. Oh yes, those colonial days shophouses has the nostalgic feel to me when I look at them especially if they are painted properly, rather than the gaudy type of painting that makes them look like red light district. By the way, the Little India area and the nearby Convent School in Klang also has the colonial days type of building.

    I’ve never been to Klang. Yup…I can’t stand them painting those buildings with all those gaudy colours. True, true…really like some red light district. 😦

  18. i thought it’s only building picture today, but …there are three food pictures!

    Cream puff look good! How nice to have one for tea break now and go with coffee….hmmmmmm…

    Hahahaha!!! Walked right into the trap, did you? Yum! Yum! Had some for tea? 😉

  19. Wow!…you know where to hunt for good food, nice nyonya kuih and pastries in Kuching. Though I am a local, I lose to you (me like a frog under the coconut shell)…hahahha!.. BTW, where about is Tom’s, Nee’s.

    Yes…most of the shophouses along Carpenter Street and Main Bazaar still retain their original look.

    Tom’s is in Padungan, somewhere near Fook Hai…next to Soho…and Nee’s is in the relatively new Tabuan Plaza. Gee! Anyone would think I’m the one living in Kuching. Muahahahahaha!!! 😀

  20. Yeah, I agree those restored old colonial buildings would look much better without such “loud” colours..and so many different “loud” colours in a row! They come across as so pretentious, if you know what I mean.
    I’ve never heard of the meaning behind the number of roses either, except for 1 rose and 3 roses. But I’ve certainly heard of the meaning behind the COLOUR of roses and also the TYPE of flowers one gives. Anyway, I’ve long ago suspected that all these are just marketing gimmicks that retailers have to attract customers, especially the lovey-dovey ones, the currently-dating ones, the newly-married ones…. 🙂
    By the way, post of colonial buildings also sempat mention about food….you ah….but the cream puffs do look nice 🙂
    Have a nice weekend.

    You too. Ya…seems that so many share the same views as me…and yet, we see all those nice buildings being demolished to give way to modern buildings and high-rise complexes. Really sad. I guess it’s the money that matters most. Everyone has his or her price.

    Hehehehehe!!!! You should always expect the unexpected…. Yum! Yum!

  21. Land getting scarce and expensive in Penang, colonial building getting lesser…..making way for development, sigh!

    But they have designated some areas as Heritage Row so hopefully, at least, those will remain.

  22. Emmm…..Tabuan Plaza!…so near and yet so far. It is so…so…so…near my place. I am living at Tabuan Jaya area too. Should go and check it out soon..Thanks for your info.

    Gosh! And there’s a food court/hawker centre next door…but dunno anything good there or not. Tabuan Jaya also – the hawker centre there…one Penang guy selling hay mee, nice…like Penang’s one.https://suituapui.wordpress.com/2009/04/22/until-its-time-for-me-to-go/

  23. I was in Penang for a few years and never visited Bangkok Lane! Those colonial houses are nice indeed! And I love Continental Bakery too.. they have the freshest bread and cakes that are always selling like hot cakes! LOL!

    Yes…they just left everything like that, and after a little while,they were all gone…and they took out some other stuff. People kept coming and going – business was obviously very good.

  24. Hey STP, I envy you that you have passed by to “such” places like “The Closet” and “The Symbolic Rose”, I did even know the place existed, how shameful am I, a Penangnite. 😦

    And, yes I do loved the breads from Continental Bakery. It’s expensive but the breads are full of filling.

    I suppose when you live there, you tend to take everything for granted so you would not know there are actually such things around – like Irene in Kuching…or me here in Sibu. When my kiwi sister-in-law first came to Sibu, she was captivated by every little thing that we never even noticed…or did not bother about at all. That bakery’s expensive? When you look at the people dropping in and buying, you would think everything must be so cheap!

  25. Arthur…can see you really enjoyed yourself the few days in Penang. All the makaning and karaoke-ing with Claire and company. The wedding dinner’s menu ..looks scrumptious and I love the shrimps with salted egg sauce…I must learn how to make that sauce :p I have been busy the last few days…work like a mad women …and remember VOTE the party that allows you to eat freely LOL!

    LOL!! The party that allows me to eat to live would be the one that pays my pension…and unfortunately, there is no party that allows me to eat free…or freely other than my own house party. Coming over to Sibu? I’ll hold one for you. 😉 Yes, it was so much fun…and I’m glad I had a really good trip. Too bad you were not able to join us – your wild boar tak mau chop passport kah? Hahahahaha!!!! 😀

  26. Have you try Elin’s recipe on salted egg yolk seafood tofu. I did…taste so great. Hubby loves it so am I. Will cook for my son when he is back for holiday end of May. Once a while, I will hop over to Elin’s blog to get recipes if I am running out of idea what to cook. Thanks to Elin for the recipe and also to STP for introducing Elin’s blog to me.

    Nope,I haven’t tried yet – so lazy. 😉 Elin’s such a great cook – like a professional. Shereen’s another one but too bad, her blog is on invitation only, not open to all. Sorry! Hehehehehe!!!! I gave Elin a packet of the Sarawak laksa paste – I hope she will blog on it when she cooks it and gives her comments. I bet she’ll love it.

  27. restored old buildings look beautiful…colorful buildings look nice, too but it reminds me of little india i think 🙂 I could imagine ghost stories in the last pic of old majestic bldg…hehe 🙂

    i’m not a fan of cream puff, my sis is crazy over them 🙂 i love bread!!!

    have a nice weekend!!! 🙂

    Ya, people believe that buildings, old or new, if deserted for a long time, maybe inhabited by paranormal beings…so not good to buy a house and just leave it there unoccupied for years. I’m like your sis – I like cream puffs and I’m not really crazy about bread unless there are all kinds of yummy fillings in them.

  28. yeah, i also prefer those buildings to be painted in different colors to make the street look more vibrant, or else at least don’t paint them in that dull and bored combination of colors lor..

    the cream puff looks good woh, how many have you wallop in?? 😀

  29. I love classic colonial buildings too.
    When I grow up, I’m going to own one & convert it into a cafe where people can relax inside & stare at paintings of the olden days & examine displays of old-school stuff.
    There’s something about old things that make me feel at home. I guess I’m getting old…

    “When I grow up…”? Muahahahaha!!!! Nope, you’re not growing old – you’re cultured. You’ve got class… 😉 Ummmm…I’m an old thing too, very old! Wink! Wink! 😀 ROTFL!!!

  30. Hi did you know that one of the buidings in this post was a Jewish Synagogue? To be specific, the corner unit along the row of colorful old houses which you wished were not painted that way.

    Oh? The nice-looking not-so-gaudy one in the block? Didn’t know that… Would have loved to drop by and see. Never been in one before.

  31. Next time you visit Penang, please insist on trying Roti Benggali. It’s a humble looking bread, sold by the indian bread vendors (or can also be found in the Indian Bakery). The skin of the bread is hard but smells really good and the bread is soft and nice. Some people eat it with sup kambing, some toast it, I like mine with the planta and kaya that is spread by the bread vendor. It cost RM 1.50 only and it is very filling. I trust that you will like it. By the way, according to the Star (last week) Baking Roti Benggali is a dying trade, so try it before it is gone.

    It’s something like baguette/French loaf? I used to eat that when I was in Singapore with sup kambing. Nice! Haven’t seen the Indian bread vendor for a long time now. Last I saw one was in Malacca… Btw, haven’t seen you around for ages as well! You’re based in KL now, right? Hope all’s well there…

  32. Hi, I’m doing fine. Not been blogging these days due to other commitments =)

    The Jewish Synagogue is now a shop thus i doubt it will look special inside. Before the Jews were sent out of M’sia, some of them lived in Penang. You will still be able see the cemetery in town although the graves are very old.

    The Benggali Bread is not like the baguette/French loaf. It’s like the size of a small loaf of Gardenia bread, however, it’s not sliced. The skin is hard but the white part of the bread is soft and fluffy =). Bread vendors can still be easily found in Penang, perhaps you need to visit the housing areas to meet them. They consist of Indian men (from India) and they carry a box surrounded with all sorts of bread and tidbits behind their bike. The benggali bread is kept inside the box and it’s not packed. The ‘Roti Man’ will cut the bread for you when you order it from him. Like the dobi, the number of ‘roti man’ has reduced. I believe it’s a dying trade.

    I’ve seen those Indian bread sellers before – I remember buying Gardenia from one of them once in Malacca. In Singapore, the Indian sup kambing stalls served the soup with French loaf, dunno whether they got from bakeries or they made their own. Oh I see…no longer a synagogue. Jews not allowed in Malaysia? Didn’t know that…

  33. mwahahha, skeleton from my closet?!LOL!
    the puff look yummy 😦 can see cnt eat so pitiful

    I suppose can’t get in TM? Horrible place…nothing much there? But I’m sure better than Bintangor? LOL!!! 😀

    1. Yes, I feel so sad when they tear down these old structures and replace them with the horrendously ugly modern ones. Our heritage completely lost just like that!

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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