Air Itam is a small town in Penang, it takes around 20 minutes drive from Georgetown. Although it is not like the attractions at Georgetown Heritage Area that concentrated at one place, but Air Itam crowded with cars and people during weekends and holidays (especially Chinese New Year). This is because the hundred years Kek Lok Si Temple, Penang Hill, famous laksa and sister curry mee are located at Air Itam. Since Labour Day is near, why don’t you arrange a half day trip to Air Itam to have a short break?
Fill your stomach with good food at Air Itam Market
Air Itam market is the significant place at Air Itam, the stall owners and hawkers provide daily supplies for the people for more than 10 years, you can find anything in the market. If you are coming from Georgetown, you will see a row of stalls on your left hand side until to the bridge, while Air Itam market and hawker centre on your right hand side
Sister Curry Mee
Sister Curry Mee 1 – Photo credited to vkeong.com | Sister Curry Mee 2 – Photo credited to taufulou.com | Sister Curry Mee 3 – Photo credited to Klook.com
You must try Sister Curry Mee when visit to Air Itam, the stall has 60 years history and it is operated by a pair of sisters who aged 83 years old and 81 years old. They followed their mum to sell curry mee when they were young and they take over the business after their mum passed away. For all these years, the sisters remain the taste left by their mum, the curry mee must included bee hoon and mee, spiced curry, chilli source, squid and clam.
They use shoulder pole to carry all the ingredients to Air Itam bridge every morning and they sit on a stool to take order from the customers and also prepare the curry mee.
Business Hours: 7:30am to 1pm (off on every Tuesday)
Air Itam Laksa
Air Itam Laksa 1 – Photo credited to imagui.eu | Air Itam Laksa 2 – Photo credited to Tallypress | Air Itam Laksa 3 – Photo credited to Jin Ling
If you ask a local what to eat in Air Itam, definitely they will answer you the laksa! Serve with fish, cucumber, vegetables, shrimp paste and etc, it truly smells good. This laksa stall operated for more than 50 years and the owner can sell hundred of laksa in one day. In order to handle the high demand from customers, they use very big bowl to put all the ingredients and there are two pots boiling with the laksa soup, the tasty smell of the soup is making people drooling.
Address: 1, Jalan Pasar, Pekan Ayer Itam,11500 Ayer Itam, Pulau Pinang.
Business Hours: 10:30am to 7pm (off on Wednesday)
Visit one of the significant temples in Penang, Kek Lok Si
Kek Lok Si was built on 1893, it is one of the representative temples in Penang. As it was built on the hilltop, you have to pass through the twisting roads before you reach the temple. The main attractions for the temple are pagoda and enormous statue of the Goddess of Mercy, Kuan Yin. Besides, there are 10,000 Buddha statues at Kek Lok Si. Mentioning the pogada, it heights 7 floors and each floor has one Buddha statue. When you walk up to the top, you can enjoy the view of Penang. The best time to visit Kek Lok Si is during Chinese New Year as the temple will put on all the lights from 7pm to 12am to celebrate Chinese New Year.
Address: 1000-L, Tingkat Lembah Ria 1, 11500 Ayer Itam, Pulau Pinang.
Opening Hours: 7am to 5:30pm
Entrance Fees: RM2 for pagoda
Cable Car Fees: RM6 per adult, RM3 per children (round trip ticket)
Enjoy the view of Penang from Penang Hill
Penang Hill 1 – Photo credited to http://www.penanghill.gov.my | Penang Hill 2 – Photo credited to DestinAsian | Penang Hill 3 – Photo credited to http://www.penanghill.gov.my
If you love to have sightseeing of Penang, Penang Hill is definitely the best place to do so, you can take a cable car to reach Penang Hill with 830 heights above sea level and enjoy the views while surrounded by the nature. I will suggest you to visit Penang Hill on 6:30am to 8am or 8pm to see the sunrise and night view of Penang. In addition, you can have a tree top walk at The Habitat to get in touch with the rainforest, explore historical landmark, museums, mosque, Hindu temple and etc. You may enjoy your meal at the hawker centre and David Brown Restaurant as well. If you wish to stay over at Penang Hill, you have Bellevue The Penang Hill Hotel as a choice. Penang Hill opens daily and they sell tickets starting from 6:15am to 10pm, you may search http://www.penanghill.gov.my/ for more info.
Address: Jalan Bukit Bendera, 11500 Ayer Itam, Pulau Pinang.
Cable car round trip ticket: RM6 per children; RM12 per adult, RM6 per elderly person (Mykad holder) RM15 per children; RM30 per adult; RM30 per elderly person (Tourist)
Visit to Ti Kong Tua, a temple that is important for Penang Hokkien
Ti Kong Tua started to build on 1869, it has 148 years history and it enshrines the most powerful deity, which is Jade Emperor. During the Jade Emperor’s birthday, all the devotees will come here and pray. You need to walk few stairs before you reach the temple and you will see the Hall of Great Strength when you enter the temple, Ti Kong Tua is right behind the Hall.
Address: 11500 Penang Hill, Penang.
Opening Hours: 8am to 5pm
Understand the history through War Memorial Park
The monument was built in 1951, to remembrance the Chinese mechanics who willing to travel to China and worked at Yunnan-Burma Road to deliver all the supplies. During World War II, the war between China and Japan started and Chinese mechanics decided to return to China to fight for their country. There are more than 3000 people joined but 1028 people sacrificed during their mission. If you are interested to know more about the history, you may read the previous article.
Address: 8, Jalan Air Itam, 11500 Ayer Itam, Pulau Pinang.