Earlier this month some colleagues and I went to Malaysia to attend the 7th International Conference on Key Engineering Materials (ICKEM 2017). It’s the same one we attended last year in Hong Kong. This year the conference was held at the Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang.
Since there was no direct flight to Penang, we had to travel through KL. We didn’t want to arrive too late so we ended up having to leave Manila at 6:30am, which meant that we left our houses at around 2am. Hooray for 45 minutes of sleep.
But we were pretty excited and we were able to nap on the flight so we had plenty of energy once we arrived
With the crew 😀
We booked a condo unit through Airbnb, which was on the 27th floor. This was our view:
Admiring the sights :p
So high up!
The unit had 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. This was Dustin’s and my room:
The common area
After resting for a bit and unpacking our bags we decided to head out and explore
We ended up taking an Uber to Queensbay Mall since there was nothing much to see around us. We were happy to discover that there was a food court so we decided to have our dinner there:
Apart from dinner we mostly just walked around the mall to see what shops they had
We stopped by Daiso and bought a few things
Found a shop that sold these taiyaki ice cream, but we were too full from dinner so we weren’t able to try them.
We also stopped by the supermarket to pick up a few things for our breakfast the following morning:
Cereal and instant noodles :p
Dustin took these shots of me while we were waiting for our Uber:
The following day we decided to squeeze in a little sight-seeing around Georgetown
Somehow we all ended up wearing black
Once again, we took an Uber to get there
At the My Armenian Cafe where we met up with Ella and Krea
Someone suggested that we rent bikes to explore the area, so that’s what we did:
We were all together at first, but somehow we got separated along the way. I ended up with Dustin and Paul.
We thought about looking for the others to regroup, but we figured it’s difficult to move around in a large group and we’d probably end up separated again anyway, so we decided we’d just look for them later.
One thing that Georgetown is famous for is its murals, so we made it our goal to search for them.
We started to feel hungry and sunburned around noon so we looked for an airconditioned cafe to have our lunch
After regaining some energy we continued our search for the murals:
By this time the sun was unrelenting so we decided to take another break to cool down. We found a shop that was selling something called a Dragon Ice Ball. It looked like a snow ball dipped in syrup with ice cream inside. It sounded refreshing so we decided to try it.
While we were at the shop, we found Sir Emman and Krea, who apparently got separated from Sir Marvs and Ella because they had difficulty riding a bike and ended up having to rent one of those pedicab-type bikes (at least they had a roof to protect them from the sun). They suggested that we visit Chew Jetty because they were able to buy pasalubong and souvenirs there.
To get there we had to ride our bikes, which was pretty scary because we had to cross the highway where there were plenty of high-speed vehicles.
We were able to pick up plenty of pasalubong here for a good price. Afterwards we decided to head over to Fort Cornwallis because Sir Marvs told us that he and Ella were waiting there.
On our way we passed by the port, which had me pretty excited because this was where our cruise ship docked in February. There was a ship there at the time, but it wasn’t the Princess.
We also saw the Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower:
Eventually (after dodging several scary vehicles), we made it to Fort Cornwallis
Reunited with Ella and Sir Marvs
We didn’t go in the fort because we wanted to visit the Upside Down Museum. Sir Emman and Krea (who took a taxi here) were still inside so we decided to head back to the place where we rented our bikes to return them. While waiting for the others we cooled down at a nearby coffee shop:
Ice cream once again~
Since we didn’t have bikes anymore we had to walk to the museum. So after finishing our ice cream we headed over there.
The following photos were taken inside. Lots of fun poses you could do there:
After the museum we decided to look for a place to eat before heading back to our airbnb. The following photos are random shots Dustin took of me:
The following day it was time for us to get serious since we all had oral presentations at the conference. I was just a listener last year so I was pretty nervous about having to give a talk this year:
Fortunately for me, Sir Marvs was the moderator during my session, so that helped calm me down a little. I liked knowing that if someone asked me a question that left me stumped, or if I missed an important detail in my talk, he would be there to help me (since he co-authored my paper).
Paul took this photo of me during my presentation
And here’s Sir Marvs presenting me with my certificate after my talk, yay!
(I don’t have that many photos during the conference because Dustin and I were in different sessions, and as you may have probably noticed from this entry, almost all my photos from this trip were taken by him.)
After the conference we called an Uber to take us back to our Airbnb. We had an early flight to KL the following day so we started packing and went to bed early that evening.
Overall, my experience in Penang was great. My mom actually lived here for a couple of months when she was working as a visiting scientist for WorldFish back in 2006, but unfortunately we never got to visit her. I’m glad I got another chance to explore the place (our half-day shore excursion last February was definitely too bitin :D)
**Thanks Dustin for all the great photos! Travel pa tayo para madami pa ako mapost hahahaha**
UPDATE : I posted a vlog from our Penang adventure. You can watch it at the end of my Kuala Lumpur blog entry 🙂