Food stall: Wan Than Mee

Wan than Mee. It’s been my go-to Penang Hawker stall lunch for the last few months.  Wan Than mee and an iced coffee for RM5 can’t be beat.  So what is it?


Wan Than Mee soup style with a cup of iced coffee, RM 5

Wan Than Mee soup style with a cup of iced coffee, RM 5

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - January 2, 2015 at 9:39 AM

Categories: Food and Drink, Hawker stalls   Tags:

Labuan Offshore Company work permit renewal

It’s been some time since I wrote an update about how it has been going having a Labuan Offshore Company.  The first one was my How to article for incorporating a Labuan Offshore Company.  And I wrote one about Why you should have a Labuan Offshore Company.

I’ve reached the end of my first two years of my work permit and it was time to renew.  This is the work permit visa that is pasted into my passport and the dependent passes that are pasted into the passports of my wife and children.  And here’s what happened.   Read more…

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - December 18, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Categories: Documents, Labuan   Tags:

Malaysia National School Holidays 2015

Update: 2016 Malaysia National School Holiday calendar can be found here.  2016 Malaysia Public Holiday calendar can be found here


The Ministry of Education released the 2015 Malaysia School Holiday Calendar.  These should be pretty definitive, but please note that these dates can change.  This list plus the public holidays calendar should help you in your travel planning.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - December 17, 2014 at 10:46 AM

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2015 Malaysia Public Holidays

Update: the 2016 Malaysia Public Holiday calendar can be found here.  The 2016 Malaysia School Holiday calendar can be found here.

Below is a list of the National and State Public Holidays for 2015. National and Penang Holidays are highlighted. Knowing the public holidays in advance can help you plan your time here or time away.

Date Public Holiday Applies to
01 January New Year’s Day National except Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis, Terenganu
03 January Mohammed’s birthday National
14 January Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan’s Birthday Negeri Sembilan
18 January Sultan of Kedah’s birthday Kedah
02 February Federal Territory Day KL, Labuan, Putrajaya
03 February Thaipusam Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Penang, Selangor
19 February Chinese New Year National
20 February Chinese New Year 2nd day National
04 March Installation Anniversary of Sultan of Terengganu Terengganu
03 April Good Friday Sabah, Sarawak
15 April Declaration of Melaka as Historical City Melaka
26 April Sultan of Terengganu’s birthday Terengganu
01 May Worker’s Day National
03 May Wesak Day National
07 May Sultan of Pahang Hol Pahang
16 May Israk and Mukraj Kedah, Negeri Sembilan, Perlis
17 May Tuanku Raja of Perlis’ birthday Perlis
30 May Kaamatan Harvest Festival Labuan, Sabah
31 May Kaamatan Harvest Festival Labuan, Sabah
01 June Gawai Dayak Festival Sarawak
02 June Gawai Dayak Festival Sarawak
06 June SPB Yang di Pertuan Agong’s birthday National
18 June Ramadan Begins Johor, Kedah, Melaka
04 July Hari Nuzul Al-Quran Kelantan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Penang, Selangor, Terengganu
07 July Anniversary of declaraion of Penang as World Heritage Site Penang
11 July Yang di-Pertua of Penang’s Birthday Penang
18 July Hari Raya Puasa National
19 July Hari Raya Puasa 2nd day National
31 August National Day National
12 September Yang di-Pertua of Sarawak’s birthday Sarawak
16 September Malaysia Day National
24 September Hari Raya Qurban National
25 September Hari Raya Qurban 2nd day Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis, Terengganu
09 October Yang di-Pertua of Melaka’s birthday Melaka
14 October Awal Muharram 1435 Hijrah (Islamic New Year) National
24 October Sultan of Pahang’s birthday Pahang
10 November Deepavali (replacement holiday) National execpt Labuan, Sarawak
11 November Sultan of Kelantan’s birthday Kelantan
18 November Hari Hol Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Johor
22 November Sultan of Johor’s birthday Johor
27 November Sultan of Perak’s birthday Perak
11 December Sultan of Selangor’s birthday Selangor
24 December Mohammed’s Birthday National
25 December Christmas day National

Some dates are subject to change. Replacement holidays are for when the actual holiday lands on a Sunday, the next weekday is given as a replacement holiday.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - December 16, 2014 at 10:32 AM

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Penang Chingay, Lion & Dragon Dance Parade

Date: 14 December 2014
Time: 7.30pm – 11.00pm
Venue: Padang Brown to Esplanade


The Chingay Lion and Dragon Dance Parade will be strolling through the streets of Georgetown this weekend.  Colorful dancers will be doing the traditional lion and dragon dances.  Meanwhile, other dancers will be balancing long poles on fingers, foreheads, and whatnot.  There will be 30 dance troupes represented this year, as well as a float.

The Chingay Parade will start at Padang Brown, and wind its way down Datuk Keramat Road, Carnavron Road, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling and Light Street.  The grand finale will be on the Esplanade.

Visit for a write up from a past Chingay event and  an impressive gallery of Chingay flagpole catching.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - December 8, 2014 at 10:37 AM

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Early December – second Durian season

Here in Penang, we get two Durian seasons.  The first is the one with the big Durian festival that last through the month of June.  It’s a pretty big deal because tourism is one of Penang’s top industries.  Durian is a big draw for many tourists.  Yes, some people do go out of their way to find a bit of the stinky fruit.  My family has two.

We’re at the start of Penang’s second Durian season, which if the harvest is good, can last until the end of Feb.  The best stuff can be found closer to the farms.  Go out to Balik Pulau, There are pop up stands all along the road past the Teluk Bahang Dam.

There are going to be pop up stands all over town, and they should be fresh Durian.  How could they not be, they fly off the truck to the eager fanatics in Penang.  In my experience, the pop up stands won’t know the varieties they are selling.  They don’t know a D7 from a D11.  You need to get out to Balik Pulau to get that kind of information.

So here’s my Advice to first time durian eaters  

  1. Go with a friend.  Bring a fanatic.  They aren’t hard to find.  Their enthusiasm for Durian is hard to miss, and sometimes infectious.  The other advantage of getting Durian in a group is that you can sample more varieties.  Ask for the sweetest ones your first time.
  2. Get it fresh.  Don’t buy from a container the first time.  Don’t try Durian-flavored ANYTHING.  Watch them crack the spiky fruit open.   Video it for your facebook feed.
  3. Eat from closer to the stem.  The tastier meat is closer to the top of the fruit.
  4. Bring water, tissues and hand sanitizer.  Your hands will get dirty, if you eat durian correctly.  hand sanitizer will help get the smell off your hands.

Post your pics on the Living in Penang Facebook page.  Have a lovely durian feast.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - December 4, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Categories: Culture, Food and Drink, Fruit   Tags:

Early December, festivals

It’s that time of year in Penang.  The malls are getting decked out in garlands and lights.  The weather is supposed to be shifting from rainy to not.  (Recent years have had local old-timers perplexed regarding weather)  And the whole island is abuzz with activity.  I’m going to leave off the shopping bit for another post.  Today, let’s talk about all the festivals that are going on this time of year.

George Town Literary Festival

Nov 29-30 2014

We’ve just finished up the George Town Literary Festival downtown.  It’s held at The Whiteaways Arcade, Lebuh Pantai.  The venue is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The Arcade is a bunch of shoplots with cafes and arts venues.

Sorry if you missed it.  It’s a great opportunity for writers and readers to connect.  Writers also have workshops t o help hone their craft.  This year, there is a seasoned editor giving a lecture about what Publishers are looking for.

The funny people at Say it Like You Mean It offered up a pair of evenings filled with Original Music, Poetry, Comedy and just a good time.  They perform year round so you can see where they’ll be appearing next on their facebook page.

Dragon Boat Race

Dec 6-7 2014

This isn’t the Annual Dragon Boat Festival that happens in June.  This is another race, but just as popular and just as fun.  Dragon Boat Teams from around the world will be gathering at the Teluk Bahang Dam.  Photographers, I think this is a great opportunity to get a lot of color and culture.  Get out there for some fun.

Penang Island Jazz Festival

Dec 4-7 2014

After the day at the Boat Festival, stay in the North End of the Penang Island for this annual Jazz festival.

Check out this video of one of the performers coming this year

Tickets can be purchased online at TicketPro.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - November 30, 2014 at 5:26 PM

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U.S. Embassy Town Hall for American Citizens in Penang

Just received this from the US Embassy.

U.S. Embassy Town Hall for American Citizens Living in Penang

The Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission, Consul General and other embassy representatives will hold a town hall event for U.S. Citizens in Penang on November 5 from 1:30 – 3:30 pm. Embassy representatives will discuss services offered for U.S. Citizens and answer questions from participants. Limited consular services (passport applications and notarials) will also be offered.

Venue:                     Penang Public Library, Training Room, (Bilik Latihan, Second Floor of the Library)

Address:                   JKR 2936, Jalan Scotland

Date:                         Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Time                          1:30pm to 3:30pm

All town hall participants MUST RSVP by e-mailing us at [email protected] (include your Malaysian contact number). Participants will not be admitted without prior RSVP. Additional details will be provided after RSVP is received.

For American Citizens who cannot attend the town hall, there will be limited American consular services at the Dalat International School on Friday, November 7 from 9:00am – 12:00pm


Venue:                     Dalat International School –  Tanjung Bungah,  Penang, Tel: (04) 899-2105

Date:                         Friday, November 7, 2014

Time                          9.00am to 12.00pm

If you will be visiting the Dalat School for consular services, e-mail us at [email protected]  and include your Malaysian contact number.

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - October 23, 2014 at 6:54 PM

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Ikea is coming to Penang

So the big announcement is that a new Ikea outlet is finally being built in Penang.  The announcement was made in Jan 2014 that the project was greenlighted for the popular Swedish home furnishings store to open a new location in Penang.  This past week, the announcement was  that Ikea would be the anchor store for a large RM 8 billion shopping complex.  It will be located in Bandar Cassia, Batu Kawan, on the mainland side of the new (sometimes called second) Penang Bridge.

The construction is expected to start at the end of 2014, with the first phase scheduled to be completed in 2018.  This is going to be the shopping mall with IKEA.  I know what you’re thinking.  Phew, we needed another mall!  Actually, that area is pretty empty (for now) and you’d have to drive 10 maybe even 15 minutes to get to a mall.

The second phase is scheduled to go until 2025 and will include high rise residences, an international class hotel, health care facilities, an international school and a branch campus of Britain’s University of Hull.

We’re all very excited to not have to drive to KL to go to IKEA. That’s where we get Swedish Meatballs!

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - September 25, 2014 at 11:38 AM

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What’s the difference between Independence Day and Malaysia Day

Every year, there are two public holidays in Malaysia that confuse me every year.  I look it up every year because, every year, I forget what I learned the year before.  In fact just two days ago, I told a friend the wrong information!  That’s how confused I get  There’s National Day, or Independence Day, in August.  Two weeks later there’s Malaysia Day in September. Both are public holidays, so what’s the difference?


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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - August 28, 2014 at 7:38 AM

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