Our first wedding anniversary fell on 27 October 2013. We decided to go on a quick getaway to celebrate a week later.
I had looked around for a couple of weeks for the perfect place to go – we wanted somewhere not too far, secluded, comfortable and peaceful. We wanted to do absolutely nothing.
A few places appeared on our list and after more research, we decided to go with Malihom in Balik Pulau, Penang.
We left KL around 3pm and reached the foothill of Malihom at about 7.30pm. We forgot about the Deepavalli and Awal Muharram long weekend when we booked the place, so traffic into Penang Island was pretty heavy.
Malihom is truly a secluded place, if you don’t have GPS or Waze you might have trouble finding it, especially at night. The drive up the hill might also be quite challenging for some as the private road was only wide enough for one car. Malihom does have a proprietary traffic control system though, where you press a button at the top or the bottom of the hill which would turn on a light to warn oncoming cars. And I believe they provide transportation service for a nominal price.
We arrived at Malihom about 8pm and greeted by a few smiling staff. We were immediately served fruit juices and then whisked off to dinner. They had already set up a table on a top deck, our view was the faraway cityline and the Penang bridge.
I was really expecting food to be mediocre at Malihom as meals were included in the rates. How wrong was I! We looked forward to every meal!
# – Prawn salad, pumpkin soup and salmon with tomatoes. Dessert was lime cake, made daily by Malihom’s owner.
Soon enough, we noticed we’re the only guests at Malihom.
We retreated to our room, which was really a re-purposed traditional Thai rice barn. Our barn’s name was Sripartum or Source of Knowledge in english. We went to the library and picked up a few DVDs. There were plenty of books too but we had our Nooks with us.
Then we got serious….we switched our phones to airplane mode!!!!
# – Our bed. The balcony opens up to an unobstructed view of the sea.
Woke up early the next day. We were excited to check out the rest of Malihom as it was too dark to see anything the night before.
# – The view that greeted us in the morning. Missing it already!
# – The view to the right from our balcony.
# – Our barn…the Sripartum. It’s a split level villa with a bathroom below and the bed upstairs.
# – Breakfast was fresh fruits and egg in the hole for me.
After breakfast, we basically relaxed around Malihom.
# – Hubs enjoying the fish pond.
# – On one of the cool viewing platforms.
# – A beautiful path.
# – The viewing deck.
# – Chilling with my legs.
# – The resident sleepy cats.
# – The infinity pool.
We went swimming of course. We had the pool all to ourselves as the other guests wouldn’t check in until late afternoon.
# – My sweet husband helping me fix my bikini. The string had slid out.
# – My hilariously unappetising swimming face.
# – Hubs’ swimming face.
# – Have made this my Facebook cover photo.
After the swim, we went for lunch.
# – Fresh fruits, fried mushrooms and smoked duck.
After lunch, I drew a bath and had a long relaxing soak :)
# – Our tub with a view.
# – After a bath, I relaxed on our balcony.
We had the balcony doors and main door opened, creating a nice draft in the room. There was no need for aircon or fan. Hubs drifted into a nice nap while I read my book – OJ Simpson’s If I Did It, hehehehhehe.
# – My husband sleeps.
# – Woke him up in time for sunset.
And then it was dinner time. We were served amazing Burmese food! Most of the staff at Malihom are Burmese and after chatting with them, I found out that while they have a dedicated chef for other cuisines, for Burmese cuisines, they all contribute to the dishes.
# – Started with nutmeg soup (my first time – very nice) and an array of chicken and fish curries, salads and vegetables. Dessert was sweet sago.
And then it was time to sleep. We snuck in a few episodes of CSI (our choice of tv and books were unintentionally grim considering the context of the holiday :P) and dozed off to dreamland.
We woke up to Burmese breakfast called Mohinga – a traditional Burmese dish of noodles in fish broth. So, so, so delicious!
# – Mohinga with a fresh passionfruit and passionfruit juice. Passionfruits were available throughout the resort, the plants grow amazingly well at Malihom.
After breakie, we went for a swim again.
# – We made it 1 year! Decades more to come :)
We had lunch after the swim, our final meal at Malihom.
# – Deep-fried okra, cracked black pepper salmon, chicken schnitzel and homemade lime cake.
While having lunch, it rained really heavily. So we sat at the deck for a couple of hours sipping tea and coffee waiting it out.
And then it was time to leave. Our initial plan was to have a food jaunt around Georgetown after we’ve checked out but because we were so relaxed, we decided to head home straight, avoiding the hustle & bustle. It was a good decision. We were in Penang but it didn’t feel like it. We felt like we were in a different country entirely – that’s how wonderful being at Malihom was.
# – The only thing Penang about our whole trip.
We’re definitely going back.