Ixora Hotel Penang is pleased to welcome a new General Manager who brings with him a wealth of international experience working in 16 countries, managing hotels and resort ranging from 4-5 stars in quality ratings. As of 1 February 2018, Andreas Bourdon has been appointed as the new General Manager of Ixora Hotel Penang, a leading first-class business hotel closest to the iconic Penang Bridge.

Andreas joins Ixora Hotel Penang after spending many years developing his career in various cities around the world. Most recently, he was General Manager for the Everly Group, overseeing the operations of the group’s 400 rooms flagship hotel in Putrajaya. Under his leadership, the hotel was awarded best business hotel by Malaysia Airlines Readers’ Choice Award and received the Golden Circle Award by Agoda, issued only to the top 1% of all Agoda listed hotels for consistently exceeding in excellent customer reviews.

Andreas has held senior management positions for over 15 years and has extensive Asia working experience, starting with Singapore, Taipei, Hong Kong, Macau, Manila, Yangon and Phnom Penh. He is excited to be coming over to Penang, the food capital of Malaysia, which was also named the 2nd Top City in 2017 by CNN Travel recently. He looks forward to his new role and towards enhancing the service standards and overall quality at the well-established hotel, Ixora Hotel Penang, located minutes away from the historic Georgetown.

“We are excited to have Andreas leading our hotel’s management team, with his proven performance track record and broad hospitality experience from various cities and well-established hotels & resorts around the world,” says David Cheng, Director of Ixora Hotel Sdn. Bhd..

I'm thirsty for a drink now. Would you be kind enough to treat me?


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According to the Road Transport Department (JPJ), the expectation date for all vehicles to switch to Vehicle Ownership Certificate (VOC/Sijil Pemilikan Kenderaan) is by 1 Jan 2020. Since I’ve difficulty in getting more knowledge online on how to get the new VOC and ended up messing up getting my VOC for another year, I might as well share my experiences with everyone here. Please take note that effective 1 June 2016, all renewals for the vehicle’s Registration Card (RC/Kad Pendaftaran Kenderaan) won’t be updated with the latest transaction as before. Here are the basic steps to renew your road tax (as verified by the personal at JPJ, Batu Uban, Penang):

1. Make sure you get your agent to renew your vehicle insurance at least ONE MONTH BEFORE it expires. From there, everything would be registered online in the JPJ’s system for any relevant personnel to renew your yearly road tax.

2. YOU MUST GO DIRECT to the nearest JPJ to renew your road tax WITH your old RC as all JPJ’s representative agents DO NOT HAVE the limited VOC printout available.

3. The renewal of your RC to VOC is FREE at all JPJ (unless you lose your original RC in which RM50 would be compounded). This is EXCLUSIVE of the road tax renewal fee (fee varies depending on your vehicle’s engine power).

4. At the moment, for those TRAVELLING ACROSS THE BORDER with vehicle REGISTERED UNDER YOUR NAME, you have to obtain a SEPARATE FORM from the JPJ counter to state your reason of bringing your vehicle out to another country. The VOC does not have enough details to allow your vehicle to cross any border. The form is FREE. However, there’s a cost of RM20 PER YEAR to perform an online search to print out the FULL DETAILS of your vehicles, which would include the date on which your insurance would expire. WITHOUT this ADDITIONAL PRINTOUT, you won’t be able to cross any border (at the moment until further notice). Please note that it’s not a must but it’s advisable if you could get an official stamp from JPJ to certify the authenticity of the printed documents as they are computer generated and won’t have any signature on them.

I'm thirsty for a drink now. Would you be kind enough to treat me?


In conjunction with the introduction of the new Anlene with MoveMax™ which includes Calcium, Collagen and Protein for the well-being of bones, joints and muscles, dairy giant Fonterra Brands Malaysia, has recently launched an experiential showcase at Queensbay Mall, Penang (31 August 2016 – 4 September 2016) to get Malaysians to “move as young as they feel inside”. He explained that there needs to be more awareness on the importance of movement as one gets older. “We want to empower more Malaysians to come out of their shells and get moving as young as they feel inside. While they may emotionally feel younger inside, they need to align their physical movement to appear fresh and dynamic on the outside – not to be defined by age. Research showed that active adults have a 30% higher chance of enhanced wellbeing than inactive adults. Movement does not need to be a chore, it can be joyful and fun,” said Mr. Paulo Ocampo, Marketing Manager of Anlene for Malaysia.

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Public can pay a visit to the ground floor concourse of Queensbay Mall, Penang, to get FREE mobility checks (worth RM120) at the respective MoveCheck counters, thereafter, getting FREE consultation to know how to improve your bones, joints and muscles.

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If you are in for more FREEBIES, you could always join in for more fun at 3 more action games corners, namely dance arcade, trampoline and tyre swinging. Just remember that youth has no age and always trust in your own abilities when you think you can’t. Do stay positive mentally and physically, then you would realize that there’s no such thing as IMPOSSIBLE. It’s always I’M POSSIBLE.

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Moreover, you would also get FREE try outs of Anlene MoveMax™ plain & chocolate beverages plus yoghurt (4 flavors available). Though the beverages were really nice when served chilled, my preference was the yoghurt which was thick and flavorful to my liking, especially when they were frozen and taken just like ice cream.

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On top of that, you would get more options to purchase RM20 worth of products and get MORE FREEBIES at the “Spin to Win” counter or Buy RM98 worth of products to claim a beautiful 500ml Stainless Steel Flask. Anlene with MoveMax™ contains important nutrients such as Calcium, Collagen, Protein, as well as other nutrients such as magnesium, zinc, and Vitamins B, C, D & E in a nutrient bundle to help care for your bones, joints and muscles. Anlene MoveMax™ is available in all leading supermarkets nationwide and is available in the powdered form as well as in the yoghurt form. The powdered form comes in two flavours – plain and chocolate and is available in 1kg, 600g and 175g packs. Anlene Movemax™ Yoghurt is available in 4 delicious variants, namely plain, mango, strawberry and mixed berries.

Do click on the photo below for a clearer view on the program for the weekend:


About Fonterra: Fonterra is a global leader in dairy nutrition – the preferred supplier of dairy ingredients to many of the world’s leading food companies. Fonterra is also a market leader with our own consumer dairy brands in Australia/New Zealand, Asia/Africa, Middle East and Latin America. The farmer-owned New Zealand co-operative is the largest processor of milk in the world, producing more than two million tonnes of dairy ingredients, value added dairy ingredients, specialty ingredients and consumer products every year. Drawing on generations of dairy expertise, Fonterra is one of the largest investors in dairy based research and innovation in the world. Our 16,000 staff work across the dairy spectrum from advising farmers on sustainable farming and milk production, to ensuring we live up to exacting quality standards and delivering every day on our customer promise in more than 100 markets around the world.
About Fonterra Brands Malaysia: Fonterra is the world’s largest exporter of dairy products, and the leading provider of the widest range of adult and maternal dairy products, yoghurt and ingredients tailored to meet the needs of consumers and professional food service operators in over 140 countries around the world. In Malaysia, Fonterra produce, distribute and market a full range of dairy products, including ready-to-drink milk, milk powders, cultured milk drinks, cheese and butter under the brands of Anmum Materna, Anmum Essential, Anmum Lacta, Fernleaf, Solivite, Calciyum, Anlene, Fernleaf and Chesdale. All of our consumer dairy products here in Malaysia are Halal certified by both the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) and New Zealand Islamic Development Trust (NZIDT).

I'm thirsty for a drink now. Would you be kind enough to treat me?


It might be a privilege to own a car for the convenience of travelling around whenever and wherever you want to. However, at times you feel like getting some pampering being driven rather than being the driver due to many factors such as massive traffic jams, encountering reckless drivers, finding parking spaces, vandalism to your car and more. With UberX lowering its rates at 3 cities (Penang Island, KL & JB) in Malaysia as at 18 January 2016, I’ve decided to go all out for the #UberChallenge with its #LeaveYourKeysAtHome basic rule to find out what would my #UberExperience be for the week.

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During my earlier experience when I was travelling from E&O Hotel Penang to Hard Rock Hotel Penang, the fare was RM24. If you use the same scenario and base on the current rate of RM0.90 (Base Rate) + RM0.55/km + RM0.25/min, the cost would be RM20.55 only. Thus, you would save around 14.38% compared to earlier this year. The amount saved might not be so significant but in the long run, you would still save a lot.

Base Fare (RM0.90) + RM10.33 (18.78 x RM0.55) + RM9.32 (37.28mins x RM0.25) = RM20.55

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To share my #UberExperience further, I’ve decided to get two more friends to join me in my little Uber night adventure. It could be due to my area not being in the “hot spot” areas or maybe the demands overwhelmed the supplies, the first message that popped up on my mobile screen was my first experience, though I have never experienced that during day time. There was a “surge pricing” popup of 1.5x higher fare which was not exorbitantly high and luckily it lasted only 2 minutes. I only found out the reasons behind the surge as it was Uber’s way to encourage more drivers to be on the road. Anyway, it’s your decision to accept the surged pricing if you are rushing for time. However, I opted out and eventually my Uber driver was just 10 minutes away. Well, 5 minutes more waiting time than usual was not so bad after all. The best part of travelling via Uber is that the driver would call you up every time to get your exact pickup point. That was so cool!

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When the driver arrived, I was impressed with the car. Unlike my luck of getting Myvi most of the time, I was going to be chauffeured comfortably via a sporty Kia Cerato.

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The driver was so helpful to assist in picking up the luggage as I was sending one of my friends over to the KTM train station at Mainland Penang. Since I would be passing by my friend’s house on the way to the Penang Bridge, I passed her a gift. So, it meant that you can practically do whatever you like on any Uber trip since everything would be calculated based on the mileage and time you utilized via Uber.

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We continued our journey thereafter on a busy and jammed Friday night and reached the KTM Train Station 50 minutes later. The total fare was RM35.49 which was inclusive of RM7 for the Penang Bridge surcharge. I was surprised to be slapped with the extra RM7 since there would never be any toll involved if you were to travel from Penang Island to Mainland Penang. Maybe this was one of the protective measures Uber executed to protect its drivers from losing out when travelling back to the island after their job.

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To test out on the news I heard about Uber not having many drivers on Mainland Penang, I’ve decided to hold back my driver and requested him to off his app. This was the result on my mobile screen. Gosh! Uber should really encourage more drivers over there. There was practically none around my vicinity which was quite a hot spot area for people disembarking from trains and ferries.

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Since I managed to keep my driver, my friend and I decided to go for a wacky food trail in search of the much heard best Duck Egg Char Koay Teow in Bukit Mertajam, Penang. However, we had decided to “share cost” for this expedition. The calculation was a bit different. Due to the lack of Uber drivers for Mainland Penang, the base fee was at RM1.50 and there was an additional charge of RM1.70 for splitting fees. Eventually, the total cost was RM19.06, meaning each of us was charged RM9.53 for the trip. I quite like this feature as we could split fare without any hassle at all. Moreover, the more people you have in the car, the lesser each person has to fork out. Well, you can have a maximum of 4 passengers (excluding the driver) in the UberX car. Anyway, we treated the driver with a large plate of Duck Egg Char Koay Teow with extra Duck Egg Omelette all for RM5.50nett. It was heavenly good. (Telur Itik Char Koay Teow GPS: 5.351708, 100.441728)

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Do you know one thing bad about food enthusiasts? We just could not get enough of good food~ LOL~ 😛 Eventually, we decided to head back to the island in search of the best crispy chicken burger at Burger Ayam Goreng Njoy (GPS: 5.277606, 100.270582). It was practically another long 40 minutes journey back to the island and towards Batu Maung district after the Penang International Airport. With all the comfort and soft jazzy music, I dozed off during the journey~ LOL~ 😛 The base fare for Mainland Penang of RM1.50 still applied and there was also a RM7 surcharge for travelling via Penang Bridge. The total cost of RM34.43 for a 33km+ distance was rather fair too compared to regular taxi charges of RM50-RM60. However, upon reaching, the stall was closed for no reasons. I only managed to find out that some of the members were down with the seasonal hot weather sickness. Anyway, I would still find one find day to revisit as I so miss their Twin Special with 2 big pieces of fried chicken, a piece of cheese and oozy black pepper sauce, in between strawberry flavored burger bun, all for RM9.00nett per set. If you love sloppy burger with amazingly delicious crispy boneless chicken, you should check them out.

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Missing out the burger did not deter us from finding more goodies. I was glad that even at such hour, the base rate went back to RM0.90 on the island. Eventually, we ended up at Nois Café (GPS: 5.359750, 100.293510) for some coffee prior to heading home. If you love a quiet place to chill out with great aromatic yet creamy coffee up to 1.00am, you should check them out.

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We drank until the café closed~ LOL~ 😛 It merely took about 10 minutes to reach my home all for less than RM6.

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It was already late and I was quite sleepy with all the travelling. I managed to get the Uber driver to send my friend back to his hostel at YMCA. I don’t even have to be physically in the car to be billed. Everything was paid via my credit card.

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You can practically use the services of Uber for anything legal. I decided one fine night to utilize them for cheap and good “choo char” dinner with a bunch of friends. We headed out to Song Yen Seafood @ Kompleks Lebuh Nipah (GPS: 5.336476, 100.293001), directly opposite the Penang Original Kayu Nasi Kandar, for my favorite Ham Yu Fa Lam Po (Salted Fish Pork Belly Claypot) and other home-style dishes for barely RM40nett. At least, I don’t have to worry about finding parking space which could be quite limited there or getting summoned by the super hardworking municipal parking staff~ LOL~ 😛

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Since we still have some time before Queensbay Mall closes, we went over to Aeon Jusco to do a bit of grocery shopping. The number of cars queuing up to find parking space, was quite scarily long even though it was slightly over 9.00pm and the mall would close at 10.30pm. I guessed many people were still hunting for super Chinese New Year deals. Luckily, I took UberX there and avoided many hassles. Moreover, I was also lucky the queue at the cashier was not as long as I expected.

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Since it was not so late yet and we decided to head to Coffeeric (GPS: 5.322076, 100.282651) @ Elite Avenue for some late supper. You should try their Salted Egg Cheese Cake and light roasted coffee there.

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After a hearty supper, we headed back to my house where my friends parked their cars.

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As I mentioned earlier, Uber is having a cashless system as everything would be charged to your debit/credit card. The system is so versatile that I can practically use it for any legal purposes such as fetching my brother back home when I was too lazy to drive all the way to the ferry terminal at Weld Quay~ LOL~ 😛 Eventually, he got home safely and it wasn’t much hassle at all. All I need to do was to pin point my pickup location and request for UberX service. Of course, you would at least need to know what the pickup person would be wearing and which landmark would he/she be waiting or else you won’t be able to advise the driver when he/she calls you up to confirm the location. The whole journey just cost slightly over RM8 when a normal taxi would cost roughly between RM20-RM30. You certainly saved a lot using UberX compared to taxi.

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Overall, I quite like all the Uber services as it saved time and money and the drivers are well trained to provide as courteous services as expected. Moreover, you could use their services as creative as some cases I have heard which never even came across my mind at all. Some companies do engage them to deliver/collect important documents/items as it would be more promptly than most courier services. The most creative case I have heard was that someone delivered lunch to another via this service~ Wow! I would marry him immediately if I were to be his girlfriend~ LOL~ 😛


Basically you need only two things – a smart phone (IOS or Android) and a valid credit/debit card. Just download the respective app as per link stated and sign up with your contact information. Fill up your credit/debit card information and register. Upon approval, you can use the app straightaway. It’s as simple as that.


Just go to http://www.uber.com/invite/crizl4ue and apply to be eligible for a one-time off RM10 free ride. Any ride above RM10 would be deducted from your credit/debit card.

I'm thirsty for a drink now. Would you be kind enough to treat me?


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Get a ride that matches your style and budget with UBER today

To usher in 2016, let’s celebrate the eventful New Year 2016 Countdown at six strategic venues (Auto City, Gurney Paragon, Straits Quay, Queensbay Mall, Karpal Singh Drive & Kompleks Bukit Jambul) in Penang with your family and friends this coming 31 December 2015. Be part of the joyous crowds to enjoy in the many entertaining performances and activities in store for you by the respective organizers. At the same time, do experience the countdown towards a new year by witnessing the colorful and glorious fireworks displays upon the stroke of midnight.

However, there are always the issues of being stuck in the massive traffic jams or the lack of legal parking spaces at these venues. Instead of getting traffic summons which could be a hassle to your clean traffic records, why not engage in the services of UBER? It’s just one tap away from your mobile phone and pickups are always reliable with clear pricing stated. It’s convenient and cashless as everything would be charged directly to your credit or debit cards as stated when you sign up for the app either by Android or IOS phones.


To add on to the excitement, you can use my promo code (ILUVPG1) to entitle yourself for the one-time ride worth RM25 for FREE. You can use the promo code once only up to 31 January 2016. Terms & Conditions apply.

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Basically you need only two things – a smart phone (IOS or Android) and a valid credit/debit card. Just download the respective app as per link stated and sign up with your contact information. Fill up your credit/debit card information and register. Upon approval, you can use the app straightaway. It’s as simple as that.

About Uber: Uber is evolving the way the world moves. By seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through our apps, we make cities more accessible, opening up more possibilities for riders and more business for drivers. From our founding in 2009 to our launches in hundreds of cities today, Uber’s rapidly expanding global presence continues to bring people and their cities closer.

I'm thirsty for a drink now. Would you be kind enough to treat me?

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