5 Must-Try Local Snacks in Ipoh, Malaysia

5 Must-Try Local Snacks in Ipoh, Malaysia

5 Must-Try Local Snacks in Ipoh, Malaysia

 

Ipoh offers more than grand colonial architecture or old Asia charm. It is one of the best spots in Malaysia for a gastronomic safari and my favorite next to Penang and Melaka.

Ipoh is the capital of Perak State, about 205 kilometers north of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The rich mineral deposits from the limestone cliffs surrounding the Kinta Valley and its fresh and clean water are believed to be the essential ingredients that make their food unique.

As the locals say, “Eat while in Ipoh”.

Ipoh Malaysia Local Food Curry Noodles

Curry Noodles

If there is one thing that would lure me back to Ipoh, it will only be its heavenly curry noodles served at the family-run Restoran Xin Quan Fang. This local favorite has been serving its one and only dish for over 20 years and has perfected the special chili gravy which is concocted from a secret blend of curry powder and spices.

The curry noodles are best eaten with a side dish of braised roast pork, chicken and prawns sprinkled generously with Ipoh beansprouts. If you love savory and spicy dishes, this famous delicacy will leave you wanting for more. Just make sure to visit early in the morning because it’s often sold out by noon.

Ipoh-Malaysia-Local-Food-Bean Sprout Chicken Noodles

Bean Sprout Chicken Noodles (Ayam Taugeh)

I never thought that such a simple chicken noodle soup could be this good and popular. But then this is Ipoh, proud home of the best Kway Teow (silky-smooth flat rice noodles) in Malaysia as well as the plump, juicy and crunchy Ipoh bean sprouts which are nourished by its rich soil and fresh water.

We tried our first bean sprout chicken at Restoran Onn Kee at Jalan Yau Tet in New Town. A steaming kway teow noodle soup came with a plate of soft, fragrant boiled chicken;  a plate of bean sprouts and an extra bowl of meatballs. It was my first orgasmic food experience since we arrived in Malaysia.

Ipoh-Malaysia-Local-Food Ipoh White Coffee

Ipoh White Coffee

A visit to Ipoh would not be complete without trying out its famous White Coffee (Bak Kopi in Cantonese). Unlike black coffee, the beans are roasted without the addition of sugar. It is brewed in a sock sieve using hot boiling water. Condensed and evaporated milk are then added which makes it a bit sweeter than your normal latte.

Ipoh White Coffee is also served in the famous Old Town White Coffee food chain found in major cities in Malaysia and some parts of the world. But if you happen to be on this side of town head to Sun Yuan Long or Nam Heong (the original shop of the food chain) for a truly authentic coffee experience.

Ipoh-Malaysia-Local-Food Biscuits and Pastries

Biscuits and Pastries

Whether you choose to munch on them while ambling your way around Ipoh’s colonial structures or bring them home as take-away goodies, Ipoh has a wide selection of tasty pastries and biscuits. My favorite is kaya puff, a type of pastry filled with sweet creamy coconut and egg jam. Sin Eng Heong is popular for its kaya puff and has a good range of biscuits, Ching Han Guan for the meat floss biscuits and Yee Hup and Seng Kee for the heong peng.

Ipoh-Malaysia-Local-Food Satay

Satay

While satay is widely available in the country, trying out Ipoh’s cheap and delicious satay made our street food safari here even more memorable. After walking around the city for the whole afternoon, we made our way to the Children’s Playground at Jalan Raja Musa Azis.

I laid out my sarong in the grassy part of the park, bought a dozen sticks of chicken and pork satay and a plate of popiah (Malaysia’s fresh spring rolls) from the food stalls nearby. Charles got his cold beer fix from 7eleven and another plate of fried kway teow. We ate and drank the night away on our last night in Ipoh.

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Places to Visit in Kuala Lumpur

Places to Visit in Kuala Lumpur

petronas-twin-towers kuala lumpur, Malaysia

Places to Visit in Kuala Lumpur

 

Kuala Lumpur is the capital and the largest city in Malaysia, and having grown swiftly since the tin mining industry developed in the area it is a truly modern metropolis.  One of the drawbacks of this is that it lacks some of the ornate and historic structures that are to be seen in many Asian cities, but this certainly doesn’t mean that Kuala Lumpur is a dull or tiresome place to visit.  The city may be most famous for its towering skyscrapers, but on the ground beneath it is a bustling area full of culture and wonderful shopping areas.

Malaysia has many different types of cities but we are going to check out one in particular Kuala Lumpur. In the next few paragraphs we are going to see what you can do in this particular city as it has so much to offer and it has many tourist attractions.

Petronas Twin Towers 

This is the main attraction to go and visit as it has made its name for itself as Sean Connery and Katherine Zeta-Jones made part of their film here which was called “Entrapment.” The company that runs this building produces 1,000 free tickets per day but it is only on a first come first basis. You can get tours that will allow you to go to the 41st and 42nd floor but these are only with a tour guide, however it will be defiantly worth it with a tour guide as you will know so much more information about the history behind it.

Pavilion Mall 

As Malaysia is known for its cheap products it may be worth getting an extra suit case as Pavilion Mall is supposed to be the next main attraction. It has many shops within the mall that you will not to stop yourself shopping. If you are looking for something to eat then there is a food court which has many different varieties of foods that you can choose from.

Merdeka Square 

If you are looking to see some historical facts about Kuala Lumpur then Merdeka Square if defiantly the place to visit. Back in 1957 the union jack was lowered in the square which made independence for Malaysia. You will also able to see the flag pole which has the Malaysian national flag on it and it is the largest one in the world.

Bird Park 

Are you a big bird fan or looking to take a rest from the city, then you will be most attracted to come and visit this bird sanctuary. You will able to some amazing pictures which you will not forget. You will probably only need to spend half the day there but you will be glad that you have visited this wonderful Bird park. If you want your Bird Park extra special then you can pay an extra 2RM so that you can feed the lorikeets. If you are looking to do this it will be worth it as it will put a smile on your face.

 

Visit The Batu Caves

One of the natural attractions of a visit to Kuala Lumpur are the BatuCaves that also double as a Hindu temple.  Although the caves themselves are easily accessible from the city centre, it is worth noting that there is a significant stairway to climb up to the caves, and it isn’t suitable for those not able to climb the stairs themselves.  The large golden statue welcomes visitors to the area, while the caves themselves are a network of large caverns, while the Hindu temples inside are particularly attractive, and complement the natural structure of the caves.

Enjoy Malaysian Cuisine

One of the great cultural aspects of a visit to Malaysia has to be the cuisine, and Kuala Lumpur has a wealth of places that offer excellent cuisine to suit a variety of budgets.  Some of the most interesting and tasty food can often be found in the street stalls.  The highlights here are the roti canai which are a flat bread that is combined with dhal and curry sauce.  One of the great authentic experiences in Kuala Lumpur is to head to one of the vendors across the city that dispense with plates and serve their dishes of curry and rice on a fan of banana leaves.

Visit The Islamic Arts Museum

Islam has often been portrayed in the west as a divisive religion, but a visit to the Islamic Arts Museum will show off some of the very best features and works of the religion.  There are 12 galleries in all that focus on various parts of the art and culture of Islam, and there are items on display from across the region.  One of the real highlights is the Quran and Manuscripts Gallery, which displays some of the beautifully ornate and masterfully made books and scrolls of Islam.

 

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Top Tips for Traveling in Malaysia

Top Tips for Traveling in Malaysia

sepilok orangatung Traveling in Malaysia

Traveling in Malaysia

 

While traveling in Malaysia I had the great opportunity to trek through the Borneo jungle. Sabah offers a wide range of sightseeing activities in its pristine jungle. We opted for a day trek into the Kinabatangan Wetland. It is a great place to spot some exotic monkeys which we did. The wetland is just a couple hours southeast of modern Sandakan, which is not far from the Sepilok Orang-utan centre.

The wetland covers 25000 Hectares of laaveltales.com/places-to-nd and it is rated as having the highest concentration of primates in all of Borneo. We took a river ride with a guide to sight the strange looking Proboscis monkey which is only found in Borneo. Besides all the monkeys we saw, we also saw some pretty cool birds.

After the Kinabatangan Wetland, we went to the Sepilok Orang-utan centre because I’m obsessed. The centre is a great place to see these fascinating primates in their natural habitats. We got to see them during an afternoon feeding which let us spot them at very close range. It was a once in a lifetime experience and I would recommend it to anyone going to Borneo.

Our largest excursion was our trip into the Tambunan. It offers visitors a chance to see the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia. It is definitely something to see. It is massive and very strange looking. While in Tambunan you can also picnic by waterfalls, hike through the rainforest, and climb Mt. Trusmadi.

We had the opportunity to climb Mt. Trusmadi, which is the second highest peak in Sabah. It is worth all the work of climbing it when you reach the top and get to look out over the beautiful landscape. You can see the islands and the rice fields and, when we were atop it, everything appears engulfing in a beautiful mist. It is definitely picturesque so don’t forget.

Traveling in Malaysia is lots of fun. Be sure to add Malaysia to your Bucket List.

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Top 5 Amazing Things To Do In Borneo

Top 5 Amazing Things To Do In Borneo

The-Giant-Rafflesia-Flowers

Top Five Things To Do In Borneo

The Island of Borneo is one of the most beautiful and naturally diverse islands in the world, and these features have helped to make it one of the most desirable places to visit.  The island itself is divided between Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, although it is the Malaysian third of the island that has been most extensively developed and is most popular with visitors.  The cities of Kota Kinabalu and Kuching are the most populous cities on the island, but for the majority of visitors it is the natural aspects of Borneo that prove to be the most attractive.

Get Up Close And Personal With The Orangutan of Borneo

The Orangutans are among the most famous of the great apes, and their population in Borneo is one of the largest in the world.  One of the best ways to do this is by visiting the TanjungPuttingNational Park, which lies in the Indonesian portion of the island.  The Bornean Orangutan is considered to be an endangered species, and the opportunity to get close to some of our closest genetic relatives is one that is rarely available outside Borneo.

The animals themselves generally spend their time in the trees, and there are a number of sanctuaries alongside the national parks where guides can help you to get a look at these intelligent primates.  For those fortunate enough to see them swinging through the trees, it is a truly exceptional sight to behold.

See The Giant Rafflesia Flowers

The huge flowers of the Rafflesia are genuinely impressive when they are seen, but because they spend so long developing and then only flower for a few days, it can be particularly difficult to catch a glimpse of this remarkable flower.  The blooms themselves are considered to be the largest in the world, and as well as being brightly colored they also have an odd odor which tends to smell slightly like rotting flesh.

The best way to do so is with one of the local guides who will know where to find the buds that are closest to flowering.  The Rafflesia Information Centre in the Malaysian part of the island is an ideal base to walk to the flowering sites, although it is worth making sure you get there early in the day.

 Visit A Crocodile Park

There are a number of different species of crocodile to be found in Borneo, and there are a number of crocodile parks that allow visitors to get a good look at one of the largest animals in the country.  These are also often used as places to breed crocodiles, and although those in the wild are often cautious and are rarely seen by people, these crocodile farms do allow people to see the animals, and will often have a number of other natural attractions too.

Travel On The North Borneo Railway

The North Borneo Railway is one of the most impressive feats of engineering in the world, running through some of the thickest jungle valleys on the island.  The railway was originally built by the British imperialists to help exploit the island’s natural resources and to get them to the sea, but the railway now serves a much more benign purpose.

The steam trains that originally ran on the railway now pull the passenger cars taking visitors through the plantations of rubber and coffee that made the island so attractive, and also passing through villages and the thick jungle.  This is a great way to get a look at the parts of the island that would otherwise be inaccessible, and is a particularly magical experience for anyone with an interest in trains.

Shopping In Kota Kinabalu

g In Kota KinabaluAfter a relaxing holiday exploring the natural wonders on the island of Borneo, there is nothing better than spending a day shopping in Kota Kinabalu before you go.  There are a selection of large shopping malls to attract visitors, but it is the markets in the city which really make shopping here a wonderful experience, giving people a great chance to meet local people and to pick up a few keepsakes from Borneo, as well as letting them see more of the traditional commerce on the island.

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