Tourism Malaysia

Food Haven Ipoh: Simply The Best

By Vishnu Krishnan

The homely town of Ipoh is on the verge of major development and expansion, but the fragments of its rustic charm still remain, namely within the old school buildings and authentic local cuisines which many argue are simply the best.

The dish most synonymous with Ipoh is their nga choy kai or beansprout chicken. This mouthwatering dish consists of chicken meat and innards, blanched crunchy beansprouts drenched in soy sauce and sesame oil. The blend of textures is divine. Follow the throngs of locals for the best serving at Onn Kee Restaurant.

Onn Kee Tauge Ayam Kue Tiaun is bliss.


It is sinful to skip assam laksa in Ipoh. The best version of it is served with yong tau foo (fried or boiled processed fishcakes and vegetables) stewing in a steamy bowl of the famous sweet and spicy sardine broth. Head to Dai Shu Geok Assam Laksa restaurant for this scrumptious delight.


Dai Shu Geok Assam Laksa is the flavor of the heaven!


Ipoh Hor Fun is a signature kuey teow (flat noodle) soup with shredded chicken and prawns that burst with flavours. The Tricycle Chicken Prawn kuey teow at Thean Chun Coffee Shop is one of the best places to sample this little piece of heaven.


Tricycle Chicken Prawn Kuey Teow is the way to the heart


Wat tan hor, also known as hor fun, is an amazing dish of flat noodles smothered in a thick egg gravy littered with chicken pieces and prawns. The slimy texture is surprisingly smooth and delectable. The best serving can be found at the Tuck Kee Restaurant which is known for slipping-in an egg at the very last minute to further enhance the smoothness of the gravy!


Tuck Kee Wat Tan Hor redefines your concept of texture!

Ipoh is not just limited to full meals and entrées. Their desserts and snacks are pretty good as well. Muah chee is a glutinous rice ball coated in a lovely sweet chopped peanut powder. To experience the best, try the stall right outside the Nam Heong Coffee Shop.

Ipoh white coffee is a blessing to coffee lovers across Malaysia. This beverage is traditionally made from butter roasted coffee beans that is known for an intense, unrivalled aroma.

This particular blend was created by the Wong brothers who set up the famous Sin Yoon Long Coffee Shop in 1937. The white coffee is best served with their famous Hainanese toast bread with kaya, a sweet coconut and egg spread.










Sin Yoon Long Coffee Shop’s white coffee and toast with eggs may not look like much, but trust us, this is the real deal!


And a trip to Ipoh is not complete without a visit to Buntong for Ipoh’s famed kacang putih (Indian snacks). This area is famous for the manufacturing and retail of kacang putih and makes millions each year selling these savoury treats to England, New Zealand and Australia.


Now this is what you call snacks!


For a full list of things to do while you’re enjoying best food in town go to

Tourism Malaysia

What You May Or May Not Know About KL’s Petronas Twin Towers

Without stating the obvious, Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Twin Towers is the most photographed object in Malaysia. Soaring to a height of 451.9 metres, the 88-storey twin structure is Kuala Lumpur’s crown jewel.

Inspired by former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad’s vision for Malaysia to be a global economic hub, the project came to life in March 1993 under the watchful eye of master architect Cesar Pelli.

Construction of the superstructure started in April 1994 with the jacking of the spires of Tower 1 and Tower 2 completed in March 1996.

After some six years, 160,000 cubic metres of concrete, 83,500 square metres of steel cladding and 36,910 tonnes of steel used, on August 31, 1999, Dato Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the 4th Prime Minister of Malaysia, officially opened the Towers.

Pelli, upon its completion, called the Twin Towers “a monument that is not specifically Malaysian, but will forever be identified with Kuala Lumpur”.

It is the world’s tallest twin towers and was the world’s tallest building from 1998 to 2004. It is now ranked 8th in the world.

The Towers are connected on the 42nd and 43rd floors by a double-decker sky bridge that stands 170 metres above street level, the highest two-storey bridge in the world.

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 11.56.27 AMPavol Kmeto /

According to Dr. Mahathir, the building symbolises the courage, culture and advancement of the people of Malaysia, with the twin towers and sky bridge resembling the ‘M’ of Malaysia.

There are 32,000 windows, 29 double-decker high-speed passenger lifts, six heavy-duty service lifts and four executive lifts.

The executive lifts are the longest rise in any office building in Malaysia. It serves every floor from the basement car park to the top of the Towers in 90 seconds.

Apart from being an iconic tourist attraction, the tower is also a commercial hub, housing some of the world’s top companies such as Petronas, Al-Jazeera, Microsoft, Boeing and Bloomberg to name a few.

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 11.59.05 AMKjersti Joergensen /

The Petronas Twin Towers gained immediate exposure with its appearance in the 1999 Hollywood action flick Entrapment, starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

The film follows the thieves as they engage in a game of cat-and-mouse taking in iconic locations in Scotland, England and Malaysia.

In one scene, the duo sail down a murky river on the banks of slums with the 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers seen in the background.

But the images of the river were filmed in Malacca, not Kuala Lumpur, and spliced with shots of the 1,482ft-high skyscrapers — displeasing then Prime Minister Mahathir and most Malaysians.

The iconic structure has also been scene to many daredevil attempts and stunts. On April 15 1999, Felix Baumgartner of the Red Bull Stratos project-fame, set the then Base jumping world record by jumping off a window cleaning crane on the Petronas Towers.

French urban climber Alain ‘Spiderman’ Robert has made many attempts to scale the Towers; stopped and arrested on his first two attempts on the 60th floor in 1997 and 2007, before succeeding on his third attempt on September 1, 2009.

If you wish to visit the Towers in a more conventional manner, entrance is free but has a daily tourist limit of 800 people. The Twin Towers remain closed on Mondays and during prayer times on Friday.

To experience the Petronas Twin Towers first-hand or for more information, click here:



Tourism Malaysia

Discovering Ipoh: Old Meets New

By Lloyd Green

There’s a sense of East meets West in Malaysia. A lot of old versus new as well. Ipoh is no different with a unique blend characterised perfectly by its people; a community moulded from the tin mining boom of the 19th century and its position as Malaya’s second greatest city. There’s remnants of that era littered everywhere as well as evidence of a concerted effort to place Ipoh back in the limelight. For a writer and observer, it’s actually quite difficult to articulate this character into words. I see it and I feel it, but it’s like I’m witnessing Ipoh’s transformation as it happens. In the words of a local, “We’re trying to copy Malacca in portraying Ipoh as a popular historical destination, but we’re doing it in our own unique way.”

As such, tourism exists in Ipoh, but not quite in the sense there’s a dedicated industry to cater for it (not yet anyway). For years Ipoh was seen as a ‘passer-by’ town; the post-independence economic decline in the 1960s after the British left rendering Ipoh a shadow of its former self, only frequented by visitors on their way to and from Penang and the Cameron Highlands. It sort of still feels like that — a stopover town — with backpackers staying a maximum of two nights en route to somewhere else. But now locals are open to utilising that rich history to give it a much needed facelift and enticing people to explore Ipoh’s hidden gems.

Ipoh 4

There’s a bevy of museums highlighting the migration of the Hakka-Chinese to Malaysia in the 19th century and their extravagant behaviours at clubs gambling, smoking opium and entertaining girls. There’s also the emergence of urban street art to depict this period through the preservation of historical buildings plus the city’s famous Old Town White Coffee and delicious food, all of which are easy to find. I guess what makes it feel ‘un-tourist-like’ is a lack of designated tourist area and tourists themselves — which for me is a good thing as there’s no threat to its natural appeal.

Ipoh 3

Sure, there’s Old Town, home to archaic colonial buildings and snippets of cultural treasures — grand British buildings such as Ipoh Railway Station and Ipoh Town Hall remind you of Ipoh’s once iconic standing as Malaya’s second administrative capital — but rather than the city’s famous eateries targeting foreign tourists (think Jalan Alor in KL), they are frequented by proud locals enjoying the cuisine.

There’s no real sense of Old Town as a touristy area; more an enjoyable place to explore. There’s no heckling from the streets, instead a nod of the head and pleasant smile and when you do venture into the circus of the night market in search of food, groceries, toys, clothes and household items, there’s a less forceful form of heckling and bargaining. What’s better is there’s that same personal connection with the locals in the suburbs than in the city.

Ipoh 2

Ernest Zacharevic, the Lithuanian artist who made a name for himself in Penang and Singapore has offered his artistic genius to Old Town’s history-steeped walls. Recruited by Old Town White Coffee company to showcase the heritage and history of the city, the eight unique murals give great insight into life here. There’s s also Mural Lane, a series of paintings by renowned local artist Eric Lai, highlighting the many cultures of Malaysia: lion dance, kuda kepang dance, Indian dance, plus a pinch of cheekiness with popular childhood games such as hide-and-seek and mother hen as well as a beautiful waterfall scenery amongst others.This has also transcended into the cafe and juice bar scene with many new venues combining the city’s affinity with coffee and modern artistic influences. Places such as Bougainvillea City Cafe and Happy 8 Retreat Cafe head this list with murals depicting Ipoh’s strong Chinese flavours. Photo source from

Ipoh 1

Ipoh is famous for its food and in particular Ngah Choi Kay or chicken and bean sprout. The best places for this are Lou Wong and OnnKee near the main Chinese market and on Cowan Street. Old Town White Coffee is a must and there’s plenty of family owned Chinese shops specialising in this including Nam Heong which is the original exponent of Old Town White Coffee (and its egg tarts) located on the corner of Jalan Bandar Timah and Persiaran Bijeh Timah. If you’re keen for an adventure, head out of town five minutes to Buntong for Ipoh’s famed Kacang Putih (Indian snacks). This area is famous for the manufacturing and retail of Kacang Putih and makes millions each year selling these savoury treats to England, New Zealand and Australia.



Photo by Abd. Halim Hadi /

For accommodation, I chose a conceptualised ‘self-sustaining’ hostel called Bed Bike Backpackers Studio. It is what it says it is; a studio apartment with modern stylings and is supervised by fellow travellers on their way through Malaysia. There is no reliance on permanent staff with the owner popping in once a week. Information about the city is passed on via a traveller’s journal and the building itself is located within minutes of both Old Town and Ipoh Railway Station. Also check out 27 @ Concubine Lane — a themed residence showcasing life as it was for the Hakka people during the 19th century.


Cuisine in Melaka


10th. October 2011

Most Malaccans may not know the fact that the Malaccan community contributed financial donations to the Chinese revolution in 1911 headed by Chinese leader, Sun Yat Seng.

When I first visited China in 1988 especially to Quongchou, in the Sun Yat Seng Park, there is a monument erected there that showed overseas Chinese contributions to the Chinese republic cause then against the Ching dynasty. The top contributor to the Chinese cause was the Community of Malacca. I was surprised to see the granite block on top of the monument! Malaccans did their part in contributing to the setting up of the Republic of China 100 years ago.

Without the financial support of overseas Chinese residing all over world, the political world map will be very different today.

During the quest for Malayan Independence in 1950s, at one of the Town Hall meeting at Malacca Meng Seng Charitable Hall, a spontaneous fund raising event was carried out to raise funds for Tunku and his delegation to travel to England for negotiation with the British for independence of Malaya. Malaccans responded at once with whatever they had then. As the saying goes, the rest was history.

Some points to ponder about the inter-related world we live in today.