MALAYSIA WORLD HERITAGE TRAVEL SITE Rotating Header Image

Ipoh

MEALS-ON-WHEELS IN MALAYSIA

As your tummy growls, you only look for one thing: Food. Yes, food is an essential nourishment for the human body. In Malaysia, we’re really lucky to have such a great variety of delicious cuisines originating from many different races and ethnicities. From Malay lauk, Indian curries and Chinese desserts, as well as the many lovely snacks and treats from other ethnic origins, there’s just a great choice so you’ll never go hungry again!

You might imagine going into a restaurant, with a server to welcome you and take you to your table as he makes recommendations off the menu. Well, this is not a story about dining in a restaurant, but this is a story about dining in at food trucks.

Besides the huge number of restaurants, cafes and street-side stalls cropping up almost everywhere in Malaysia, you can also find food trucks at certain parking lots, at central parks, corners of every building, and pretty much everywhere. They are also seen, these days, at any festivals or public events!

That’s right, food trucks are becoming a trend in Malaysia.  Some offer local dishes, others serve Western choices, and still others cook up a fusion of the two.

To sample some of the best food offered by these food truck vendors, we’ve compiled our top three recommendations of food truck “ports” where several food trucks gather in a common yet comfortable space for diners to enjoy a hassle-free meal any time of the day.

Photo courtesy of MALAY MAIL

Food truck with a view
One of the food truck parks gaining popularity for being everything “hipster” and cool in Malaysia is “TAPAK Urban Street Dining.” Just look up the hashtag “Tapak Urban Street Dining” and you’ll see Instagram flooded with pictures of people dining away with the Kuala Lumpur Petronas Twin Towers lit up spectacularly in the background. That’s right, besides the awesome food (mostly local menus with an urban twist such as Nasi Kukus with grilled chicken by Meltshack and coconut and mango jelly shake by The Hut), the big draw is the world’s tallest twin skyscrapers. But honestly, gather up some friends, enjoy some good food and drink in the awesome views…what could be better?

More info on the web at www.ilovetapak.com

Where east meets west
If you are looking for an unconventional dining experience, then head north to Ipoh, Perak, and find your way to “Food Truck Garden”. Since its debut on March 2017, this port is notably known as “The legacy of food truck generation in the state of Perak,” providing a diverse selection of local food and beverages, but with a little Western twist added. Imagine dining on the likes of the ubiquitous rice that’s given a Swedish twist in Nasi Goreng Meatball by Le Reussi FoodTruck; the Keropok Lekor Cheese created by KualiQib which elevates the local fish crackers with generous dollops of gooey, melted cheese; and the Melted Lamb, a deliciously moist and tender meat made by Puffer on the Move. With over 30 (maybe more!) food trucks to choose and feast from along with live bands performing every night, the garden offers an open-air dining concept for friends and family to gather and feast.

More info on:

Facebook  – Food Truck Garden at Bulatan Amanjaya

Instagram  – silverstatefoodtruck

International flavours in one spot
Heading south of Malaysia lands you in Melaka, yet another state capital of delicious proportions! Instead of the usual local Portuguese and Baba Nyonya cuisine, the Melaka Food Truck Park at Ayer Keroh takes you on an international food journey. Here, you can satisfy your cravings for Italian food (pastas), Korean food (Jipangi Korean ice cream), Japanese food (takoyaki), Spanish food (churros), Mexican food (tacos), and more! The ambience is chill with fountain water features, lanterns overhead and buskers serenading the night away. Just a stone’s throw away is the Melaka Mall where you can continue your hang-out session with friends either shopping away or catching a movie at its cinema.

More info on:

Facebook – Melaka Food Truck Park

Instagram – Melaka_foodtruckpark

Article source: http://blog.tourism.gov.my/feed/

A TALE OF THE RAGING KAMPAR RIVER

White water rafting is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Since I survived to tell the tale, let me share with you the excitement of rafting in the Kampar River surrounded by the greenery of the Gopeng rainforest.

White Water Rafting in Kampar River, Gopeng, Perak

Gopeng, a small town about 90 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur, has many pre-war shop houses. This quiet and unassuming place is the gateway to some of the most adventurous outdoor activities in Peninsular Malaysia.

The most popular adrenaline pumping fun is white water rafting in the Kampar River. The scenic waterway is created by the merging of three rivers, Geruntum River, Geroh River and Pacat River in Perak. Rated as a Grade I to III river, it offers a great combination of water ranging from gentle flows to challenging and technical white water. It is also perfect for beginners.

From Gopeng town, it takes about 15 minutes to reach the starting point located at Kg. Ulu Geruntum. The journey itself is a memorable experience as visitors will pass by some of the most picturesque places in Gopeng with a whole spectrum of landscapes. During the fruit season, you will be looking with envy at the fruit orchards flanking both sides of the narrow, winding road. You can also enjoy the beauty and the tranquillity of the quaint traditional villages along the way. A 100-year-old water pipe stretches from the nearby mountains through the major settlements to the old mining area and the villagers are still using the water supply from it.

Upon reaching the white water rafting site, you will find many resorts there as well as several adventure specialists offering white water rafting and other outdoor activities. These are all a stone’s throw away from the starting point of the white water rafting. Whichever adventure company you go with, you will be given a liability form to sign before you can proceed further. Your river guide will brief you about paddling commands, safety measures and the do’s and don’t’s of white water rafting. Then, armed with a life jacket, helmet and paddle, you are all set to face the raging river.

The number of passengers per raft depends on river conditions and other factors but generally it ranges from two to six people.

It helps to have a skillful and friendly river guide as he will calm you down with his jokes and fascinate you with local anecdotes. Our guide, Max, who sat at the back of the raft, helped us to avoid rocks, kept us on the right path, cracked jokes and made sure we had a great time. Besides the guide, a safety kayaker cum photographer will follow rafters throughout the journey to ensure their safety and capture images of their ride.

Water Confidence Test
One of the most important things a rafter has to do before continuing his or her journey down the breathtaking twists, turns and drops of the white water course is the water confidence activity. Depending on the level of the water, there is a possibility of you being thrown out of the raft. The water confidence activity helps you prepare for the worst. It requires you to do body rafting along a short stretch. Your guide will steer you into the current and then he will let you go. If your water confidence is low, the three-minute body rafting will feel like ages and you will end up swallowing a lot of water. This is definitely not an activity for the self-conscious. However, the most important thing is to have faith in your guide and not panic.

After your water confidence has been tested, it is time for you to try your first rapid. White water rafting is an exhilarating activity that provides you with the ultimate adrenaline rush. Cascading down the rapids is only part of the fun. The whole journey is not one huge “liquid chaos” as it provides scenic and relaxing experiences. There are also flat sections in the river for you to take a breather after conquering tough rapids.

Up, Close and Personal with the Rapids of the Kampar River

Kampar River has been a popular spot for white water rafting since 2003. A trip on this river is a two-hour, adrenaline-fuelled journey along a seven or nine kilometres stretch depending on the water level. There are 10 prominent rapids along the stretch and every rapid has a tale to tell.

The first rapid was named Broken Ledge to reflect the concrete ruins of a dam at the river that was once built for the tin mining industry in the Gopeng area.

One of the toughest rapids in the river is called Easy Drop as rafters including the river guide have the tendency to be thrown overboard. Basically, the rapid has two drops of approximately three metres high. Upon reaching this rapid, the river guide will shout the word “Boom! Boom!” to indicate that everyone has to sit in the centre of the raft to avoid falling into the river. It is very exhilarating as your raft is thrown through the rapid and you are left to the mercy of the powerful water.

Rajah Corner is the longest rapid in Kampar River. It is aptly named after the big colony of Rajah Brooke butterflies swarming over the rocks along the area, especially in the morning.

Whenever a raft passes through the Hyside rapid, it has to be in a 30 degree angle so that it can get through the rapid without capsizing. Everyone must move to the “high” side of the raft so that the raft will be in a slightly tilted position.

Slide rapid is a little tricky and slightly technical as it requires the raft to go through most of the right side before sliding to the middle. A raft can easily get stuck in this rapid, especially when the water level is low. If it happens, rafters must shift to the front or the back of the raft depending on the situation and in the meantime, the guide will push the raft back into the main current. It requires skillful manoeuvering because of frequent obstructions.

One rapid called Paddle Breaker marks the site where a guide had his paddle broken in half while going down it. Snake rapid got its name simply because the curve of the river looks like a snake. Your raft will go through a zigzag pattern to clear out of this rapid.

Enders Rapid refers to a skillful trick river kayakers love to do at this rapid. The play manoeuver involves nosing the boat’s bow down and deep and the stern up resulting in the kayak popping vertically upward.

Seeing a flock of chickens running around the area during their first recce, the guides decided to name one rapid Chicken Run. Another is called Eddy Point, the white water terminology for an area where two currents from the opposite direction met to create a circular or spiral motion in the water.

All these rapids offer different kinds of thrills to rafters. You can never run a river the same way twice as the changes of the water flow make each trip unique.

During the journey, you will find yourself resting between rapids, relaxing and listening to your guide talking about the river. There are several rest stops at some areas of interest.

End of the Journey

The journey ends at Kampung Jahang where you will be transported back to your resort for a quick shower and a change of clothes. Your guide will then take you to a nearby restaurant for a hearty meal after all the hard work and excitement.

No one ever walks away from white water rafting experience in Kampar River untouched. You will either get addicted to this extreme activity or fall in love with the sheer beauty of the river area or both. Either way, you will want to return to this unique place again and again.

If white water rafting is not challenging enough for you, there are other extreme activities that you can try such as water abseiling from the top of a three-storey high waterfall, advanced-level kayaking, mountain biking, jungle trekking and caving.

Getting There
From Kuala Lumpur, get off the North-South Plus Expressway at the Gopeng interchange. It is advisable to join organised groups as they will guide you to the starting point and make all the arrangements necessary.

Who to Contact

DESTINATION PERAK SDN. BHD
(A subsidiary of Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Perak)
Level 11, Perak Techno-Trade Centre, Bandar Meru Raya, Off Jalan Jelapang, 30020 Ipoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia.
Tel:1800 22 8772
Email: [email protected]

 

 

Article source: http://blog.tourism.gov.my/feed/

A ROAD TRIP BACK IN TIME

A Road Trip Back in Time

Malaysia is rich with history, not only from the Dutch or British era but also from the World War II events that took place on this land. My friend and I decided that we would make a trip to revive some forgotten times. Thus, we set off on a historical road-trip that we named “2 historical states in 2 days”!

For those attempting to follow in our footsteps, rest assure that driving on Malaysian roads and highways is totally safe and enjoyable with great infrastructure and amenities along the way. Your long-distance drive can be interspersed with stops along the clean RnRs (Rest and Relax lay-bys) where there are food stalls, restrooms, convenience stores, petrol stations and Muslim prayer rooms.

The Mammoth on the Lake
From Kuala Lumpur, our first historic stop was to visit a “machine” from the British colonial era. Driving up north on the North-South PLUS Highway, we headed to Tanjung Tualang in Batu Gajah, a forgotten town that used to be famous for tin-mining activities in its heyday.

Briefly, Malaysia used to be the world’s largest tin producer, but when tin prices fell in 1980s, tin mining as an industry slowly ceased to exist in the country.

The “machine” we were going to check out is one of the last remaining pieces of Perak’s tin mining history. The Tanjung Tualang Tin Dredge No. 5 – or TT5 as it was called – stood heftily on the lake. This mammoth of a machine is Kinta Valley’s latest attraction. It was newly refurbished as a public museum to provide a glimpse into Malaysia’s tin-mining era in the old days.

Built in 1938, this surviving (but no longer in operation) bucketline tin dredge is simply a magnificent piece of engineering invention. It was originally steam-operated, but later turned fully electric in 1963.

We spent the rest of the tour with our well-informed guide, listening to how the tin dredge was operated and how the mines had changed not only the lives of people in Perak in those days, but also how the entire industry transformed and developed Malaysia.

One can explore almost all the areas of the tin dredge, touch and feel the machinery and also participate in some activities. We actually learned how to do manual tin mining – just to feel the experience of the original-time consuming method. After a “hard day’s work,” we took a sip at the lovely The Can Tin Diner, a small outlet which offers beverages and snacks.

The Original Tin Miners’ Club
We then left Batu Gajah on a 30 minute drive headed straight for Ipoh, the capital city of Perak which had its fair share of history to tell as well.

To delve deeper into Malaysia’s tin mining history, we visited Han Chin Pet Soo museum. For those who are interested to learn more about Malaysia’s tin mining history, there is no better place to do so than at this museum housed in what was once known as a private club for tin mining towkays since the 1890s. We explored three floors’ worth of old Malaya history through a guided tour and viewing unique exhibits such as a tin mine diorama, archived films, opium smoking paraphernalia, rare photographs and more.

That night, as we lulled ourselves to sleep at the Kinta Riverfront hotel in the city area, our dreams were of tin prospectors in old Malaya finding riches in the Kinta River.

Bridge to the Battlefields
The next day, we continued our journey to Penang and used the new Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah bridge to the island. This newly-built second link to the island was nearer to our ultimate destination, the Penang War Museum in Batu Maung.

It connects Bandar Cassia (Batu Kawan) in Seberang Perai on mainland Peninsular Malaysia with Batu Maung on Penang Island, and is the ideal bridge to take if you want to explore the southern parts of Penang Island.

It is the second bridge to link the island to the mainland after the first Penang Bridge. The total length of the bridge is 24 km (15 mi) with length over water at 16.9 km (10.5 mi), making it the longest bridge in Malaysia and the longest in Southeast Asia.

To abide by the Road Safety Audit, the bridge has numerous “S” shaped curves along its length. It took us about 20 minutes to cross the bridge.

Once in Batu Maung and as our car inched up the hill on which the museum stood, there was no mistaking that we were in “army territory” from the signages and war relics around.

The war bunker and fort at Batu Maung was erected by the British in the 1930s, but later came into the possession of the Japanese in 1941 when they turned it into a prisoners’ camp.

Exploring the various areas of the fort revealed many interesting relics such as pillboxes, underground shelters and bunkers dug deep into the ground. We entered a bunker that was once used as an ammunition storage area.  A bit further down, we saw a tunnel used to safely detonate bombs, big machine guns or launchers. We also saw the area where executions were carried out. A look into the barracks, now camouflaged by jungle, was a glimpse into the tormented lives and routines endured by the soldiers.

This definitely wasn’t a place for the faint-hearted, but for those who have a genuine love for history, they will find many fascinating stories and artefacts here to add depth to their knowledge of Malaysian history.

The Home of Heritage

We left the museum drenched in sweat, and the only thing to perk us up again was a comfortable warm bath in the lovely and eccentric Penaga Boutique Hotel. This cosy Baba-Nyonya inspired hotel is a cluster of 15 pre-war heritage shop houses converted into a an elegant five-star boutique accommodation full of character, right in the middle of George Town’s UNESCO heritage zone. Stepping into this Peranakan styled hotel transported us back to the origins of the Chinese and Malay cultures that fused all those years ago in Penang.

Staying the night here was a fitting way to end our history-tracing road trip as we immersed ourselves in the rich and colourful past of George Town City, whose amalgam of culture, heritage and traditions earned it a UNESCO World Heritage Site listing.

And the best thing was the location – it was just a stone’s throw away from a legendary culinary establishment for the masses – Nasi Kandar Line Clear! Although the restaurant has its franchises, nothing beats the original flavours where it first became famous.

We left Penang the very next morning pleased that we had managed to go back several decades in time to relive Malaysia’s glorious past and enjoy the fruits of its present and future.

 

Tanjung Tualang Tin Dredge No. 5 or TT5 Museum 

Address9th KM, Jalan Tanjung Tualang, 31000 Batu Gajah, Perak
Time:      9.00 am to 6.00 pm (Monday closed)
Phone:   +6014-904 3255
Fee:         From RM5 to RM20 and free for kids under 6 (Limited to 20 pax per session)

Han Chin Pet Soo Museum

Address: No. 3, Jalan Bijeh Timah (Treacher Street), 30100 Ipoh, Perak
Time: 9:30 am to 4:45 pm (Monday closed) Entry is by appointment only
Bookings: http://www.ipohworld.org/reservation/
Phone: +605 241 4541
Fee: No entrance fee, though donations of RM10 per adult and RM5 per child is welcomed

Penang War Museum

Address:  Batu Maung street, 11960 Batu Maung, Penang
Time: 9.00 am to 6.00 pm (Daily)
Plus 8.00 pm – 10.00 pm (Saturday Sunday)
Phone: +604-626 5142
Fee: From RM20 to RM35
*The museum is best reached by private transport.

Article source: http://blog.tourism.gov.my/feed/

THE HAVEN: LUXURY AND NATURE COMBINED

Nestled away from the hustle and bustle of Ipoh, the capital city of the state of Perak, The Haven (thehavenresorts.com) is not an ordinary place where you sit, sleep and relax. This 5-star award-winning accommodation is more than a mere hotel, going above and beyond to deliver a luxurious experience to those looking for quiet rest in the arms of nature.

Located within a prehistoric valley dating back some 200 million years old and against a backdrop of stunning limestone outcrops, The Haven is, quite simply, a serene resort that exudes a chill and relaxed vibe. Stepping into its grounds, one can heave a big sigh of relief as though a huge burden has been lifted off one’s shoulders.

Perhaps it is the primary forest that surrounds the area, a green lung that supplies an abundance of oxygen, so you can breathe easy. Perhaps it is the calm natural lake at the heart of the resort which beckons you to release all worries. Or perhaps it is the air of tranquillity that seems to envelop the entire space.

For nature lovers, the place exceeds all expectations. The resort blends itself well with nature. In fact, not a single tree was cut or a hill blasted during its development. The gigantic 14-storey high 280-million-year-old limestone rainforest outcrop amidst the pristine lake was preserved and is now a major landmark of the resort.

Meanwhile, the landscaping in the area creates a garden ambience that even attracts birds, butterflies and other insects. Trees, shrubs, creepers and flowering plants have been cleverly used to define areas, provide shade, improve air quality, conceal security fences, create a smooth flow of passage, and provide a habitat for natural wildlife; several species of tropical plants were incorporated into the garden as natural mosquito and insect repellent, too.

Set against this lush flora and fauna is a 600-metre jogging track that loops around the lake, a restaurant, badminton, squash and tennis courts, a gym, a clubhouse, a 60-metre sea-horse shaped swimming pool, full conference facilities, a spa, and more.

Its garden setting is a choice wedding venue, especially for those who prefer an outdoor party with a difference.

The Haven takes pride in its 100 renewable energy practices from composting to rain-harvesting, from usage of LED lights with sensors to architecture that enhances the natural flow of wind, air and light – and aims for a cleaner and greener earth.

Just a 15-minute drive from Ipoh, the capital of Perak, The Haven offers 150 units of 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom suites. Each comes with a spacious living hall, dining area and balcony.

With all facilities and amenities in place to cater to any traveller, this Malaysia Tourism Award-winning resort is the ideal place to unwind or chill with family members – or all by yourself!

Article source: http://blog.tourism.gov.my/feed/

BEING IN THE ZEN

Ahhh…who doesn’t love a good massage? In fact, just entering a spa centre and inhaling its pleasant aromas already melt away half of your aches and pains. Imagine what a good hour of pummeling and kneading would do to the rest of it!

 

Due to our multi-cultural population, Malaysians are the lucky recipients of some awesome traditional treatments that combine massage techniques, tools and local ingredients that are prepared into massage oils and potions.

 

After a tired day of touring your favourite spots in Malaysia, surely a massage would be a welcome relief? If you have a chance, book a session at these award-winning spa centres, who were duly recognized at the 20th Malaysia Tourism Awards 2016/2017. You won’t be disappointed!

 

SPA VILLAGE BY TANJONG JARA

WINNER OF BEST SPA (HOTEL/RESORT CATEGORY), MALAYSIA TOURISM AWARDS 2016/2017

 

Location: The Tanjong Jara Spa Village is located by the sea in Terengganu’s beautiful coastal village of Dungun. It sits within the sprawling grounds of Tanjong Jara luxury resort, a relaxing hideaway reminiscent of a Malay kampong.

Ambience: The spa pavilion faces the South China Sea and offers the chance for quiet reflection and contemplation. It is nice to have the wide open sea right in front of you as well, and one can easily be lulled into a restful state just by watching the waves come to shore. This beautiful complex of structures, gardens and pools, houses a therapy centre featuring programs for relaxation, reinvigoration and stress relief based on traditional healing methods.

 

Treatment philosophy: Spa Village’s treatment philosophy is rooted in the ancient Malay way of life that emphasises purity of spirit, health and well-being, a philosophy they call “Sucimurni.” Local ingredients are sourced and concocted into potent oils, creams and scrubs.

 

These unique restorative Malay treatments have been handed down from generation to generation, ensuring their authenticity, and therapeutic value. With a history of more than a thousand years, the practices are believed to have their origins in the convergence of Malay, Arab, Indian and Chinese influences during the days of the Malacca Sultanate.

Signature touch: Try out the Malay Signature Experience that extensively uses parts of the Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa L.) in a “three-course” experience consisting of the asam relaxing massage and the Roselle cream scrub, ending with a perfect cup of Roselle tea. The Roselle flower has vitamin C, fruit acids, calcium, iron, potassium and has long been used in traditional medicines. Together with other local herbs and spices such as galangal, ginger, nutmeg and coconut, the treatment delivers a soothing and aromatic experience.

 

Tip: Being in the east coast by the sea will get you closer to the traditional Malay way of life and it’s an opportunity to see how the farming and fishing communities here survive in such a beautiful and relaxing environment. Dungun is a fantastic small town that delivers on great food, beautiful seaside scenery and the authentic Malay lifestyle.

 

BANYAN SPA, IPOH

WINNER OF BEST SPA (INDIVIDUAL PREMISE CATEGORY), MALAYSIA TOURISM AWARDS 2016/2017

 

Location: Banyan Spa is strategically located right in the middle of Ipoh town in the state of Perak. While the vibe within this wellness centre is so “zen,” the central location means that we get the best of Ipoh, too, recently hailed as a hip and happening destination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ambience: What used to be a century-old colonial house has been transformed into a warm and cozy wellness centre that’s very inviting. Considered one of the best wellness centers in Ipoh, it brings about a “kampong feeling” despite being located within a busy city. The tropical-styled zen garden is home to individual attap sheds where private treatments are carried out.

 

Due to its location within a thriving city centre, Banyan Spa intends to provide a sanctuary for its guests to escape the hustle and bustle. The spacious compound, soothing sounds of water and aromatic air immediately lend a sense of peace.

 

Treatment philosophy: It provides a full range of treatments such as massages, facials and manicures and pedicures for the busy person working in the city. As a one-stop centre, it offers detox, lymphatic drainage, body peeling, Chinese traditional massage, reflexology, aromatherapy massage and others. In other words, you can get all your wellness needs addressed here.

 

Signature touch: The Banyan Exclusive Spa Treatment begins with a luxurious rose bath, which then proceeds on to a bamboo-and-lotus body scrub. The client is then wrapped up in clay, algae and marine minerals, before finally receiving a gentle aromatic massage to bring balance and harmony.

 

Another unique treatment here is the Chroma Therapy which uses the seven colours of the spectrum to enhance the body’s seven chakras and stimulate the healing process.

 

Tip: When in Ipoh, one must certainly indulge in its street food offerings. After all, in a New York Times article “Why Ipoh, Malaysia, should be on your travel radar,” its vast choices of local fare was highlighted as a star attraction. Ipoh is also a great starting point to learn about Malaysia’s colonial history and a walking tour of its heritage area is highly recommended as many of the old buildings and landmarks still stand.

Article source: http://blog.tourism.gov.my/feed/