Cuisine in Melaka


The Hainanese Village of Melaka

MyKampung 2012-10-09 16:53

The Hainanese people started to emigrate to Melaka about a century ago. Photo courtesy: Guang Ming Daily
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Translated by WINNIE CHOOI
Guang Ming Daily

MELAKA — A translucent sunlight makes a perfect timing to explore Hang Tuah’s tomb with a wonderful setting of azure sea and blue sky. A complete journey should be accompanied with a search of the Qiongzhou accent omnipresent in the Hainanese Village as well as the unmistakable Hakka Dongjiang cuisine.

Tanjung Kling

Melaka is such a casual and romantic place where the beach could be reached within 30 minutes. One of the popular beaches in Melaka, Tanjung Kling is also the final resting place of national hero Hang Tuah.

Tanjung Kling is located about 10km northwest of the historic city. Along the road are rows of shophouses erected on reclaimed land with the coastline beyond. The beach is easily accessible with a short 10-minute drive from town. Its serene ambience makes it a perfect venue for leisure and recreational activities.

Kampung Hailam

Half way towards Tanjung Kling from the city centre, along the small road leading to Pantai Kundor is a milestone standing next to a shabby Malay shop house marking the entrance to “Hainanese Village, where environment is our common responsibility.”

Walking into the alley and not far away lies the sea followed by a few houses at one corner. Some 95% of residents living in the 9-acre Kampung Hailam are Hainanese, with only three Hokkien households.

During the West Han dynasty of China, the Hainanese people began emigrating to Southeast Asia. The Hainanese people started to come to Melaka about a hundred years ago. They came together to form a tiny fishing village rich in the Hainanese culture.

Fishing and cooking

There are about 50 households in the Hainanese Village leading a typically laid-back lifestyle in a strongly bonded society. However, due to the lack of development, most young villagers have moved to the city to make a living.

According to older villagers, their livelihood was mostly dependent on fishing during the colonial days. Many families here boil and dry the salt in their own compounds and almost every vacant plot of land in the village has been turned into salt fields. As fishing is the most primitive skills of the Hainanese people, many villagers have started to make fishing their main source of livelihood.

Records show that during the colonial days back in the 1950s, villagers quit fishing because of inconsistent income and became domestic helps for senior British officers in order to earn more lucrative incomes. In addition, the Hainanese were also known for their cooking skills and almost every Hainanese family has produced at least a chef serving at major restaurants worldwide.

Cherishing freedom

83-year-old villager Lin Jin Luan told Guang Ming Daily she had been living in the Hainanese Village for more than six decades ever since she was married to her husband and relocated here. She said majority of the fishermen in the village used to be Chinese but now there are more and more fishermen from other races.

Having grown accustomed to life by the sea, Lin said she would have problem adapting to the new life if she were to move away from the beach.

“How would you like to live in the city?” When confronted by the question from the Guang Ming Daily reporter, Lin replied, “Urban people lock themselves in the concrete cages; city living is not my cup of tea.

“I would never want to move into a bungalow even if I become rich one day. I would prefer to live by the beach and stare at the open sea.”

Lin’s daughter Yan Yu Zhuan, a maths teacher in the nearby SMK Bukit Rambai, chooses to remain in the tiny fishing village, unlike her contemporaries.

“If possible, I would like to continue living in the village.”

He Ping Hakka Restaurant

Hakka dishes are also known as Dongjiang dishes. Traditional Hakka food is characterised by its heavy taste and is somewhat salty, spiced and fatty. The saltiness is to prolong the preservation period of the food while fat provides the energy for Hakka people who used to be engaged in manual works, while spicy food stimulates the taste buds.

Located at Pantai Kundor about 10 minutes from Tanjung Kling and the Hainanese Village, the restaurant has been in operation for 15 years now. Among the Hakka specialties served are the abacus yam balls, pork with preserved vegetables, steamed duck and stewed bean curd.


Kampung Hailam is also near to the Malacca Club Rotunda which is Malacca’s oldest club which was founded in 1890. Melaka Sailing Club used to be located near Kampung Hailam during the 1970s. Unfortunately, the sailing club is non-existent now.

Tourism Malaysia

Race the Best at the Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix

Race the Best at the Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix

The Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix race is the highlight of the international car racing circuit. Thousands of loyal fans are attracted annually to the race which has been held at the Sepang International Circuit since 1999, owing to the continuing popularity of the 56 lap 192.878 mile race.

The predecessor to the Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix was the Formula 2 which was held from 1962 – 65, but it was held in Singapore who later gained independence from the Malaysian Federation, so during the break-up of the Federation Malaysia held four lower impact races at the Shah Alam circuit from 1968 until 1995 when the current race track was opened in Sepang. These were the Tasman Series, Formula Pacific, Formula Atlantic, and the Formula Holden.

Formula 1 action at Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia. Pic: Craig, WikiMedia Commons.

Formula 1 action at Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia. Pic: Craig, WikiMedia Commons.

The Sepang International Circuit, where the Formula 1 race is held, is located just 60 kilometres from the capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, and is situated only 10 minutes from Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Selangor State. The circuit was designed by a German named Hermann Tilke in 1995, who also designed the Shanghai, Turkish, Bahrain, India, Korea, Valencia, and Singapore circuits which are also in the Formula 1 race calendar. The Sepang circuit is famous for its short and tight hairpin and unusually long back straight.

Crowds arrive at Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia, on race day. Pic: Craig, WikiMedia Commons.

Crowds arrive at Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia, on race day. Pic: Craig, WikiMedia Commons.

Petronas (Malaysian: Petroliam Nasional Berhad), the Malaysian national oil and gas company, has sponsored the Malaysian Grand Prix since its inauguration into the racing calendar since 1999. The energy company finances the upkeep of the track and the spectator stands, they supply the oil and petroleum for the racing cars, and they are responsible for the security of the race.

The most famous racer at the Malaysian Grand Prix of all time was John MacDonald who won races in the years of 1970, 1971, 1973, and 1975. John was English born but moved to live in Hong Kong during his national service, where he continued to live and set up a garage business which made him successful and allowed him to become a successful racer also.

The most successful racing team to compete in the Malaysian Grand Prix is Ferrari thanks to the successes of Michael Schumacher in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2008, and 2012.

Michael Schumacher pictured at the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix. Pic: Whiz Kris, Flickr.

Michael Schumacher pictured at the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix. Pic: Whiz Kris, Flickr.

The annual race, held every year towards the end of March, attracts approximately 50,000 spectators from all around the world, some just to see their favourite racing star, but others to feel the excitement and exhilaration of the head to head race between man and man, country and country, sponsor and sponsor.

Most Formula 1 racers unanimously agree that the Malaysian Grand Prix is by far the most stress inducing and physically demanding race in the whole Formula 1 calendar. Temperatures are torturous and regularly reach 30 degrees Celsius and when combined with the humidity, which is rarely lower than 75%, the climate alone drains all drivers of energy even before putting in any effort to race. Malaysia, but Kuala Lumpur in particular, is famous for its unexpected heavy rain downpours which often disrupt the car racing, causing crashes and severe car damage.

The actual race track has been called “the most environmentally friendly race track in the world” by various commentators because of its abundance of palm trees. The track was built on a former 260 hectare palm oil plantation, so to compensate for the loss of plants the owners planted hundreds of palm trees around the race track, spectator’s stands, and spectator’s recreation areas.

In the latest Malaysian Grand Prix, the 2012 season, which was held on 25th March, the leader of the driver’s championship, Fernando Alonso with his Ferrari team, came first after a breathtaking and sometimes risky race. Just 2.2 seconds behind Alonso was the less well known Sergio Perez with his Sauber team, and then came the former world champion Lewis Hamilton and the McLaren-Mercedes not long after. It made for an unforgettable race in the beautiful country of Malaysia.

Many people, especially those coming from Europe and the Americas combine watching the Malaysia Formula 1 Grand Prix with a relaxing holiday elsewhere in the country. The Malaysian Government praises this as it brings in much needed tourism income in the form of taxes, shop purchases, transport income, and accommodation income. Kuala Lumpur International Airport as the country’s main airport is also kept busy during the races. The Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix could be an unforgettable experience, so why not give it a try and book your tickets in time for the next race?

Wonderful Malaysia

Changkat Bukit Bintang

Changkat Bukit Bintang is definitely the place to visit if you are looking for a place that is both trendy as well as hip. In fact, the locals have compared Changkat Bukit Bintang to other major entertainment districts around the world such as New York City’s Times Square and Piccadilly Circus in London. However, what differentiates it from Times Square or Piccadilly Circus is that Changkat Bukit Bintang has managed to merge contemporary chic with historical charm, making it a popular attraction for both the locals as well as foreigners.

changkat bukit bintang kuala lumpur 1

Changkat Bukit Bintang consists of a network of alleys and streets that make up part of the Bukit Bintang area. What is so special about this is the fact that each of these streets is unique in its own charming way. You are bound to come across a blend of old and new charm – buildings from the pre-war era but have now been converted into upscale pubs and restaurants.

changkat bukit bintang kuala lumpur 2

If you come to Changkat Bukit Bintang to dine, you will be spoilt for choices. It is here that you will be able to find the most vibrant restaurants that the city of Kuala Lumpur has to offer. Gastronomic delights are plenty abound and there is definitely something for everyone, whether you are looking for some authentic local food, a foreign flavour or even fusion dishes are readily available at the restaurants here.

changkat bukit bintang kuala lumpur 3

In the day, there is not much activity but by nightfall, you will be able to see why people come here. Establishments are in full swing and there is a certain energy here that only you would be able to experience firsthand, so come and experience it for yourself. As cliché as this sounds , the entire street will come alive with colourful lights of the signboards, music coming from the establishments playing their own specific set of music and people just generally having a good time.

changkat bukit bintang kuala lumpur 4

Having said that, you may just want to come around for a visit in the daytime even if there is nothing much going on at that time. Even though Changkat Bukit Bintang is located right at the heart of a busy metropolis, the street is strangely peaceful and quaint which allows you to better explore the area and see it for what it truly is. Once you have done exploring during the day, it is still recommended that you come back at night to appreciate what Changkat Bukit Bintang has to offer.

changkat bukit bintang kuala lumpur 5

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How to get to Changkat

Changkat is located within Bukit Bintang, one of the most popular areas of Kuala Lumpur. If you are staying in the city center you just walk along Jalan Bukit Bintang until you reach BB Plaza. From there you cross the road and head into the street where you see the souvenir shops. This already is Changkat Bukit Bintang, though the fun part starts a little bit further down the road. Before you get there you also walk past Jalan Alor, a famous ‘food street’ in Kuala Lumpur. When you are coming from outside KLCC, take the monorail and get off at station Bukit Bintang.

Map with the location of Changkat

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Tourism Malaysia

Kembara Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia Perak 2011

October 28, 2011 at 12:27 pm

A traveller once said that what really makes a journey truly memorable was not where you went, but the people you meet and travel with. We learnt the truth of this statement during the Kembara Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia to Perak trip recently. We learnt that a grand palace filled with the finest finishings is nothing but a hollow meaningless artifice without the man who gifted it to his people as a museum; that a simple humble lunch turns into a joyous feast when affection and warmth are its main ingredients; and a simple media trip to Perak brings with it a trove of treasured memories just because of a bunch of complete strangers.

The media trip to Perak took place between 14th and 17th October 2011

And so we would like to share some of those memories with you, our readers, in hopes that you will find them as special as how they are to us.

We will start with the people who actually made this trip possible – Gaya Travel Magazine. As the organisers of the Kembara Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia to Perak 2011, they were more than mere hosts, their dedication and effort were equally matched with their warmth and sincerity. Their energy was infectious, and their carefree personalities set the easy-going, happy-go-lucky atmosphere throughout the trip. Although young, this team performed professionally, handling every challenge that came along with a welcome smile and a cheery remark. If we seem like we’re singing praises of them, it’s not because we want to be invited for upcoming trips, but because they’re just such a fun bunch to be with. Especially Ed.

The organisers of the trip, the Gaya Travel Magazine team. Really great job, guys and girls! The guy in the hat is Mr. Ed, not the horse

To be really honest, the most memorable part of the trip that everyone will NOT admit outright, was the fact that we loved being treated like royalty, thanks to Malaysia’s men in blue. This time around, we were accompanied by five dashing police officers from the Royal Malaysian Police. They made sure we were safe and, most importantly, that we got to our destinations on time. They may look stern, but they are actually very friendly, approachable and upright individuals. Thanks a lot, abang polis, because of you guys, we now know how VIPs feel when they travel. Trust us, that in itself, is a wonderful feeling.

From left to right – Jasasmurni, Shafik Izuan, Hassan, Malik, Abdul Latif. Their work ethics and professionalism are beyond compare.

At Kampung Beng, you will discover why the annual pilgrimage home known as balik kampung is something many Malaysians hold dear to their hearts. Here they wait, warm sincere smiling faces, waiting to greet complete strangers and welcome them into their homes. Willing to share everything they have, no matter how little or simple it may be, asking nothing in return except that we leave with fond memories of them and their village. Sememangnya syurga terletak di telepak kaki ibubapa – truly, paradise lies at the feet of our parents.

These ladies may be simple, but their charm lies in their elegance, sincerity and kindness.

The ladies of Kampung Beng hard at work preparing lunch for their guests

And what of Perak? The state is a beautiful place, surpassed only by the many lovely people who call it their home. The Tourism Malaysia, Perak Office welcomed us with open arms, and through them we realise that the best that Perak has to offer are its people, so many colourful and interesting personalities, and that they are what makes the state such a special place. Thank you, Puan Norshamshida, you and your staff made Perak so welcoming for all of us.

A very lovely lady with a great sense of humour. Can you spot the praying mantis on her head?

Dinah, one of the many volunteer rangers at the Taiping Zoo conducting a night safari tour, for us nonetheless

Mr Annuar Isa, the man behind the First Galleria in Taiping, is a man who loves to share what he knows about history

Mr Lingam, explaining the history of tin mining in Perak and its wide reaching consequences

Zamri, a local craftsman specialising in making labu sayong, ceramic water containers, happily answering all our questions

An elderly man selling soya bean drinks and bean curd. His stall in Ipoh, known as Kacang Soya Funny Mountain, actually has a drive thru service!

Mr Chin sharing with us the many stories about the sweet pomelo. That’s Ed in the red shirt by the way

The best kind of journey you can ever take is one where you all begin as strangers and end as friends. With that we would like to end this little stroll down memory lane by sharing some of the fun times we had getting to know our fellow travellers, no longer strangers, but kindred spirits and sincere friends. It was great spending time with all of you, we hope you enjoyed it too!

Our fellow travellers seated in the front of the bus

Our fellow travellers seated in the middle of the bus

Last but not least, our fellow travellers seated at the back of the bus

To our readers, we hope that your journeys will be filled with as many great memories as ours.

To see some more photos of the trip, make your way to the photo album on Facebook here.

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Go Greener Everyday

Go Greener Everyday

October 10, 2010

I think we already heard about the concern of our ozone layer is decreasing since we were kid at school. After decade of polluting the earth, now there are a strong move to promote greener initiative. The Go Green Campaign.

Although, if we stop smoking alone don’t affect much the global warming activities compared to the coal energy power plant or chemical industries release, just think it for our own healthy reason. Well…. because we live in the equator with tropical environment, maybe we don’t see the urgency of greening our place as other develop country in the west part of the globe.

The concept is mutually need. Because everyone in the world breath the same air, forest fire in Kalimantan will affect the day of all the Asian countries. As individual, if not start practicing now, and everyone also don’t bother about it, now maybe you don’t feel the differences. But our kid will follow and the future can be not ‘too green’.

Speaking of green, by eating many green vegetables doesn’t mean that your are on the right path. A very fresh look veggies maybe because the affect of very harmful pesticide these days. And that mean you can’t live long enough.

So support the Go Green Campaign in your Country, State, City and Neighborhood. For reading you can rean here,here and here.

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  3. Cigarette smoke free area at Melaka
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