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Tourism Malaysia

7 IDEAS FOR A ROYAL TOUR OF PEKAN, PAHANG

Pahang is the largest state in Peninsular Malaysia, and has vast tourism assets including a national park, the highest mountain in the peninsular (Mount Tahan), beautiful islands, hill-top resorts, and beautiful beaches.

Those familiar with Pahang, also known as the “Abode of Tranquility”, may have already visited its many popular tourist spots such as Genting Highlands, Tioman Island, and the Pahang National Park. However, there is a little known town that sits by the great Pahang River that also deserves special mention (and further explorations).

Photo credite: https://www.facebook.com/lensapekanofficial

Pekan used to be the command centre and capital city of Pahang in the late 19th century. Today, it is known as a royal town and home to the Pahang Sultanate – those who visit will definitely feel its tranquil atmosphere and even get to enjoy some royal “treatments”!

Kick off a royal tour of Pekan with the following suggestions:

Puding DiRaja

There’s nothing better to start your explorations of this royal town than with a royal dessert! Puding DiRaja or Royal Pudding was said to have been created and served to the Pahang royal household. So popular was this treat, that it is now available even in Kuala Lumpur and perhaps other parts of Malaysia, although, the best is still to be had here in Pekan.

Photo credit: Journeys2Pekan.com

So what is it exactly? It is a medley of bananas, prunes, candied cherries, cashew nuts and what’s called jala emas (fine threads of egg yolk prepared in syrup), and served with a milky custard poured all over it. It is a complete dessert that tantalizes all the senses of your tastebuds – there’s the crunch from the nuts, the sweetness from the various fruits, the slight tartness from the prunes, the light texture of the egg yolk threads, and the smooth custardy liquid that slips past your throat.

Of course, Pekan in also known for other mouth-watering delights. If you have a chance – and room left in your tummy – dig into the Murtabak Makassar, which we hear is also a hit with royalty and local politicians alike! In fact, they say you simply can’t leave Pekan without tasting the Murtabak Makassar.

Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/murtabakmengkasarsdnbhd/

Essentially, it is a type of savoury pancake made of layers of minced beef or chicken filling, unique blend of spices, pastry and eggs. Best eaten dipped in pickled onions! Sounds yummy to us!

Royal Pahang Silk Weaving Centre

If you have a thing for fabrics, then you must acquire the Pahang silk as part of your collection! It is a collector’s item and would make a wonderful heirloom piece to be passed down from one generation to another.

Photo credit: Journeys2Pekan.com

Pekan is home of the “kain tenun” and in fact, some of the finest woven fabrics in this region comes from this great silk weaving centre. So fine is its craftsmanship that it was once appointed the exclusive makers of the Pahang royal garments. A little bit of trivia here: Pahang silk was the fabric of choice for the King and Queen during their coronation ceremony in 2019!

Photo credit: www.facebook.com/lensapekanofficial/

Today, the centre is a great place to learn about the history of Pahang’s woven silk, see a live demonstration of silk weaving and even purchase the fabric for yourself.

Sultan Abdullah Mosque Museum

A trip to Pekan can be quite educational indeed. Just make a visit to the Sultan Abdullah Mosque Museum and you will be thoroughly enlightened!

Photo credit: Journeys2Pekan.com

The Sultan Abdullah Mosque was built in 1929 and was the place locals congregated for their Friday prayers. It remained the key meeting place for religious services until 1976 when a newer mosque was built to serve the community.

Thereafter, the Sultan Abdullah Mosque was abandoned for some time until recently when it underwent a massive three-year reconstruction work to become the first mosque-turned-museum in the country.

Photo credit: https://batikandbubbles.com/

Visitors to the mosque museum will be able to learn about Islamic history and art with unique exhibits of the Islamic world, complemented by state-of-the-art touch screens and interesting narratives of the artefacts on display. The graceful arches, the majestic domes and minarets and all-white architecture make the mosque look quite stunning, almost like a mini Taj Mahal in little Pekan!

Sultan Abu Bakar Museum

If you think museums are stuffy places full of dusty exhibits, then this museum will certainly have you change your mind! With all the wonderful artefacts and the creative presentation of all the exhibits, we didn’t feel like we were in a museum at all. On the contrary, it certainly felt like we were in a well-curated art gallery with great storytelling of our history!

Photo credit: http://www.pahangtourism.org.my/

Pekan’s museum of note, the Sultan Abu Bakar Museum, was, in turns, a British government officer’s residence, before it became an army barrack, a palace, and finally a museum.

The museum complex houses five galleries: The Keris Gallery; History of Pahang and The Malay Sultanate Gallery; The Islamic Art Gallery; The Ceramics Gallery; and The Archaeology Gallery. Depending on your interest, you can admire weapons like the Sundang (a double edge Bugis sword) or the Sikin (keris with short blades), take a closer look at porcelains and ceramics from China and Japan, or dive into the Metal Age by browsing through tools, artefacts, and skeletal remains.

Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/True-Asia-Media

The entire museum has been curated to provide an immersive experience with a selection of unique artefacts, insightful storytelling, thoughtful layout and touch screen information boards. Even the front yard has been turned into a kind of artistic gallery with sculptures of horses, elephants and other animals on the grass.

Black Water Jewel

The mountains and jungles of Pahang are very popular tourist attractions, however, many may not know that Pahang also has beautiful and biodiverse peat swamp forests that stretch over 160,000 hectares! It is home to 53 species of mammals and more than 200 birds, including eight species of hornbills.

Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/FTTSTemerluh/

One of the peat swamp forests of note lies in Pekan, where the Bebar River lies. It is protected as a conservation area, but recently, has been promoted as a tourist attraction. It is called the Black Water Jewel due to the dark brown or black waters – a natural colouration which is caused by the high content of organic matter – and the fact that it is the habitat for a diverse array of animals.

Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/lensapekanofficial/

Birdwatching activities and river cruising on kayaks are recommended here to explore the natural beauty, flora and fauna of the river. A three-hour cruise can be arranged from Runchang to Nenasi in Pekan. Throughout the journey, tourists have the chance to see unique animals, including the fully-protected oriental small-clawed otter and dusky leaf monkeys. A visit to the orang asli village can be arranged as well.

Meow Island

If you are a cat lover, you will enjoy a visit to Pulau Kucing, affectionately called Meow Island by the locals. It is a privately-run sanctuary for cats also known as the Dato’ Shamsiah Cat Shelter Park.

Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/MeowIslandMalaysia/

There are more than 60 rescued cats, some ducks, geese, goats and dogs, too, who all roam freely and lead comfortable lives, thanks to the care provided by the owners and occasional volunteers. Over the years, volunteers have built quirky and colourful cat shelters here, and helped out tending to the sick animals, feeding them as well as beautifying the landscape – all in the name of providing a safe sanctuary for these felines.

The shelter also receives the support from the Pahang Veterinary Department, who conducts monthly health checkups on the feline residents of the island.

Photo credit: /www.facebook.com/lensapekanofficial/

Here, you can pet and play with the animals, or do some volunteer work such as cleaning, building and repairing the cat shelters, or contribute donations should you feel like it.

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Tourism Malaysia

20 Boutique Hotels – Stay with Style!

If you need some cosy time all by yourself, and looking for somewhere unique to stay for a night or more, boutique hotels in Malaysia offer you more than an accommodation. You will get extra nice decoration, extra services plus extra experience.

Today, boutique hotels – normally a cosy-signature accommodation with less than 100 rooms – are mushrooming with variable themes and decors. For our 20 SPECIAL picks this month, we give you some of the popular choices from many states of Malaysia.

Ambong-Ambong

1. AMBONG-AMBONG, Langkawi, Kedah (www.ambong-ambong.com) The Travellers’ Choice 2019 Winner outshines the most in the mystical island of Langkawi. Ambong-Ambong Rainforest Retreat is rainforest accommodation of boutique resort perched on a slope, overlooking the sea and islands of Langkawi offers great Japanese restaurant and highly rated massage services.

Terrapuri

2.   TERRAPURI, Penarik, Terengganu (www.terrapuri.com) Terrapuri (The Land Of Palaces) is a conservation and restoration project of Terengganu Malay Classic house. Its feature 29 antique hundred years old Classic Houses. The layout of the resort is inspired by the 17th century Terengganu Palace and its surrounding. Terrapuri consists of 20 exclusive restored villas, a gallery and a beach house.

Majestic

3. MAJESTIC, Melaka (www.majesticmalacca.com) The heart of the hotel is a restored 1920s Straits Settlement mansion complete with its original porcelain tile flooring and teakwood fittings. It has been extended to house the guest rooms and suites as well as an award-winning spa that is a reflection of that era, melding luxury, modernity and tradition. (source www.ytlhotels.com)

Estadia

4. ESTADIA, Melaka (www.estadiahotel.com) Estadia By Hatten is perhaps the best Baba Nyonya-themed hotel in Melaka. It is located in the center of Melaka City and the interior of the hotel is tastefully done up based on Baba Nyonya style. There are a Nyonya restaurant a pub located beside the hotel lobby the Nyonya foods are fantastic (review in tripadvisor.com).

Seven Terraces, Georgetown

5. SEVEN TERRACES, Georgetown, Pulau Pinang (www.georgetownheritage.com/seven-terraces-hotel) Winner of the 2007 UNESCO Award of Distinction for heritage conservation and regular Conde Naste Hot List nominees, It successfully captures and celebrates the spirit of this world heritage town and its unique peranakan culture. Pure beauty!

Cheong Fatt Tze, Georgetown

6. CHEONG FATT TZE, Georgetown, Pulau Pinang (www.cheongfatttzemansion.com) The majestic boutique hotel rooms are tucked within the tranquil tropical courtyards of The Blue Mansion. Each of the 18 personalized boutique rooms are uniquely adorned and intricately furnished, taking you back into Penang’s glorious history in the exclusive rooms, invigorating jacuzzi and authentic furniture of the 19th century.

Royale Chulan Cherating Villa

7.  ROYALE CHULAN CHERATING VILLA, Cherating, Pahang (www.royalechulan.com/Cherating) Located in a resort town on the east coast of Malaysia, Cherating is home to some of Malaysia’s most picturesque seascapes, a perfect getaway for soul searching singles, lovebirds and family gathering. 34 private villas and suites come with a private beach. What a package!

Anggun

8. ANGGUN, Kuala Lumpur (www.anggunkl.com) Located in Changkat Tong Shin, Bukit Bintang area – Anggun is a boutique hotel with rooftop spa and semi-outdoor café fitted with wooden flooring and teak furnishings. The Alam Beauty Spa surely a bonus if you are to stay here. Choose room with four-poster bed and private balcony with street views, advices booking.com.

Ranee B

9. THE RANEE B, Kuching, Sarawak (www.theranee.com) This is an exclusive 24-room boutique hotel strategically located in the heart of Kuching’s picturesque Old Town. Stylishly rebuilt from two traditional 19th century shophouses and ingeniously adapted to modern standards of plush comfort, The Ranee is unique in that every spacious room/suite is different – designed to express its own individuality, charm and character, hints www.tripadvisor.com.

Villa Molek

10. VILLA MOLEK, Langkawi, Kedah (www.villamolek.com). As you step into Villa Molek you are greeted by 12 charming and beautifully designed private villa studios, each resembles a complete home. Its superb location and quiet elegance makes it a favourite among travellers looking for total relaxation (www.tripadvisor.com)

Panji-Panji

11. PANJI-PANJI TROPICAL WOODEN HOME, Langkawi, Kedah (www.panjipanji.com). Enjoy the comforts of a sea frontage tropical wooden Malay house. A home situated next to the Cenang river and the local fishermen’s pier, and is only minutes away from the famous Cenang Beach. A perfect place to enjoy the sunset and relax (from booking.com).

The Blanc

12. THE BLANC, Melaka (facebook.com/TheBlancBoutiqueHotel). Originally a refurbished heritage building, The Blanc is a tastefully decorated new hotel in Melaka. The room is full well decorated and designed, plus a rooftop view. Centrally located and just a walk away from Jonker Street Night Market and Mahkota Parade Shopping Mall. Very convenient.

Tanjung Jara Resort

13. TANJUNG JARA RESORT, Tg. Jara, Terengganu (www.tanjongjararesort.com) Offering accommodation inspired by the majestic 17th century Malay palaces, Tanjong Jara boasts 2 outdoor pools and an award-winning spa. It features 3 dining options with South China Sea views.

Sari Pacifica

14. SARI PACIFICA,  Redang, Terengganu (www.saripacificaredangisland.com) In the beautiful island of Redang, Sari Pacifica Resort Spa offers spacious villas with private balconies and spa baths. It also features a beachfront pool and restaurant. The spaciousness of tropical-style villas allows for a large walk-in closet and seating area. Unfortunately the door is closed during monsoon season.

Rosa

15. ROSA, Melaka (www.rosa.com.my) This hotel screams nothing but an industrial-concept marvel. Bare bricks, cement walls, and wooden floor panels make up most of the hotel’s interior which is further complimented with tonnes of fun and timeless deco. Such a photo haven for Instagram addicts! (from www.rojakdaily.com)

Timez

16. TIMEZ, Melaka (www.timezhotel.com) The hotel is literally a melting pot of culture as it incorporates five cultures in its design – Chinese, Peranakan, Dutch, Portuguese, and British but with a modern twist.

The Lantern

17. LANTERN, Kuala Lumpur (www.lanternhotel.com) This budget boutique hotel revolves around an industry-meets-tropical design concept with a funky touch and friendly atmosphere. The rooms here are minimalist but elegant and with rates that will definitely meet your budget. (thesmartlocal.com)

Bliss Boutique

18. BLISS BOUTIQUE, Johor Bharu, Johor (www.blissboutiquehotel.com) Not all boutique hotels charge exorbitant rates, some are value-for-money and offer high rated services. Bliss Boutique Hotel falls into this category, adorned with artistic and flamboyant touches. This Art Deco hotel is totally colourful and chic!

M Boutique Hotel

19. M BOUTIQUE HOTEL, Ipoh, Perak (https://ipoh.mboutiquehotels.com) Featuring stark contrasting monochromatic furnishings, this unique hotel takes its inspiration from jazz bars of the past. Black chandeliers, monkey cages, and rustic grey furniture adorn the rooms and communal areas, lending it a stark yet classy vibe (source www.smartlocal.com)

JapaMala Resort

20. JAPAMALA RESORT, Tioman, Terengganu  (www.japamalaresorts.com) JapaMala is Tioman Island’s only boutique resort, and one-of-a-kind in Malaysia. This small and exclusive resort of 13 rooms is hidden amidst 11 acres of lush tropical rainforest. A one-village-one-resort property, JapaMala has its own private and quiet beach. Rated highly in www.tripadvisor.com.my

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Tourism Malaysia

Battling the Waves in Malaysia

People like us are most likely to stay far, far away from the beaches during the monsoon, which usually occur from October to March if we are talking about the east coast in Peninsular Malaysia. But like a secret world, when the monsoon season comes and the islands close their doors to the public; that is when the surfers come out to play. To the uninitiated, monsoon means persistent rain, angry winds and ferocious waves, but to the surfers, it’s just a good day to surf. Indeed, surfing is not my scene at all and it’s not until words got around that a Malaysian surfer won third place at the 2019 REnextop Asian Surfing Tour that prompted me to check out our surfing scenes. Malaysia is no Hawaii or Bali but our surfing spots have start making waves among surfers around the world, no pun intended. Let’s check out Malaysia’s top surfing spot.

Cherating, Pahang

Photo: Cheratingpoint

Cherating, a small beach town about 45km north of Kuantan has been a surfing spot since the 80’s; but since surfing is not part of our culture, it has never been a sport enjoyed by the mass. Nowadays, we can see that the surfing community in Malaysia has grown bigger and stronger. There are even many surfing schools in Cherating.

Photo: Didaqt Surf FB

I don’t speak the surfer’s language but from what I gather the waves in Cherating are consistent and are suitable for beginners, intermediate, advanced and longboard surfers. It’s a good place for beginners to learn surfing, while the more experienced surfers can enjoy a swell that goes up to five foot. For a “hodad” like us (a term surfer uses for a person who hangs around the beach and does not surf), there are also other activities to try your hands at such as turtle-watching, kayaking, kitesurfing and windsurfing.

How to get there:
By Bus
From Kuala Lumpur international airport (KLIA), take a train (KLIA Transit) to the Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) Bus Terminal – Check here : http://www.tbsbts.com.my. From TBS, please take a bus to Kemaman Town.
Kuala Lumpur (TBS) – Kuantan – Cherating – Kemaman Town – Kuala Terengganu – Kota Bahru . This is the normal route to east coast.
*note: Let the bus driver know that to drop you at Kampung Cherating Lama (Old Cherating Village).

By car
From Kuala Lumpur , just follow the east bound highway towards Kuantan and Kemaman. Normally, it takes about 3 hours to reach Cherating.

Pantai Batu Burok, Terengganu

Photo: Terengganu SURF Community

The strong waves of the South China Sea makes the beaches and idyllic islands of Terengganu ideal for surfing. To the local and international surfers, Pantai Batu Burok is well-known for its beach breaks surfing. Over the last 10 years, various international surfing competitions have been held in Pantai Burok regularly, thus helping this beautiful sandy beaches with casuarina trees lining up the shore, to gain international recognition. In Terengganu, there are at least 15 other surf spots to be explored along the coast from Kemaman to Besut. Merang in Setiu, for example, is suited for point breaks, while Pulau Kapas is ideal for reef break surfing.

Photo: Terengganu SURF Community

How to get there:
Batu Buruk and the surrounding beaches are easily reached from Kuala Terengganu by bus (Marang / Dungun), mini bus (No.14 / 13), trishaw and taxi or even on foot if you like walking (about 20 minutes from the city center). (www.backpackingmalaysia.com).

Desaru, Johor

Located in Kota Tinggi, Johor, Desaru has a few surfing spots that are worth mentioning. Among them are Pantai Desaru, Pantai Tanjung Balau, Pantai Sedili and Pantai Wild Boar.

Pantai Desaru is a great spot for beginners to learn to surf. The best time to surf here is in the early morning when the waves are in best condition with a less crowded beach.

Pantai Tanjung Balau is only 13-minute drive from Pantai Desaru and is home to a strong local surf community and even hosts its own international surfing competitions. Sandy breaks and three-foot-high waves make it an excellent spot to learn to surf.

Every surfing season, Pantai Sedili, a hidden beach located along the road of Sedili is always crowded with surfers especially during “good waves” day as the surfers called it. As the beach is quite isolated, you must bring your own food and drinks because there is no public facilities there.

Photo: Big Foot Industries

Wild Boar Beach is the most secluded surfing spot compared to the other three beaches in Desaru. Aptly named after the local animal that resides in the area, the beach is so secluded that you need a local guide to show you the spot. Surfers have to bring their own food and water supply because the beach has zero facility but these inconvenience means nothing to them as long as they get to have a long uninterrupted ride on sandy breaks.

How to get there:
A one hour drive from Johor town, along with the way to Desaru, palm oil plantation can be seen and a bridge will be connecting the route to Desaru through the Senai Desaru expressway. Driving is recommended to get to Desaru because it is faster and convenient.

For public transportation to Desaru, there are direct Mara Liner coach services four times a day from Johor Bahru’s Larkin Bus Terminal to Bandar Penawar via Kota Tinggi. Besides that, there’s an option of taking a non-express bus from Larkin Bus Terminal (Maju 227 or Causeway Link 66) or from downtown Johor Bahru’s Jalan Wong Ah Fook (Transit Link 41, Maju 227, Causeway Link 6B; the bus stop is opposite City Square) to Kota Tinggi’s bus terminal (duration about 1h; Maju 227 one-way fare from City Square RM4.80; average frequency of Maju 227 is 15 min), and then take another bus from Kota Tinggi to Bandar Penawar (duration max. 1h, one-way fare RM4.50, frequency every 90 min). (Travelistaclub)

Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, Kudat, Sabah

Photo: www.borneo360.com

Kudat in Sabah has long been a favourite surfing spots among Malaysian and Bruneian surfers. Located at the Tip of Borneo in Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, the Kalampunian Beach has waves that can reach up to 6 feet high with 50 to 100 meters ride. The type of break here is beach breaks and pointbreaks. It is an ideal spot for those with advanced surf skill set. But for the non-surfers, Kudat’ sandy beaches and crystal clear water is reason enough to hang around the beach; or maybe, just maybe you will be entertained by the tricks and twists of the surfers while chilling by the beach.

Photo: Bahzi Damit

How to get there:
The Tip of Borneo is about 215 KM north of Kota Kinabalu. You need to drive about 2.5 to 3 hours on a paved road (with a few small sections of gravel road) to reach there (via Kota Kinabalu → Tuaran → Kota Belud main road). Or you can charter a taxi (can take 3 or 4 passengers) for a return trip for about RM240. (mysabah.com)

Tidal Bore of Sarawak

Photo: abadiphotography

I wonder whether those experienced surfers dare to fight a tidal bore in Sri Aman’s Batang Lupar River, which is famed for its crocodile-infested waters. The tidal bore in Sri Aman, which is located 170km from Kuching is rated among the best bores in the world. A tidal bore may take on various forms, ranging from a single breaking wave front with a roller, somewhat like a hydraulic jump to undular bores, comprising a smooth wave front followed by a train of secondary wave (whelps). The tidal bore is a high wave caused by the meeting of two tides or by a tide rushing up the narrow river estuary. Its height depends on the time of the year, weather and phase of the moon. Sri Aman hosts the annual Tidal Bore festival known as ‘Pesta Benak’, normally held in the month of May.

How to get there:
To get to the town, board a bus at Kuching Sentral Transportation hub. The hub is a 5-minute drive from the Kuching International Airport and 20 minutes from Kuching City Centre. On average, it takes about four hours to travel by road from Kuching. Usually, bus will stop at the bazaar town of Lachau for toilet break.

Sunway Lagoon’s Surf Beach, Selangor

Photo: Sunway Lagoon

Sunway Lagoon’s Surf Beach is a man made wonder right here in the city where holiday makers all around the world come for a fun filled day in the sun. You can either laze in the beach or for the thrill seekers you can enjoy surfing or body boarding and beach volleyball. You can also show off your surfing skills on Malaysia’s only Surf Simulator or ‘FlowRider’*.

Stretching over 13,000 square meters, the Surf Beach is capable of churning out perfectly shaped waves up to the maximum height of eight-feet. The ability to condition the waves according to the needs of the surfers in terms of height, time and wave patterns make Surf Beach @ Sunway Lagoon a surfer’s paradise for both professional and aspiring surfers.

How to get there:
By Car
Sunway Lagoon is located in the bustling township of Sunway City, within the district of Petaling Jaya in the state of Selangor. It is a mere 15-minutes drive from Kuala Lumpur in smooth traffic conditions and is accessible via a network of expressways including the Federal Highway, Damansara-Puchong Expressway, New Pantai Expressway and KESAS Highway.

Surf Wall, Adventure Waterpark, Desaru Coast, Johor

Photo: Adventure Waterparks Desaru Coast

A safe and high-energy surf simulator where surfing beginners or enthusiasts can catch and ride a radical artificial wave. The Surf Wall can accommodate up to five boogie boarders or two stand-up surfers at one time.

How to get there:

By Car
4 hours from Kuala Lumpur via the North-South Expressway.

By Air
1 hour from Kuala Lumpur to Senai International Airport with additional 1 hour for shuttle to Desaru Coast.

Suddenly I feel the urge to join the monsoon mayhem and pick up the surfboard myself. Paddle,paddle, paddle, and stand up… bruddah!

Featured image is courtesy of andiaceh/ombok

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Categories
Malaysia Travel Guide

Sarawak’s gateway city – Kuching


Sarawak's gateway city - Kuching

Darul Hana Bedestrian bridge spanning the Sarawak river

‘Sarawak’s gateway city of Kuching is a quick hop from Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, loaded with heritage, culture and culinary discovery. From a Kiwi perspective, it’s still an under-the-radar destination as Mike Yardley writes.

It’s easy to fast become enamoured with Kuching, sweeping you up in its warm, hospitable and clingy tropical embrace.’

Read more at Otago Daily Times Online News 

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Tourism Malaysia

20 Must-Have Souvenirs from Malaysia

If you are anything like me,
you will look for the MOST interesting, out-of-the-ordinary souvenir from
places you’ve been.

It used to be very
conventional, like postcards, keychains, decorative plates and the like but
these stuff take up space and require some kind of maintenance as years go by.

The novelty of a souvenir has
changed, and it is no longer something that you show off as a statement of
“I’ve been there!” It has evolved into something else, where we want to share
with our loved ones back home a little piece of the adventure, so to speak.

So, here’s my take on some of
the things that you just HAVE to take back with you:

#1 – If
you travel to the state of Melaka,
then look out for the dainty Nyonya beaded
slippers
. They may not be the most practical footwear, but then again, they
ARE unique, and quite fancy!

Nyonya Beaded Slippers and Embroidered Kebaya Top

#2 – If
you got yourself that beaded slipper, then you just HAVE to bring back a
traditional kebaya top! The intricately-embroidered tops are a must-have in
any wardrobe.

#3
#4
– If you have a passion for cooking, and are always on
the hunt for that ‘umami’ flavor, bring back some shrimp paste, or belacan,
and if you’re brave enough, cencalok. Cencalok is a condiment made
of fermented small shrimps or krill, and is usually served together with sliced
chillies, finely sliced shallots and lime juice.

Bottom – A stall selling belacan and cencalok

#5
–  Look out also for the sticky coconut
‘cakes’, or dodol, available in a variety of flavours including pandan and durian.

#6
Moving further South to Johor, you can visit the herb farm along the way and
get yourself some stingless bee honey
or madu kelulut. Stingless bee honey is  twice as nutritious as ordinary honey,
according to the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI).

#7 – A
trip to Johor would be meaningless without bringing back the mandatory 434 Coffee. Malaysian Coffee a.k.a
Kopi-O is special in color, flavor and taste, thanks to its special roasting
technique and recipe that commonly includes margarine and sugar as ingredients.
It has been long enjoyed by the locals and also is popular among coffee lovers
in South East Asia. While the sweet, hot beverage may take some getting used to
for those who are used to taking it black, you will definitely fall in love
with it by the time you sip the last drop.

#8 – If
you travel to the north of the Peninsula, then Penang will be one of the places for the best souvenirs. The
Chowrasta Market will be a good place to start, where you can get nutmeg-based products. More than just a
spice, you can get massage oils, ointments and even candy made from nutmeg.

Nutmeg-based products

#9
Another product of Penang that is worth bringing home is Tambun biscuits, or Tau
Sar Pneah
. This delicacy is a mixture of sweet and savoury, and is flaky
and soft at the same time. Traditionally, it is made from wheat flour, sugar,
green bean paste, fried onions, lard and salt. However, there are many
available in the market which are lard-free to cater for the Muslim market.

#10
Pickled fruits are also a must-buy
when one visits Penang. It is a popular souvenir especially among Malaysians. Among
the most well-known is from Pak Ali’s,
best known for its distinct aroma and taste. They claim to use apple cider
vinegar and honey in the pickling process, which sets them apart from the rest.

#11
– Also known as the Food Paradise of Malaysia, especially Indian food, you can always
bring back a mix of your favourite spices
so that you can replicate the dish back home. Head to Little India in George Town, and you’ll be
spilt for choice!

Packed dry spices or ready-cooked pastes to bring home

#12
– If you are into White Coffee, then
by all means, buy a pack or two to bring home. For those who don’t know, the
coffee beans used to produce white coffee are not white. Instead, coffee beans
are roasted with palm oil margarine, ground, brewed and served with
sweetened condensed milk. The drink gets its color from the milk that is
used. 

There’s even Durian Coffee!

If
you are in Kuala Lumpur, or any other major city in Malaysia, the following
suggestions are for you.

#13
– Malaysia batik or songket are also great souvenirs to take home. These
hand-crafted textiles are versatile and can be made into clothing, soft
furnishings and even wall decorations. Malaysian batik differs from others in
the region in terms of design and motif, as well as technique.

Batik and songket

#14
– A fan of durian? You may not be
able to bring back the fruit, but there are a whole multitude of products made
from the King of Fruits available in most supermarkets, and packed safe for
your journey home. There’s durian chocolates, cakes and even coffee!

#15
– Believe it or not, instant noodles!
Seriously. The flavours available out there is UNBELIEVABLE! Even if you might
not buy them, it’ll still be nice to walk into a supermarket and browse the
aisle. You will be amazed at the array of choices you have! Locals enjoy curry
flavor, but there’s also a whole array of flavor combinations that might peak
your curiosity.

#16
BOH tea is one of Cameron
Highland’s product that is worth bringing home, too. BOH Plantations Sdn Bhd is
the largest black tea manufacturer in Malaysia, with both domestic and
international distribution owned by BOH Plantations Sdn Bhd.

#17
Asian drinks. I kid you not! There
are fizzy and non-fizzy versions, in all imaginable flavours and combinations.
From winter melon to passionfruit, pear and ginseng to watermelon and lychee,
feel free to indulge!

#18
– Another one of the things that will sound weird, but go try (and buy!) 100 Plus. 100 Plus is the first thirst-quenching, isotonic beverage to be
launched in Malaysia in 1983. It is caffeine-free, specially formulated to help
restore what the body has lost during physical exertion and rehydrate the body
to its optimal hydration balance. Its unique formula combines fluids,
carbohydrates and electrolytes for quick and efficient absorption of fluids
into the body.

#19 – Pewter goods are also a favourite among tourists. The best
place to get your pewter items are of course from Royal Selangor Pewter,
located in Kuala Lumpur. Royal Selangor International Sdn Bhd is a Malaysian pewter
manufacturer and retailer, the largest of its type in the world.

#20
Adopt and animal! While you cannot
bring the animal home with you, you have at least left a piece of yourself
here, and helped conserve a little bit of Malaysia for our future generations.
A lot of programs are available, and offered, online where you can adopt a
tiger, elephant, turtle, even an orangutan, and receive a certificate and
regular updates on your ‘child’.

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