Here I am in Germany, Autumn has begun, temperatures are getting cooler and holidays seem far away. It’s quite nice for me take a break from Autumn and think back about my warm holidays in Malaysia a few years ago! Let me take you there for a short virtual trip!
As you have figured out by now, travels and ice cream are among the things I love! In Malaysia I had the pleasure of trying cendol for the first time. Cendol is a wonderful iced dessert which I unfortunately didn’t try til the last stop of my trip to Malaysia… this was unfortunate because I loved it so much! You’ll read more about delicious cendol at the end of this blog post! 🙂
Kuala Lumpur markets, high storey malls & impressive temples
I was in Malaysia for about 2.5 weeks. Based on the advice of a colleague and the recommendations of my guidebook for Malaysia, we decided to start off by visiting the capital Kuala Lumpur for a few days. We walked a lot in those few days and did our best to cope with jetlag! I loved checking out (street food) markets, temples, then cooling off in the modern air-conditioned subway and trying take-away drinks with colourful bits floating in them.
Until I was in KL I had never seen such an enormous shopping mall as Berjaya Times Square! As you can see on the photo below, it has many storeys and there is a theme park with a rollercoaster on levels 5 & 7!
From KL we went on a daytrip to the Batu Caves; figuring out where to get the bus was a challenge, but it was well-worth it! The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India. As you get closer to the caves, you get a better feeling of how tall the 43m gold statue of Murugan (Hindu god of war) at the entrance really is! There are several temples inside the caves: because temples in South East Asia are so different to anything I’m used to, I always really enjoy visiting them and seeing what people do. Inside one of the temples in the Batu caves, people were helping themselves to some rice dishes served on a big leaves and eating. If I remember/understood correctly, the food was considered a gift from their Gods.
Cameron Highlands’ vivid green tea plantations
We took a bus from KL to the Cameron Highlands and upon arrival immediately enjoyed the cooler temperatures! 🙂 Seeing the extensive tea plantations was lovely!
Ipoh & Kuala Kangsar
Ipoh was a highlight food-wise! A local man that we met at the foodstalls drew us a little map showing where to eat Ipoh’s best chicken with soy sauce and bean sprouts. You’re thinking that doesn’t sound particularly tasty? … yea that’s what I thought too, before I tried it! That dish was one of the culinary highlights of our holidays in Malaysia!
The beautiful Ubudiah Mosque and the Royal Palace were highlights in Kuala Kangsar! It was particularly hot there… so hot that we couldn’t just walk to see those places, we needed a ride.
Perhentian Islands’ beautiful beaches
We flew to Kota Bharu and took a boat from there to Pulau Perhentian Kecil. Hanging out on Kecil’s beautiful sandy beaches, in the warm clear water was a lovely and relaxing experience!
Walking past the big monitor lizards on our way to the beach was a little daunting at first, but they didn’t care about us!
The morning after a stormy night, it quickly became clear that the local cockroaches had taken shelter in our cabin. “Invigorating” could be used to describe the shower I had the next morning, as I watched coackroaches approach me from multiple directions and try to climb into my toilet bag…
Melaka city: a beautiful city with a colonial past
Melaka (about 150km south of Kuala Lumpur), was the last place we visited in Malaysia. At various times of its past, Melaka was under the control of the Portuguese, Dutch and British. We loved the narrow two-story houses with painted shutters, the ornate templates and the lively Jonker Walk Night Market with its many food stalls and karaoke.
Cendol: a culinary highlight of my trip to Malaysia
Food in Malaysia was great: because the Chinese make up about 25% of the population in Malaysia and the Indian about 8%, not only Malay cuisine awaits you in Malaysia, but also a a great deal of good Chinese and Indian food.
Cendol was one of the culinary highlights that I underlined and marked with a star in my guide book before heading off to Malaysia, to make sure I try it! According to Wikipedia, cendol is a traditional dessert from Indonesia which is also popular in other Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia. I couldn’t quite imagine what to expect from its description: it’s a dessert made of shaved ice, green starched jelly noodles with pandan flavouring, red kidney beans, coconut milk and palm sugar.
The version I loved was a minimalist version made with a pile of shaved ice in a bowl, with coconut milk and palm sugar syrup poured over. The texture and flavours were wonderful and refreshing! I also tried it with the green jelly noodles and red beans, but they weren’t my taste! We loved cendol so much that we ate it on a daily basis after first tasting it! 🙂
Malaysia tourism website: www.tourism.gov.my
I loved the cendol from Kocik Kitchen: Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia