Perhaps I’m best known for my love of food, but I also have other passions. My recent Malaysian adventure was the total package which satisfied my whole and helped me tap back into some of these forgotten parts.
I’m not sure I had any expectations, except perhaps for a great big plane load of excitement about the opportunity to fly one (well, a Malaysia Airlines 777-200 flight simulator to be more accurate.) That was very good fun! And, definitely one of the highlights of my trip.
But here’s more on the Malaysian side of the holiday and a quick snapshot of the time that I spent in Penang and Kuala Lumpur:
I just adored Penang. Penang has personality. And no area moreso than the UNESCO world heritage listed area Chew Jetty in George Town. Chew Jetty (or She Chew Keo) is the biggest of the eight clan jetties in George Town and was built close to a century ago. A rickshaw ride through George Town was the most fabulous way to explore the old colonial architecture and the Chinese temples. We even stumbled upon a Chinese Opera as part of the celebrations at the Hungry Ghost Festival. Right up there on my list (as it should be on your wishlist) was the old Pinang Peranakan Mansion – with vintage kitchenalia that had me wanting to get cooking myself.
The stay in Penang also gave some much needed time to chill at the luxury Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa! Leaving Australia with blow dried straight hair and returning relaxed with my hair natural and curly, says it all.
The eating was all good: from Penang Assam Laksa through to other local favourite (and certainly now a favourite of mine) – Ice Kacang. And of course then there’s the recipes. Cooking is my thing after all. So time in the kitchen with 5th generation Nyonya, and now friend Pearl Kee, was total bliss.
The School of Hard Knocks at Royal Selangor Pewter KL put a hammer in my hand. And let me bring home my own bowl . There’s a Guiness World Record beer mug on display outside the factory, but what happens on the inside is definitely worth a look see.
And what would a visit to KL be without a visit to the Petronas twin towers. The inner geek in me got excited by the technology, and the artist in me loved the view: not just the daytime view from the Skybridge, but also the view from the bar (the Sky Bar – Traders Hotel) looking back at the towers at night.
Probably the most striking memory of the trip though was that of the Malaysian people – friendly, warm, authentic and welcoming.
Malaysia I’ll be back…
1. The UNESCO world heritage listed area of Chew Jetty connected with my heart. Right outside there’s also a great place to chow down on authentic local noodles.
2. Cooking is my thing, so a morning in the kitchen learning Nyonya dishes from Pearly Kee was fantastic. And I brought back a new friendship as well as recipes.
3. In Penang I discovered I have an addiction: to Ice Kacang
4. An unplanned detour to the Hungry Ghost Festival (not on our itinerary) is what travel is all about.
5. I’ve been telling everyone since I returned how I flew a plane (did I have to mention it was a flight simulator?)
Written by Rebecca Varidel for Discover Magical Malaysia on travel.com.au and republished on Inside Cuisine.
Rebecca Varidel was a guest of Malaysia Airlines, Tourism Malaysia and www.travel.com.au