As We Travel » Malaysia http://www.aswetravel.com Traveling Tips, Destinations, Videos & Travel Blog Tue, 16 Dec 2014 18:58:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 VIDEO: Eastern & Oriental Express – Singapore To Bangkok http://www.aswetravel.com/eastern-oriental-express-singapore-to-bangkok/ http://www.aswetravel.com/eastern-oriental-express-singapore-to-bangkok/#comments Sun, 04 Nov 2012 07:00:40 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=38275 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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Earlier this year we had the opportunity to travel on the Eastern and Oriental Express from Singapore to Bangkok – the 3-day trip was one of pure indulgence with good food, beautiful views and 5-star service! It’s a beautiful train and a trip of a lifetime, and we made a short video summing up our […]

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As We Travel - Traveling Tips, Destinations, Videos & Travel Blog

Earlier this year we had the opportunity to travel on the Eastern and Oriental Express from Singapore to Bangkok – the 3-day trip was one of pure indulgence with good food, beautiful views and 5-star service!

It’s a beautiful train and a trip of a lifetime, and we made a short video summing up our experience – check it out below:

You can also read more about the trip below:

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Melaka – Why It’s Worth A Visit http://www.aswetravel.com/melaka-why-its-worth-a-visit/ http://www.aswetravel.com/melaka-why-its-worth-a-visit/#comments Mon, 06 Aug 2012 12:00:43 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=35195 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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We had about a month left in Malaysia before our trip down to Singapore in June and needed to find a place where we could relax and work for a while. Melaka turned out to be the perfect place for this, and we ended up staying there for the whole month – with it becoming […]

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We had about a month left in Malaysia before our trip down to Singapore in June and needed to find a place where we could relax and work for a while.

Melaka turned out to be the perfect place for this, and we ended up staying there for the whole month – with it becoming our favorite city in Malaysia!

Time Stands Still

The people in Melaka are very relaxed and welcoming, and it didn’t take very long until many of them started recognizing us and treating us like locals.

While the city is pretty close to the cosmopolitan capital Kuala Lumpur, Melaka has an entirely different vibe.

Hurry was not a known word in this place, everybody took their time, and you could sit and do nothing at all, without feeling bad for it.

The hands on the clock tower on the main square had stopped at half past two, but nobody seemed to have bothered to change it (or even noticed?) for a long time, perhaps because time is irrelevant there anyway.

The True Land Of Smiles

What I noticed about Malaysia in general was even more obvious in Melaka – this is the true land of smiles!

In contrary to many countries, people in Malaysia smile just for the sake of smiling, nothing else.

It is such a freeing feeling to know that the person smiling at you doesn’t want anything in return but a smile from you too.

In many countries the only smiles you get are when someone wants something from you, most often your business.

When they want to sell you something, they smile – if they don’t, they won’t bother.

In Malaysia, people smile a lot, and they do it because they simply want to, especially in Melaka.

The City Itself

Because of Melaka’s interesting history, with Dutch, Brittish and Portuguese settlers, there is a fun diversity there.

You’ll find Dutch inspired houses, Portuguese inspired food, and shoes and traditions from the Nyonya people (Chinese-Malay).

Sitting by one of the cafes lining the (Dutch) canal was one of my favorite things to do, although you could get quite tired having to always wave back at every tour boat and fishing boat that passed by on the canal – yes, waving to each other was like an unwritten law there..!

Every Day Is A Holiday

It is sometimes a little difficult to travel in Malaysia without anything pre-planned.

Malaysians themselves love to travel in their own country, and with all the holidays they have hotels are fully booked very often.

I was not surprised to find out that Malaysia has the most holidays in the whole world – it literally felt as though every second day was some sort of holiday!

Open-Minded

My experience with Malaysians is that they are very open-minded to other cultures and traditions.

This became especially clear to me when a group of teenage girls came up to me one day in a mall for an interview for their school project.

They immediately started showering me with compliments: “You look so fashionable today!”, “I love your blonde hair!”, they said while touching my hair and smiling.

This was so funny, because the contrast between us couldn’t have been bigger – they  were all wearing Tudong and Baju Kurung (veil and full-covering dresses), and there I was in a short sleeveless dress…

Which is your favorite city in Malaysia?

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Losing 4k In 4 Seconds – How We Got Mugged In Malaysia! http://www.aswetravel.com/losing-4k-in-4-seconds-we-got-mugged-in-malaysia/ http://www.aswetravel.com/losing-4k-in-4-seconds-we-got-mugged-in-malaysia/#comments Fri, 13 Jul 2012 06:00:59 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=33925 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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A few weeks ago - we were sitting in a colorful Trishaw (bicycle taxi), touring the streets of Georgetown in Penang while filming a new travel episode and chitchatting with the old wrinkled man behind us pushing the bike. In reality, it would have been faster to simply walk, so it was a little funny to see […]

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A few weeks ago - we were sitting in a colorful Trishaw (bicycle taxi), touring the streets of Georgetown in Penang while filming a new travel episode and chitchatting with the old wrinkled man behind us pushing the bike.

In reality, it would have been faster to simply walk, so it was a little funny to see people walking past us, but we weren’t in a hurry to get anywhere.

The Mugging.

Then, in the matter of seconds, it happened …

Suddenly, out of nowhere, two men on a motorbike came up from behind us – the guy behind the driver was sitting backwards on the motorbike, turned towards us (obviously prepared).

He broke out into a big smile as if greeting us, while at the same time grabbing the camera that Nathan was holding in both hands by his chest, forcing it out of his hands at the same time as the driver on the motorbike accelerated to gain more power, and drove off.

It all happened really fast, but it was one of those moments when time suddenly stops and everything seems to happen in slow motion.

Those who have ever seen me get mad, know not to let it happen again – it takes a lot for me to snap, but when I do I get a death look that shocks people in ways you can’t imagine.

That guy on the motorbike was one of the few who got to see it.

I gave him “the death look”, let out a long, loud animal-like scream, and as I leaped out of the seat, the guy’s arrogant smile had turned into a look of pure terror.

I knew there was nothing I could do to get it back, but I would NOT let him get away with my camera while still smiling.

That was the fastest way we’ve seen 4,000US dollars disappear out of our hands ever.

The poor old trishaw man was close to tears, and tried to pedal as fast as he could, helplessly repeating “wait, I tell my boss”, making his way to the “boss”.

At the police station, I cried – not of pity, but of anger.

I was so pissed off by how anyone can justify mugging someone.

They have no excuse, being poor is not a valid excuse, especially not when they could obviously afford a motorbike and fuel, a luxury in my opinion.

It was not losing the camera that made me so mad, it was losing the memory card with all our photos and video footage on it.

Sometimes Safety Is Not The Problem.

During the last 4 years of traveling, this has never happened before – which in other words means, I guess it had to happen some time…

People can go on and on about how you have to be careful with your stuff, but there is a limit to that too.

Sure, it might have been safer keeping the camera inside a bag, but what’s the point of having a camera if you’re not using it?

During our travels, we’ve met quite a few travelers who have chosen not to bring even a cheap point and shoot camera with them on their trips – in fear of losing it.

I think that’s taking it too far.

It sucks to be mugged, but I can’t imagine having traveled to all these countries for so many years without having taken one single picture – just for the sake of not getting mugged.

What We Learnt.

Incidentally, we had just (a few weeks earlier) changed our insurance company from World Nomads to another company which we felt seemed more willing to help out rather than trying to find every opportunity to avoid paying out.

It always stings a bit when you pay a lot for something you probably won’t need, but I was so glad I had my insurance this time, and while we didn’t get the full amount back, getting half of it was not too bad (the new insurance we use is called ERV).

Having a good insurance makes things so much easier, and only two weeks after claiming the insurance we were paid without any further questions.

I’m not afraid of buying another expensive camera, to be honest we probably got more money back from the insurance than we would have got by selling our second-hand gear – don’t let one bad experience make you expect it to happen again – it might, but it also might not.

Have you been mugged before? how did you deal with it?

“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen – keep in the sunlight” – Benjamin Franklin

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Eastern & Oriental Express – The Photo Essay http://www.aswetravel.com/eastern-oriental-express-photo-essay/ http://www.aswetravel.com/eastern-oriental-express-photo-essay/#comments Mon, 09 Jul 2012 06:00:14 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=33684 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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The best way to describe what the Eastern & Oriental Express was really like is to simply show you – after all, don’t they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Below we have put together a photo essay to showcase the best of our train trip (you will even see us dressed to […]

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The best way to describe what the Eastern & Oriental Express was really like is to simply show you – after all, don’t they say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Below we have put together a photo essay to showcase the best of our train trip (you will even see us dressed to the max in a suit & evening dress :P) - also if you would like to read more about the train and our personal journey – you can click here.

The observation car was one of our favorite things about the E&O – located at the very end of the train, you could enjoy the landscape sweeping past, slowly changing as you traveled from the south in Singapore all the way up north to Bangkok.

Those getting up early to watch the sunrise through the mist were served hot tea, which added a nice touch to the colonial ambience of the car.

Our conversations during lunch were always interrupted by one of us going “hey – look at that!” pointing out the window, seeing something odd, funny or amazing.

Like Agatha Christie says: Trains are wonderful… to travel by train is to see nature and human beings, towns… and rivers, in fact, to see life.

This journey was all about relaxing, indulging and enjoying yourself.

After all the extra hassle that comes with planning your own travels, it was really nice to have a break and just sit back and relax letting the exceptional and friendly staff take care of everything for you, from the excursions to the wonderful food.

When darkness fell outside the window, the train got even brighter and livelier inside – men dressed up in tuxedos and a tie, women putting on their evening dresses and glimmering jewels, and the piano bar full of people mingling after dinner with a glass of wine or two.


And finally, the food – those who know me are well aware that I have a SERIOUS sweet tooth, so as you can see I was very spoiled with all the beautiful desserts and sweets served on the train.

Note: Our trip was sponsored by Eastern & Oriental Express, but as always our opinions are our own.

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Eastern And Oriental Express – A Journey Like No Other http://www.aswetravel.com/eastern-oriental-express-a-journey-like-no-other/ http://www.aswetravel.com/eastern-oriental-express-a-journey-like-no-other/#comments Mon, 02 Jul 2012 02:00:59 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=33039 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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Eastern And Oriental Express – A Journey Like No Other After a couple of days enjoying the best of Singapore, we had the pleasure of traveling on the Eastern and Oriental Express up to Bangkok – the train took us through the jungles of Malaysia and rice fields of Thailand during 3 luxurious and unforgettable days. […]

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Eastern And Oriental Express – A Journey Like No Other

After a couple of days enjoying the best of Singapore, we had the pleasure of traveling on the Eastern and Oriental Express up to Bangkok – the train took us through the jungles of Malaysia and rice fields of Thailand during 3 luxurious and unforgettable days.

Check-In & Boarding

Since Woodland’s train station is slightly out of town, we checked in for the train at the Regent Hotel, a five star hotel on Orchard Road with the same luxurious, traditional style of the Eastern and Oriental Express train.

The air was filled with excitement, and looking around the room there were all sorts of people who were taking the journey: solo travelers, couples, friends and families.

From the hotel we were driven by bus to the train station, where the border crossing was the smoothest I’ve ever experienced (why can’t all border crossings be like this?), a world away from how we crossed the border into Singapore just a few days earlier …

The Compartments

When boarding the Eastern and Oriental Express, your steward takes you to your “room” – there are 3 types of compartments: Pullman Cabins (bunk beds), State Cabins (twin beds) and Presidential Suites.

They’re all very well appointed and beautifully designed with walls of cherry wood and romantic decorations in Oriental style.

We stayed in a Pullman Cabin, which was slightly small but well laid out - each cabin has a bathroom with shower, a writing desk, panoramic windows and a couch that is converted into beds by the steward when you’re out for dinner.

The Highlights

The observation car was one of the highlights on the Eastern and Oriental Express, and one of the first things we decided to check out.

When there is no window separating you from the rice fields, jungles and rural countryside, it feels more real: you can smell the country – hear it – feel it.

The view from the train was exactly like in the movies, where children play by the tracks and farmers look up and waive their hands with a big smile as you pass.

The saloon car, library car, restaurant cars and piano bar car really made you feel like you had stepped back into a glamorous past.

There was a traditional luxury over the whole train, both in the design as much as in the service and general vibe.

Chit-chatting over a tray of peanuts and a glass of wine while listening to beautiful piano music was a reality I never thought possible on a train – everything was immaculate and so full of character and charm.

Dining

We felt truly spoiled with the exceptional food we indulged in during the trip on Eastern and Oriental Express.

A lot of thought and skill were put into every single dish, from the unique mixture of Asian and European influences to the presentation – I have no idea how the chefs managed to make such great food in such tiny kitchens on a bumpy train!

Breakfast is served in the cabin on a big tray with everything from Danish pastries to local Malaysian tea.

Lunch is served in one of the restaurant cars, and we were surprised to find that even this was a full 4 course meal!

Afternoon tea was served in the cabin, with a nice selection of local treats to try.

We really liked how they used a lot of local Asian ingredients and specialties – the local cuisine is a big part of experiencing a country, and on the Eastern and Oriental Express you really got a taste of South East Asia.

I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much food in the span of three short days..!

The dinner on the Eastern and Oriental Express is quite an event, where suit jacket and tie is compulsory for men, and women dress up in evening dresses.

To see everyone dress up in their finest clothes, from a Kimono to evening gowns and lots and lots of glittering jewels, really enhanced the whole occasion – and I got to enjoy the rare sight of Nathan in a suit ;)

In the romantic dining cars you’re served a 5-course meal every evening, with some absolutely delicious desserts and chocolates to finish the night in perfection.

The Entertainment

With fruit tasting, palm reading, foot massage and a Thai dance show, there are many things to keep you busy on the Eastern and Oriental Express, and on both days of the journey you take a small excursion.

In Malaysia you go for a guided Trishaw tour around Georgetown, Penang, and in Thailand you visit the Bridge on the River Kwai for a boat tour and a museum visit.

These are great ways to take in the culture of the places you visit, but it’s the journey and the Eastern and Oriental Express in itself that is the real experience.

The Service

While the Eastern and Oriental Express truly knows how to provide a glamorous vibe and luxurious experience, what made the journey most memorable, were the exceptional staff.

They treated it like something more than just a job, they were really enjoying it – and it showed through.

They were professional and yet personal, making us feel very pampered and special.

The staff makes all the difference, and the people working for this company were what made the journey the best it could possibly be – this trip was something very special for everyone onboard the train, and the staff treated it as though it was special also for them.

Our journey with the Eastern and Oriental Express was exactly what people say it is: a journey like no other!

Note: Our trip was sponsored by Eastern and Oriental Express, but as always our opinions are our own.

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The Nest Guesthouse In Kuala Lumpur (REVIEW) http://www.aswetravel.com/the-nest-guesthouse-in-kuala-lumpur-review/ http://www.aswetravel.com/the-nest-guesthouse-in-kuala-lumpur-review/#comments Fri, 25 May 2012 12:00:49 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=32010 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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Centrally located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, you’ll find The Nest Guesthouse, one of the top rated B&B’s in the city. The reason why people like this place so much, is simple: the owners have truly understood what it takes to make their guests feel comfortable and enjoy their stay. “One of the most […]

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Centrally located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, you’ll find The Nest Guesthouse, one of the top rated B&B’s in the city.

The reason why people like this place so much, is simple: the owners have truly understood what it takes to make their guests feel comfortable and enjoy their stay.

“One of the most important things about a good guesthouse, is the vibe” says Lupo, one of the owners.

When you enter the guesthouse you immediately leave the busy, chaotic streets of KL behind and feel right at home.

The lounge has a nice vibe with comfy couches where you can watch movies, read magazines, and meet other travelers.

The bedrooms are bright and spacious, and the common kitchen with free tea/coffee and breakfast, is immaculately clean.

But what made us really appreciate this place was the small things that other guesthouses in Asia, and anywhere for that matter, often tend to miss: the cleanliness, the modern designs, and the attention to small details – such as the aromatherapy shower gel in the bathrooms and the super fast high-speed wifi throughout the building.

For those who don’t have laptops there are two computers in the lounge you can use for free.

The location is great, tucked away on a smaller street in a neighborhood with heaps of great restaurants, bars, shopping malls and street markets nearby.

It’s a great guesthouse at a good price, in a location close to almost everything, and we would definitely stay at the Nest Guesthouse again next time we visit KL.

Guesthouse Details:

The Nest Guesthouse
1-1, Jalan Angsoka, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Phone: +603 2110 2000
Email: info@thenest.com.my
Website: www.thenest.com.my

Disclaimer: Our stay at the Nest Guesthouse was sponsored, but our opinions are, as always, our own.

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Staying With Roomorama In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia http://www.aswetravel.com/staying-with-roomorama-in-kuala-lumpur/ http://www.aswetravel.com/staying-with-roomorama-in-kuala-lumpur/#comments Sat, 19 May 2012 12:00:09 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=32006 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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Admiring the most iconic building in Kuala Lumpur – the Petronas Towers, while at the same time floating on your back in an infinity pool, just doesn’t make any sense – it simply would be too good to be true. Or, so we thought… While searching for an apartment in Kuala Lumpur on Roomorama.com, we managed […]

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Admiring the most iconic building in Kuala Lumpur – the Petronas Towers, while at the same time floating on your back in an infinity pool, just doesn’t make any sense – it simply would be too good to be true.

Or, so we thought…

While searching for an apartment in Kuala Lumpur on Roomorama.com, we managed to find an unbelievable place to stay, right opposite the famous Twin Towers in the middle of the city.

We stayed for 3 nights at Marc Residence, a luxury apartment complex which offered everything you could want: two large pools (one literally with a view of the Petronas Towers), a tennis court, fully equipped gym, sauna, reading room with free wifi, minimart, laundry and a cafe.

Booking online with Roomorama went really smoothly: you find a place you want, send an enquiry to the host, and if it’s available, the host will get back to you and offer you the place.

If it is unavailable, or if you simply want to make it easier for yourself, you can use the “Shout Out” feature – where you add the city you’ll be visiting, the dates, number of guests, and write a short message.

This message will be sent off to all the hosts in the city you’ll be visiting, who can then get back to you with their offers.

Sometimes you meet the host before moving in, but often the host arranges everything so that this isn’t necessary – we picked up the keys from the concierge at the reception, and once we had moved into the studio apartment, we sent the host a “payment code” so that she could collect the money.

It is a very safe system, preventing hosts from taking the money before the guests have checked in and made sure that everything is fine.

Our experience with Roomorama was great as always, and anyone looking for apartments with that extra flair and a great location should look into using Roomorama for their next trip.

Disclaimer: Our stay in KL was fully sponsored by Roomorama, but our opinions are, as always, our own.

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5 Things I’ve Learnt From Malaysian People While in Malaysia http://www.aswetravel.com/5-things-ive-learnt-from-the-malay-people-while-in-malaysia/ http://www.aswetravel.com/5-things-ive-learnt-from-the-malay-people-while-in-malaysia/#comments Thu, 05 May 2011 12:00:27 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=16533 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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This was our second visit to Malaysia, and it was a lot of fun returning to a place two years later to see if our impressions were different this time around. It became clear to me that many of my past experiences from the country had more to do with myself than anything else. Last […]

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This was our second visit to Malaysia, and it was a lot of fun returning to a place two years later to see if our impressions were different this time around.

Malaysian peopleIt became clear to me that many of my past experiences from the country had more to do with myself than anything else.

Last time I found it hard to decide whether I liked the country or not: sometimes I wanted to get away from it asap, other times I loved it.

This time I had a better idea about the place, but one thing that hadn’t changed, was that it’s still a country which I found hard to define.

There are so many culture mixes here that it’s hard putting a finger on what and how Malaysia is – but here are some things I’ve learned about the Malaysian people during our time here:

1. They openly show emotions

Malaysian peopleUnlike in Thailand, the Malaysian people didn’t seem hesitant to show negative emotions, and didn’t at all avoid confrontations.

When you questioned something you got a straight answer and an honest opinion from them, whether it was a taxi driver, restaurant waiter or street worker.

It was all very straight forward, which we really loved.

They weren’t afraid of asking for your opinion and thoughts, and actually wanted to hear what you had to say about their food, culture etc.

They were also very open to show positive emotions, and would crack a joke with you without thinking further into what they were doing.

2. They point with their knuckles and thumb.

This was something we had to get used to doing as well. Nobody points with their index finger in Malaysia, it’s considered really rude, but thumbs and knuckles are pointed everywhere.

3. They are talkative

So many words, so little time – the hawkers are experts at counting up everything they offer while you pass by.

But it’s not just the people trying to sell you something who talk a lot, the Malaysian people seem to simply like conversating with people in general.

While in many other countries salesmen only talk to you until you have bought (or denied) something, here they continued talking about other things even once they understood that you wouldn’t buy it.

Taxi drivers more than happily shared their thoughts about the city, government and people, shop keepers made jokes, and people on the street started conversations.

4. They stare

The Malaysian people are not afraid of coming on too strong and stare freely, even when they know that you know that they’re looking… They’re not being rude, just curious. The stares are not judging, so after you get used to it, it’s not very awkward anymore.

5. They’re multi cultural and have no private space

Chinese eat Indian curries, Indians eat Arab food and Arabs eat Nyonya food.

In many countries the people separate themselves and only hang out with their own “peers”, while here they seemed to hang out with anyone no matter religion or origin.

Another thing I noticed was how they didn’t mind sitting down at a strangers’ table in a restaurant and eat – talking or not talking to the one sitting in front of you, it was not a big deal.

This is something which is very different from my own culture, where it would take a lot for two strangers to share a table at a restaurant.

Have you been to Malaysia? What impressions of the Malaysian people did you get?

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Penang Food – The Must Treats! http://www.aswetravel.com/penang-food-the-must-treats/ http://www.aswetravel.com/penang-food-the-must-treats/#comments Tue, 03 May 2011 12:00:57 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=16450 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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Penang Food –  Penang is famous for many things, but the reason we wanted to go there was simple: the Penang Food was supposedly amazing. When we heard this we were sold, and left Thailand to indulge in Indian curries for one fifth of the price in Penang. What makes Penang a food heaven are […]

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Penang Food –  Penang is famous for many things, but the reason we wanted to go there was simple: the Penang Food was supposedly amazing.

When we heard this we were sold, and left Thailand to indulge in Indian curries for one fifth of the price in Penang.

What makes Penang a food heaven are the many varieties of cuisine; Arabic food stalls, thai restaurants, Indian, Malay, Nyonya, Chinese, Lebanese… the list goes on.

After spending a whole week staying in one of the many great Penang hotels, we have also managed to eat so many of the famous Malay sweets and desserts, here are a few of our favorites:

Nyonya Kuih in Palm Sugar Sauce

Made of glutinous rice this steamed sweet is actually pretty tasty. The palm sugar coconut sauce tasted a bit like licorice, and the nyonya kuih was also pretty nice, if you’re used to jelly sweets.

It’s made out of pea flour and Pandan juice. There are many different varieties of the Kuih, but ours was pretty simple with one layer only. The Nyonya kuihs are very popular in Penang.

Nyonya is a traditional Penang food, and refer to the Chinese migrants who came to Penang and other parts of Malaysia in the 18th century. The food is a mixture between Malay and Chinese cuisine, and is called Nyonya food.

Cendol

Green noodles in coconut milk, brown sugar and shaved ice. Yes, you read it correctly, those are the actual ingredients… It sounds crazy, but it’s one of the most common desserts in Malaysia and has been part of the Penang food tradition for decades (some have been selling Cendol since the 1920’s), and although it’s weird, it’s worth a try just to know what this combination would taste like!

Fried Ais Krim Goreng

The ultimate recipe for weight gain (although they’re small in size), but oh so delicious!

Some people might not like the warm oily deep fried crust covering cold and creamy cookies and cream ice cream inside – but I LOVED it.

The Fried Ais Krim Goreng is a Malaysian favorite treat, and you’ll see it everywhere on the Penang food menus.

Ais Kachang

If the Penang food isn’t surprising enough for your taste buds, I can guarantee you that this dessert will be. This is even weirder than Cendol – this is the weirdest dessert I’ve ever had. Red beans, ice cream, lychee fruit, corn, shaven ice and grass jelly? All mixed up, and it tastes….interesting…

Parts of the dish are sweet and blend together really well, like the fresh fruit, ice cream and jelly. But then you get these bites of bean, corn and water (the ice melts really quickly), which doesn’t blend very well with he flavors.

The Ais Kachang used to only consist of shaved ice and red beans, so the additional flavors – if a little strange, definitely make this type of Penang food taste better.

Indian Sweets

When in Georgetown, you have to try the Indian sweets! The Indian servings are pretty big (some gigantic, so look out!), so you probably won’t feel like dessert when walking out of the restaurant – but buy it for later, because you will want to try and see what those bright colored things really taste like.

Don’t expect anything sweet like the western candy, this is totally different. Karanji is a common sweet, but there are often whole stalls selling Indian sweets only, in all kinds of colors and shapes.

Steamed and Fried Kuih

The Kuih is a rather strange part of the traditional Penang food, as it almost looks inedible. It actually tastes pretty good, and is not as sweet as it looks. Many Malays have a plate of Kuih only for lunch, and since they’re pretty filling, that is enough food to last you a few hours.

So take a trip to Georgetown in Penang, forget about the waist line for a little while and let yourself indulge in the Penang food!

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6 Things To Do In Malaysia http://www.aswetravel.com/things-to-do-in-malaysia/ http://www.aswetravel.com/things-to-do-in-malaysia/#comments Fri, 13 Aug 2010 13:00:39 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=2913 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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Malaysia is a country where you will find an obvious West /East meeting point – combine the two and you get a crazy mixture – where Dutch clogs go with Indian curry and Portuguese churches. It is a total mix of both the best and the worst of each culture, and you either hate it […]

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Malaysia is a country where you will find an obvious West /East meeting point – combine the two and you get a crazy mixture – where Dutch clogs go with Indian curry and Portuguese churches.

It is a total mix of both the best and the worst of each culture, and you either hate it or love it, but you’ll never leave Malaysia without a strong impression. I changed my mind about this country many times. At first I hated it, then I didn’t know what to think, and eventually I loved it.

For me Malaysia was one of those countries which grows on you, and will show it’s good side if you just give it some time.

These are my top picks for having the best experience on mainland Malaysia (I have yet to visit my dream location: Borneo)

1. Visiting The Malls In KL

The crazy thing about Kuala Lumpur is that you can basically travel through the whole city never walking OUT of shopping malls! Wherever you go you will suddenly find yourself inside another and then another shopping mall.

When you step off the tram you have already stepped into a mall – to be able to find your way in these mega malls you often need a map.

Visiting the malls in KL is an experience even if you’re not buying anything.

There is always something going on, beauty competitions, runway shows, shows for newly released watches and other luxury items, and in one of the malls they have actually built an indoor roller-coaster..!

2. Tea And Strawberries In Cameron Highlands

The fun and odd thing about Malaysia is the well embedded multi-culture of the country.

People from countries and religions all over the world have shared this land for centuries, and have settled their own traditions and cultures in the city.

In Cameron Highlands you will see the British culture with strawberry plantations, European flora and fauna as well as the tea plantations.

The climate is a lot colder, and I haven’t seen any place like this in South East Asia – a great place to get away from the normally humid, warm Asia.

3. Chilling Out On The Perhentian Islands

These are a group of islands you literally will never want to leave. We stayed there for two weeks instead of the planned 3 days.

It has that typical “hide away” feeling and the islands are far from exploited.

When we went there there weren’t many tourists at all, and they also tended to only stay on the most popular island and only on that very beach, not even looking around to see what more there was on the island.

The water is warm and crystal clear, and you can take your PADI diving certificate, go island hopping or just go snorkeling all day long.

4. Tasting The Food

Malaysia is know to have the best food in all of Asia, and it certainly is diverse. Thanks to all the influence of different countries and their food traditions, Malaysia food is a mixture of it all together. Some food is really strange, but much of it is pretty tasty too. Don’t be surprised if you see Dutch Apfelstrudeln (apple pie) next to Indian Samosa on the menu!

5. Ride A Trishaw In Melaka

If you think you’ve seen it all, you must check out the colorful trishaws.

These bike taxis outshine all other forms transports from around the world!

For the taxi-bike drivers it is fierce competition to have the coolest bike, decorating it with all junk you could ever find, and the more glitter and lights the better.

To top it, these guys take you around the city with techno music pumping out of their speakers at the highest volume.

6. The Crazy Multi-Culture Connection

People from all religions live together here, in a country with several cultural heritages, and it’s all just a mixture of everything; Dutch clogs, belly dancing, karaoke contests – and temple dance classes.

Everywhere we went in Malaysia they were having dance classes. Men and women, young and old, Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu, all practicing dance moves together. This in all sorts of places, all from 90’s pop music in a public garage to “Pussy Cat Dolls” in a temple.

Enjoy your time in Malaysia, if you have already visited – what were some of your fav. things to do in Malaysia?

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