Archive for October, 2012

Oct 30 2012

Review: Calanthe Art Cafe, Melaka

Published by under Melaka

Coffee, Malaysia style.

Travellers love Malaysia for its diverse and delicious food, but did you know it’s also a coffee-producing country? Taste the distinctive blend from each of Malaysia’s 13 states at the Calanthe Art Cafe in Melaka. This funky cafe is located just off Jonker Street, an ideal location for a caffeine pick-me-up during a long day … read the full post

Oct 27 2012

Malaysia’s old Borneo

Published by under Borneo

The veranda of a long house

Although in the past 50 years Malaysian Borneo has undergone dramatic development, there are still pockets where you can experience “old Borneo” — that is, places where people still live in longhouses and go out into the forest to gather food. Here are a few suggestions on finding them. One such place is Bario, home … read the full post

Oct 26 2012

Kuah, Langkawi

Published by under Kuah

Food is great and the infamous Chicken Joe is usually on site.

Kuah is the largest town in Langkawi and the hub of the island’s commerce and politics. It’s in transition, as is most of the island, away from an island-based economy towards one focused heavily on tourism, meaning you’ll see plenty of old and new juxtapositions. Kuah is a town with a vision for the future; … read the full post

Oct 21 2012

Review: Restoran Famosa Chicken Rice Ball, Melaka

Published by under Melaka

Chicken rice balls and a pot of chili sauce.

Every day Restoran Famosa in Melaka serves up hundreds of plates of its signature chicken rice balls. Some see the restaurant as a local institution, but others consider it a tourist trap. Is it worth the hype and should you seek it out from among Melaka’s other restaurant offerings? Our first observation, and one explanation … read the full post

Oct 19 2012

Rainforest trekking with the Penan

Published by under Borneo

Gratuitous tree shot.

The Borneo jungle can be an unforgiving place; it’s humid, it’s mountainous and around inhabited areas, although there are trails, it’s easy to get lost. However, last year in a moment of spectacular spontaneity, I booked a trip to head into the Ulu, or interior, of Sarawak. I would stay with a local indigenous community, … read the full post

Oct 17 2012

Langkawi’s interior

Published by under Interior

sunset-valley

Most visitors and travellers to Langkawi spend the majority of their time near one of the coastal areas or beaches, say Pantai Cenang or Pantai Tengah. For a different island experience, however, the interior of Langkawi is as active an encounter as the rest of Langkawi. The leisurely pace of the area’s back roads and … read the full post

Oct 14 2012

Melaka’s best museums

Published by under Melaka

As close as you'll get to being a Melaka pirate.

The long-term plan authorities have for the historic city of Melaka is for it to offer a whopping 21 museums. Unfortunately the emphasis is on quantity over quality, and has resulted in some spectacular bores. Read on to learn which museums are worth your ringgit. Dutch Square isn’t just a bunch of pretty red buildings; … read the full post

Oct 12 2012

Mantanani Island, Malaysian Borneo

Published by under Borneo

Mantanani Sunset

I have met many a traveller at the airport who has just stepped off a twin-otter flight from the interior, their bags heavy with damp clothes that have been unable to dry under the canopy of the forest and their legs pock marked with leech bites; the residue of the rainforest lingers darkly on their … read the full post

Oct 09 2012

Langkawi’s Pantai Cenang

Published by under Pantai Cenang

Yup, long stretch of white sandy beach.

Thanks to development, the new part of Langkawi’s Pantai Cenang looks absolutely nothing like it did just five years ago. The plus side of this is that the place definitely looks alive and open for business, regardless of the season; but it also looks and feels a bit chaotic at times. The stretch of road … read the full post

Oct 06 2012

How to save money while travelling in Borneo

Published by under Borneo

This picture cost me a lot of money

Travellers coming through Malaysian Borneo often complain that it is much more expensive than the rest of Southeast Asia. Travel and accommodation can often be double the prices of West Malaysia and public transport in Borneo is often non-existent, forcing travellers to use taxis. However with a little bit of know-how and forward planning, it … read the full post