Posted in Malaysia

Penang: A Walk Down Artsy Lane

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Penang will always be on our all-time-favorite list of places to visit in Malaysia, and that’s saying something since Malaysia has a plethora of interesting cities, beaches and world-heritage sites to go to. It’s so easy to fall in-love with Penang as you will be spoiled for choices since it is also dubbed as the foodie capital of Malaysia. And if you get a kick out of street arts, murals, graffiti walls, installations and other creative stuff, then Georgetown in Penang is the place to be!

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The whole city is like a funky art gallery of some sort and you don’t need to be the artsy type to appreciate its quirkiness and cultural significance.

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While exploring the corners and alleyways of this quaint UNESCO world heritage site, you can marvel at different neat pieces by home-grown as well as foreign artists, the most famous of which are the ones by the awesome Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic. It’s really cool so hurry up if you don’t want to miss them as they might soon disappear.

Below are some of the street arts we chanced upon while exploring Georgetown.

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Posted in Malaysia

Legoland Malaysia: A Breath of Fresh Air

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Legoland Malaysia is the first of it’s kind in Asia. For most of us who’ve grown accustomed to theme park heavyweights like Disneyland or Universal Studios, this is a breath of fresh air. Though most of its rides are designed for kids, we enjoyed every bit of it nonetheless. I must admit I have a weak stomach for roller coasters and other adrenaline-pumping extravaganza so it all worked for me (he-he)!

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Suprisingly, the waiting time for each ride was only more or less 15 minutes (compared to 1-2 hours in Disney Sea) so we were able to try most of the attractions! Expect the weather to be very hot and humid on this part of the globe so arm yourselves with sun protections like brollies, wet towels, sunblock and lots and lots of water.

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We tried some of their indoor attractions like the laser-blasting dark ride and 4D movie during the peak of the heat and did the outdoor stuff especially Miniland when the weather got more comfortable and pleasant so we were able to enjoy it at  more leisurely
pace.

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We allocated 2 hours of our time to Miniland alone because we know that there’s just so much to see there and we didn’t want to miss anything and boy are we right! The attention to details, the craftsmanship, the pure passion in building these replicas of famous landmarks around Asia is totally amazing! 2 hours just went by very swiftly.

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All in all, Legoland Malaysia did not disappoint. We did some research before going so we had an idea of the age-group it caters and didn’t expect the rides to be at par with Universal Studios or even Disneyland so we didn’t get that feeling of being let down.

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Legoland Malaysia has a charm of its own and it will be a shame not to give it a go!

Posted in Malaysia

Malacca: A Gastronomic Adventure-land

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Christ Church, Malacca

If you have a flair for anything vintage, historical and gastronomic like yours truly, then you will definitely fall in love with Malacca. It was our second time here and we are still smitten by it’s old-world charm, laid-back feel and rich history. This quaint UNESCO World Heritage Site on the west coast of peninsular Malaysia just about 4 hours bus ride from Singapore will transport you back in time with its surreal fusion of Dutch/Portuguese/Malay/Chinese legacies evident on its well-preserved architectures, ruins from the colonial era and of course its mouth-watering Baba Nyonya/Peranakan cuisine.

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Dutch Square, Malacca

Everything in Malacca is just colorful, vivid, picturesque and most importantly it can be explored on foot (proximity is always a huge plus for us)! A visit on Dutch Square and you will be greeted by a sudden burst of colors – from the terracotta-red Christ Church and Stadthuys, trishaws filled with fake foliage and not a bit shy on flamboyance (complete with blaring pop or Malay music), side vendors selling all sorts of colorful souvenirs and tidbits, locals clad in their vibrant kebayas — it is truly a sight to behold!

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Vintage soda bottles @ Jonker Walk

Just a few minute’s walk from Dutch Square and you can easily reach Jonker Walk famed for serious antique-hunters hoping to score some really precious find. If antique-hunting is not really your thing like us, fret not since this street caters for vintage hunters, foodies, wanderers and low-key shoppers (like us).

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Dim Sum vendors @ Jonker Walk

On week nights, the whole street is close to traffic and transforms into a gastronomic adventure-land of some sort. Different hawker stalls and makeshift tents selling all kinds of delicacies, street foods, sundries, local fares, trinkets and cheap whatnot sprout the entire stretch like mushrooms.

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Fanta-flavored popsicles!

Here we had some shaved-ice cendol, fried ice cream, Fanta-flavored popsicles, dried squid, quail eggs on a stick and another helping of fried ice cream (it’s that good)! We also chanced upon a really cool art cafe where I had the best satay by far.

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This is indeed a happy place for us – I mean, different enticing smells wafting through the air while walking and taking snapshots of vintage items and kitschy pieces neatly sprawled alongside the alleys, nostalgic vibe of ancestral houses converted to artsy cafes and shops, cheap and yummy food you can munch to your heart’s content, a dose of retail therapy without hurting your wallet that much – this place is a candy store for grown-ups!

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deep-fried ice cream

Malacca with its rustic charms and unique offerings makes it no doubt a much-loved destination for travelers and those who fancy a quick break from the hustle and bustle of the metro. And who knows, you might even get lucky and find a truly precious artifact in one of Jonker Street’s antique shops! In fact, you didn’t have to since the whole Malacca experience is a gem in itself, that I assure you!