Faces of
Malaysia
Cherating

Cherating is the only real backpacker hub at the east coast of the peninsula on the mainland. Offering plenty of affordable chalets and a relaxed atmosphere, it is good place to stop for a night or two on the way up or down the east coast. The beach itself is not that spectacular and misses the palm directly at the beach. But it has a good vibe and few things you can do like taking a tour or renting a kayak up the river into the mangroves. There is also an active surfer scene when the waves are right. Cherating is located about 30km or 1h by local bus north of Kuantan.

Johor Bahru

Johor Bahru is the state capital of the state of Johor and the second largest metropolitan area in Malaysia. Most tourists don't stop here and just pass through the city on their way to or out of Singapore. JB is a major local transportation hub however. Since it is just across the causeway from Singapore, some travellers use it as a hub to visit Singapore from here (lower accommodation prices) or to board the train, bus or airplane.

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Breakfast in Malaysia

I know it is very convenient when the hostel of your choice offers breakfast included and after having rice for so long you just enjoy the cornflakes or bread as if it was most exclusive delicacy. Oh, you just had it this morning? Well, then there is no excuse. Tomorrow, you'll do it malaysian style. Outside. On a plastic chair. For around 2 Ringgit including a drink. Deal?

Roti Canai / Roti Telur


Roti Telur with Dal-Sambal sos and Teh-Ais (Ice Tea with condensed milk)
Roti Cani is a type of indian bread. You can get it at most indian and malay stalls. It is quite a sight to watch the masters at work when they prepare the dough for bread. They will toss it in the air until it beccomes super-thin and then they will fold it four times a fry it. After that they will literally beat the bread so that it becomes fluffy and you can see the various layers.
Sometimes you get curry with it and sometimes you get Dal with it to dip in. Personally, I prefer Dal Samabal, where a spicy chili sos (Sambal) is added to the Dal. To make to breakfast more wholesame, try Roti Telur with has egg inside. Sometimes people will add some Chilli and Onion too, a good stall anyway. I once tried the Roti Canai with condensed milk (susu manis), not my favorite but not bad at all.

How to order a Roti Telur with Dal Sambal and Ice Lemon Tea:
"Roti Telur. Satu. Dal Sambal. Teh O Ais Limau. Satu."
"Satu" here means that you only want one.
--> the science of ordering drinks in Malaysia

Tosai


Tosai with Teh O Limau (Lemon Tea without condensed milk)
Tosai is a different type of indian bread. You will only find Tosai at indian stalls however. It is very thin and crispy. Here, the liquid dough is poured on the hot plate and then being spread by a cup. When it is done it appears quite enormous in size but usually a tosai appears bigger than it is since it is very thin and not as greasy as Roti Canai.

Tosai will be served on a metal plate with 3 small pockets each filled with a different sos. The standard sauces are Dal and Curry and the third sauce is usually different from place to place - different kinds of chutneys.


Tosai: looks huge but it's just a snack after all
Just like with Roti Telur you can also order Tosai with egg (Tosai Telur) or with sugar (Tosai Gula). If you want to eat Tosai for lunch or dinner, try Tosai Masala where it is fill with potatoes and other vegetables in a spice Masala sauce.
How to order a Tosai with a Teh Tarik (Teh with condensed milk):
"Tosai. Satu. Teh Tarik. Satu."
The "k" of "Tarik" is silent as any "k" at the end of a word in malay.
--> the science of ordering drinks in Malaysia

Nasi Lemak



Nasi Lemak seems to be the most popular breakfast amoung all races in Malaysia. It's also eaten anytime during the day and a popular fast food at rest stops for example. Nasi Lemak (fat rice) is coconut rice with egg, sambal, anchovies, nuts, cucumber and sometimes chicken or fish. As the word suggests it is quite heavy. To heavy for me in the morning anyway.

Nasi Lemak is usually cold as it is already prepared and wrapped in a banana leave and newspaper. In the morning you will notice the small "pyramides" on the tables of the stalls. Now you know what is inside.




Vocabularies
roti bread
telur egg
boss general word to call the "waiter"
satu one
dua two
tiga three
satu lagi one more
boss, kira we'd like to pay
terima kasih thank you
nandri thank you (tamil)
susu milk
manis sweet
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