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.

Pulau Kapas

Pulau Kapas is a small island located only about 6km off Marang in the east coast state of Terengganu (about 1h north of Kuala Terengganu). It has quite and relaxed atmosphere because it is bypassed by the majority of the backpacker circuit looking for a more remote place like the Perhentian Islands. Pulau Kapas only get fairly busy on the weekends when locals come to island. There are a few good snorkeling spots around the island. All accommodations and beach are on the west coast facing the mainland. The west coast is the weather side has no sand beach, only rocks - it can be reached after a short walk through the jungle. Pulau Kapas shuts down during the monsoon season between November and February.

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The Science of ordering drinks in Malaysia

Ordering drinks is easy once you understand the system. But don't worry, in the big cities you will get by at most places speaking english, but you want to try anyway, right? After a bit of practicing you can mingle with the locals and shout "Boss. Teh Tarik. Satu Lagi."
Teh Tarik - Malaysia's national drink

Ordering drinks is easy once you understand the system. But don't worry, in the big cities you will get by at most places speaking english, but you want to try anyway, right? After a bit of practicing you can mingle with the locals and shout "Boss. Teh Tarik. Satu Lagi." (Boss, give me another Tea)
Teh Tarik - Tea with condensed milk, sweet
Teh O Panas - same tea without ice
Teh O Limau Panas - Lemon Tea
The Panas (=hot) is optional, sometimes you will get the drinks with ice anyway so you add "panas" just to make sure.
If you want a cold drink you just add "ais" to it:

Teh Ais - Ice Tea with condensed milk
Teh O Ais - Ice Tea
Teh O Ais Limau - Lemon Ice Tea

Important: every drink in Malaysia is by default very (very) sweet. I would recommend to order everything with the magic words "kurang manis" (=less sweet):

Teh Ais Kurang Manis, Teh Tarik Kurang Manis .... and so on. It will still be sweet but not as bad. If you don't want sugar at all. Add "tak nak gula" (pronounce: ta na gula = don't want sugar).

If you liked the drink and want another one: "satu lagi" (=one more) will holding up the glass / cup.

Other drinks you will get anywhere: Nescafe and Milo (cacao drink), most of the times also "kopi" (=coffee). The sames rules apply to these drinks. Example:

Nescafe Tarik - Nescafe with condensed milk
Milo Ais - cocoa drink with Ice

2 popular cold drinks which are available everywhere:

Limau Ais - Lemon Juice (water, ice, freshly squeezed limes)
Ice Kosong - Ice Water (cheapest way to recharge - 20sen)

By the way, "tarik" means pull. The mean is used because the Teh will be "pulled" between to cups to mix it and cool it down.

In case you want to drink "to go" (here known as "take-away): ask for "bungkus".

Don't forget your "Terima Kasih" or even "Nandri" (tamil, if it is a indian place) which means thank you and you can be sure to be smiled at.

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