Long holidays are upon us and you know what this means — it’s time for getaways, folks!
Apart from Malaysia Baharu, another thing I love about the country is that we have so many holidays in a year. I mean, who doesn’t like going to bed at night without having to set the alarm, am I right? And for many of us who have been working our ass off, we DESERVE a long weekend — like tomorrow.
If you plan to travel out of this chaotic and stressful city (even if you don’t, I still think you better plan), I’d suggest you to travel north to Ipoh, Perak and continue your journey all the way to George Town, Penang. Here are 10 things you can do during the long weekend.
Have dim sum for breakfast
For some of us the workaholic, the idea of having breakfast is completely alien. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t skip one while you are on holiday and while we’re at it, what do you think about having some dim sum for breakfast? Speaking of dim sum, you should try Ming Court Hong Kong Tim Sum in Ipoh.
You might want to get there as early as possible as the restaurant get easily packed by 9 a.m. If you ask me, I like everything about this restaurant — from its delicious dim sum to the cosy air-conditioned room and of course, the friendly aunties going around and making sure you have something to shove down your throat. Apart from the dim sum, you should try “Woo Kok” yam puff and trust me, you will forget about all the work stress you have ever had back in the city.
Not a fan of dim sum? Here’s a list of other eateries you can go in Ipoh.
Gossip while taking a sip of the signature white coffee
Now that you are already full from having dim sum for breakfast, why don’t you stop by at a coffee shop in the town and have a cup of white coffee? It’s probably a nice way to catch up with your friends and family since you have been busy working all this while. If you ask me where to go, my answer is simply Sin Yoon Loong in the old town of Ipoh.
Despite the hype of Nam Heong being the talk of the town, I still prefer Sin Yoon Loong’s. Plus, the coffee shop isn’t that crowded and much more comfortable. Still hesitate? Read here for more insight.
Stroll around the old town of Ipoh
There are so much to see around this legendary old town. This once sleepy town has now revived with its living history. Of course, one of the must-do here is to take Instagram shots at The Art of Old Town — a series of murals on the wall.
While you are in town, you also should check out Concubine Lane and Kong Heng Square too. Read here for more.
Try the savoury ‘Nasi Ganja’ at Kedai Kopi Yong Suan
Your trip to Ipoh is considered not complete if you don’t get ‘high’ with nasi ganja. A normal plate comes with ayam merah (chicken marinated with spices, fried and coated with thick curry gravy), salted egg, okra and sliced cucumbers topped with their special chutney and flavourful ‘kuah banjir’ curries. A heads-up — get a glass (or two, to be safe) of iced water ready as it’s going to burn your tongue like hell.
Rejuvenate yourself with a walk through nature and time
There is no better way to calm down your mind than breathing in the fresh air. Just a 20-minute drive from Ipoh old town, Qing Xing Ling is a man-made cultural village with antique and vintage displays, a hidden gem trying to incorporate the beauty of natural environment with nostalgic memories.
Take a walk into an enchanting realm of The Habitat
If you prefer something more natural, you can visit The Habitat in Penang Hill. Located on the fringes of a 130 million-year-old virgin rainforest, it is known to be the home to a wide range of flora and fauna such as Black Giant Millipede, Paper Kite Butterfly, Giant Black Squirrel, Dusky Leaf Langur, Asian Fairy-bluebird, Giant Pandan, and many more.
Get over your fear of height at The Top Komtar
Dear fellow acrophobes, it’s time to face your fear. Make your way to the popular Rainbow Skywalk at level 68 — where you get to experience the open-air Skywalk and look down via the glass from 249 metres above ground. Don’t worry, the area is fully enclosed and perfectly safe for the young ones, and it is worth it as it gives a full 360-degree view of the whole island. It can be daunting at first to be that high up, however, it is remarkable to be able to attain a bird’s-eye view of the island, and it is exceptionally beautiful during golden hour at sunset.
Go on a street-foodie adventure like a true Penangite!
It is going to take another full-length article if I were to list down all the street food in George Town alone. Nevertheless, whenever you are in town, you should never miss some like cucur udang and ais tingkap in Chowrasta Market, karipap bawang at Asia Cafe, Lorong Pasar, Penang special samosa and apom at Lebuh Queen, and so much more! Click here and here for more insightful gastronomical guide.
Dine like royals at Faquhar Mansion
I really don’t fancy fine dining that much but I must say, Farquhar Mansion is probably the reason why anyone would be up for some fancy night out on the island — all decked out in their best button-downs, and cocktail dresses in exchange of their comfy Birkenstocks and denim shorts. If you go at night, the whole compound is lit with starry lights, that make it look like a dreamy place to have date nights (possibly even proposals!).
Discover the best nasi kandar in Penang
A trip would be meaningless if you haven’t tasted its nasi kandar. There are so many options when it comes to nasi kandar but which one is the best? If you ask me, it could be Hameediyah or Tajuddin Hussein but you should go and taste them for yourself. Here is a list as a guide.
So, what are you waiting for? Go pack your stuff and let’s get your ass moving already! And oh, in case you are somehow trapped in the city for this weekend, you might want to bookmark this and use it for the next upcoming long-loonngg holiday in September.