PLAIN & SIMPLE| Passage to Malaysia

I DON’T only have fond memories of Malaysia, but I have learned a lot from my visit there.

I will start with my visit to Ipoh, the capital of the state of Perak. This is one of the main cities of Malaysia vibrant with history and colors.

Ipoh is some 200 kms north of Kuala Lumpur, the bustling and modern capital of Malaysia where you see the twin petronas tower. It is also about 130 kms south of Penang on the north-south expressway.

Between 1920 and 1930, Ipoh was the tin mining town. The Chinese who came to this town left some vistages in the districts and in its cuisine. You can see chinese temples and caves best for spelunkers.

Ipoh is in the middle of Kinta Valley on the bank of Kinta River. The limestone-draped mountains on the side of the highway are truly a sight to behold. Mountains adorned with typical chinese colors and decors remnants of the chinese people who came to mine the place.

The street foods of Ipoh is one attraction that gather visitors and tourists to dine in this town. It is well-known for its dishes like the “sar hur fan”, a complete one-dish rice noodle with prawn, meat, fish, vegetable wit prawn and savory sauce.   You still have other dishes that tourists and visitors enjoy.

The Ipoh railway station in neo-classical edwardian baroque style awed me as I visited it with other historical sites. It is called the Taj Majal of Ipoh.

From those places of history, you get to enjoy the old town coffee in one of the main streets. Your trip to Ipoh is never complete without visiting this old town coffee place, something that the city is so proud of.

The old town white coffee is so well-known in Malaysia that the place is always teeming with coffee drinkers from all over. The white coffee is unique and distinct where the coffee beans are roasted with palm-oil margarine and served with condensed milk.

From the white coffee store, I saw the vast football field as football is played like a national sport in Malaysia. I went near the place and saw the young boys from the nearby school practice football like pros.

Not only this, all over Ipoh, especially in in those vacant huge walls are the murals of one of the Ethiopean mural painters who enjoyed to leave a mark of art he alone could render. I stood at the foot of the huge mural and asked friends to take a shot of me with the mural painting. Tis a great feeling!

While it is some 200 kms north of Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh boasts of modern instrastructure typical of all cities and provinces of Malaysia. The country made sure that its road network is the most modern in Sotheast Asia. This is where Malaysia is far different from other southeast asian neighbors.

Filipinos will love to visit these cities of Malaysia because they have almost the same weather as what we have here. And the trees and plants are no different from what we also have here. Gumamela is the country’s national flower. It is also grown all over our country,

Hotels and places to stay abound in the main streets of Ipoh and staying in their hotels are truly a pleasant experience. From Ipoh, I drove with my friends to Penang, another progressive city of Malaysia mostly populated with Chinese-Malaysians.

But this one is the subject of our next column on Penang.

Posted in Opinion