Meet Segar who has been working with us for 5 years. Segar has a lot of experience living in Malaysia as he was born in Kedah, a Malaysian state in the North West and then grew up in the state of Perak, which is known for the Belum rainforest. After he married 25 years ago, Segar moved to Singapore before moving to Kuala Lumpur to bring up his four boys. If he could visit anywhere in the world it would be Switzerland, somewhere a bit different to Malaysia! Here are his tips on visiting Malaysia…
‘The mixed culture and weather are the best things about Malaysia as we only have one season and never have to worry about choosing what to wear. People should especially visit during the festive seasons to understand more about each culture. For example, it’s worth visiting during the celebrating of Eid al-Fitr, Chinese New Year, Eid al-Adha, Thaipusam and Gawai Dayak. A traditional meal to try is Nasi Biryani, a rice dish combining spices, herbs, raisins and cashew nuts. Those visiting shouldn’t forget to bring insect repellent and sunglasses!’
Azlan hails from Kuala Lumpur and bar living on Tioman island for a short period of time, has lived there all his life. He is single and enjoys fishing; as soon as he has free time he’ll find the nearest river or coastal area to fulfil his passion. He would like to visit Bali, but is nervous to venture out any further and miss out on Malaysian food, which is very important to him!
‘There are several traditional Malaysian dishes I would recommend to anyone visiting. First is Char keow teow which literally means ‘stir-fried rice cake strips’. Noodles are stir-fried over a very high heat with both light and dark soy sauce, chilli, a small amount of shrimp paste, whole prawns, deshelled cockles, bean sprouts, eggs and chopped Chinese chives. Next would be Assam Pedas, a sour and spicy fish stew and Laksa Penang, which is also a spicy-sour fish dish but is more of a noodle soup and originates from Penang, an island state in North-west peninsular Malaysia. For desert, Ice Cendol consists of textured ‘green worm’ noodles that are made of mung bean flour and are coloured with pandan essence. The noodles are accompanied by a selection of fruit that you can choose, for example, one variation includes tinned toddy palm seeds, jackfruit and is topped with coconut milk, shaved ice and palm sugar syrup.
Other than the food, the best thing about Malaysia is the culture and the people. The national parks, Cameron highlands and of course the islands are the best places to visit. Definitely remember to bring slippers but don’t forget to pack a pair of comfortable shoes for rainy afternoons and hikes in the jungle. And don’t forget to bring an umbrella and a camera!’
by Rickshaw Ramblers