Perhentian Islands

The Perhentian Islands (Pulau Perhentian in Bahasa Malaysia) lie approximately 10 nautical miles (19 km) offshore the coast of northeastern Malaysia in the state of Terengganu, approximately 40 miles (64 km) south of the Thai border. The two main islands are Perhentian Besar (“Big Perhentian”) and Perhentian Kecil (“Small Perhentian”). Popular for it’s beaches, snorkeling and driving. Like a real postcard.

Kuala Terengganu

Kuala Terengganu, KT in short, is located at the east coast of the Peninsula Malaysia and at the mouth of the Sungai Terengganu (or Terengganu River) that empties here into the South China Sea. It is the capital of the state of Terengganu, which forms, together with Kedah and Kelatan, the heartland of Malay culture. KT is a good stop for one or 2 days before moving on along the east coast or towards the National Park / Tasik Kenyir.

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Fruit Seller

Keropok Lekor

The easiest way to describe Keropok Lekor is to call it fish sausage. It is the specialty from Terengganu, a state at the east coast and omnipresent in the streets and villages and very much a part of the live of the people there. Here are some pictures from one of the most popular Keropok Lekor stalls or shall I say factory, in Kuala Terengganu.

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The mixture is being hand-rolled into a sausage form. Ingredients of the mixture: Fish (Ikan Parang or Ikan Kembong), Sago Flour, Salt, Water, Ice Cubes, Pandan Leaves. There are some basic machines at the back of the house to do the mixing processing.


The sausages are thrown into boiling water for a few minutes until they are cooked and ready to be sold. This stall is so popular that the sausages are sold freshly right from the pot with people waiting patiently in a long queue.


At home, the huge and long sausages are cut into smaller pieces and thrown into the pan to be deep-fried until they turn crispy gold. Another option to take Keropok Lekor is to just steam it. This gives it a fishier flavor but tastes as good as the crispy ones according to some people. A completely different kind of Keropok is Keropok Keping and it comes in different flavours : fish, squid and prawn. Here, the Keropok is shaped into even bigger tubes and cut into thin slices to let it dry in the sun. (They are sold in packets and consumers will have to fry them and they are taken as crackers. During frying, it is entertaining to see the pieces of Keropok expand to bigger pieces when they hit the hot oil.)


Keropok Lekor ready to be served with their chili sauce, or with own home-made chili sauce if one prefers or shrimp-based sauce is also common. You get the best of it if you take it right after frying when it is still hot, crispy on the outside and tender at the inside. Definitely a must-try if you want to experience the Malay culture from the east coast in Terengganu and its diversity in food is one of the ultimate elements of the culture.
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DID YOU KNOW?
Trains

There are only 2 train lines on the peninsula, one is the north-south track (Bangkok-Singapore) and one splits off in Gemas (south of KL) and runs to the north-eastern thai boarder near Kota Bharu. This line is also called the jungle train. The train is pricier and slower then the bus but can be more comfortable when travelling in a sleeper car. More info at http://www.ktmb.com.my and www.seat61.com/Malaysia.htm
There are currently talks of constructing a bullet train line between Sinpapore and Kuala Lumpur

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Cameron Highlands



For someone who loves the nature, and just has 5 or 6 days or even less to spend in West Malaysia, I would highly recommend you to my favourite destination - Cameron Highland.