TripCanvas Editorial Team

TripCanvas Editorial Team

A collective of travel, food and adventure enthusiasts sharing stories about hidden gems and unexplored local attractions, aiming to showcase and help you explore the destination in its truest form.

Locale

Explore the Perak Cave Temple in Ipoh

Cave TemplePerak Cave Temple Ipoh, Malaysia

Whether a religious person or not, a trip to the Perak Cave Temple is something you can not miss when in Ipoh, Malaysia. Ipoh remains gifted with around 30 cave temples and the Perak Cave Temple is one among them. The limestone cave opens up to give a spectacular view of the golden Buddha Statue and other deities that the locals worship. The cave adorns itself with colourful artwork and ancient murals depicting characters and events from Chinese mythology. If you look closely, you can notice Chinese calligraphy painted on the walls depicting tales of the temple founders.

Golden statue of Buddha
Golden statue of Buddha

The Cavern of Perak Cave Temple

Once you move past the initial temple, you reach a narrow 400 steps stone stairway. The climb up those slippery stairs is worth the striking view of the city and its surrounding limestone mountains. Despite the long climb in the Malaysian heat, the caves on the top are surprisingly cool. You can unwind at the gazebos as you absorb the gorgeous view of the landscaped gardens in front of the temple. Meanwhile, you can even grab a bite and cup of tea at one of the small stalls found around the 

A scenic view from the temple gazebos
A scenic view from the temple gazebos

Ask your local guide from Locaguide to take you to the hidden stalls where you can have your fortune told. Or meanwhile, walk around to indulge in some retail therapy as you shop for souvenirs to take home from Ipoh.

The Perak Cave Temple serves as the perfect getaway if you want to enjoy your vacation in a natural setting. You get to explore the cave and its multiple spots that offer the breathtaking view of the surrounding area. Here, you can also try your hand at photography and capture some truly gorgeous pictures of the city down below.

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Food

Top 3 Sundanese street food in Bandung

Street foodStreet food in Bandung

Be it a gastronomical adventure or just a tour for a street-style lunch then Bandung makes sure not to disappoint you! Each food item tastes unique and delicious. But more importantly, the street food in Bandung remains one of the best ways to get a glimpse of Sundanese cuisine! So, the top three dishes you got to try from Bandung’s street food joints during your trip.

Sampling the dishes in Bandung

1. Combro

Combro is a super-Sundanese-snack and is had with your afternoon tea. It contains grated cassava(root vegetable) as its main ingredient and made into medium-sized balls filled with oncom — a traditional fermented Indonesian staple food made with soybeans, similar to tempeh( a soy product like that of tofu). The oncom-filled balls are then deep fried until the outer part becomes brown and crispy. Chew it with green chillies and experience pure bliss!

Crispy Combro served with tea
Crispy Combro served with tea

2. Bakso Tahu Goreng

Popularly known as Batagor, Bakso Tahu Goreng simply refers to Indonesian fried meatballs and tofu. Batagor, primarily, means a fried tenggiri fish dumpling served as a snack with a mildly spicy and aromatic peanut sauce. Relish this Sundanese dish at any popular Batagor outlet in Bandung and you sure will keep coming back for more!

Batagor
Batagor

3. Nasi Timbel

Nasi Timbel is a rice dish similar to lontong(compressed rice cakes); wrapped inside the banana leaf and steamed (or sometimes barbecued) until the leaf produces a pleasant aroma. And then served with a variety of side dishes — including fried chicken or beef, duck egg, tofu, a traditional hot sauce, and a special raw vegetable salad called lalab. In the meanwhile, this dish perfectly qualifies for lunch or supper.

Traditional Nasi Timbel
Traditional Nasi Timbel

Opting for a tour guide from  Locaguide can ease down your hunt for the best street food in Bandung. He/She can not only show you the best places but will also tell you about the history and traditions associated with these lip-smacking Sundanese dishes.

The sublime taste of the dishes, the use of unique spices, the perfect balance of saltiness, sweetness and sourness — Bandung’s food streets have everything that will make your tummy rumble in happiness!

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Locale

Take a tour of the Bako National Park

Bako National ParkAn iconic stone formation at Bako National Park

Accessible by a short boat ride from Bako village near Kuching, the Bako National Park is one of the oldest national parks in East Malaysia. The park is a perfect place to test your endurance because you pick from one of the multiple walking trails.

Trailing through Bako National Park

Walk along while you try to spot some of the wildlife inhabiting the forest. Depending on your sense of adventure you can choose a trail that either involves; a full day of jungle hiking or simply walk along the shorter trails. Silence on the trails will ensure you get to spot the Proboscis Monkey, found only in Bako. In the meantime, walk along the trail overlooking the mangroves and the green vegetation. Here, you might even spot a saltwater crocodile sunbathing amongst the tree roots or waiting on their next meal.

Proboscis Monkey
Proboscis Monkey

Meanwhile, the park allows you to see a myriad of flora and fauna native to Malaysia. It ranges from a variety of trees, shrubs, rare plant species and much more. The plant life that gets the most interests, however, remain the carnivorous pitcher plants. They feed on insects common to the park.

Alternatively, you can skip the long treks and just relax at one of the beaches at Bako National Park. Or participate in fun games and activities available at the multiple secluded beaches. The sunset from Telok Assam beach will be amongst the best sunsets you witness here. Stay back after the sun sets completely and you will be in for a spectacular view of the mountain against the colourful sky, a sight you should not miss! The beach during this time is the perfect place to birdwatch as the birds start flying back and hovering around their nests. For more adventure, ask your local guide from Locaguide to help you book one of the multiple chalets. With this, you will get a chance to see the nocturnal wildlife of the park as you spend the night camping.

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CultureEvents

Local Festival Of The Nine Emperor Gods In Ipoh

Nine Emperor GodsNine Emperor Gods Festival being celebrated at a temple

The Nine Emperor Gods is a festival celebrated to signify the return of the Nine Emperor Spirits to earth after their heavenly trip. Worshipped by the locals in the form of a single deity, Mazu; the festival continues for about nine days. It starts in the month of the ninth moon according to the Chinese Lunar calendar.

Celebrations of Nine Emperor Gods

The celebrations start at the temple and advance towards the local river. All the devotees dress in white and walk with incense sticks to welcome the spirits back to earth. The religious practices during this festival occur to be a bit unusual. This, in turn, will leave you spellbound as you watch the locals celebrate this homecoming.

A unique festival like this is best experienced with a local on your side. Opt for a guided tour of Ipoh town from Locaguide. Ask your local guide on how best can you get a hands-on experience of the festivities, the local celebrations and rituals. You may not have to impale yourself with cuts and piercings but rather just be a part of the celebrations. Stay with the local devotees overnight at the temples and help them prepare meals that they eat during the festival.

A group of devotees walking over a bed of ht coals
A group of devotees walking over a bed of ht coals

The temples during these nine days remain filled with bell chimings and continuous prayer chants can be heard all day long. While you will also spot devotees walking on coals of fire and climb ladders with blades on steps. All this along with the body piercings and slashings. Meanwhile, tourists from across the world throng Malaysia during this nine-day long festival to take a glimpse of it.

From watching the procession of people with piercings all over their body to eating the specially prepared vegetarian food; experience this celebration with the locals. During your tour of Ipoh make sure that Nine Emperor Gods festival definitely remains a part your itinerary, of things to go and see.

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Food

Taste Penang’s famous fried noodles – Char Kway Teow

Char Kway TeowStir-fried flat noodles with shrimps, bean sprouts and egg

A signature dish coming from the food-loving state of Penang, Char Kway Teow essentially is a stir-fried rice noodle. A dish tossed with seafood, eggs, Chinese sausages and bean sprouts. The characteristic features that make Char Kway Teow the nation’s favourite signify its distinctive flavours; a well-seasoned wok diffusing with the fresh ingredients and the smoky charred taste attributed to the extremely high temperatures cooked complements the dish perfectly.

More about Char Kway Teow

Mostly served among the labourers upon its first invention. The reason being its high-fat content providing the source of energy and nutrients. The fishermen and the farmers were the first to serve the dish as at the evening market. Meanwhile, this contributed to their source of income.

The locals believe, there is no better way to end a day than to indulge in a bowl of the piping hot flat rice noodles. The various flavours of spice and sweet with a hint of sour makes you naturally attracted to a bowlful of the stir-fried noodles. You may inadvertently indulge in a bit of overeating throughout your tour of Malaysia.

A cook preparing Char Kway Teow
A cook preparing Char Kway Teow

Found in almost every third stall in Penang, Char Kway Teow is a dish worth seeing during its preparations too! Prepared in single servings mainly, the rhythm the stall owners get into, almost synchronised dance-like rhythm sounds mesmerising. They further continue to get the “Wok Hei” seasoned perfectly; the rice noodles charred to a moist crunchy texture. Simultaneously ensuring the quantity of the rest of ingredients brings the whole dish and its exploding flavours together! You won’t mind waiting in the long queues usually found infront of the famous Char Kway Teow stalls.

Traditionally served on a banana leaf and eaten with chopsticks, Char Kway Teo is the perfect excuse to practice your chopstick skills and eat a sinful meal found at almost every corner in Penang. When planning your Penang itinerary, don’t forget to ask your local travel guide from Locaguide to take you to a few famous local haunts best known for serving the most authentic Char Kway Teow.

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CultureLocale

The Royal Palace of Yogyakarta

A pavilionOne of the pavilions in the Palace of Yogyakarta

The Palace(Kraton in Javanese) of Yogyakarta, serves as the official seat of the reigning Sultan of Yogyakarta. The palace holds official meetings, political functions and also serves as the royal residence. Built along the north-south axis, the Kraton Palace faces Merapi, the Sacred Mountain, and backs the Indian ocean, home of the mystical Indonesian Sea Queen.

The Palace of Yogyakarta
The Palace of Yogyakarta

Inside the Royal Palace of Yogyakarta

There is a cultural link between the palace compound and the people who live within it. The intricate designs in the pavilions, courtyards and placement of trees show the integration of the multiple faiths. Those that have had an influence over these parts of Indonesia. The central part of the palace boasts of Buddhist, Islamic and Hindu elements. The fine little details and treasures of the royal family, make it a must visit during your Yogyakarta tour.

The Palace of Yogyakarta stands guarded with the Kraton guards, dressed in the traditional attire. The custodians and their families have lived in the palace compound for generations as the inheritance of the job continues. Once a guard is too old to serve he is not asked to leave his service. Instead, the royal house continues to pay for his services until his last breath. This shows how deep the connection between the Kraton and its people goes!

Elderly men at the Kraton
Elderly men at the Kraton

The Palace remains closed to visitors in the evening so do talk to your local guide from Locaguide before a visit. Make a visit during the day to appreciate the history and architecture of the palace. Meanwhile, you may even get a chance to sample the royal cuisine at a couple of the restaurants that it.

The local taxi drivers often try to scam the tourists by making them take the wrong entrance leading to an unimpressive display. Make sure to ask your travel guide to accompany you to get the best of experience of the royal palace. Might as well ask the guide to translate the performances or shows you may ge to attend at the Royal Palace of Yogyakarata.

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Food

Taste authentic Ipoh OldTown White Coffee

A cup of coffeeA cup of OldTown White Coffee

Among other things, Ipoh is known as the hometown of the iconic OldTown white coffee of Malaysia. The Ipoh white coffee is nothing but lightly roasted coffee served with condensed milk, either hot or iced. The name comes from the light colour of the drink from its preparation. The drink is famous for its distinctive taste and aroma and is extremely popular among Malaysians in and outside Ipoh.

The Ipoh-style white coffee is an experience for the taste buds that you shouldn’t miss at any cost! Even if not a coffee drinker you need to try it at least once during your trip to Malaysia.

Sample at any OldTown White Coffee outlet

These days, Ipoh white coffee is available in several coffee shops in Malaysia, some dating back to old times and some contemporary. You may even find canned versions of it at convenience stores near you. But if you truly want to savour the authentic flavour, OldTown White Coffee is the perfect coffee shop to visit.

An OldTown White Coffee Outlet
An OldTown White Coffee Outlet

The best way to include this coffee shop in your itinerary would be to take a break during your city walk of Ipoh and stop by the flagship cafe for a snack and traditionally brewed white coffee. The coffee occurs slightly sweeter than regular coffee. Hot or iced, it makes up for a perfect drink while you explore the city of Ipoh. 

Usually crowded and thronged by locals, the OldTown White Coffee outlets possess a vibrant vibe. The staff makes sure that you have an experience that stands true to Malaysian hospitality. Take a break and enjoy your time while you stop by for a coffee and more.

While the coffee may seem too sweet for coffee connoisseurs, the experience of sipping on it may sound otherwise. This traditionally roasted and brewed white coffee at a vintage cafe is something everyone takes back with them from Malaysia. Make sure to add this to your itinerary so you can make one or multiple pitstops. Build a customised Ipoh itinerary on Locaguide and let Malaysia surprise you!

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Food

Drool over Penang’s iconic Asam Laksa

Asam LaksaOne of the many versions of Aam Laksa

After a day’s city tour and souvenir hunting, a bowl of soup is just what the soul demands. And when in Penang, nothing other than a bowl of steaming Asam Laksa will do! A fish and tamarind based soup with a touch of a sour aftertaste, it remains a local favourite of all time; right from when the Chinese immigrants moved to the island to this present day. Said to be a dish born out of the intermarriage of the Chinese and local Malays, it is a dish made for the soul.

Asam Laksa
Asam Laksa

The many versions of Asam Laksa

Ever since it featured in CNN’s top ten best food list, the dish inevitably remains on everyone’s must-try dishes. Made from poached and shredded mackerel, the sourness of the soup makes it the perfect “feel good” meal. The distinctive flavour attributes to the use of tamarind, lemongrass, chilli and galangal (Asian plant of ginger family) in the right quantities and mixtures. You can customise the soup as per your liking, from the variety of base ingredients used to garnishes. Also, adding a dollop of shrimp paste would do the trick to enhance the flavours a lot more.

The dish tantalises your taste buds with its tangy flavour. Priced low, Asam Laksa makes up a whole bunch of different versions you can try and experiment with. Meanwhile, a friendly little chat with the locals can get you close with the food culture of the locals. 

A local guide from Locaguide will ensure an experiment with the perfect meal to re-energise with, between shopping sprees. The guide will make you try more than just a single version of Asam Laksa during your tour of Malaysia. Take your guide’s help to find the local hole in the wall shops selling the most authentic version of this dish. The dish lets you take home food memories of a lifetime. Thus, sure to change your idea of soup noodles upon tasting the iconic Asam Laksa.

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Locale

Take a stroll through Johor Bahru Old Town

BuildingThe Red House building

As you explore the city of Johor Bahru, make sure to keep a day alone to explore Johor Bahru’s old town. The town is well known for its famous food stalls and buildings of the past. You can spend a whole day walking and still not feel like you have seen it all at the end of the day.

Lined with several buildings that hold stories from the past, Johor Bahru’s Old Town reflects the Chinese and Indian Heritage. They seem to possess a greater influence on the town of Johor. Visited by both locals and tourists likewise for the local and authentic food options available, the town is a foodie’s paradise.

Things to do at Johor Bahru town

Meanwhile, on your stroll through the neighbourhood, find yourself paying attention to multiple things at the same. The vintage buildings, the street side souvenir shops and the food stalls selling mouthwatering dishes at every street corner.

Starting at the city square, make your way to the end. Walk through the lanes clicking pictures of the murals that decorate the city walls or the heritage buildings. These buildings still keep the rich past of the city alive. The famous Red House remains a perfect example for the people to remember the past. Thus, if lucky, you may even get to walk into the red house for an art or culture display.

 A street in Johor Bahru
A street in Johor Bahru

The best way to tour the old town of Johor Bahru is probably with a local guide. With Locaguide, you can not only build a customised itinerary, but you can also opt for a guided tour. Your guide will help you select the restaurants and bakeries to eat from and share anecdotes from the old city. Spend time with the hidden art murals on the walls and try working on your photographic skills.

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Locale

Experience local island life at Genting Village

A beach

Located in the western coast of Tioman island, Genting village is a small local village stretching 1.5 km along the coast. Nestled between the sea and lush rainforest, the pristine village spoils you with choices of places to visit, stay and eat.

The Genting Village
The Genting Village

Things to do at Genting village

You can spend your time exploring the village or relaxing on the clean sandy beaches. While here, learn about the village and its multiple spots just like the locals and discover their way of life. Take a stroll around the village to find the local wildlife and the flora and fauna of the island along the walkways. Also, explore the wooden houses the village is known for and shop local goodies at the multiple shops selling everything. You can find yourself some souvenirs to take back for your friends and family from your holiday on Tioman island.

Speak with a local guide from Locaguide about the best eating places and mingle around with some of the locals. It might leave you amused to see them share pieces of anecdotes about their life on the island. Or you can sing with them the local songs at multiple karaoke spots across the village. Thus, interacting with them is the best way to unravel local spots in the village’s coastline. Moreover, to just enjoy the sun, sand and sea minus the crowds; and lose yourself to the salty air as you indulge in local snacks by the seaside or take a dip into the clear blue waters.

A place around Genting village
A place around Genting village

If you want to explore beyond just Genting Village, then take suggestions from your guide on the nearby villages. You will find plenty of accommodation options here. Meanwhile, you could also opt for a homestay if you want a taste of the local lifestyle. Or maybe stay at one of the chalet-style hotels that stand strewn all over the island. 

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