Of scorching eats and scoping out bazaars in Kuala Lumpur (GMA News Online)

(This feature was published in GMA News Online last April 28, 2012)

I’ve heard a lot of great things about the national capital of Malaysia, and what made my trip possible was when my sister and mom booked tickets for a flight. I wasted no time joining them.

See, I’ve always been fascinated with Asia’s diverse cultures and traveling throughout the region is certainly on my bucket list. Which is how my wandering feet recently took me to Kuala Lumpur for the first time.

Truly Asia fits the city

From Manila, Kuala Lumpur is approximately just a three-hour flight, but its airport is in the outskirts of the city proper, about an hour away from the main thoroughfares. We chose a budget taxi for convenience since we didn’t want to lug around our bags, ┬ábut you can also take a train or public transport to get to the city.

Our hotel was strategically located in the Bukit Bintang area where luxury malls are next door. That famous landmark, the Petronas Tower, is also within walking distance. After checking in, we then headed to the Pavilion Mall to look for a place to eat since I couldn’t wait to get a taste of authentic Malay cuisine.

Curry and street food eats

I went for the more familiar sounding dish, Curry Laksa, which are noodles served in curry soup with chicken, fresh prawns, beansprouts, dried beancurd topped with mint leaves.

This is a noodle soup that’s hot in every sense of the word with its red-orange broth (the color itself is a give away!) searing my tongue and warming my belly. I could barely taste the prawns through my numbed my tongue. It pairs well with a sweet and cold beverage like milk tea or a Milo Dinosaur.

Other local cuisine must-tries are rice meals like Nasi Bojari (tri-colored rice with assam prawns, beef rending, and deep-fried chicken drumstick) and noodle dishes like Char Kway Teow (stir-fried rice cake strips with vegetable and seafood toppings).

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