Ah yes, we Malaysians and our undying love for food. As a population, our standards are so high that most of us are happy to go the extra mile for an inspired curry laksa or glistening soft-shell crab creation.

Most of Malaysia’s tastiest dishes are spread out from state to state. But no matter how juicy the chicken chop, it can be a tough gig driving hours to a distant kopitiam and back again in a single day. So, why not plan yourself an extended holiday dedicated to your tastebuds? That’s right, cast aside your busy itineraries and busy timetables. It’s time, fellow Malaysians, to pledge yourselves to the art of eating and sleeping.

Recite the following: EAT SLEEP EAT REPEAT.

So if an eating holiday sounds like paradise, read on for 10 staycations that will feed your body and soul.

1. If you’re hungry for … A spicy kick [PENANG]

Where to eat:

Assam laksa


Assam laksa is one of Penang’s shining stars – springy noodles swimming in a sour and spicy tamarind and fish broth, topped with fresh mint, coriander, dried onion, pineapple and more. Your writer is drooling on her keyboard at the thought.

You’re spoilt for choice in Georgetown – an arguable favourite is Kedai Kopi Low Eng Hoo (84 Lorong Selamat). The excess of nearby hawker centres, koptiams and hipster cafes should keep your bellies happy for days.

Where to stay:

Street Art House


We love the colourful walls of Street Art House, after all, Penang is all about the murals. It’s right around the corner from the popular laksa joint My Own Cafe, and within walking distance to the island’s heritage site, if you can make it past the delicious vendors.

2. If you’re smacking your lips for … Nyonya fare [PENANG]

Where to eat/stay: Seven Terraces

Seven Terraces


Kebaya is the dining hall of the Seven Terraces, a beautiful boutique hotel converted from a seven 19th Century Anglo Chinese terraces. It’s the perfect ode to Peranakan cuture and smack-bang in Georgetown, to boot.

Kebaya offering a menu of Indo and Straits Chinese Nyonya dishes, brought to life with French cooking techniques. Enjoy a Chinese four course degustation or hit the in-house bar, BaBaBar, to raise a toast to interracial love and yummy fusions.

3. If you fantasize about …  beansprout chicken and caramel custard [IPOH]

Where to eat:

A three hour drive from KL, Ipoh can be a tiring day trip. We prescribe a full weekend to make the most of all the delicious white coffee, satay, nasi kandar, chicken rice, chee cheong fun and creamy caramel custard that Ipoh has to offer.Yum.

Special mention to Ipoh’s beansprout chicken – Ipoh locals love Thean Chun Ipoh or at Lou Wong Tauge Chicken (good luck picking between the two).

Where to stay:

M Boutique Hotel Station


For the stylo-mylos, try M Boutique Hotel Station for a sleek room that’s situated central. If you’d rather save your pennies for food, hit up a room at the 2-star Le Metrotel, also near the food district.

4. If you’re in the mood for… love, and poolside dining [KUALA LUMPUR]

Where to eat/stay

ffgsgsfgVilla Samadhi


Villa Samadhi by Samadhi is a luxury retreat that is ideal for couples and a mere stone’s throw away from KL’s city heart.

Not only is it achingly pretty, the food on offer is supposedly fabulous.

5. If you’re salivating for…kopitiam fare [BENTONG]

Where to eat:

Bentong is a gem that’s only two hours from KL. Drop by for a weekend to play kopitiam bingo with the selection of local cafes that offer local breakfast and charm to die for.

Bentong boasts delicious wantan mee, char kway teo, ABC, homemade pandan ice cream – the list is endless. Jalan Chui Yin is hawker heaven for noodle fans but Bentong also has a badass morning wet market, in which TimeOut claims the tau fu pok (fried beancurd) is unrivaled.

If glutton’s guilt ever strikes, you can always head out to one of Bentong’s beautiful green spaces to hike a waterfall.

Where to stay:

Caravan Serai Exclusive Private Villas


For the adventurous, perhaps a tent/suite at Caravan Serai Exclusive Private Villas ?

6. If you’re starving for… old-school charm [PENANG]

Where to eat/stay:

Blue Mansion


What’s a trip to Penang without a visit to its iconic Blue Mansion?

Rent one of its eighteen themed rooms and you’ll wake up in neo-classic, splendor. It hosts a fine-dining restaurant, Cheong Fatt Tze. Expect Western and Asian fusion served up on glamorous silver platters by their chef of 25 years experience. The next morning, you’ll eat breakfast under the open sky.

7. If you’re peckish for… a taste of the sea [LANGKAWI]

Where to eat:

Langkawi’s Pantai Cenang is a fine place for the hungry.

There are enough seafood restaurants along this stretch to dazzle you, but  Orkid Ria is a popular, delicious choice. The Brasserie also offers seafood and Mediterranean fare with a kickass beach view.

And a wildcard: the French crepes at MY French Factory (voted #1 out of 299 restaurants in Langkawi on TripAdvisor) will hit that sweet spot.

Where to stay:

Langgura Baron Resort


Stick around Pantai Cenang at the beach-facing and very affordable  Langgura Baron Resort.

8. If you’re longing for… Kolo mee in the far East [KUCHING]

Where to eat:

Kolo mee


Kolo mee is one of the most Sarawak’s most well-loved comfort foods. Springy red or yellow egg noodles, minced meat, crushed garlic and onions – what’s not to love? Stroll down Jalan Padungan and you’re sure to find a good vendor.

For a halal version without the pork lard – head to Teresa Laksa (beside the Tune Hotel on Waterfront Kuching, Jalan Borneo).

Where to stay:

Padungan Hotel


Padungan Hotel is right in the heart of the kolo mee action. You’re welcome!

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9. If you’re dreaming of… complete escape [LANGKAWI]

Where to eat/stay: The Datai

The Datai

The Datai


This is some seriously Instagram-worthy territory.

Shrouded by an ancient rainforest beside a stretch of spotless, private beach, this staycation in Langkawi will satiate you, belly, mind and spirit. It comes at a higher price but hey, look at it!

If you don’t feel like stepping outside the hotel (because, let’s be honest, who would?) The Datai has two award-winning and fully halal in-house restaurants. Try The Gulai House for Malay and Indian fare, or The Pavilion for authentic Thai cuisine that is arguably the best on the island.

10. If you’re ravenous for… Jonker Street [MALACCA]

Where to eat:

Jonker Street


Noone would take this article seriously if we didn’t include an honourable mention to Malacca’s famous Jonker Street.

Expect chicken rice balls, popiah, Durian Cendol, Nyonya laksa, pai tee and otak-otak, all at hawker prices. Kedai Kopi Chung Wah and Nancy’s Kitchen are two favourites. Look out also for artsy cafes and bars playing jazz music, and try the rich Vietnamese drip-coffee at The Baboon House.

Hit up Le.QUE restaurant for some delectable, halal Western fare.

Where to stay:

RC Hotel


Keep close to the food district by checking out RC Hotel, also a six minute walk to the famous Indian food stall Selvam (No 2 Jalan Temenggong, Melaka 75000, Malaysia).

Book your stay with Agoda and remember to use Agoda coupon codes to enjoy discounts!

So there you have it, foodies. Eat your heart out!

Prices are correct as of Sep 30 2015


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