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Sunday, 3 August 2014

Perlis, Part I, Padang Besar

My journey to the northern part of Malaysia...what else? It could absolutely end up in Padang Besar or Wang Kelian. But now, it is all about being at the Padang Besar. Well known as the main gate to Malaysia from Thailand, vice versa. Perlis is a nice place to visit, but it is a little bit warmer than other part in Malaysia in the afternoon (New Mexico is hotter though!). It had been a while I made my last visit here. Padang Besar is famous with the tax-free market. Malaysians love to spend here. Lots of goods had been traded especially the goods from southern Thailand. Fragrance thai rice, milk soap, glutenous rice, local fruits and crackers are few examples of Thais goods that gain full attention from the Malaysians. It is easy to find out this market. From south, just drive till Changlun Town (sometimes they call it Changloon - more Siamese dialect) via PLUS highway (E1). Once you reach a big junction with flyover, turn left. You'll enter the Changlun - Kuala Perlis highway (194). There is a junction on your right after the Unimap university to Chuping. Enter this junction and just follow the signboard to Padang Besar. You'll find the Padang Besar town first. Enter a big round about and take the second exit. Actually the market is near the immigration checkpoint. For me, this is the easiest way to Padang Besar from south. And I prefer this road because I will surpass the enchanting panorama of the sugar cane farms which reminiscent me the countryside of Gloucestershire.

A visit during school not suggested. Those shops in the market will be packed with tourists and traders. Really...really packed. What about the price? I believe it is affordable. Some youngsters might find this place to buy the Thailand made jerseys or jeans. Me? I just love the shopping windows. Spending few ringgits for seafood tom yum and the lovely 'Ayam Pulut' (glutenous rice with deep fried chicken). Bear in mind, they offers Malayan Prawn in their tom yum. Malayan prawn or in Malay we called it as Udang Galah (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) - not a seafood actually. This prawn is from the freshwater river, originated in Southeast Asia countries. I call it as the 'river lobster'. I used to eat it when I was young but now it is getting difficult to find it in polluted Malaysian rivers. And the pulut ayam, a very simple dish but I like it a lot. It is very authentic, yummy and smell good. You can find few stalls that sell these dishes near the market. Not to forget to try the somtam, pulut durian and pulut mangga (mango). A true authentic menu from this region. So far all the sellers are muslims. There are few non muslim restaurants too in the town. What else? Hmmm...being in Perlis, it is obliged or feel obliged to have some Perlis mangoes. The most famous mango is definitely the 'Harum Manis' which is literally means sweet odour; good smell and sweet taste. Yupp, this type of mango is one of the smelly Malaysian fruit, but a nice smell. 

 Padang Besar Town

 Inside the main complex. Trade focus on textiles here.

 Second area - open market. Major businesses are sweets, crackers, souvenirs, rice, cereals, fruits, soaps, tom yum paste etc.

 Third section: double storey shops. Sell textiles, blankets, electric appliances, toys etc.

 Milk soaps.

 Few types of rice. This is black glutenous rice.

 Pulut Ayam.

 Tom Yum.

Sweety Harum Manis mangoes. Look at the price....

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