Best of Melaka: Cafés, restaurants and bars
Rickety rickshaws and tourist traps are all fun and games during your first visit to Melaka, but you'll be looking for the real deal soon enough. Skip the first-timers' attractions with our guide to the best cafés, restaurants and bars in Melaka. Chicken rice balls still included.
Guide to Ipoh
Start your Ipoh food trail at the beginning of Jalan Bandar Timah, where kopitiam institution Nam Heong is located, the origins of the much-lauded Ipoh old town white coffee. Nam Heong makes tiny delicate egg tarts (on weekends only), pretty good Ipoh-style chee cheong fun with green chillies, and an intense white coffee brew. This also means the crowd can get overwhelming. If the queue gets too much (we’ve been relegated to alley seating more than once; and that’s considered lucky), head to the lesser-known Tong Kee, where tables of well-dressed retirees slurp on homemade yong tau fu (better known as ‘yong liu’ in Ipoh) served with noodles. Order a bittersweet herbal tea egg on the side – another option is to have just the popular tong sui without hard-boiled egg. Among Jalan Bandar Timah’s various kopitiams, the nondescript Nam Chau is a local favourite for dry curry mee, served with plenty of prawns, shredded chicken and, as a final flourish, a generous topping of mint leaves. The white coffee is a pleasant surprise too – it’s thick, creamy and delivers an excellent caffeine jolt. A bit further down the street are Thean Chun and Kong Heng, neighbouring eateries best known for their silky caramel custard, pork satay and sar hor fun (kuey teow noodles with steamed kampung chicken). Be warned that a crowd materialises just as soon as these shops open for business. For lunch, take a short drive over Kinta River to Loke Wooi Kee for its sar hor fun. The sweet broth which comb
The best boutique hotels in KL
Skip the fancy hotels (and even fancier prices) for a chic weekend getaway in these small, boutique hotels instead. From restored colonial houses to minimalistic bed and breakfast and decidedly Malaysian hotels paying tribute to local culture, these cool, stylish hotels will guarantee an unconventional stay you won't forget.
Hotel reviews and new openings
Grand Hyatt Tokyo, Japan
In Tokyo where space is premium, most hotel rooms are, at best, cosy in size. But not Grand Hyatt Tokyo. One of the top hotels in the city’s lively Roppongi district – famed for its varied shopping, dining and entertainment options – Grand Hyatt offers rooms that are exceptionally spacious, and luxurious too. You can expect Egyptian cotton linen bedding and free WiFi access; in the bathroom, you’ll find both a deep soaking tub and a separate rain shower. There’s a sense of quiet elegance in the hotel design. The classic Japanese aesthetic of clean lines and soft palettes are present throughout, while the clever use of natural wood and mood lighting transforms the hotel environment into one that’s modern yet homey. There’s much to discover at Grand Hyatt Tokyo that goes beyond the indoor temperature-controlled pool and Nagomi Spa and Fitness (complete with a gym and sauna facilities). For a start, the hotel is home to about 200 pieces of art, all carefully curated to fit the theme of ‘East meets West’. Plus, there are ten restaurants and bars onsite. Highlights include the Keyakizaka teppanyaki restaurant, The Oak Door steakhouse, and Roku Roku’s Edo-mae-style sushi and sashimi. For a commendable Japanese dining experience, head to Shunbou for their kaiseki menus, which showcase the season’s best and freshest produce. While the space itself is gorgeous, what stands out is the restaurant’s policy of supporting local agriculture and sustainable dining – so much so that they har
WEIL Hotel, Ipoh
More features Best weekend getaways: Two-day trips Looking for a short break? Here are five two-day trips that pack in everything from nature and adventure to food, shopping and a bit of resort stays 1 hour from KL… Slurp homemade ABC in the backstreets of Bentong (Pahang) Bentong residents live in a caffeinated moment and if they say Leong Yew kopitiam serves the best cham, you shouldn't doubt them. Fuel your morning with a glistening thick coffee that stains the cup. Then have Hooi Kee's wantan mee for lunch: The star is the springy, eggy noodles while char siew slices and pork dumplings make up the supporting cast. Shaved ice is Bentong's point of pride and there's a friendly rivalry between ice cream shops Kow Po and TAK. Kow Po is famous among tourists but regulars know that TAK's homemade ABC and pandan ice cream are unrivalled. Jalan Chui Yin is throttled by traffic at night as hawkers set up shop at this wai sek kai (literally 'glutton street'). The char kuey teow, yong tau foo and economy bee hoon are not to be missed. What else to do in Bentong? A visit to the morning wet market is a must. The locals make the best tau fu pok - dare we say it - in the country. These fried beancurd puffs are pillowy soft, with little pockets of air that make each of them so light and chewy. The Chamang waterfall is just 10km from town and it's a river that cascades down a gully that feeds into a nature park. Drive another 20 minutes down south and you'll find a public hot spri
Latest travel features
Top 10 Tokyo travel tips
Tokyo is the model city of Asia. It’s modern in its outlook yet still steeped in traditional values. It’s highly efficient, super organised and so obsessively clean that you could probably eat off its bathroom floors (not that we recommend you do so). It’s a city that’s always hungry for something new, and its people are so passionate that everything has been refined into a speciality – sushi, ramen, anime, the concept of zen, the art of simultaneous multi-directional intersection crossing (see No. 1 on Shibuya crossing), etc. You can’t help but be smitten by all that enthusiasm and liveliness. Here are ten things you need to know about one of the world’s greatest cities.
The best family day trips in Malaysia
As much as we love Kuala Lumpur for its shopping malls and attractions, sometimes you just need to head out of the city. In this list of day trips you can make with the family, you’ll find pristine rice fields, colonial history, glowing fireflies, fresh seafood, golden monkeys and more.