Students and Alumni

Study Tour to Malaysia

LIU Tsz-kuen Kimmy
Department of Chinese and History

Students visited a museum to learn about the history of mining in Malaysia.

I wanted to attend a summer school abroad before starting the 2018 semester, and Malaysia seemed like a relaxing choice, as I thought it would be a bit like Hong Kong. I wasn't expecting it to be much different to home, but the people, and the country's natural locations, proved more memorable than I had anticipated.

I was sick when we arrived, and it was scorching hot. I wondered how the people of Penang managed to adapt to the heat, and if I had made the right choice of destination. But visiting the temples and colonial British buildings in the villages increased my curiosity about Penang and Kinta. The people we met showed us that hot weather doesn't stop cooks blending hot ingredients into the food, and the fried seafood, the spicy dishes like laksa, and the durian-inspired desserts, are just a few of the tasty treats on offer.

I tried to work out why it tasted different to the food I was used to, and discovered it was because the cuisine and refreshments in Malaysia are made from local products. Even the soy sauce mill in Gopeng imbues a Malaysian flavour. I will always remember the feeling of curing my flu with a cilantro ice-stir.

Our study buddies from the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman Centre for Extension Education brought new meanings to the concept of friendship, and were eager to show us how people live in Kampar and Ipoh. We developed our own weekly rituals. There is no better way to cement a friendship than by going to a night market and eating the street food together.

The cities and the distinct identities of the indigenous areas inspired me. For instance, we were introduced to Mamak (Malaysians of Tamil descent) cuisine in Kampar, where British-infused architecture exists right next to the eatery. Overall, the trip presented me with endless possibilities, and I was very lucky to have this summer school experience.