Tuesday, January 9, 2018

[Year 2018] Food Hunting- of Must-Eats @ Perlis (玻璃市).

Northern point of Malaysia- the State of Perlis is one of the smallest States in Malaysia but having to share its border with Thailand, the place is a melting pot for Malaysian-Thai culture. There are plenty outdoor activities available as well as Thai-influenced delicacies available. Since we were on a trip to attend a wedding dinner, we had a brief stopover, staying at Kuala Perlis, a serene town northwest of Perlis. The place is the main port for Perlis and is known for the jetty to Langkawi; you should have guessed it by now that the place is blessed with abundance of fresh Seafood. Not exactly an exciting place to visit but if you are in dire need of a quiet, restful getaway, this might be an ideal place (also for the budget-watchers).

1) Hai Thien Seafood Restaurant (海天海鲜) @ Kuala Perlis
Pork Free
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: Yes 6%
Address: Jalan Jeti Baru, Kuala Perlis, 02000, Perlis.
Business Hours: 5 pm to 11:45 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 6012- 4699 778

Sweet and Sour Crab (Rm 72 for 1 kg)

Indonesian Prawn (Rm 15 for 200 grams)

Kam Heong Kappa (Rm 8/ small)

Thai-styled Steamed Squid with Garlic (Rm 8/ small)

Seafood Soup (Rm 20/ small)

Stir Fried Water Spinach with Sambal (Rm 7/ small)

Kerabu Mango with Anchovies (Rm 7/ small)

Hai Thien Seafood Restaurant is the de-facto seafood restaurant to visit whenever you are in Kuala Perlis. Not only the tourists pay their visit, even the locals hire them for food catering for occasions or events. It is hard to miss the place, it occupies the entire building along the way to Jetty Langkawi... with ample parking space right in front of the premise. The menu is big and offers all range of Chinese dishes but Chinese is not the only group of diners here, it is common to find local Indians and Malays as well. Prices are wallet-friendly and due to its location (near the sea), the freshness should never be in doubt.

Note-worthy highlights include Sweet & Sour Crabs served with steamed Man Tou, Indonesian Prawns and Seafood Soup. Flavors are on the bolder side but all the Seafood dishes were delicious and most importantly, fresh and inexpensive. Remember to end with the meal with Deep Fried Ice Cream too (Rm 2 each). Definitely one of the must-visits in Kuala Perlis.

2) Arked Niaga @ Padang Besar (also known as Padang Besar Market)
Address: 7, Padang Besar, 02100, Padang Besar, Perlis.
Business Hours: 8 am to 6 pm. Opens Daily.

Approximately an hour drive from Kuala Perlis, Padang Besar is the northern-most part of Perlis and Malaysia, it is just a step away from Thailand; it has an immigration check point for visitors traveling in and from Malaysia to Thailand. Needless to mention, the place is filled with Thai-imported goodies and it is a famous shopping spot for many. In its largest market- Arked Niaga, houses many stalls that sell food, fresh fruits, dried goods from Thailand. Snacks and tidbits from Thailand are easily found here.

Finding a place to park here requires patience. The place is thronged with visitors on weekends, for the very simple reasons to stock up their food supplies. Popular items like Cashew Nuts, Dried Squid, Peanuts from Hatyai can be easily found here, though a little more expensive than Thailand, the prices are still far more affordable than those in local supermarkets. Also, Zebra cookware and Thai Glutinous Rice can also be found here. 

Opposite the old Arked Niaga is a new place known as Padang Waremart, the products found inside are similar but the place is cleaner and brighter (perhaps more expensive?). For better variety, we'd recommend stick to the old and established Arked Niaga. If you are there for lunch, be prepared to dine-in at those temporary food stalls by the road side, try-worthy ones are Pulut Ayam (Glutinous Rice with Chicken) and Tom Yum Kelapa (Coconut Tom Yum). For the hygiene-concerned, try Chat Chai Authentic Thai Cuisine right next to Padang Waremart.

Telur Dadar (Omelette)

Kerabu Maggi (Instant Noodles Salad)

Sweet and Sour Siakap

Stir Fried Vegetables

Bihun Bandung

3) Koria Floating Seafood Restaurant @ Kuala Perlis
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: Bukit Batu Buaya, Seberang Ramai, Mukim Kuala Perlis, 02000, Kuala Perlis, Perlis.
Business Hours: 4:30 am to 11:30 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 6012- 475 7283
GPS Coordinates: (E) 100'08'20.47 (N) 6'25'05.70

Kerabu Green Apple (Rm 14/ small)

Steamed Flower Clams with Garlic (Rm 10/ small)

Phat Phet Sotong (Rm 12/ small)

Steamed Red Snapper with pickled Radish (Rm 6 per 100 gram)

If you have done enough research, you would have realized that besides Hai Thien, Koria is another famous Seafood restaurant at Kuala Perlis. It is a floating restaurant sitting on a man-made pond. The variety is not as extensive as compared to Hai Thien but the view is definitely more superior. Be there earlier or most of the items will not be available, especially on weekends. Not all dishes were impressive, the Phat Phet Sotong was in fact, the most disappointing one. It was over-seasoned and a tad too salty to our liking. The best dish was probably the Steamed Red Snapper with pickled Radish. The fish was fresh and the flesh was delicate, the combination between the pickled Radish and Soy Sauce was spot on... not too salty with a sweet touch. Not exactly the place for absolute taste but more for a novelty dining experience amidst nature.

4) Photograph Session @ Paddy Field

The state of Perlis is surrounded by the beautiful scenes of paddy fields and if dressed appropriately, the contrast in colors works its magic. One of the more famous places for such photography is the colorful wooden house filmed in a local movie- 'Great Day' (天天好天). But we were informed that the place is a currently-occupied private residence so do it at your own discretion without bringing nuisance to the family. 

It is best to park your car on the main road and walk through the rice paddies (there are small paths that lead to the houses). When taking picture, you get to admire the natural beauty of mother earth too. When driving towards the Jetty to Langkawi via Kuala Perlis, turn into a place known as Kampung Wai. Keep driving until you hit a T-junction and turn left, turn right again shortly and you will find your way to the paddy fields. 


  1. One state in the country that I've never been. Dunno anybody there.