In Transit Malaysia

At KLIA: Old Malaya Kopitiam’s signature Nyonya Laksa

May 22, 2013

Nyonya laksa is a spice-laden noodle dish with curry and coconut milk. While laksa is popular in both Malaysia and Singapore, Nyonya laksa is a signature dish of the Nyonyas — female descendants of Chinese immigrants who came to the Malay archipelago between the 15th and 17th centuries.

Nyonya Laksa by Old Malaya Kopitiam
KLIA Jungle Boardwalk

That was my first ever bowl of Nyonya laksa, a signature dish of the Old Malaya Kopitiam inside the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. It was savory, scrumptious and all the flavorful adjectives blended in one bowl. It was so good my runny nose was literally welling.

Old Malaya Kopitiam at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)

Old Malaya Kopitiam is a popular café in Malaysia. It boasts of its traditional kopi tiam setting (marble table tops and wooden furnishings) and serves local Malaysian cuisines such as the Chicken Rice and Lamb Biryani, Roti Bakar with Kaya (toast with a coconut and egg spread) served alongside half boiled eggs and a cup of coffee. And of course, Nyonya Laksa.

It’s a must try when having a stop at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Old Malaya Kopitiam’s Nyoya Laksa is one of the two reasons why KLIA became my favorite airport in the world up to date. And I have always been looking forward to flying Malaysia Airlines to have a long stopover at KLIA. Even during the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in March 2014, I have been fighting to have my flight booked in Malaysia Airlines but our company just wouldn’t allow it. Sad!

The second reason is the KLIA Jungle Boardwalk.

KLIA Jungle Boardwalk waterfall as seen from the entrance
Yellow chain curtains at KLIA Jungle Boardwalk entrance/exit

How often do you get to an airport with an in-house jungle? I say not too often.

KLIA Jungle Boardwalk

I have always been fascinated with photos of houses, buildings and structures adorned with indoor gardens. Especially if the garden is huge enough to be compared to a jungle. If I would ever be able to build my dream house, half of the floor area will be dedicated to an indoor rainforest.

KLIA Jungle Boardwalk waterfalls
KLIA Jungle Boardwalk waterfalls

Which explains why when I first saw the botanical garden situated inside one of KLIA’s two buildings during one of my stops in Malaysia, I was so eager to go inside but the stop on my trip from Jeddah to Manila was too short. Fortunately, my stop on my way back was long enough for me to go inside, though it took me a while to locate the entrance. If you’ll ever be in this airport and would also want to have a glimpse of what’s inside, look for a glass door with yellow chain curtains near the cosmetics shops.

Large trees inside KLIA Jungle Boardwalk
Large trees inside KLIA Jungle Boardwalk

It was humid inside, as expected. I sweat a lot just by circling the boardwalk around the waterfall. The next time I’ll have a long stop there, I’ll bring a full clothing change so I could jog around the boardwalk. I’m sure there are shower areas inside the airport. Also, it was May when I was there which explains the relatively high humidity. But I’m sure it will be a perfect spot between November to February. And I’d like to be there during the monsoon season, too. I’ll wear waterproof sneakers and bring an umbrella. Just thinking about it made me more excited than the vacation itself.

Two ladies, both as amazed as I was, came but my flight to Jeddah was leaving in 45 minutes. I still had to board the trains to the other terminal building so I hurried and left.

Both Old Malaya Kopitiam and the Jungle Boardwalk are located near gates C-11 to C-17. See this KLIA MAP.

Selfies, anyone?

Last updated: August 24, 2017; I finally moved this post from “Malaysia” to “In Transit” category

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