Monday, 31 March 2008

PERHENTIAN ISLAND

There are many islands in West Malaysia, Penang, Langkawi, Pangkor, Tioman, Redang, Lang Tengah, Tenggol, Gema, Kapas, Besar etc....and there's Perhentian Island. Perhentian means "stopping point" in Malay and was a stop over point for fishing boats plying the Thailand-Malaysia route and vice versa. I must admit that I've still yet to go to many of the islands, though Sipadan (East Malaysia) is definitely on top of my list. However, there's no point to go to Sipadan if I can't dive, it's like going to the beach and not swim. However, Perhentian is definitely THE ISLAND for me. No fancy 5 star hotels, no roads, even no TV in Tuna bay, life is really a beach, swim, snorkel, eat and swim again, and very soon I'm not tanned but practically fried under the sun. But really, you'll see most Malaysians under the umbrella shying away from the sun or even in the aircond chalet (like my husband) and foreigners sun tanning on the beach.

The best accomodation you'll get is Perhentian Tunabay Island Resort. You can either stay at the garden chalet or even better the sea view chalet, open up to a beautiful beach and clear water. To me, Perhentian is probably one of the few islands that is still pure, clean, clear and beautiful, it was not even developed until the last 10 years. These pictures were from our trip last year.

Boat ride to Perhentian Island, nothing but crystal clear blue sea.


Danial playing with the fishes near the beach.

Emi on the beach - bring fish food and you'll have hundreds of fishes nibbling both food and you.

View on the right of Tuna Bay.

The speed boat stops right infront of Tuna Bay - travel light is essential, you should'nt be lugging those LV trunks around.

With the mountains as backdrop, no roads only boat hopping from one place to another.

Fishing jetty at Besut and no, you dont hop on one of this to Perhentian. Tuna Bay and other resorts have their own speed boat.

I stayed at Arwana one night, beach not clear, full of dead corals and we found this stingray near the beach so it's Tuna for us thereafter.


CHEERS and have a fantastic week ahead :)

Thursday, 27 March 2008


I did a post on Keronsang and Malacca (all at bottom) and am still fascinated with this subject. Still remembering my maternal grandma who wears her see through kebaya and sarong with a 3 piece kerongsang to all important functions. Sadly, no one ever kept this heirloom and it's rare to find any, until I found the Kerosang Collection, many thanks to Andre. Do note that these are antiques and are hardly made nowadays.

A 3 piece linked kerongsang worn with the traditional kebaya, that's the pin for keep the kebaya together.


Worn with silver belts


a gold buckle


An antique betel nut set


I took this picture of a Peranakan wedding bed at the museum when I was in Malacca recently. Their beds are always elaborately decorated and this one's in red, a favourite colour for weddings.


..and talking about Peranakan wedding, I found this and check it out here


and another one here


and here too



A modern Nyonya in her beautiful kebaya and sarong.


Go to VirtualMalaysia.Com -baba nyonya and Travel * NST Online for more infor.

OK, seriously the weather's been crazy here. It's extremely hot and humid in the day and raining crazily in the evening. Even travelling out for lunch is giving me headaches, so here I am wanting to go to somewhere cooling, somewhere away from the city, just to sip tea at the highlands. This is a tea plantation at Photo Gallery > Sungai Palas Valley (Boh Tea Plantation), Brinchang, Cameron Highlands, PAHANG - Malaysia Travel Review and the view at the top, just perfect.

Monday, 24 March 2008

The IBANS of Sarawak

The Ibans are also known as Sea Dayaks, practised headhunting and tribal expansion in the past. They are the largest ethnic group in Sarawak. Originally, they were hunters, farmers and gatherers and practising animistic religion (mostly converted to be Christians or Muslims now). They were the most feared tribe in Borneo at one time. With urbanisation, they no longer are headhunters but hold on strongly to their own cultures and traditions. All pictures are from here and here.

Iban at a paddy field, with most Iban woman leading, planting and harvesting rice. Rice too is Asian main staple food.



An Iban elder doing a Ngajat warrior dance accompanied with gongs and drums, as part of their Gawai Kenyalang or Hornbills Festival.


A heavily tattooed Iban man complete with hornbills or other feathered headdress. On his hip is a tube containing poisoined darts to shoot at small animals, and a 2 foot long decorated sword.


A pretty Iban girl in traditional gear, complete with silver ornaments, necklace, anklets,bracelets and silver coins in her sarong.


The Ibans has a strong affinity with the sea and rivers, here crossing Sarawak's Ranjang River.


Graceful dancer..


Famous for their intricate beadings.


Pua Kumbu, beautiful weavings.


I sure hope that they have given head hunting coz I am going there soon.

OK, something else. Do you know Anya Peters? If you had read Readers Digest recently, you'll know her. She's the owner of this blog -
WanderingScribe, was a homeless and jobless girl who lived in a car for months in Woodland, UK. Luckily, her blog was discovered and she now has a book published with the title, Abandoned. Of course, she is no longer jobless or homeless, nor is she living in her car, but she had great support from many people from her very first post. I think that was so inspiring, that all these people who visited her blog gave her support during her difficult times. When I read her blog, I reminded myself to appreciate the many beautiful things surrounding me, my friends, my colleagues and most importantly, my family.

So, cheers and have a fantastic week ahead :)

Friday, 21 March 2008

SARAWAK

While researching for up upcoming trip to Kuching - Sarawak, I discovered that there are so much that I dont know of this largest state in Malaysia. Sarawak has the richest rainforest with the most diverse ecosystem. It has 28 different ethnic group of people, each with it's own distinct language, culture and lifestyle. Sarawak was also named Asia's "best kept secret", land of the While Rajahs, hornbills, orang utan and home to the largest flower in the world, the Rafflesia - which can measure up to one metre across. The most dominant group are the Dayaks, with Ibans (sea dayaks) and Bidayuhs (land dayaks) and they have a strong spiritual connection with the rainforest. I want to visit one of the longhouses, a home on stilts and at times houses more than 100 people, and there are more than 4,500 longhouses in Sarawak alone. These images are from the net and I can imagine how beautiful this trip will be.

A Melanau longhouse


Sarawak - also known as Land of the Hornbills, as you can see why


Well known for more than 28 groups of multi-ethnic people


You cant miss the rainforest


A must visit to the Sarawak Cultural Village


Perhaps a trip to the Bako National Park..


The Rafflesia - have you ever seen any flower like this? I haven't.


Of course my trip would not be complete without saying hello to a long lost friend, the Orang Utan


For more information, read here,here and here.

How wonderful blogging is to meet many new friends, from Singapore to Argentina, someone near and someone so far away, there are so many new things to learn.

With this, I wish everyone a fantastic weekend :)

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

A friend asked how I get ideas on blogging. Well, let's see, in our population of 25million, in West Malaysia alone there's 3 main groups of people, the Malays, Chinese and Indians - plus some minority of other races. Three different language, different religion, food, culture, tradition and customs. What about East Malaysia, the land of the Borneos? Both Sabah and Sarawak combined have more than 20 different group of ethnicity, AND I have never been there - hence my trip to Kuching this July. While we are all so different in many ways, we are also very much alike in our hearts. My children know no racial barriers, we celebrate almost every festivals as their cousins are also of mixed parentage. In short, we are just Malaysians. Everyone speaks the national language, Bahasa Malaysia and English almost fluently, and many their own mother tongue in Chinese or Indian (and in their respective dialects too). Life's at times not complete without our roti canai an favorite Indian breakfast or a dose of Nasi Lemak, a wonderful Malay coconut flavoured rice. OK, it's not a very healthy for the waistline, but that's the other most favourite past time here - eating.

Still on Kampong/village life, there something special about Kelantan - the northeastern state bordering Thailand. The state that fell into PAS, the opposition and try as the Govt might, will probably never win it back. My wonderful MIL stays in Besut, that's where the jetty to Pulau Perhentian is, and it's just 1/2 hour drive to Pasir Putih, or 20 minutes drive to Kelantan. Though Besut is in Trengganu, the people there are true Kelantanese no matter what. From the food, the culture, and most evident the dialect spoken and the moment you speak the local Bahasa Malaysia, they will immediately know you are not from their 'kampong/village', you are the orang luar/foreign. They are the gentlest of people, soft spoken and almost on a sing-song tone and did take me a long time to learn their dialect. The good part is, when you can speak like them, it makes it real easy when you want to bargain for something when buying. Kelantan too remind me of something I saw an absolutely long time ago, it reminded me of this:







I cant even remember when I last saw one as it was ages ago. The Wayang Kulit or shadow play, most well known in Kelantan, it's puppetry in traditional form with strong Javanese and Hindu influence. With urbanization, it's almost impossible to find one here. I remember the loud music, dim lights or probably kerosene lightings then, listening to the Tok Dalang - the master puppeteer, who controls the puppets movement, playing different roles with different voice over too behind a white veil. I had no idea what he was talking but just watching it was mesmerising.

...and in my previous post, I had a surprise visit from a good blogger friend, Dalilah aka Raden Galoh. She's a breast cancer survivor, owner of this blog, onebreastbouncing, with a picture of her chest after a mastectomy. While many people talk about ordinary people with extraordinary stories, I'd say she's an extraordinary person with an extraordinary story. So, Dalilah, here's wishing you fantastic health and thanks for inspiring me.

CHEERS TO ALL :)

Monday, 17 March 2008

Malay houses and Sakura

There's something about the traditional Malay houses that is very special. Though I did'nt grow up in one, I go back to one every year, back to the East Coast to my husband's family home. It's a time where we all take a long break from our hectic schedule. A time to relax and do nothing, and when I say do nothing - I really mean it because there's nothing to do except eat, visiting relatives, more eating, beach and of course a trip my favourite island, Pulau Perhentian. There's no internet connection (at least at at home back in my kampong/village), no English newspapers and I find myself reading a few Malay papers a day, mainstream and tabloids included. Life is laidback, easy going and no hurry. This is where the kids wake up to the cocks crowing (never hear them here in town for sure), and the nearest shopping centre is a sundry shop. We love it every year as it's uninterrupted family time and spend time with the person we love most, my mother in law. While many jokes about M-I-L problems, mine is a gem as she is much loved by everyone. She'll be the happiest and busiest when we are all back.

These are just some samples of the beautiful kampong/village houses, most always built on stilts in case of flood. They have large windows which makes the building cooling and usually surrounded by coconut trees. For more infor, read here, here and here.








...and really blogging has been very exciting, knowing so many beautiful people everywhere. Every blog is a new discovery and often I am asked which is my favourite blog, I'd say ALL because each and every one is unique and beautiful. So, I am so glad to have known you all. Almost everywhere I visited, someone is blogging about spring and we celebrate spring every year when Chinese New Year's round the corner though we never have spring, it just coincide with the Chinese lunar calendar. So, when my new found beautiful blogger friend, Bunbun of honey and clover took some awesome pictures with the title Sakura, which mean cherry blossoms in Japanese, I pratically begged her to let me post those beautiful pictures and she was so kind to do so. Bunbun, you're another gem and I love all those Bento boxes you make, wished we were nearer :)