Saturday, July 26, 2008

Culture - Cak Lem Pong

video

Caklempong, a small gong melody instrument which comes from the gong family. It is made from bronze, using the mould technique. Caklempong is flourishes among the Malay Minangkabau communities from Negeri Sembilan. Few instruments such as the seruling buluh, salung, rebana and gong play together with Caklempong to accompany the Pencak Silat, Tari Lilin, Randai and Tari Inai performances. Each player holds two caklempong, taking turns to play and create short melodies. Current performance practice divides these into 3 parts, they are Gereteh, playing the melody, Tingkah and Saua(playing the rhythm in homophonic style). Source: www. fascinatingmalaysia.com

p/s I am so very busy this week and next week so can't post much. My Langkawi trip pics haven't been uploaded totally yet.. Still got another 70 per cent he he he... Was soo busy with my MBA - the homeworks and assignment. Have a presentation to deliver on the 30th. I wonder how sometimes when you do not have anything to do .. nothing happens.. but when you are up to your nose in something, along came tonnes and tonnes of thingss...

Oh, got my self a flat screen samsung tv, a fridge and a cooker, can't escapa from cooking anymore!

Oh, nearly forgotten.. got an exam to boot this Friday, yikes!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Kedah - Langkawi's Mahsuri Tomb

The Cak Lem Pong performance - a tradional Malaysian instruments performance.

Mahsuri Binti Pandak Mayah - Mahsuri, a victim of treachery and jealousy was sentenced to death in 1235 Hijrah or 1819 AD. As she died, she laid a curse on the island "Thre shall be no peace and prosperity on this island for a period of seven generation".

Mahsuri's tomb. When I went here around 2003, the tomb is not as grand as this.

Wan Aishah said to be the seventh descendent of Mahsuri. According to legends, due to her birth then the Mahsuri curse is lifted and Langkawi can enjoy prosperity again. She currently resided in Thailand - the place that Mahsuri's son was taken to after her death. She is said to enhirit Mahsuri's beauty.

The well that Mahsuri used for her everyday errands. I saw some visitors using the water to washed their faces. Maybe to get some of the Mahsuri's beauty secrets he he... Anyway, processed water from the well are also available for sale as thirst quencher.

The well up closed.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Kedah - Langkawi Jetty

Langkawi welcomes you.

More views of boats and yatches near the jetty area.

A glimpse of the custom check point. To get free duty rate, visitors need to stay about 48 hours on the island. Keep your tickets so that the officers can easily verify. For household items, the limit is those cost RM500 above. For batik, the view differs that a person can only have 3 batiks to those who said 5 are allowed. Anyway, pack these in different bags so that the Custom have an easier time to not tax us, he he...

Also duty shops galore from digital cameras and handphone but mostly Corelle, Visions thingy - things that Malay ladies are crazy about.

Waiting for hubby to get the hired ride.

We got ourselves a Nissan Sentra. Looked good in the outside but in the inside?? Smashed dashboard and very bad tyre alignment but RM80 a day - can't complaint too much.

Golfers spent RM720m in Malaysia last year

Well, I am not a golfer - but.. interesting news nonetheless.

The STAR

Monday July 21, 2008
Golfers spent RM720m in Malaysia last year


MIRI: Some 350,000 foreign golfers spent more than RM720mil in Malaysia last year.

And the tourism ringgit from these financially-powerful spenders is expected to continue in the future.

Tourism Malaysia general manager for advertising Abdul Hani Daud said Malaysia was named last year as the number one golf destination in the Asia-Pacific by the international golf organisation IAGTO, which is made up of 73 countries.

“We (Tourism Malaysia) want to showcase the country’s best golf courses to attract international players.

We have the best facilities and courses for golf in the region, yet we charge the lowest fees,” he said at a dinner to fete some 100 international golfers for Round 5 of the World Amateur Golf Championship 2008.

“Through golf, we will then be able to promote other tourism products, such as our unique food, culture and natural attractions.

“Golf in Malaysia is an all year-round affair because of our good weather, thus the flow of golf tourists is also an all year-round thing,” he said.

The participants included journalist-golfers. They are from the United States, Europe, Japan, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Brunei and Malaysia.

Team USA won Round 5. The teams will proceed to Penang for Round 6.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Perlis - Kuala Perlis Jetty

There are a few points to get to Langkawi - Penang Port, Kuala Kedah and Kuala Perlis. We choose Kuala Perlis as we have our own vehicle to park and it is also the quickest sea route to Lankawi from land (45 mins). The fee is RM18 for adults and RM13 for child 3 - 12 years old. From the jetty, you can also arrange for accomodation and transportation in the island. Of course this won't be advisable during school holidays and other peak seasons.

Kuala Perlis jetty.

Kimi and the bags. Can see the sea right behind the building.

Map of Langkawi detailing its attractions.

The waiting area. On the outside you can see vendors selling refreshments - drinks, nuggets, sliced fruits. In the waiting area, there's restroom (quite ok but being Malaysian - there is still wetness and odour) and surau. Outside the jetty, there are stalls selling food and beverages among them the famous Laksa Perlis.. yummy

Penang - Ferry

The best thing about Penang is that it has two mode of transportation to go there from the main land - by the Penang Bridge or by Ferry.. and the best thing in, you pay your way in but no more fee when you go back so our bridge toll of RM7.50 is for both ways!

The view from our ride after we were in the ferry.

Bye bye Penang!

The upper deck, you can distinguish the Penangites and the tourists - Tourists will look all excited and snapping pics and the natives snoozes away with the routine.

Hubby and Kimi.

Land ahoy!

Penang - Leisure Bay Condominium

We stayed at Leisure Bay Condo alo- with voucher from a friend - we got a two-bedroom apartment for RM100 - a steal! For me, it is nice, maybe could rate it as three stars but most important is that it is cheap. Usually I need to pay at least RM150 for a room, so I got the inlaws in.. another RM150.00. So, I am happy with the cost savings!

Front view.

Living room - before I fould the lightswitch apparently ha ha..

Kitchenette

Master bedroom with Kimi poised to jump up and down on the bed. His fav! We have a king size bed in the master bedroom and two single beds in the second room. In the living room, there's a bed underneath the three seaters sofa and the sofa itself can be slept on. Easily the apartment can accomodate 6 adults.

Restroom - we got two in the apartment.

We slept quite early and only started exploring the beach the next day. The beach on this side is a bit dirty with garbages washes ashore and stray dogs sleeping, but nice nice morning view here.

Nice view depicting progressing of hotels, resorts, condos on Batu Feringgi side of Penang.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Penang - Penang Bridge

We arrived at Penang around 5.30 - time when people just came back from work. Our journey is from mainland into the island - jammed. But from the island to Penang - really jam-packed! Penang is one of the most busy economic states in Malaysia - lots of factory, financial districts etc.

View from the car.

The blue blue sea and Penang progressing very fast economically.

Mid bridge view.

I think it is unjustifiable if I do not put full kudos to Penang - it deserves many pages with its many histories, cultures, food, places of attractions etc. As we just stay here for one night, I put a link on Tourism Penang for more information, maybe in the future I'll put my own persenol post on Penang.

Terenganu - Sungai Ketiar Elephant Sanctuary

Hmm.. my first post on the trip!

We started off Kuala Berang a bit late i.e. around 10 am.. me, Kimi, Hubby, mum and bro in law. I took the back seat so that Kimi can sit on his own (he's around 20kg now.. to heavy to carry all the way to Langkawi)..

We used the new East West highway crossing the Kenyir Lake to Gua Musang to Cameron Highland and expected to reach Penang around 6 pm. I've highlighted this trail a few time during my Cameron Trip in May but here I am going to highlight on Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary - got more pics he he he..

There are two baby elephants at the sanctuary - the female is named Suria (Sunlight).. I didn't venture to the male side cz the keeper said that it has a hot temper. Suria is sweet.

Particulars of Suria - she's 8 years old and captured at Setia, a state in Terengganu. She loves fruits. The keeper told me that she was abandoned by her herd when they captured her. The other male was found in a ditch where he couldn't get out off.

Snapped this pic of the little girl who struggling to get away from the elephant he he he.. can't take my own pic with Suria cz I was holding on to Kimi on one hand and busily snapping pics with the other hand. Had the opportunity to feed Suria with Keledek, the trunk is rough.. it looked soo soft before I touch it.. same goes with her hair - looked soft but actually its quite rough.

Here's a newsclip by Bernama on the sanctuary (published 19.6.08)

Elephant sanctuary, Lake Kenyir’s latest draw

HULU TERENGGANU, THURS: Tasik Kenyir, located some 70km from Kuala Terengganu, is among the world’s most majestic looking man-made lakes.

The some 380,000 hectares lake is a haven for nature lovers as well as anglers and those who are seeking fun and adventure.

Among the attractions there are waterfalls, caves, rivers, mountains and jungle trails. Water sports enthusiasts who love jet skiing, kayaking and canoeing would find the lake ideal for their activities.

However the lake has something else to offer. Tourists have began to arrive at the Sungai Ketiar elephant sanctuary since it was opened to the public last January 30.

Sandwiched between the National Park and Hulu Besut Forest Reserve and the Kelah (mahseer)sanctuary, the some 15,000 hectares jumbos’ sanctuary is the lake’s latest tourism draw.

OPERATING HOURS

The public can visit the sanctuary from 9am to 6pm daily, said its manager Zulkifli Ayob.

He said so far 8,800 people including 69 visitors have visited the sanctuary.

“The most number of visitors was on the last Labour Day, at 578 people.

Most of them were locals who were on their way to Tasik Kenyir and Cameron Highlands,” he said.

Zulkifli advised the visitors not to be alarmed if they come across a herd of elephants roaming in the area, particularly between 4.30am and 6.30am.

“For those who are driving through the area, please do not honk or shine the lights at the wild elephants. This would agitate the mammals, and that could make them dangerous,” he said.

CHALIL AND SURIA


There is a pair of trained elephants at the sanctuary, named ’Chalil’ and ’Suria’. Each jumbo is about eight years old.

Chalil is a bull elephant captured in Gua Musang, Kelantan in 2003 while Suria is a female jumbo ensnared in Bandar Permaisuri, Setiu in 2005.

According to Zulkifli, before being sent to the sanctuary, both elephants were trained at the National Elephant Conservation Centre in Kuala Gandah, Temerloh, Pahang.

“The elephants were moved here (Sungai Ketiar) one day before the sanctuary became operational,” said zulkifli, who is also the mahout for both elephants.

There are also four trained rangers to look after the two elephants.

FOOD

Zulkifli said, the monthly cost to feed the two elephants run up to RM2,000 and it is funded by the Terengganu state government via the State Economic Planning Unit UPEN).

“Suria and Chalil, which weighs at 1.5 tonnes and 1.3 tonnes respectively, need about 100kg of food daily. Bread for breakfast, sugar cane for lunch and fruits like water melons, papaya and potatoes while corn is for dinner,” he said.

He said the rangers would let Suria and Chalil roam in the nearby jungle once in every four days.

“This enables the mammals to familiarise themselves with the jungle surroundings and also help them to herd the wild jumbos in the area,” he said.

FUTURE PLANS

Meanwhile the Terengganu Wildlife Protection and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) Director Rozidan Md Yasin said the sanctuary is the first of such facility in the state and it is a joint project between the Terengganu government and Perhilitan.

“Perhilitan implements and monitor the project while the funding comes from the state government.

“As the project is still in its initial stages, visitors to the sanctuary are not charged any fees. However this may change in the future,” he said.

AWARENESS


Rozidan said the setting up of the sanctuary is a channel to boost the public awareness on the need to protect the wildlife.

“The wildlife has become victims to poachers who are out to get the high value of the animal parts,” he said.

Rozidan also called on all parties to work together to provide more awareness among the younger generation on the importance of protecting the wildlife in the country.

I'm Back Again!

I am very very sleepy. Just got back from the Langkawi trip about 3.00 am today. Sleeepy. And horror horror, no water supply when I need to prepare to start working this morning. So I have to take very cold shower from water stored in the fridge.. brrrr...

Next few days, I'll try to post pics taken from the journey. It was nice, bit tiring but nice, wasn't thinking of shopping but got roped in esp. seeing sis and mum-in-law shopping to the hilt! Anyway, Aidil Fitri is just around the corner so, justified i supposed.

Zzzzzzzzzzz........

Thursday, July 10, 2008

University - UiTM (Universiti Teknology Mara) Kampus Dungun Terengganu

I only knew last night that I am accepted as a student for Executive Master of Bussiness Administration at UiTM Dungun campus, what?! I am supposed to start tomorrow and the letter just came yesterday.. thank god that my collegua at HQ KL call and sms me informing me of the offer letter. Yikes! Anyway, thanks Haji Dollah the faci - whom I ask for leeway as I'll be going to Langkawi tomorrow! But I definitely be in the next class next Friday and Saturday..

Hmm.. can I do this? I do not know - my last try was about four years ago in UIA (Univeristi Islam Antarabangsa) in Gombak - dropped due to heavy (really heavy) work commitment. I hope I'll be ok in this one, please GOD!

Lastly, ciao! Will blog again after 4 days - Penang and Langkawi, here I come!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

People - Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed

The leader I admire most is of course Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed - the former prime minister (PM) of Malaysia. Nowadays with the Malaysian political senario is gettimg murkier by the moments, I am missing his day of leadership when Malaysia's political and economy was impeccable. He first started as Malaysia's PM in 1981 - that was when I was 6 so I cannot recall his early days of leadership but when the Asian crash in 1997/98 - I was with my first job with McConell Dowell Malaysia - as my bosses as Aussies, the fluctuation of Malaysian ringgit with other currencies capture my interests cz the bosses were directly affected esp. those who received their salary in Ringgit. Though pressured greatly by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the leadership of Dr. M was proven when he took up the pegging of RM to the US thus hampering the damages of the currency speculator during that time. I hate to think what might've happen should Dr. M didn't think out of the box - maybe Malaysia will become like Indonesia and Thailand then (nowadays both country had progressed again esp. Thailand) or maybe our economy would crumpled to the ground.

His achievements include of course the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC), Putrajaya, KL Sentral.. just to name a few..

Anyway, Tun M - I admire your greatly. Your views and visions are still relevant Tun. For more on Tun's musing esp. of the current Malaysian issues, click here!. For more info - Wikepedia on Tun Mahathir.

Terengganu - Moving Day

On Friday morning, I spend the morning cleaning up the house. Though it is not too big, I was quite surprised that it still took me some time to clean it up - a liberal amount of detergent and tonnes of water. I discovered that there are some black ants making their homes there - so bit more of insect repellant straying then after finishing zzzz ... thank god that the moving lorry was coming later in the afternoon.



Here I come to save the dayyyy.... This lorry is too big for my stuff but... it is the only one available. Took some expertise menouvering it between the houses.






My stuff.








Halfway there! Will take me about a week to clear the stuff out... he he he.. I am not that industrious sort of person.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Terengganu Fun Map

Today as I was browsing for related information on Terengganu trade capability, I found a fun interactive map detailing places of interest in Kuala Terengganu - here you can find places for golfing, handicrafts, turtle watching, beaches and islands; and much more. Click here for the interactive version. For more detailed information of Terengganu holiday, click here.

I also been handed the confirmation for my holiday next week. On Friday, we will start maybe midmorning and rest at Penang - Leisure Cove Condominiums at Tanjung Bungah. It looks interesting in the website. My collegue, who had been there said that the condo is nice. I saw from the itinerary, there are nerby places of interest to visit such as Bukit Bendera, Snake Temple, Sleeping Buddha Statue, Gurney Drive and Gurney Plaza Shopping Centre. However, as we might arrive at night and continuing our journey the next morning for Lankawi, I doubt that we might be able to drive round those places. Our highlight might only be driving on the Penang Bridge itself and also being on the Penang ferry to transport us to the main land. It would be lots of fun cz the last time I've been to Penang is around 2003 - that's almost five years ago - my! how time flies! I went there as one of the first series of dates with hubby - so lots of memories as well.

For Langkawi, we will have two days of holiday so it shouldn't be any problem.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Terengganu & Pahang - Beaches

Well... I have to say that most of Terengganu road are actually built alongside the beaches .. so here's a tribute to the beautiful Terengganu beaches... alongside with some of Pahang's beaches - mainly located in the Cherating part.

Once you've been to Terengganu and Pahang beaches, you wouldn't want to go to the west side beaches of Peninsular Malaysia.. maybe because the east coast is directly open to the sea i.e. South China Sea - that is why it is cleaner and has fresher air.. On the other hand, the west side is protected from the open sea by Indonesia Island of Sumatera - it is a busy ship route as well. However, this location also protected Malaysia (with minimal no. of loss in Penang Island) from the deadly tsunami in 2004.

My absolute favourite pic - Kimi at Kuala Kerteh beach - when he is about 6 months old.

Also playground for the kids - Kimi's favourite spot.

More Kuala Kerteh beaches...

Kimi, my mum and sis at Kuala Kerteh...

This is Pantai Teluk Gadung - run alongside from Dungun town to UiTM (MARA Technology University).. can have fresh coconut juice, deep fried seafood all day long.. yummy... we bought large size of sotong (squid) for RM12/kg... yummy..

Kimi nowadays at Pantai Batu Buruk in the heart of Kuala Terengganu. Have to say it is hard prying him from playround when he's in one.

Leaving footprints on the sand... Kimi around 2 years of age..

Here was hubby and Kimi walking side by side at Cherating beach during our short weekend break at one of the Cherating resorts about two years back..