Tuesday, February 17, 2009


TERATAI PUTIH is its name, a restaurant as well as a resort. Even the signature name is carved out of a piece of old wood and standing alongside handcrafted items.

At night, it is as resplendent and welcoming too.

This is one of the chalet on site. Notice that timber pieces have been utilised and including the 'batang pinang' as the pillars fronting the porch.

I am sure Padang Besar being the terminal for KeretaApi Tanah Melayu and also the Thai Railway has provided these old railway sleepers which now adorned Teratai Putih new buildings. Again timber pieces are used on the wall too.

Most contractors would find laboring with broken mosaic and tile a painstaking job. Here they are laid out on the pathway giving color and special identity to Teratai Putih as a resort. Notice the railway sleepers too as a fence.

I am sure the owner must have contracted all the broken and discarded pieces, carted them to his place and gave a tall order to his contractor to design the new extension as we see it

They swing with the wind and ingenuity from discarded beer cans.

IT was late to return home, though it would have taken only just over an hour to reach Titi Gajah from Mata Ayer. Since we have to be here early the next morning, it would be just as well we stayed back at Kangar. But that was not to be. We headed for the border town of Padang Besar an unlikely place to move too at night. Still someone told us we could have our dinner there.

We had good food and even enjoyed the serenade from the three piece band at the restaurant. Then we realized that it was also designated as a resort and rooms for the night were available.

We slept like logs; no thanks to an earlier journey in the morning from Alor Star to Lumut and returning and continuing to Mata Ayer and here we were at close to midnight.

I woke up early, alongside the cock-crows within the kampong astride the resort and the call of the 'azan' from one of the mosques' minarets close by. It had a pleasant feeling to be away perhaps made more so being in a zone more Thai than Malaysia. Even our dinner last night with a serving of 'hot kensom' a Thai serving, my wife's favorite dish was quite relishing. Unexpectedly sometimes you come across a place and cannot help recognizing its potentials and true identity. This is one.

Always perplexed by the territorial border untidiness and complexity, I must take my hat off to the manager and staff of the resort for the care and maintenance of the place. Now if only all of us especially tradesmen in the similar business do care for their place of work as these people do, we are on the right route to a developed status in whatever way we want.

Cleanliness and tidiness were the order of the day. It is kin to godliness. Yet more defined was to discover how 'salvaged' items have been utilised on the site. I cannot help thinking of 'dumpster diving' associated with the practice of sifting through commercial or residential trash to find items that have been discarded by their owners. In reality useful to the dumpster diver. The practice is so popular that many labels have been given to it: urban foraging, aggressive recycling, garbaging, garbage gleaning or trashing. Over here it was an effort, a strong and determined one to make the best of available discards.

I took several photos of the place in the morning before breakfast and here's hoping that you would recognise what I meant. The manager and owner of Teratai Putih has truly made the best of trash or discarded items perhaps saving for himself and his company a sizable expenditure while of course being at peace with himself and nature too. He has turned discarded items into treasures and we can learn much from him or from what he has displayed. Unfortunately I was unable to meet him in person.

From its size and the new addition of rooms and facilities, it does assure the popularity of the resort and we were told busloads of visitors from the south even as far as Johore would stop for lunch or stay for the night when they come to Padang Besar. Likewise Thai friends and visitors would make a beeline here to taste Malaysian gastronomy as well. To think no one would come to stay at Padang Besar straddling the Thai border and much closer to Hadyai the fun city only an hour away. How wrong can we be.

We sat here for breakfast over cups of hot coffee and 'telur masak setengah dan roti bakar'. Do you see what I mean? You have the call number and kalau kearah sini jangan lepas peluang jenguklah ke Teratai Putih. Tongyam tetap ada. Pulut durian,harum manis pun tentu ada kalau musimnya.


RusniNYC said...

Pak Non, thanks for the wonderful piece of info...new to me . I can't imagine staying overnight in P. Besar, now I can't wait to visit PB and stay at Teratai Putih. Congratulations to nature friendly resort owner.

RusniNYC said...

You will provide with the details of this resort, yes? thanks

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