Friday, April 15, 2011


 Several hotels on the island of Langkawi offer choicest accommodations.  One here, wooden chalets right in the sea will give you traditional as well exclusiveness. Imagine throwing your fishing line from your veranda. while seeping tea and being surprised by your catch. You will be surprised to see how old Malay houses have been restored on the island and have become 'luxury' homes especially for foreigners and visitors.

White pristine beach exclusive to the hotel complex gives the guests the relaxation and rest they look for plus peace and quiet with the closeness of nature close by.                


Back in 2007 I posted a story of Putrajaya with several photos of the capital city. Since then we have visited the place quite frequently and never tire of seeing the development on going. It has also become an icon, a touristic center with busloads of local as well as foreigners arriving daily. Happily you see them clicking their cameras or framing their best frames as reminders of their visit to the city, naturally with the background of their choice. The Putra Mosque and the Prime Minister's office complex seems to be the focus right now with the panoramic view of the lakeside added in. Thanks to the tourist guides or the bus drivers who prefer to halt near the Putra Mosque area. Maybe the food kiosks nearby would allow the visitors to have their lunch or tea break. Last week I was surprised to see a group of tourists from China celebrating their stop here and at the 'Nasi Kandar' stall especially having a whale of a time enjoying size-able plates of oven fresh succulent crabs and king prawns. Perhaps our tourist industry people need to observe the culinary choice of our visitors  and as such offer the best in this direction. Whereas the other food kiosks at the mall begged to be visited the 'Nasi Kandar' server was kept busy dishing out the favorites of the visitors. 

I believe observation of the visitors especially the foreign tourists at favorite spots would help the industry in many ways. Firstly where would they like to be photographed? What became their favorite background? Did they linger there much longer than usual? Souvenirs? What are their choices? Did they have enough time, besides the food break to take in the offers at sight. e,g a boat cruise on the lake? brief walk to other spots around the area where they had stopped earlier? At Putrajaya, the show case of the nation there's plenty to see, to know and admire.

As a regular visitor to the capital city, due to the exigency  of work routine surprisingly there are many that still escape my eyes. Firstly due to its size and secondly the constant growth and development.  Nevertheless let me share, several that hit me during the recent visit.

There are more visitor friendly and like-able places to visit at Putrajaya. One would be the new 'iron' mosque and since named as 'Masjid Tunku Mizan Zainal Abidin' since it was officially opened by the Yang Di Pertuan Agong himself 11 June 2010. The  mosque and the other touristic locations at Putrajaya guarantee that it will continue to be  a tourist hub. 

We were here earlier when the international hot air - balloon was on show or when the landscaping fraternity turned one corner into a garden. I believe the residents at Putrajaya and the nearby Cyberjaya will never be short of activities planned in the twin cities through out the year.

The imposing Perbadanan Putra Jaya office that undertakes control and development of the city with an arch that extended the view from the east to the west i.e from Istana Kehakiman ( Palace of Justice) to the Tunku Mizan Mosque at its western end encapsulate the thoughts,planning and strategy that has gone into the planning of Putrajaya as our capital city. Added to that several other Ministry buildings close by deserve scrutiny and attention too. Even if you are no artist, architect, planner, developer or engineer whose work naturally called for such review the existing  development deserve a close look and our pride for the nation.  

Three flag posts stand as sentinels. From the frontage of Istana Kehakiman you focus the view right through the arch and on to the Masjid Tunku Mizan at the western end.

 It can accommodate 25,000 jemaah or more. No fans, no air conditioning points or conduits to be seen.Yet it is cooling. Many factors and strategies have gone into the building of the "Iron Mosque"  Your view is extended to the outside as no walls blocked the frontage. 

You make like to refer to  http://en.wikipedia. org/w/Tuanku_Mizan_Zainal_Abidin_Mosque. 

We were here on Friday and being early thus the empty hall. It had its share of full jemaah at prayer time however. The two, 13 meter high imposing glass walls on each side of the mihrab have scribes from the Koran: one quote from Surah 2 Al Baqarah and the other from Surah 14 Ibrahim  

The exceptional exposure of the Surah on the glass frame as photographed. You may refer to Al Baqarah (ayat) 148 - 153 for the choice and meaning whereas the other side of the mighrab refers to Surah Ibrahim (ayat)  40 - 47.

   "Istana Kehakiman'  Palace of Justice which stands at the eastern side of the extended mall to the Tunku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque at the western end. Yet another architectural structure that make up the complex.

We move from one corner to another. One moment at the legendary island of Langkawi  and the next at the capital city. Like many others due to the exigencies and nature of our work giving service in consultancy we have moments to observe and share. The contrast of nature as to design and development each makes an impact. The off- shore fishing boats basking in the twilight at Pantai Kok in Langkawi and a bowl of 'ulam' salad as you prefer with 'sambal belacan' closes with a reminder that tradition die hard.  

Sunday, April 10, 2011



                 The fishermen and their boats returned in the early morning after a night out in the open sea.Their single outboard engine confined them off-shores. They are ready to transfer their catches to those waiting.


A good catch for the night and now the waiting crowd can make their collections. Grab any and weigh them for the price you have to pay. At this corner it is fishes; at another you can get prawns, crabs or cuttle-fish

              Or you can buy from these ladies with your choice already weighed . Imagine a kilo of good sized 'ikan temenung' for RM 2.00

 Having come home with their catches, they would be getting ready to go out again in the evening subject to the weather and tide.

Why do we need to think of tourism only when we refer to places and attractions around us? There are countless places, activities and happenings which color our lives and not necessary those focused in brochures, magazines or in the news.Maybe the desire to share and attract make us want to reveal the hidden secrets. Business ventures, marketing and opportunities creep in with the hope some economic ventures would flow when people gather in large numbers. With influx of visitors from overseas, foreign to our culture and way of lives, wanting to see those inherent here unfamiliar, strange and opposite to their life styles, almost everything become major attractions. Similarly when we visit countries or even districts outside our country and home, we too seek to find such attractions. 

A visit to Kelantan, at any time would propel you go for the 'batik' culture or  its culinary delicacies; in Malacca its historical site and a boat trip on the restored Malacca River, while of course the tea plantation and the greens of Cameron Highland when you are in Pahang. 

Come to Alor Setar Kedah, many would ask for Pekan Rabu and make a beeline to the shopping centre which open all days of the year of course, once a training ground for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in his younger days as a trader.

So we open up our country side, our homes and our attractions in pursuit  of tourism potentials, no doubt  pumping million of ringgit for the venture beforehand . The more diverse, the more unique and incomparable the better.Sarawak now offers native music festival; Johore kite flying and Penang usher in bird lovers who rejoice at the musical sound of birds' chirping and melodious tones while offering sale and reward too. Langkawi seeks you to cool in the 'Tasik Dayang Bunting' or dive and snorkel into the water of Pulau Payar, the former close at hearts for maidens wanting motherhood and the latter sights of corals and sea-creatures  in clear sea waters. 

The restless footloose person of course is propelled to move either singly or in group. His or their tour made much easier by numerous economy flight trips, travel discounts and good internal transportation.

It was a huge surprise when we came upon an activity recently; delightful to the eye as as well as pleasing the gastronomy. More so when it is near home. Kuala Kedah being the estuary of the Kedah River is a fishing harbour as well as the gate way to the island  of Langkawi by a regular ferry service. For all the activities that you may want to discover at any fishing harbor plus the historical perspective, you would naturally look for the unique and most natural. What more when we came upon fishermen unloading their catches at a tributary of a river and a large crowd ready to buy what were for offers. The fishermen had just returned from their previous evening sea journey and were as anxious to get their rewards. A quick sale at the jetty specially built for the off-shore fishermen by LKIM would be preferable. It was by all means a beautiful sight seeing the colorful boats tied together alongside the narrow stretch of the tributary with mangrove palms on the sides; what more with the excitement of  the crowd waiting to collect their choice of fishes ,prawns, cuttle-fish, crabs or other sea products as they were hauled up together with the nets that hours ago were plunged into the sea  to reap the harvest. Either you wait for the products to be gathered by the fisherman or his assistant or you grabbed them as they fall off the net. Now isn't that exciting? Comparing buying them off the shelves or counters. Fresh and not iced. We had a good choice of 'ikan temenung' or 'ikan kembung' as known in the south for an extraordinary price of RM4.00 for two kilos.

The excitement of pricing, plus the variety of choice did not end there. As we walked away from the jetty, leaving other customers to make their choices, we halted at a cafe close by. Its speciality fresh cooked curry or fried  ikan temenung' served with rice, 'salad' (ulam) and 'sambal'. Service is opened while fresh fishes is available from the jetty nearby. The aroma plus the excitement of customers at the cafe and the jetty made the morning an unforgettable experience.You had your breakfast here as well as a load of of fresh seafood at more than half the price you would pay at the local market. The excitement, the color and the tasteful hot breakfast dishes served here would make your visit deserving as well as knowledgeable.  

Stray further up the road you would come to the old fort of Kuala Kedah once  the fighting ground for the British, Siamese and the Selangor Sultanate in the earlier centuries. If you would care to go across the sea, then an hour and half later you would be on the holiday island of Langkawi.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


A 'Book Village' in a park created by nature is one of a kind exceptional in our world


Nature helps to curve many features. These photos of roots and branches are striking. I suppose as  a beholder it brings many ideas to mind.Do they initiate you to reflect of anything? For one they initially  entice me instantly a  word: reflective or a representation. Foremost I get a definite "entwining' or 'linkage'. Surprisingly you are reminded of such compliments or good relationship not while in the community at large but while thrashing in a park. You would of course see loving and dear couples strolling with arms twine between each other.Nature has its secrets too.

Langkawi being an island offers all the ingredients tourists or visitors look for.Yet there are many undiscovered treasures waiting. One is a park just outside the city of Kuah with a natural captivation of its own. Once it housed the international 'Book Village' since remained closed for upgrading. Locals and visitors however make a beeline here during weekends. Children especially having the best time of their lives.

We were here recently and such the discovery. We would vouched that the 'Book Village' or the reading facilities here as initiated earlier would be a treasure trove since it is located in the most beautiful natural park.No amount of money would be able to create such beauty.It is a loss and a crying shame if such beauty, peace and tranquility is not shared and enjoyed by many.

Hopefully the intention to revive and make this part of the island visitors' favored spot will be a reality soon.

Meantime we share the secrets with you.

Loops and circles yet they never get entangled. 

  Verdant treasures of Langkawi. The forest and the greenery will mesmerized you

Can a fish be above water? It takes many forms. Here the roots encircled to produce what it is.

There are many more of such creations if you care to walk right round the park