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.


Al-Manar said...

I feel certin cost of living in Kedah is cheper by far than in K Terengganu. Living among fishing villages I read with intrest the cost of fish that is less than half the price in Terenggnau. Selling fish is very much in the hand of middlemen who take exorbitant profits, the poor hard working fishermen sometimes go home with no money. It is unbelievably true, a sad situation.

kotastar said...

Masih lagi murah disini. Kuih pagi boleh dibeli dengan harga 20 sen sebiji. Nasi lemak dalam bungkus daun pisang @ RM 0.50 Biasanya bila ke Kuala Lumpur kami bawa bekal pekasam, daging, udang, ulam dll. I agree with you Take a break and come visiting Alor Setar. You be our guests.