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Thaipusam: Carrying A Common Burden

“I am a chain smoker,” says the Kavadi maker. “Every day one packet.”

I am standing amidst piles of plywood and steel fittings, power tools on the floor and sawdust in the air, under the front porch awning of a simple terrace house on the outskirts of Banting, 45 minutes from Kuala Lumpur. Outside, in the hot afternoon sun, half completed Kavadis stand on the asphalt, some mere skeletons of steel rods and plywood, unrecognisable. This is where Kavadis—a physical burden carried by Hindus as an act of penance during the festival of Thaipusam—are made. I survey the scene before me. I had expected it to be somewhat less industrial, more mystical – perhaps an ascetic hand-crafting his creations, amid swirls of camphor smoke. But cigarette smoking is the conversation at hand. “I’m a chain smoker, but since the month of Thai began, not a single stick.”

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Bala working on a Kavadi

Bala, the Kavadi maker, is referring to the Hindu month of Thai, from which the Hindu festival Thaipusam derives its name. On the day I meet him, he has not had a smoke for three weeks. Along with other Hindu devotees, Bala undergoes fasting for 48 days (the duration of a month in the Hindu calendar), abstaining from entertainment and luxury before the day-long procession that is the face of Thaipusam. Bala proudly shows me an album of newspaper clippings, where every photo or mention of his Kavadis in the press has been lovingly laminated and bound. It is a labour of love. “It’s not really about the money,” he says in a thick Tamil accent, “I help people to do their pilgrimage.”

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Putting the finishing touches on a Kavadi and testing it out

A pilgrimage with different paths

I meet one of Bala’s customers during the course of my visit. K. Anuharan has come to check on the progress of his Kavadi. Wearing a thick, silver-speckled beard and a malar (sort of a Hindu rosary) around his neck, he surprises me by speaking perfect English. His Kavadi is relatively modest by current standards, but still measures over five feet in height and width, and weighs around 30 kg. Balance is the hallmark of a well-crafted Kavadi, and Anuharan is here to make sure that the Kavadi’s heft is evenly distributed across his shoulders. “As far back as I can remember, I have been joining the Thaipusam procession at Batu Caves every year.” At my disbelief, he strains to recall if he has ever missed one. “No,” he finally says. “Even now that I am staying in Australia, I will fly back every Thaipusam.”

Selva is another Hindu devotee who will carry the Kavadi this year. An engineer at an airline company based in KL and an avid marathon runner, he too has joined the procession every year since childhood. Even when he was working in Singapore during his younger days, he joined the procession in Singapore.

The Kavadi that Selva will carry is completely different from Anuharan’s. He shows me a photo of it on his phone. It is a simple wood pole, modestly embellished, which will be balanced across his shoulders. At both ends of the pole, he will hang a jar of milk, which devotees bring to the temple as an offering. While the larger Kavadis and the spectacular Vel Kavadis (which are attached to bearers partly through steel spikes pierced into the bearers’ skin) are the ones that grab the attention of photographers and the public, it is Selva’s understated Kavadi that is closer to the traditional form. “The traditional Kavadi is merely a pole with an arch over it, that rests on the bearer’s shoulder,” explains Kandasamy Velayuthan, Deputy President of the Malaysian Hindu Sangam, the body that oversees Thaipusam celebrations in Malaysia. “It should only be decorated with palm branches, peacock feathers and fruits that are used for prayers.” Over the years, Kavadis grew bigger and more elaborate. Kandasamy admits that this could be partly fuelled by one-upmanship among devotees, but is also due to the different vows made by different devotees. Perhaps each man has his own burden to carry.

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Anuharan offering prayers before the big day

Diverging beliefs

Both Anuharan and Selva agree to me following them during the Thaipusam procession. Knowing that I have no prior experience, they describe to me a typical Thaipusam procession.

The procession itself is a raucous epic. Over a million devotees take the two-kilometre procession to Batu Caves, many carrying Kavadis of all sizes, the air rattling with the frantic drumbeats of traditional music troupes. Though the rituals practised might differ, the itinerary is largely similar: The procession starts on the banks of the Batu River, where devotees wash themselves as a symbolic form of cleansing, Hindu priests offer prayers, and the devotees take up their Kavadis. At this point, all the abstinence and fasting and meditation of the previous 48 days come to a head. Many Kavadi bearers will enter into a trance. Anuharan describes the experience: “The energy of a deity is channeled into you, and it’s as if you lose control of your body. You are aware of your surroundings, but it’s as if another energy is controlling your body, giving you the endurance and focus to finish the procession. Sometimes you even lose consciousness completely, so you have no recollection of events during the trance. You enter into a trance at the river bank, and wake up at Batu Caves!”

The intensity of the trance depends very much on the devotee’s preparations ahead of the big day. “Sometimes you get a good trance, sometimes you get a weak trance,” says Anuharan. “If you didn’t prepare with the right spirit – fast properly or spend time meditating – you will get a weak trance, and this means you might not have the strength to complete the procession. It is said that the piercings would hurt too,” he continues, referring to the common practice of piercing one’s self with metal skewers or hooks, as an accompanying act of penance.

Piercings have become a point of contention. Some, like Anuharan, disagree with the practice. “Hinduism never asks me to hurt myself,” he says. “It is a form of penance for some, they make a vow to do it, and so they must fulfill that vow. But for me, I don’t do it.” Selva, though, has had piercings before, and offers his counterpoint. “I have heard that when a skewer is pierced through the tip of the tongue, it touches a nerve on the tongue that helps the brain to focus and keep it in a meditative state during the procession.”

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A priest tying a Kappu on Anuharan’s hand and blessing him and his family

The home stretch

Three days before Thaipusam, devotees who plan to participate in the procession visit a temple to offer special prayers. Anuharan, whose pilgrimage began in Australia, offers his prayers at the Ayappan temple near Batu Caves. A priest affixes a piece of turmeric on a string, sprinkles it with red Kunkum powder, and ties it to Anuharan’s hand. It is called a Kappu. It is a sign that its bearer has made a vow, and is currently serving out his penance. For the next three days, Anuharan will stay at the temple, sleeping on the floor at night, meditating and avoiding worldly distractions.

Selva, no stranger to tests of endurance, is hitting the home stretch too. His vows of abstinence will grow more severe, and he too will meditate more. Bala, the Kavadi maker, has much more to do. He has set up a tent near the Batu River, which will serve as his base of operations. Last-minute requests from customers leave him busy. At the same time, he too needs to observe all his vows. By day he scrambles to complete Kavadis, by night he and his wife sleep at nearby temples. On Thaipusam day, Bala will perform the procession over and over again. He or members of his team need to walk with the devotees who rent his Kavadi all the way to the Batu Caves temple, and retrieve the Kavadi in time for the next rental. Anuharan, Selva, and Bala are just three of an estimated 1.5 million people who will throng Batu Caves this year. Each will approach Batu Caves with different vows, bearing different burdens, having walked different paths. This is the final buildup of spirituality, for all of them.

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Anuharan trying out the Kavadi

A common burden

Why do you do it? I ask. Though Anuharan and Selva differ in their practice of Thaipusam, they both offer the same answers – thanksgiving and tradition. “I carry a big Kavadi because I once made a request, and it was answered miraculously. In return, I vowed to carry a big Kavadi every year, so this is a fulfillment of that vow,” explains Anuharan. Selva has never made a specific vow, but he, too, sees the Thaipusam procession as an act of thanksgiving.

“It is a way of expressing my gratitude for the blessings in my life, and at the same time, to request for the blessings to continue.” Selva adds, “It is part of my identity as a Hindu. My family has always participated in the Thaipusam procession, and when the time comes I will pass this on to my children.” Anuharan concurs. “Every year, ever since I can remember, my family has taken this pilgrimage. It is a tradition worth keeping.”

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Journey with us, as we go on a pilgrimage to Batu Caves in the second part of this series: A Walk Among Gods

Want to know more about Thaipusam and other festivals and events in Malaysia? Visit www.tourism.gov.my for more information.


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Thaipusam: A Walk Among Gods

Selva, a devotee, in a trance as Lord Kali, the fierce Hindu goddess

Indians the world over have a gesture that, as far as I know, is unique to them. It is a sideways lift of the chin, usually performed in unison with a play of the eyes – a long, benign blink – and an almost imperceptible sway of the shoulders. Depending on context, it can be a yes, it can be a no, it can signal deference, it can signal a decision made. But regardless of context, the receiver always understands the message.

It is with this very gesture that Selva snapped out of his trance as Lord Kali, the fierce Hindu goddess. We are on the banks of the Batu River, which flows within eyesight of the famous Batu Caves, and it is the day before Thaipusam. During Thaipusam, Hindu devotees will undertake a pilgrimage from the Batu River to Batu Caves, while performing acts of penance such as carrying a physical burden (called a “Kavadi”), or piercing themselves with hooks or skewers. Devotees often enter into trances to perform these feats of endurance, calling upon one of Hinduism’s 33 million deities to possess them through intricate rituals passed down through the generations.

Ash is sprinkled over Selva’s head, as he enters into a trance

Initiating a trance

I am watching Selva perform one such ritual. First he cleanses himself. Traditionally, devotees take a dip in the river, but technology has now allowed for a public shower system to be installed on the riverbank. Then, an elaborate ceremony, conducted with the help of his entourage, follows, involving incense, fruits, Kumkum powder and holy ash.

Try as I may, I cannot keep up with or understand the maze of rites. Small braziers are lit, and some of the items held over the smoke. Milk is poured into two silver jars and secured to Selva’s Kavadi. Next to me, one of the women breaks into trance with a shriek. Another woman soon follows suit. Amidst all this, Selva bows and touches the feet of his mother, the ultimate gesture of respect in Hinduism.

One of the members of Selva’s entourage seems to perform the role of a priest, giving directions to the group. It is he who calls a trance on Selva. Selva stands before him, palms pressed together, as he chants quietly. Ash is sprinkled over Selva’s head, and his body begins to tense into a bow. I watch his eyes turn wild. With a scream, Selva drops to his knees, tongue out-stuck. He is Kali.

Next, the piercing. Selva’s penance this year involves piercing his tongue. As Selva – or Lord Kali – stands, arms akimbo, staring at the crowd that has formed around him, an exhausting amount of rites is performed over the long silver skewer that will be used. Meanwhile, he asks for a lime and chews on it. When the skewer is ready, he offers his tongue, which the priest dabs with Kumkum powder and ash, before slowly, laboriously, passing the skewer through it. He doesn’t flinch. With the skewer secured, the priest holds Selva’s head in his hands, chants some prayers, and suddenly, as if roused from deep thought, Selva’s body relaxes. Without even looking up, he lifts his chin sideways, and everyone in the group understands that the trance is over.

Now for the small matter of carrying the Kavadi all the way to the temple in Batu Caves. Like many other devotees, Selva will perform his pilgrimage today – a day earlier – to avoid the massive crowds on the day proper. “It’s OK to do it the evening before,” explains Selva when I spoke to him earlier. “It is still within the auspicious period of time, when the Pusam star is at its highest point and it emanates positive energy.”

Selva begins his journey towards the cave with the burden of his Kavadi on his shoulders

Positive energy

Energy would be the word to describe Batu Caves that afternoon. The caves are a familiar sight in Kuala Lumpur, its bone-white limestone cliffs topped with verdant green jungle often intruding into the city’s concrete skyline. When it does, it usually provides visual relief, an oasis of calm amid urban bustle. But today, Batu Caves is buzzing with energy. Inside the park area around the caves, stalls line every walkway, selling religious trinkets, clothes, cold drinks, vegetarian food, traditional Indian sweets and even furniture. The air is thick with the scent of spices and cooking oil, and vibrates with music blared from loudspeakers that have long since burst their diaphragms. Indians love their music driving, pulsating, full-blooded. People are everywhere, jostling with you, calling out to you, smiling at your camera, and when you thank them, lifting their chin sideways in return. Everyone and everything is conspiring to beat back the energy-sapping Malaysian afternoon heat.

As you walk closer to the caves, the tarpaulin tents of stalls part to reveal the famous 150 foot-tall golden statue of Lord Murugan. And next to it, the 272 red-and-white steps that takes visitors from ground level up to the mouth of the main cave complex, within which resides the most visited Hindu temple in the country. Closer to the foot of the caves, various organisations and associations have erected tents to serve free vegetarian food to the anticipated 1.5 million visitors. At the back of the tents, huge vats are cooking batch after batch of rice, which when piled into mounds on a table covered in banana leaves, resembles a miniature of the Swiss Alps.

The scene at Batu Caves during the day

In this festive atmosphere, Selva carries his Kavadi towards the cave. Kavadis range in size and form, sometimes reaching up to seven feet above the bearer’s shoulders. But Selva has chosen a modest version resembling a carrying pole, decorated with Hindu motifs, and bearing a jar of milk at each end. He has walked some two kilometres to arrive at the foot of the 272-step stairs that leads to the caves. All through the journey, through the music and the smell of food and the heat and the crowds, Selva maintained stoic focus. Many devotees would enter into a trance for the entire duration of the procession, but Selva is aware and clear-minded throughout. “That’s the way I prefer it,” he would explain later. “I want to feel the burden on my shoulders.”

Joining the crowd on their way to the temple

Resonating with the masses

An hour and a half after the start of his pilgrimage, at the top of the stairs, inside the temple, Selva completes his penance. His piercing is removed. He passes the two jars of milk to a priest, who pours it over a spear, before the shrine of Lord Murugan. I venture to ask him how he feels. “I feel fine, no tiredness,” he says casually. “Usually if there is tiredness it will set in after a day or two, but now I feel fine. Energised.”

The view from the cave

As we leave the temple, at the mouth of the cave, the view opens up. I see that the crowd had swollen significantly. Suddenly, I am aware of the magnitude of the event. Below us, beyond the stairs streaming with people, the shape-shifting multitude of devotees gravitates towards us, watched over by the golden Lord Murugan. Behind us, the gaping mouth of Batu Caves soars overhead. Surrounding it all was the dusk sky, slowly turning the colour of saffron.

At night, it’s a sea of of people, as the weather cools and more people begin their pilgrimage

Thaipusam at night

At night, Thaipusam morphs into a different animal. The crowd, taking advantage of cooler weather, easily triples. The music continues unabated, but the sun is replaced by lights of all colours, casting shifting shadows in every direction. It is the busiest time of Thaipusam. I am with K. Anuharan, a devotee who flies back from Australia every year for the procession. He is preparing to carry a 30 kg Kavadi to Batu Caves, but we are stuck, literally, in a Kavadi jam.

Anuharan carries his Kavadi, goes into a trance and emerges as the Hindu deity Lord Hanuman

Stuck in Kavadi rush hour

Kavadis tower over me from every direction. Large Kavadis, each accompanied by an entourage of family and friends, and often by a traditional drum troupe as well. It is a crush of human bodies, with not a moment’s silence, as the drum troupes take turns belting out rattling beats and devotees break out in chants of “Vel Vel Muruga”. We need to make it to the Batu River, where Anuharan can offer his prayers, carry his Kavadi, and initiate a trance. It is no more than a hundred metres away, but we simply cannot get there. Anuharan is already two hours late. He had planned to beat the nighttime peak period, but now finds himself smack in the middle of it. In a moment of calm, between organising his entourage, trying to navigate his Kavadi through the throng, and placating his young daughter (who was uncomfortable because she was barefoot), he catches my eye. “Tension”, he says with a smile. Why? “Already two hours late, and I had to make you wait.” I demur, he smiles. I am grateful enough that he has allowed me to join his entourage.

It is decided that it would be impossible to reach the riverbank. Anuharan will offer his prayers on the asphalt where we stand. Items are brought out and placed on sheets of newspaper, braziers lit with camphor tablets. Amidst the noise, the jostling, the semi-darkness, I can barely follow the ritual that takes place. Ash is smeared on his body and his forehead. He prostrates himself before his elders. The milk jar is filled with milk, and fastened to the centre of the Kavadi. Somewhere, someone flips a switch, and Anuharan’s Kavadi flashes with multicoloured lights. On the centrepiece of the Kavadi, a styrofoam peacock shimmers in the lights. Anuharan finds time to pick up his daughter, and shows her the centrepiece. “See, all this I did for you.” Anuharan had persuaded the Kavadi maker to add lights and a peacock to his Kavadi at the very last minute, even going to the extent of purchasing the lights on his own, at the request of his daughter. His daughter is placated.

It is time to carry his Kavadi. Bala, the Kavadi maker, helps mount the Kavadi on his shoulders, adjusting the metal fittings to make sure that the weight is evenly distributed across the shoulders. With the Kavadi strapped on, there is one final ritual before the procession begins – initiating the trance. The crowd around senses something is happening, and turn to watch. Anuharan’s elders step forward to bless him. Anuharan asks for the drum troupe to play louder. His entourage starts chanting. His mother breaks into a trance and starts dancing before him. The chanting turns urgent. Anuharan takes it all in, palms pressed together. His body goes taut. He throws his head back, and with a great cry, he emerges as the Hindu deity Lord Hanuman, and immediately starts dancing.

Presenting himself before the shrine of Lord Murugan

A long journey

Four hours later, Anuharan’s entourage is still yet to arrive at the steps of Batu Caves. A straight walk of the procession trail would take an hour at most, but it’s Kavadi rush hour. Moreover, Anuharan, possessed by the playful Lord Hanuman, insists on dancing his way there. Anuharan would later tell me that he cannot dance to save his life.

As we near the caves, the crush of bodies becomes almost suffocating. Ahead, the giant statue of Lord Murugan rises into view. With most of the Kavadis at this hour lit up like Christmas trees, I imagine the view from his vantage point would be quite surreal – dancing boats of lights floating on a sea of human bodies.

By the time we finally reach the summit, it is an hour past midnight. Below, the crowd, though still huge, has begun to thin. Inside the temple, the Kavadi is dismounted, and Anuharan, as Lord Hanuman, presents himself before the shrine of Lord Murugan. It seemed like the two deities shared a moment. Then, Anuharan takes a pinch of holy ash, presses it to his forehead, and, suddenly only human, he collapses.

His family helps him to the shrine, where his offering of milk is poured out before the deity. As he lingers for a moment longer, palms pressed together against his forehead in prayer, his face contorts with emotion. His journey is over. Even watching him from a distance, I felt the release. This is the culmination not of a five-hour Kavadi pilgrimage, but of a 48-day journey that started, with the commencement of his vows, in Australia. “Everything I’ve done is out of devotion to Lord Murugan,” he would explain later. “It’s not just the milk that I offered, I want to be the best that I can throughout the past 48 days. Hopefully that becomes a habit for the rest of the year, until the next Thaipusam.”

Anuharan and his daughter, after completing his pilgrimage

All are welcome

As I leave the temple, I notice a group of Chinese Buddhists who had also just offered milk at the shrine. One of them even had a skewer through his cheeks and piercings on his back. It led me to recall a conversation with Selva previously: “Hinduism holds nothing against other religions,” he said. “We believe God is one, and there are many ways for us to realise God.” Anuharan agrees. “Everyone has their own journey to walk. I am brought up a Hindu, so I walk in the Hindu path to realise God, just as a Christian would walk in the Christian path, and as a Buddhist would walk in the Buddhist path.” In retrospect, this inclusiveness is suddenly evident to me. Both Selva and Anuharan allowed me, a stranger, to share the most sacred part of their lives, without prying into my personal religious beliefs. And after everything, they thanked me, even before I could thank them. Their welcome bordered on veneration: “This person must be sent to us by Lord Murugan!” exclaimed a member of Selva’s entourage after the procession, taking my hand. I thank him in return, and he lifts his chin sideways, a gesture that says it all.

 

Missed the first part of this series? We go behind the scenes of Kavadi making to find out what it means to carry the burden.

Discover more things to do, see and experience in Malaysia at www.tourism.gov.my


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MELAKA ALIVE SHOW OPENS

This blogspot is being created to compliment our main Tourism Melaka website at www.tourism-melaka.com.

We hope to write our comments and views on the development of the tourism sector in Melaka so that old cultural jewels can be retained and new ones generated to attract more visitors to our Melakan shores.

For us to continue our journey, we like to invite visitors to pen their comments and views so that we can create a sustainable and vibrant tourism sector in Melaka.

Enjoy.

TW Kang

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Nirvana Beach Restaurant at Gili Sudak, Lombok island

After our fun activities at Gili Nanggu, some were tired, some were exhausted but all of us definitely hungry! So we moved to the next island for late lunch – The Nirvana Beach restaurant at Gili Sudak. (S8.72575 E116.02772)

The area was nice and the restaurant is just situated next to the beach. A simple timber style setup, but the attraction is the surrounding…

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Once we settled with everyone bags and belonging, we started to snapped around…the BBQ of tropical colourful parrot fish became our main attraction!

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Everyone was busy taking photos with the fish…rarely have a chance to see the process of the BBQ parrot fish…

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Our fellow tour mate – Sock Peng (http://mylovelybluesky.com/) was helping the BBQ preparation…haha!

While waiting for the lunch to be serve, the corns soup was ready for everyone in the restaurant. All of us can’t wait to try out the Lombok food at the restaurant…actually, we were starving…:)

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Before we finish the soup, other delicacies like veggies and toufu were ready at the serving counter…

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Then followed by the BBQ fish…

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For every dishes we chose, don’t forget to taste some of their magic cut chili, which was super hot! I like it very much!

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One fish for one person (or more).
All of us enjoyed each of the BBQ parrot fish and some of us took 2…the fish was fresh and I believe only BBQ with a little salt which made perfect of the taste!

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End up, I couldn’t resist myself to had another BBQ parrot fish…oh! it was excellent!

We took more than 2 hours to enjoyed the scene and our fabulous lunch along the beach of Gili Sudak, it was a unforgettable experience, especially with the friendly staffs in the restaurant.
Recommended for the first time visitor to Lombok island!

Related post for Lombok island trip :-
Airasia media FAM trip to Lombok Island – Indonesia on July 2014

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Star fish spotted along the beach on our way back from Gili Nanggu and Sudak

A lot of fun activities at Gili Nanggu, satisfied lunch at Gili Sudak…while on the way back to the jetty, another surprised! Star fish spotted! (S8.74618 E116.01814)

It was low tide while we were back, and we had to stop at the other site of the jetty and walking back to the jetty where we parked our party van. There were many star fishes along the beach, every 5 steps…you will see one star fish laying on the beach…
Everyone couldn’t resist to taking photos with the colourful star fish!

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This was also my first time holding the wild star fish in my hand! Not from the aquarium but from the ocean…
We were curiously hold, touch it and having photo with it then put all of them back to the beach…

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Beside the star fish, there were also mudskipper, sea urchin were found along the beach. I really like to stroll along the beach, too bad we had no enough time…

We were going on the long journey again to Mataram – the capital of Lombok for our dinner.

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Related post for Lombok island trip :-
Airasia media FAM trip to Lombok Island – Indonesia on July 2014

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MELAKA AS PART OF 21ST CENTURY MARITIME SILK ROUTE

This blogspot is being created to compliment our main Tourism Melaka website at www.tourism-melaka.com.

We hope to write our comments and views on the development of the tourism sector in Melaka so that old cultural jewels can be retained and new ones generated to attract more visitors to our Melakan shores.

For us to continue our journey, we like to invite visitors to pen their comments and views so that we can create a sustainable and vibrant tourism sector in Melaka.

Enjoy.

TW Kang

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FLYING SHIPS FROM MELAKA FACTORY

‘Flying ships’ coming from Melaka factory

January 11, 2015

CM launches new low-altitude flying craft that can land on water.
fly ship_300MELAKA: Melaka will manufacture “flying ships” or multipurpose Wing-In-Ground Effect aircraft that can cruise at low altitudes of up to 150m over flat surfaces, most often over water.

Chief Minister Idris Haron said the aircraft would be produced at a factory near here by 2014. The manufacture of the vehicle, using South Korean technology, would lure more investors to the state.
The vehicle operates somewhat like a hovercraft and an aircraft and can be used for search and rescue operations in the ocean. “Besides, it can also be used for tourism purposes,” Idris said after launching the Jebat M727 ground effect vehicle on Friday.

The vehicle, built by Aron Rinani Sdn Bhd, can fly at up to 150m and has a range of 800km.
Aron Rinani president Noor Azerai Ahmad said the first vehicle, costing US$1 million, would be ready by June at the assembly plant in Masjid Tanah, Alor Gajah.

As the current factory can only produce seven vehicles a year, a new plant will be constructed in Teluk Gong, Alor Gajah, with the capabiity to produce 50 vehicles a year.
He said the company had received orders for 100 units from several companies.
- BERNAMA

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Snorkeling and having fun at Gili Nanggu (island) in Lombok, Indonesia

Gili Nanggu (S8.71957 E116.00938) is one of the beautiful island located at southwest of Lombok island. ‘Gili’ is means island in the local. After 20 minutes ferry ride, we reached the paradise island with the super clear water! Very excited!

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The weather was cloudy and was good for snorkeling…but not good for photography, too bad…

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Not wasting any minute, everyone started their own activities…some went for snorkeling, photography and other activities…
Some of our tour mates not forgot to taking photos with the youngest boat boy who brought us the island.

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Our guide – Pak Uji started to gave snorkeling briefing to those who want to enjoy snorkeling around the island.

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The best part of snorkeling in Gili Nanggu was, we no need to swim far away from the island, you can really enjoy the corals and the colorful tropical fish approximately around 10 meter from the beach.
This was Great!

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You can see from the photo above that our snorkeling activities was only nearby the beach. This proved that the area is really unpolluted.

I was enjoyed my walk around the island for photo taking, the jetty was my favorite place of the island.

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The lovely couple having their own sweet time strolling on the beach…spotted female photographer action at the jetty…and pretty lady relaxing on the jetty…bread feeding for the fishes around…beside that, there were still many many more that I missed the shoot…

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We spend almost 4 blissful hours at Gili Nanggu and proceed to the next island – Gili Sudak for our late lunch…

Related post for Lombok island trip :-
Airasia media FAM trip to Lombok Island – Indonesia on July 2014

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QONG XI FA CAI IN THE YEAR OF THE YEAR

As the Chinese New Year of the Goat is fast approaching, the webmaster of Tourism Melaka wants to extend our best wishes to all our visitors and well wishers.

May the New Year of the Goat brings you happiness, wealth, prosperity and health to you and your family.

QONG XI FA CAI AND HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015.

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Tawun Jetty at south Lombok island, Indonesia

Our second day in Lombok island.

The first stop in our itinerary was snorkeling at Gili Nanggu (Gili means island in Indonesia language). Tawun jetty (S8.74473 E116.01998) seems to be the only jetty ferrying visitors to the Nanggu island.

The jetty area is only a small hut with the snorkeling gears…

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One poster was spotted next to the public toilet…

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Everyone was busy selecting their snorkeling mask, foot fins, life jacket and other gears…

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After settled with the snorkeling gears, don’t forget to bring some breads to feed the lovely fish at the island…

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I was searching around for the name of the tour agency who provide all this snorkeling facility…couldn’t find until I saw this…

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Alright, let’s move on!

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The boat which ferrying our group to the island…

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There was a little boat ‘boy’ waiting for us on the boat, with the age around 3-4 years old…it was a surprised!

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Are we ready to go?
She said : “Yes!”

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It was not a sunny day, fortunately only cloudy without rain…otherwise, our trip to the island will be cancel…

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We reached Gili Nanggu after 20 minutes later, everyone was happy and enjoyed the boat ride…

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The island is clean and well maintain, can’t spotted any rubbish around the beach area and of course with the super clear water…

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The Gili Sudak is just stone throw away, we will having our lunch later at the only restaurant in the island…

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Our activities on the island will be continue in the next post…

Related post for Lombok island trip :-
Airasia media FAM trip to Lombok Island – Indonesia on July 2014

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