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Ernest Zacharevic

A Visit to the Annah Rais Longhouse

A Visit to the Annah Rais Longhouse

A Visit to the Annah Rais Longhouse

As a frequent traveler, and especially all over Sarawak in the last 10 years, I have to admit that I have never been to the popular Annah Rais Longhouse. This is one of the most popular longhouses that a majority of travellers would visit and is sold by local travel agents.

I have been to traditional longhouses deep in the interiors of Sarawak, at places like Lemanak and Batang Ai, which are easily five to seven hours traveling, but not to Annah Rais in the main Padawan area. In October 2017, I finally managed to visit this Bidayuh Longhouse which is just an hours drive from Kuching city.

A Visit to the Annah Rais Longhouse

Everyday life at Annah Rais longhouse in Padawan

Some people claim that Annah Rais is on a more commercial side, due to the proximity being close to Kuching city, hence the dwellers here are more modern and up to date. This was one of the reasons that over the last decade, I choose to visit other longhouses in the remote areas.

Annah Rais village is predominantly Bidayuh, with an exception of cross marriages to other races. The village is estimated to be over a hundred years old, and has expanded in all directions throughout the century.

A Visit to the Annah Rais LonghouseA local Bidayuh man goes about his daily chores at the longhouse

A Visit to the Annah Rais LonghouseA wooden bridge connecting the main longhouse to the communal hall and football field

Ever since the tourism boom in Sarawak, the Bidayuh community here had turned this traditional home into one of the most popular tourist attraction just out of Kuching. Visitors from the world over are seen doing day trips here whole for those who want to experience staying here, there are 9 registered local homestay programs available.

Driving about an hour from Kuching, I made my inaugural step into this fascinating culture where you actually get to walk around and see the Bidayuh people going about their daily lives.

A Visit to the Annah Rais LonghouseSkulls on display in a cage of the Skull House at Annah Rais

The massive longhouse is interconnected by a wooden or bamboo walkway, which is the main common area where families would sit around and talk and kids play. Annah Rais is so huge that it seems like one entire village is connected together with home run restaurants, grocery shops and the local homegrown products.

The first unique feature I came across was a headman’s house or skull house where I was intrigued by a collection of traditional skulls that were in a cylinder wire cage. I believe these were the invaders of the longhouse where the Bidayuh people caught and beheaded.

A Visit to the Annah Rais LonghouseOne of three murals that Ernest Zacharevic painted at Annah Rais

Walking along the main route, two wall murals from world famous Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic is spotted on the walls of certain homes. He was invited to paint some of his murals here at Annah Rais in 2014.

At the far end of the longhouse, there is one unit called a Bidayuh Show House where I saw what a traditional Bidayuh home looked like back in the day. It displays simplicity and basic living by using natural resources.

A Visit to the Annah Rais LonghouseLocal Sarawak black and white pepper sold here

A Visit to the Annah Rais LonghouseFor those wanting to sample the local rice wine or Tuak, they are also available here

Souvenirs can be found sold by a number of homes, which are usually traditional Bidayuh items such as beads or woven baskets or mats. For fans of the world famous black gold or black pepper, you can buy the Sarawak black and white pepper in packets here.

And for those wanting to sample the famous local brewed rice wine or Tuak, this can be done here too. I also noticed that bottles are also for sale from some of the homes here at very reasonable prices.

A Visit to the Annah Rais LonghouseOne of the older wooden houses at Annah Rais

A Visit to the Annah Rais LonghouseAt the entrance, a glass of Tuak is served after purchasing your entrance ticket

Annah Rais is one of the most popular tour packages that can be booked from any of the travel agents in Kuching. Alternatively, many also use private taxi services to get here by them selves or even rent a car to self drive here.

For tickets, there is a RM8.00 entrance fee before entering the longhouse and I recommend you go before 10.00 AM. A glass of rice wine or Tuak is also served to non Muslims when you purchase your ticket.

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Photos by David Hogan Jr

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Article source: http://sarawaktourism.com/blog/feed/

Discovering Ipoh: Old Meets New

By Lloyd Green

There’s a sense of East meets West in Malaysia. A lot of old versus new as well. Ipoh is no different with a unique blend characterised perfectly by its people; a community moulded from the tin mining boom of the 19th century and its position as Malaya’s second greatest city. There’s remnants of that era littered everywhere as well as evidence of a concerted effort to place Ipoh back in the limelight. For a writer and observer, it’s actually quite difficult to articulate this character into words. I see it and I feel it, but it’s like I’m witnessing Ipoh’s transformation as it happens. In the words of a local, “We’re trying to copy Malacca in portraying Ipoh as a popular historical destination, but we’re doing it in our own unique way.”

As such, tourism exists in Ipoh, but not quite in the sense there’s a dedicated industry to cater for it (not yet anyway). For years Ipoh was seen as a ‘passer-by’ town; the post-independence economic decline in the 1960s after the British left rendering Ipoh a shadow of its former self, only frequented by visitors on their way to and from Penang and the Cameron Highlands. It sort of still feels like that — a stopover town — with backpackers staying a maximum of two nights en route to somewhere else. But now locals are open to utilising that rich history to give it a much needed facelift and enticing people to explore Ipoh’s hidden gems.

Ipoh 4

There’s a bevy of museums highlighting the migration of the Hakka-Chinese to Malaysia in the 19th century and their extravagant behaviours at clubs gambling, smoking opium and entertaining girls. There’s also the emergence of urban street art to depict this period through the preservation of historical buildings plus the city’s famous Old Town White Coffee and delicious food, all of which are easy to find. I guess what makes it feel ‘un-tourist-like’ is a lack of designated tourist area and tourists themselves — which for me is a good thing as there’s no threat to its natural appeal.

Ipoh 3

Sure, there’s Old Town, home to archaic colonial buildings and snippets of cultural treasures — grand British buildings such as Ipoh Railway Station and Ipoh Town Hall remind you of Ipoh’s once iconic standing as Malaya’s second administrative capital — but rather than the city’s famous eateries targeting foreign tourists (think Jalan Alor in KL), they are frequented by proud locals enjoying the cuisine.

There’s no real sense of Old Town as a touristy area; more an enjoyable place to explore. There’s no heckling from the streets, instead a nod of the head and pleasant smile and when you do venture into the circus of the night market in search of food, groceries, toys, clothes and household items, there’s a less forceful form of heckling and bargaining. What’s better is there’s that same personal connection with the locals in the suburbs than in the city.

Ipoh 2

Ernest Zacharevic, the Lithuanian artist who made a name for himself in Penang and Singapore has offered his artistic genius to Old Town’s history-steeped walls. Recruited by Old Town White Coffee company to showcase the heritage and history of the city, the eight unique murals give great insight into life here. There’s s also Mural Lane, a series of paintings by renowned local artist Eric Lai, highlighting the many cultures of Malaysia: lion dance, kuda kepang dance, Indian dance, plus a pinch of cheekiness with popular childhood games such as hide-and-seek and mother hen as well as a beautiful waterfall scenery amongst others.This has also transcended into the cafe and juice bar scene with many new venues combining the city’s affinity with coffee and modern artistic influences. Places such as Bougainvillea City Cafe and Happy 8 Retreat Cafe head this list with murals depicting Ipoh’s strong Chinese flavours. Photo source from ernestzacharevic.com.

Ipoh 1

Ipoh is famous for its food and in particular Ngah Choi Kay or chicken and bean sprout. The best places for this are Lou Wong and OnnKee near the main Chinese market and on Cowan Street. Old Town White Coffee is a must and there’s plenty of family owned Chinese shops specialising in this including Nam Heong which is the original exponent of Old Town White Coffee (and its egg tarts) located on the corner of Jalan Bandar Timah and Persiaran Bijeh Timah. If you’re keen for an adventure, head out of town five minutes to Buntong for Ipoh’s famed Kacang Putih (Indian snacks). This area is famous for the manufacturing and retail of Kacang Putih and makes millions each year selling these savoury treats to England, New Zealand and Australia.

 

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Photo by Abd. Halim Hadi / Shutterstock.com

For accommodation, I chose a conceptualised ‘self-sustaining’ hostel called Bed Bike Backpackers Studio. It is what it says it is; a studio apartment with modern stylings and is supervised by fellow travellers on their way through Malaysia. There is no reliance on permanent staff with the owner popping in once a week. Information about the city is passed on via a traveller’s journal and the building itself is located within minutes of both Old Town and Ipoh Railway Station. Also check out 27 @ Concubine Lane — a themed residence showcasing life as it was for the Hakka people during the 19th century.

 

Article source: http://blog.tourism.gov.my/feed/

Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic [PIC]

Mirrors George Town is a travel art plan by general artist Ernest Zacharevic, commissioned  for George Town Festival 2012.  (25 Photos)

The plan consists of several large-scale wall paintings, all located within a core birthright section of George Town, Penang.

The thought behind a plan was to spin a streets of Penang into an alfresco gallery that can be dignified and gifted as one takes a travel while exploring a birthright enclave. The murals – figure drawings and portraits – celebrates a multiculturalism and farrago of a city’s inhabitants, a vital birthright of George Town.

George Town Festival (GTF), as described on a official website “is a month-long jubilee of art, music, theatre, dance show and film to commemorate George Town’s marker on a UNESCO World Heritage inventory on Jul 7, 2008. Each year given 2009, GTF transforms George Town into an sparkling and singular height for a arts, birthright and culture.”

Below are snapshots of a plan Mirrors George Town, photos of that were supposing to allMalaysia.info by the Lithuanian artist’s central Website and Facebook.


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Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Penang Road Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Armenian Street Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Chew Jetty
Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Muntri Street Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Ah Quee Street Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Ah Quee Street
Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Ah Quee Street Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Cannon Street Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Cannon Street
Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Artist during work. Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Zacharevic mixes colours to get a right tone. Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Zacharevic’s eight-year-old art tyro was a impulse for a picture during Lebuh Muntri.
Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Balancing act. Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic The half-done Jalan Muntri mural. Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic It’s not only about paint and brushes.
Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Setting a scene. Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Interactive art. Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic A extraordinary audience.
Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Zacharevic valid to be a strike with a locals. Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic The Chew Jetty picture mirrors a life of a people vital there. Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Art imitates life.
Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic A tighten adult of a Chew Jetty mural. Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic The artist poses subsequent to his masterpiece during Chew Jetty during dusk. Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic The artist, bustling during work.
Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic The artist’s tools.

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Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Penang Road Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Armenian Street Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Chew Jetty Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Muntri Street
Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Ah Quee Street Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Ah Quee Street Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Ah Quee Street Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Cannon Street
Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Cannon Street Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Artist during work. Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Zacharevic mixes colours to get a right tone. Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Zacharevic’s eight-year-old art tyro was a impulse for a picture during Lebuh Muntri.
Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Balancing act. Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic The half-done Jalan Muntri mural. Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic It’s not only about paint and brushes. Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Setting a scene.
Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Interactive art. Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic A extraordinary audience. Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Zacharevic valid to be a strike with a locals. Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic The Chew Jetty picture mirrors a life of a people vital there.
Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic Art imitates life. Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic A tighten adult of a Chew Jetty mural. Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic The artist poses subsequent to his masterpiece during Chew Jetty during dusk. Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic The artist, bustling during work.
Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic The artist’s tools.

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Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic

Penang Road

Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic

Muntri Street

Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic

Chew Jetty

Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic

Armenian Street

Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic

Ah Quee Street

Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic

Ah Quee Street

Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic

Ah Quee Street

Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic

Cannon Street

Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic

Cannon Street

Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic

Artist during work.

Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic

Zacharevic’s eight-year-old art tyro was a impulse for a picture during Lebuh Muntri.

Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic

Zacharevic mixes colours to get a right tone.

Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic

The Jalan Muntri mural.

Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic

The artist’s tools.

Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic

A tighten adult of a Chew Jetty mural.

Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic

Art imitates life.

Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic

The Chew Jetty picture mirrors a life of a people vital there.

Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic

The artist, bustling during work.

Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic

Balancing act.

Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic

Setting a scene.

Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic

The artist poses subsequent to his masterpiece during Chew Jetty during dusk.

Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic

A extraordinary audience.

Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic

Interactive art.

Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic

Zacharevic valid to be a strike with a locals.

Mirrors George Town by Ernest Zacharevic

It’s not only about paint and brushes.


Map: Mirrors George Town murals


Video: Mirrors, George Town – Armenian Street, 2012


Ernest Zacharevic

Faces of art on a wall

Ernest Zacharevic

Art goes adult a wall

George Town, Penang

Witty birthright markers

Mr Five Foot Way

Street humour

Garland making

Penang’s singular crafts

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