Categories
Tourism Malaysia

WHAT LIES “BEHIND THE ISLAND”?

On the southwest of Penang, there is a sleepy town called Balik Pulau, literally meaning “behind the island,” that offers a glimpse of yesteryear. I salute the person who gave this town its name; there’s no need to give the town a fancy name, just a simple Balik Pulau would do.

But there’s nothing simple about Balik Pulau. What lies “behind the island” are beautiful sceneries, fresh air, quaint villages, street art, hospitable people, delicious food, empty beaches and peace and quiet. Let me show you what lies “behind the island”.

Balik Pulau Street Art

George Town has long been known as one of the street art capitals of the world. A prominent Lithuanian artist, Ernest Zacharevi was commissioned to paint eight murals depicting the cultural and heritage of the island, which sparked the street art craze in not just Penang but the whole of Malaysia.

But street art in Balik Pulau depicts real people. Julia Volchkova who hails from Russia, paints the people she has met around the villages. Her murals on the pre-war buildings around Balik Pulau portray a rubber tapper, a fisherman, an Indian lady, a Hakka lady, as well as a martial artist in a pose.

Image via Julia Volchkova

Half the fun of the street art is hunting for the paintings, so what are you waiting for? Just head southwest of Penang and start your search for Volchkova’s murals and other drawings from various unknown artists.

Pasir Panjang Beach

I have a secret to share – did you know that Balik Pulau has a beach that is empty of tourists? That’s right, the beach at Pasir Panjang Beach is your own private playground. Here, you won’t have to fight for a space to set up your picnic spread. Just enjoy the empty beach to yourself, collecting beautiful seashells, chasing little crabs, angling, or simply enjoying the beautiful sunset. I must tell you, though, that swimming is not advisable here – the 2004 tsunami had eroded the beach and there may be steep parts and strong undercurrents in the sea not immediately visible to the eye.

Saanen Dairy Goat Farm

Did you know that the Royal Society recently reported that goats are much more attracted to people with big smiles plastered across their faces? Well, if you want to test it out, go visit Saanen Dairy Goat Farm in Permatang Pasir, Balik Pulau and find out for yourself.

Oh, for your information, Saanen goats are a white or cream colored breed of goats, named after the Saanen valley in Switzerland. So, please smile widely while you are feeding them the Rose and Napiar grasses. Entrance to the farm and feeding activities are free of charge. At the farm, you will get to learn the daily operations of a dairy goat farm from milking until the distribution process. Don’t forget to check out their ice cream, yogurt, feta, goat’s cheese and pudding made from fresh milk.

Address:

298 Mukim 1 Sungai Pinang, 11010 Balik Pulau, Penang
Tel: 019-5163017
Messenger: m.me/SaanenDairyGoatFarm

Countryside Stables Penang

Nestled in the midst of the Sungai Burung agriculture area in Balik Pulau is the privately-owned Countryside Stables that offers its visitor all kind of riding activities.

To date, it is home to 35 horses of various breed including miniatures horses, Shetlands ponies, pure bred Arabian horses, Polo pony, Thai, Myanmar and Malaysian ponies, Percheron, and other animals such as donkeys and deer.


Upon entering Countryside Stables, an entry free of RM10 (adults) RM5 (children) will be charged. Some of the activities include joy rides and guided rides for children and adults, animal petting and feeding, as well as horse carriage rides.

Address:
Lot 10050 Jalan Sungai Burung, Kampong Jalan Baru, Balik Pulau
Tel: 012-408 0678
Messenger: m.me/countrysidestablespenang

Kuala Sungai Pinang

Kuala Sungai Pinang is a traditional fishing village that looks like it is frozen in time. It is worth a visit if you have never been to a fishing village and curious about the daily life of a fisherman. At the village, you get to see fishermen tending their nets while their old-school boats sway gently at the dock, or just enjoy the view of the villagers hustling for the catch of the day. It is simply nostalgic. Besides that, some of the friendly fishermen offer boat rides until the mangrove area and the nearby surroundings. Kuala Sungai Pinang may just be the place for poetic inspiration.

 

Titi Kerawang Waterfall

A cascading waterfall and natural pool await visitors at a scenic road between Balik Pulau and Teluk Bahang, on the western side of the island. Since there are few waterfalls in Penang, a visit to this waterfall, which the locals call Titi Kerawang, is a must. The cool environment and dense greenery make the waterfall an ideal picnic spot. Local people normally come here in droves during the weekends and public holidays for recreation.

Stepping Stone Centre

The centre showcases a variety of high quality crafts which can be purchased. These include hand woven scarves, tie and dye bags in vibrant colours, home-made soaps, candles, etc. All products are made by members with special needs who have channeled their skills and abilities into a viable career. Stepping Stone is a support centre for community living run by an NGO, the Asia Community Service.

Address

53, Jalan Bharu, Bukit Satu, MK 1 Pulau Betong, Balik Pulau

Contact Number
+604 866 5349

Bao Sheng Durian Farm

Your visit to Balik Pulau is not complete if you did not go to a durian farm. In fact, every year between May and August, durian is the only fruit that draws visitors from near and far to Balik Pulau. There is this farm in Balik Pulau called Bao Sheng, which offers its visitors a compelling durian tasting experience. Savor the distinctive taste of Malaysia’s king of fruits in their tasting sessions as you learn about various types of durians and how to pick the best ones.

Address:
150 Mukim 2, Sungai Pinang, 11010 Balik Pulau, Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +6012-411 0600 / +6012-401 0800
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.durian.com.my

Matahari Cycle Tours, Balik Pulau

One of the best ways to explore Balik Pulau is on two wheels as you can easily meander through the villages and go off-the-beaten path to really get to know the locals. Matahari Cycle Tours is one of the prominent tour agencies that promotes the area. Cycling through Balik Pulau will allow you plenty of opportunities to get a perfect photo of the traditional villages, plantations, paddy fields and the farms.

Matahari Cycle Tours Travel Sdn. Bhd.
Contact No: +6019-4480440 (Mr Syed and Ms Princillia)
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.cyclematahari.com

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

Categories
Tourism Malaysia

WHAT LIES “BEHIND THE ISLAND”?

On the southwest of Penang, there is a sleepy town called Balik Pulau, literally meaning “behind the island,” that offers a glimpse of yesteryear. I salute the person who gave this town its name; there’s no need to give the town a fancy name, just a simple Balik Pulau would do.

But there’s nothing simple about Balik Pulau. What lies “behind the island” are beautiful sceneries, fresh air, quaint villages, street art, hospitable people, delicious food, empty beaches and peace and quiet. Let me show you what lies “behind the island”.

Balik Pulau Street Art

George Town has long been known as one of the street art capitals of the world. A prominent Lithuanian artist, Ernest Zacharevi was commissioned to paint eight murals depicting the cultural and heritage of the island, which sparked the street art craze in not just Penang but the whole of Malaysia.

But street art in Balik Pulau depicts real people. Julia Volchkova who hails from Russia, paints the people she has met around the villages. Her murals on the pre-war buildings around Balik Pulau portray a rubber tapper, a fisherman, an Indian lady, a Hakka lady, as well as a martial artist in a pose.

Image via Julia Volchkova

Half the fun of the street art is hunting for the paintings, so what are you waiting for? Just head southwest of Penang and start your search for Volchkova’s murals and other drawings from various unknown artists.

Pasir Panjang Beach

I have a secret to share – did you know that Balik Pulau has a beach that is empty of tourists? That’s right, the beach at Pasir Panjang Beach is your own private playground. Here, you won’t have to fight for a space to set up your picnic spread. Just enjoy the empty beach to yourself, collecting beautiful seashells, chasing little crabs, angling, or simply enjoying the beautiful sunset. I must tell you, though, that swimming is not advisable here – the 2004 tsunami had eroded the beach and there may be steep parts and strong undercurrents in the sea not immediately visible to the eye.

Saanen Dairy Goat Farm

Did you know that the Royal Society recently reported that goats are much more attracted to people with big smiles plastered across their faces? Well, if you want to test it out, go visit Saanen Dairy Goat Farm in Permatang Pasir, Balik Pulau and find out for yourself.

Oh, for your information, Saanen goats are a white or cream colored breed of goats, named after the Saanen valley in Switzerland. So, please smile widely while you are feeding them the Rose and Napiar grasses. Entrance to the farm and feeding activities are free of charge. At the farm, you will get to learn the daily operations of a dairy goat farm from milking until the distribution process. Don’t forget to check out their ice cream, yogurt, feta, goat’s cheese and pudding made from fresh milk.

Address:

298 Mukim 1 Sungai Pinang, 11010 Balik Pulau, Penang
Tel: 019-5163017
Messenger: m.me/SaanenDairyGoatFarm

Countryside Stables Penang

Nestled in the midst of the Sungai Burung agriculture area in Balik Pulau is the privately-owned Countryside Stables that offers its visitor all kind of riding activities.

To date, it is home to 35 horses of various breed including miniatures horses, Shetlands ponies, pure bred Arabian horses, Polo pony, Thai, Myanmar and Malaysian ponies, Percheron, and other animals such as donkeys and deer.


Upon entering Countryside Stables, an entry free of RM10 (adults) RM5 (children) will be charged. Some of the activities include joy rides and guided rides for children and adults, animal petting and feeding, as well as horse carriage rides.

Address:
Lot 10050 Jalan Sungai Burung, Kampong Jalan Baru, Balik Pulau
Tel: 012-408 0678
Messenger: m.me/countrysidestablespenang

Kuala Sungai Pinang

Kuala Sungai Pinang is a traditional fishing village that looks like it is frozen in time. It is worth a visit if you have never been to a fishing village and curious about the daily life of a fisherman. At the village, you get to see fishermen tending their nets while their old-school boats sway gently at the dock, or just enjoy the view of the villagers hustling for the catch of the day. It is simply nostalgic. Besides that, some of the friendly fishermen offer boat rides until the mangrove area and the nearby surroundings. Kuala Sungai Pinang may just be the place for poetic inspiration.

 

Titi Kerawang Waterfall

A cascading waterfall and natural pool await visitors at a scenic road between Balik Pulau and Teluk Bahang, on the western side of the island. Since there are few waterfalls in Penang, a visit to this waterfall, which the locals call Titi Kerawang, is a must. The cool environment and dense greenery make the waterfall an ideal picnic spot. Local people normally come here in droves during the weekends and public holidays for recreation.

Stepping Stone Centre

The centre showcases a variety of high quality crafts which can be purchased. These include hand woven scarves, tie and dye bags in vibrant colours, home-made soaps, candles, etc. All products are made by members with special needs who have channeled their skills and abilities into a viable career. Stepping Stone is a support centre for community living run by an NGO, the Asia Community Service.

Address

53, Jalan Bharu, Bukit Satu, MK 1 Pulau Betong, Balik Pulau

Contact Number
+604 866 5349

Bao Sheng Durian Farm

Your visit to Balik Pulau is not complete if you did not go to a durian farm. In fact, every year between May and August, durian is the only fruit that draws visitors from near and far to Balik Pulau. There is this farm in Balik Pulau called Bao Sheng, which offers its visitors a compelling durian tasting experience. Savor the distinctive taste of Malaysia’s king of fruits in their tasting sessions as you learn about various types of durians and how to pick the best ones.

Address:
150 Mukim 2, Sungai Pinang, 11010 Balik Pulau, Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +6012-411 0600 / +6012-401 0800
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.durian.com.my

Matahari Cycle Tours, Balik Pulau

One of the best ways to explore Balik Pulau is on two wheels as you can easily meander through the villages and go off-the-beaten path to really get to know the locals. Matahari Cycle Tours is one of the prominent tour agencies that promotes the area. Cycling through Balik Pulau will allow you plenty of opportunities to get a perfect photo of the traditional villages, plantations, paddy fields and the farms.

Matahari Cycle Tours Travel Sdn. Bhd.
Contact No: +6019-4480440 (Mr Syed and Ms Princillia)
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.cyclematahari.com

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

Categories
Malaysia Travel Guide

In Search of the Red Banded Langur in Maludam National Park

In Search of the Red Banded Langur in Maludam National Park

A 3Day/2Night experience in the Maludam National Park.

The itinerary for the ‘Search for the Red Banded Langur’ in Maludam was pioneered by adventure tour company, Paradesa Borneo (One Wayang Tours Sdn. Bhd.)

The Maludam National Park is protected area, critical for the protection of the only viable population of the Red Banded Langur remaining in the world today. A visit to the national park offers glimpses at the rare monkey and some 61 other species of mammals recorded in the area.

To get to Maludam, visitors have to drive about 170 kilometers from Sri Aman, bypassing the small town of Pusa before crossing the Batang Saribas by ferry. Proceed then to Kampung Maludam till the end of the coastal road at Triso, a small village by the sea.

This three day and two night itinerary takes advantage of the stretch of the Borneo Coastal Road, stopping by the local kampungs to experience the culture and interact with the people.

For more information on the National Park, visit the Sarawak Forestry’s website here.

Day One, Getting to Maludam

The group departed from Kucking at 8.00am, heading for Maludan through the Semarahan Batang Sadong Bridge. They arrived at Kampung Hilir Maludam by 2.00pm, where they got to enjoy the kampong (village) activities.

They explored the grounds of the village, watched a traditional performance by some young villagers and even learned how to prepare kuih sepit.

Learning to make kuih sepit

Day Two, The Search is ON!

The group had a quick safety and itinerary briefing before heading for the Maludam National Park at 8.00am.




The only entrance to the national park is by boat to ‘Station 2’ jetty. The early morning boat ride gives the group a chance to admire the tranquility of the protected peat swamp area. On arrival, the travel guide prepares the group for the trails and animals they may see throughout the walks.

The Red Banded Langur ©sarawakforestry.com

The group learns a little about the behavior of the beautiful primate, and return to Kampung Hilir Maludam at 3.00pm.

At the Kampung, they experienced ocean fishing on a traditional fisherman boat and get to see how salted fish, jelly fish and prawns are dried and processed at the factory. For more information on the jellyfish processing factory, you can visit this blog.

Fishing at Kampung Hilir Maludam


 

Jellyfish and prawns being processed at the factory

After enjoying a day on the water catching fish and seeing how the local catch is processed, the group took a beautiful sunset cruise over the coast of Maludam.

On returning to the village, they enjoyed a traditional performance called “Bergendang” or ‘drumming’ by the Persatuan Nelayan Kampung Maludam at 7.00pm. They then retired to the Kampung Hilir Maludam Homestay for the night.

Persatuan Nelayan Kampung Maludam

Day 3, the Pasar Tani

It’s bright and early the next day, with the group departing from Maludam at 7.30am to head to the Pasar Tani Maludam. By noon, they head back through Triso, Pusa and Sri Aman, seeing the sights in the towns like Fort Alice.

By 8.00pm, the trip comes to an end in Kuching.

The Tour Package

  • The Tour Package of 3 days and 2 nights totalled at a RM1,150 per pax and came inclusive of:
  • An English speaking tour guide
  • Tour van and driver
  • All activities in Maludam village
  • Homestay accomodations for the two nights
  • boat trip to and from Maludam National Park
  • Sun Set Cruise

The group found the trip to be a great experience, with friendly hosts and good facilities awaiting them at the homestay. As for the attractions surrounding the village and the National Park, they were excited to be a part of the fishing and cultural activities and found there were also proboscis monkey and crocodile watching tours available to the public, though there wasn’t enough time for them to enjoy it for themselves.

All in all, the Maludam National Park and its surrounding communities area  great place to visit, to perhaps catch a glimpse of the rare Red Banded Langur, or at the very least see the rest of the wildlife that flourishes in the protected area and enjoy the good company of the people of Kampung Hilir Maludam.

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Categories
Cuisine in Melaka

OLD MALACCA SCENT

20 October 2012 | last updated at 12:14AM

Old Malacca on St Paul’s Hill

By PHILIP LIM | [email protected] 0 comments

MALACCA: THERE’S an old scent of history on St Paul’s Hill in Malacca that draws tens of thousands of visitors there every month.

There are about 10 old Portuguese tombstones inside the church.
1 / 7

Even though the roof is missing, with only the walls left standing, visitors who walk on its grounds can’t help but feel that history has left a long trail of invisible footprints left behind by forgotten Christian missionaries.

The original building on the hill was built in 1521 as a chapel dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The chapel was named Nossa Senhora da Annunciada or Our Lady of the Hill. In 1548, the Bishop of Goa handed over control of the chapel to the Jesuits and a missionary named Francis Xavier took over the deed.

Renovations to the chapel took place in 1556, 1590 and 1592. In due course, the chapel was renamed Igreja de Madre de Deus or Church of the Mother of God.
When the Dutch took over Malacca in 1641, the church was renamed St Paul’s Church. One hundred eighty-three years later in 1824, the British gained control of Malacca but the name of the hill remained.

On any given day, one will find on St Paul’s Hill souvenir pedlars and artists who seem to be drawn there more by the place’s serenity than by anything else.
Foo is one of them. He is on the lighter side of his 50s, but looks like someone who has emerged unscathed by the Flower Power of the 1960s.

His greying moustache and his lean frame give the impression that he is a bohemian seeking his fortunes amid 400-year-old ancient ruins. Sporting shoulder-length hair, a red jockey cap and cropped pyjama-style pants, Foo has that enigmatic smile that reveals he has seen far more of life than he is willing to share with strangers.

But once he warms up to you, Foo, who is sometimes called Patrick, is quick to recount tales of those early years when he was a fisherman. He weathered the storms on the high seas for two or three years before he realised that it was not his true path in life.

“During those fishing years, I was out at sea for two or three days at a time. Occasionally, it was about one to two weeks,” said Foo.
The weather was unforgiving and life sometimes seemed to hang in the balance, added Foo with a whimsical smile.

About 10 years ago, Foo decided he had had enough of the rough seas, scorching sun and vacillating fortunes. He returned to being a landlubber on terra firma where his feet did not have to sway.

With the help of some business friends, he obtained an ample supply of prints of old Malacca. The prints, popular among tourists, are given sepia tones to lend an old charm to the historical city.

Among the 20-odd pictures of old Malacca are scenes of Jonker Street in 1890, Heeren Street in 1910, Malacca River in 1880 and Kwee Meng Kuang footbridge in 1890.
A batch of five prints is sold at RM20. For a KL resident, the price seemed immensely reasonable. In Jonker Street, where some photo shops are located, a similar old print which is framed is priced at RM45 each.

Foo readily admits that he is not an artist and that the items spread on the floor are not his work. Sitting on a stool in the corner of the interior of the church, the congenial individual seems to like life as it is right now.

His “work station” is in the rear of roofless church, which houses an old burial vault and Portuguese tombstones removed from the grounds in the 1930s.
The Portuguese tombstones, which number about 10, form a boundary of sorts around Foo’s “exhibition area”.

A few feet from Foo is a sign in three languages (Bahasa Malaysia, English and Dutch) that says “laid to rest here is Ioanna six who was born in Tayoan, wife of Jacobus Pedel, a merchant and harbour master for Malacca town. Departed this life on 1 January 1696 at the age of 40 years, 9 months, 15 days also, before her on 21 May, 1695, their son Jacobus Pedel Junior passed away at age less 2 days to 7 months”.
With these centuries-old tombstones and relics on St Paul’s Hill, the old Malacca that Foo somehow seems to personify, has come alive with its ancient walls and tombstones speaking in whispered tones about lives come and gone.

This former holy ground, like many others, is not without its own tale and mystery. The story lies in a statue of St Francis Xavier, erected in 1952, that has a broken right arm, at the front of the church.

The statue was to mark the 400th anniversary of the saint’s stay in Malacca. One day after the statue was put up, a large tree fell and broke the arm.

It would not have been an unusual occurrence if not for the fact that in 1614, the right forearm of St Francis Xavier was removed from his body as a relic.

Today on St Paul’s Hill, if you care to listen in silence to the whispers of the slow, incoming sea breeze, you, too, may hear something.

Read more: Old Malacca on St Paul’s Hill – Central – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/streets/central/old-malacca-on-st-paul-s-hill-1.159199#ixzz2A0Y2BVki

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Categories
Cuisine in Melaka

RARE CRAB RETURNS TO MELAKA


Tuesday September 27, 2011

Rare crab re-appears in Malacca
By R.S.N. MURALI
[email protected]

MALACCA: The re-appearance of a rare species of crab along the shores here has caused a stir among the people, especially Christians, due to a cross-like mark on its shell.

The crustacean, with the scientific name Charybdisferiatus, is a species of Malacostraca and is mainly found in Malaysian and Indonesian waters.

It was reportedly last seen in the Straits of Malacca in the 1960s.

Sparking frenzy: A fisherman holding the rare crab (left) next to a normal crab. The rare crab was reportedly last seen in the Straits of Malacca in the 1960s.
The species is different from another commonly found species in the state and which also has a cross on its shell.

A fisherman from Tengkera here hauled a dozen of these crabs on Sunday, sparking a frenzy among locals who rushed to buy the crabs.

The fisherman, who only wanted to be known as Man, 65, said the crabs were considered scarce.

He claimed that the crab was last caught in small numbers in the late 1960s.

“Only minimal quantities of the crabs were caught. Many locals don’t buy them to eat, but to preserve the shell as it’s considered sacred,” Man said.

State Rural Development and Agriculture Committee chairman Datuk R. Perumal said the state would ask the Fisheries Department to record and monitor the landings of the rare crab.

“We may conserve the crab by breeding it,” he added.

A marine biologist, who declined to be named, said the crabs became rare after rapid development along the state coastline led to the deterioration of the mangrove swamps where the crabs thrived.

Legend has it that Saint Francis Xavier was sailing to Malacca from an Indonesian island sometime in the 16th Century when he was caught in a storm in the Straits of Malacca.

He then dipped his crucifix into the sea and prayed to God to calm the raging storm.

However, the crucifix slipped from his grip and fell into the sea. He prayed that he could get it back.

When he reached the shores of Malacca safely, St Francis saw a crab crawling on the beach and clutching the same crucifix between its claws.

Surprised, St Francis knelt down and recovered his crucifix.

He blessed the crab and the sign of a cross then appeared on its back.

Article source: http://tourism-melaka.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default