Friday, October 13, 2017

A trip to Satun and Pak Bara in Thailand...

A friend Ismail Mat who now live in Alor Setar in the northern state of Kedah after he retired had invited me to visit Kedah and perhaps go on a trip to south Thailand. So, on last Friday September 29, I decided to take his offer and go on the trip to nowhere. I start the trip by taking the ETS to Alor Setar. The train left KL Sentral at 11.42 and arrived on the dot at 15.17. It was a beautiful ride all the way. On arrival the close friend was waiting for me at the Alor Setar railway station. Instead of sending me direct to the hotel he detours to his home where his spouse had prepared a late lunch for me. It was a simple home cooking that includes Ikan Pekasam and Masak lemak Kulat Sisir of which I had not savored for such a long time. It was such a sumptuous late lunch that I totally forgot about times. Had a small chat with his charming spouse, an MD who had retired and decided to just stay home. After the coffee he then took me to the Holiday Villa, my hotel for the night. 

I had a good rest and the next day with his cousin Fauzi driving we head to Satun and Pak Bara in Thailand via the Wang Kelian border crossing. This is first time I had travel by road to this part of Thailand and was surprised that their road system is so good. I just sat at the back and enjoy the trip. We stop along the way including an outdoor food court near the beach of the Andaman sea; this was my first glimpse of the beach of the Andaman sea. It so clean just like the sea on the east coast of Malaya especially at my hometown of Kuantan. After having some delicious Thai foods there we move on and spend the night at Pak Bara, the port city of Santun where I saw a huge Pier and many big fishing boats. On the other sides there are many islands where many tourists go to spend their holiday enjoy the beach on the Andaman sea. I am told that there is a ferry service to and from Langkawi - Pak Bara from the jetty here.  Had a good sleep there and the next morning after breakfast at the roadside stall went back to Alor Setar via Hat Yai.

The roads in Thailand is much better than ours and no toll at all.  The Wifi even at the roadside stalls fast, putting us to shame. After a rest and sightseeing trip in Alor Setar we went to Langkawi which I had not been for more than thirty years. Boy! Langkawi was huge compare to those days. Thanks to Tun Mahathir our Prime Minister for twenty years; for his vision it has become one large city on an island that was once just a fishing village. I then decided to go back home by taking the flight from Langkawi. Now the Airport with International and domestic arrival every fifteen minutes, making it one busy airport in country. I then took a Mas flight back to KL and arrived at the KLIA at just after noon on Wednesday 4, October. This is the first flight I had ever take after a lapse of more than two years.

Folks it turns out to be one exciting short trip to the north of the country; to places that I had never dream of visiting and meeting friends and strangers, making my golden years as happy as happy as one could be. Thanks Ismail Mat for making all these possible. What a wonderful world we live in. 

Above is a picture of the beach at the Andaman sea where we stopped for a short break and enjoy some Thai dishes. One the left are some of the Thai foods that we savor while on the trip and the islands off Pak Bara as seen from the chalets where we spend the night; enchanting indeed.

Have a nice day. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Of Photography; the Moon....

In photography it the timing and opportunity. Yesterday morning I was out in front of the house looking for Mei Me who had not return. While out there I saw the moon. I then went to take my camera, the new Canon EOS M5 and using a telephoto  lens took some picture of the moon. It happens that at that very moment a plane was passing by and the early bird were flying too. It was really nice to get some good shots in that early morning. I am still learning the way of good photography and happy with the result. I am sharing it here for all to see and enjoy. 

Have a nice day folks.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Camping at Teluk Tongkang, Kuantan....

When I was in school camping and hiking was of how we kid spend our recreation especially on weekend and during school holiday.  Kuantan been near the sea have many places to go hiking and camping. One of the camping site that is nearby is at Teluk Cempedak. 

On my recent visit to Kuantan I found that they have turn an enclave on the left side of Teluk Cempedak as a Camping site. The enclave is now call Teluk Tongkang. I made a visit to the place and found it an ideal site to camp and enjoy the outdoor beside the sea.  For a small fee anyone can camp there. For the convenience of the campers the authority of the place provides clean water and Washroom for those campers as well to the public would just make a day visit. 

On my visit there recently, I had the opportunity to meet the Warden of the place. He welcomes everyone to the place and enjoy camping. Other than providing tents for sleeping the organizer also provides meals and BBQ for the campers. 

It sounds interesting and I would encourage anyone who want to camp and enjoy the sea at Teluk cempedak to go and have a look of the place and perhaps camp there. It really a good way to enjoy nature at its best. 

Have a nice day.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Meeting a Stranger.....

I was at KL Sentral this morning and found there are so much changes there.That mean I have not explore it for some times in the past years. I went to meet a friend and after that explore the place to get more information of the train services especially the ETS [Electric Train Service]. I have travel the ETS up to Ipoh when it first started and found it fast and comfortable to travel between cities. I may do it again in the near future. As usual that place was thronged with folks on the move. 

It all start when a FB friend Wan Izzuddin posted in his wall that he would be coming to KL after a trip to Bangkok. Since I have not met him in person I thought this would be an opportunity to meet and get to know each other. I then send a note on Messenger of FB asking whether he would like to meet. I got a reply that he would, that after he arrived back in Kuala lumpur he would take the train from the Airport to KL Sentral, the country's largest transport hub. I told him we would meet there, so that was the reason I got to KL Sentral this morning. 

Nowadays with Uber and Grab it is easier to travel in the city. This morning I took Grab to KL Sentral and then for the return journey to my home in Ampang Jaya I again took Grab, this time from Nu Sentral, the adjacent mall beside the KL Sentral. 

Well folks that was my day this Monday. Have a nice day.

Friday, August 18, 2017

A Fusion of Crafts....

Some years back I bought a few crafted fruits made of copper; a well handicraft products from India. It has been on display in the house all the while giving a glow of an artistic works of great craftsman whose creative works add value to our quality of life. Last week my spouse and daughter Lin went on a short holiday to Chiang Mai, Thailand and brought back a handcrafted wooden fruit bowl made from the trunk of the Mango tree. It a gift to me which I instantly loved it for its uniqueness and it the first bowl that I had seen made from wood of the Mango tree. I then decided to put the Copper fruits crafted in India into the new wooden bowl from Thailand and found that it harmonized well; sort of a fusion of two crafts from a different culture, the Thai and India. Above is that fusion. Enjoy it folks. 

Have a nice day.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

78th Birthday....

Good Morning folks. Woke up to a beautiful day in August 2017. Born on August 17, 1939 Alhamdulillah I am 78 years old today and kicking. Thanks to my wonderful soulmate Asmah Abdul Rahman of 55 years and counting who have been with me during the up and down during my life journey I am forever grateful for a wonderful family life. Blessed with three wonderful daughters, five grandchildren, a son in law and two grandsons in law, making me one happy Grandpa; they too give me so much of their precious times in my golden years. Thanks to the many relatives and friends in the virtual world and the physical world my life has been as colorful as well. To those few relatives and friends [you know who you are] who give me your precious time to talk to me or be with me from time to time I am grateful. Thanks folks for contributing in making my life so colorful. 

Have a nice day

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Museum Masjid Sultan Abdullah, Pekan...

A few years ago, I went for a visit to Pekan, the royal town of Pahang. While there I saw the oldest mosque there, the Sultan Abdullah Mosque was left in ruin. It was a beautiful mosque built by the British colonial authority in 1929. It was the first and the oldest constructed in the Moorish architecture as most great mosque were built during that era. I was sad seeing that beautiful mosque left to rot. I then wrote to the Pahang state authority to do whatever necessary to preserve that historic mosque; a piece of history of the state of Pahang. I soon forgot about it and on my recent visit I saw that they have renovated the old mosque and turn it into a museum and at the same time retained the name of the mosque. It is now call the Museum Masjid Sultan Abdullah. A month earlier on a visit to Pekan I saw the mosque had been renovated but did not have the time to visit it; I was concentrating on another museum the Museum Sultan Abu Bakar nearby. Last July 20, 2017 I decided to make an exclusive visit to the museum with a view of blogging about it. With the help of the friendly staffs I make my round of the museum. I was told that other than been a museum a section of it is still used as a prayer place. A beautiful thought indeed; and I am glad that they did it as it provides a continuity of what the place was once; a place where the royal and the ordinary folks did their Friday Prayer as well their daily prayer in such a prestigious space in the new mosque at that time. 

After doing my round there I did an optional prayer and felt enlighten in been able to pray in such a magnificent prayer space in the newly renovated part of the mosque. In this new museum many artifacts of historical significance like old handwritten Quran, musical instruments, traditional tools for communication at prayer times, ceramic plates with Koranic texts are display turning it into a museum of Islamic history of sort. 

One exhibit that I thought is very important is the Tombstone of a grave found at Teluk Che Munah, Kampung Permatang Pasir, Pulau Tambun in Pekan on June 1953, that dated back to the year 1028 AD. It predates the Inscribed Stone found in Terengganu dated 1302 AD. The state authority has done a great job in converting this old and historic mosque into a museum and named it as the Museum Masjid Sultan Abdullah. The collections on display are done in a professional way thus it now has become a place to learn or do research on the history of Islam especially that has to do with the arrival of Islam to the state of Pahang.  I am impressed with the layout of the newly renovated space. It has indeed turn the whole prayer space into a living museum on the history Islam and in doing so has made the old mosque building as relevant as ever. 

Students or researchers on Islam especially so on the coming of Islam to this part of the world would be wise to visit this new museum. It a storehouse of knowledge on Islam as well a marketplace of information and ideas on the history of Islam. I left the place happy that the building that was once left to rot has now became a magnificent building of knowledge in this part of the world. Folks it worth a trip to Pekan to visit this important Museum which is just 45 kilometers away from Kuantan. 

Have a nice day.