Sunday, 26 January 2014

Local Specialty-Pulut Panggang (Pulut Lepa)

Pulut Panggang or locally known as Pulut Lepa. This dish consists of glutinous rice lightly flavoured with coconut milk and wrapped in banana leaves, then barbecued to perfection.

The cooked glutinous rice has a filling mixture of grated coconut flesh and fish fillet which make this 'kuih' one of the most favorite one. Best eaten hot for breakfast or during afternoon tea.

Local Specialty-Keropok Lekor

Some call them fish fritters, fish sausages or fish sticks but in Terengganu, they are called ‘keropok’. There are three types of keropok, mainly keropok lekor (resembling sausage, boiled chewy ones), keropok goreng (also resembling sausage but fried chewy ones) and keropok keping (sliced, sun-dried and fried). All districts produce their own keropok but the famous ones are none better than those found in Kampong Losong in Kuala Terengganu. ‘Keropok lekor’ are actually made from processed fish meat mixed with salt and sagoo flour. This mixture is then hand rolled into sausage shaped around 6 to 10 inches long and immediately cooked. It is a great afternoon snack normally dipped in Terengganu’s equally famous chili sauce.

They are made up of fish, flour and other ingredients. For Keropok Lekor, you can eat it in two ways. Deep fried or boiled. If you don't really like the fishy smell, then better to take the deep fried as sometime the boiled one will have some fishy smell, especially when they are no longer hot.

The Keropok Keping is also made up of larger tube-shaped keropok being thinly and dried under the sun to make it last longer. Then you need to fry it before eating. Its a great afternoon snack and nice to be eaten with fried noodles or dipping it with the Terengganu’s home made chili sauce.

Local Specialty-Nasi Dagang

Terengganu’s cuisine is distinctively memorable from the generous use of spices and fresh local ingredients. One of the most popular and well known is Nasi Dagang, usually eaten with side dishes of tuna curry, pickled cucumber and carrots. Nasi Dagang is a rice specialty of Terengganu. The dish is made by steaming a mixture of regular and glutinous rice in coconut cream over low heat. Simplicity is its essence. ‘Dagang’ practically means going travelling and in those days most are of trading trips. It is practical to pack along the Nasi Dagang to be eaten along the way. Nowadays it is serves in hotels and resorts as part of a signature dish of Terengganu. It is suitable to be eaten at any time of the day during breakfast, lunch, dinner or even supper.

Attraction-Chemerung Waterfall

One of the renowned recreational forests in Malaysia, Sungai Chemerung Recreational Forest Reserve is also home to the highest waterfall in the country. The dazzling spectacle that is the Chemerung Waterfall plunges majestically from 305 metres through beautiful steep rock faces before smashing into the waters below. The waterfall is located about 30 kilometres from Bandar Al Muktafi Billah Shah. 

A leisurely jungle trekking through nature at its best are recommended for adventurers to go the base of the falling waters where the coolness of the air and the thundering sound of the waterfalls will soothe the weariest of travelers. Mountain climbing up Mount Berembun through the dense foliage is an experience worth adventuring.

How To Get Here
Sungai Chemerung Recreational Forest can be reached by either own transportation, taxi or express coach from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu and then from Bandar Al-Muktafibillah Shah of Dungun to Chemerung Forest Recreational Centre.

Recreational Forest of Sungai Chemerung is located 30km from Bandar Al-Muktafibillah Shah (15-20 minutes drive), or 100km from Kuala Terengganu (1 hour drive). Local travel agents should be able to assist with the travel arrangements.

Where To Stay
1. Awana Kijal Beach, Golf and Spa Resort
2. Residence Resort Paka
3. Radius Resort Villa
4. Pasir Raja Rest House
5. Awangs Beach Resort & Restaurant

Attraction-Tenggol Island in Dungun

About an hour away by speedboat from Kuala Dungun jetty, this island boast one of the deepest waters in the east coast and it is a haven for divers looking for thrilling night dives. Hard and soft corals of different types add a dash of color to the monochromatic escape while the underwater creature-eels, crabs, turtles and baby sharks will definitely amaze divers and are found abundance in their undisturbed habitat. Resorts are available to cater the needs of visitors looking for a memorable snorkeling or diving experience.

Tenggol Island is another beautiful diving getaway island just 45 minutes from the coastal jetty in Kuala Dungun. Its size is approximately 3km in length and 2km in width. However, this has not prevented it from becoming a paradise for many people especially diving enthusiasts. The sandy beach blends harmoniously with the surrounding environment. Further inland are forested rocky hills that make it a scenic destination for adventure seekers. The hills rising over 800ft offer a panoramic view of the island. This rocky terrain extends from the interior of the island to the ocean and has created a dramatic ideal hideaway for marine life. For example in Teluk Air Tawar there is a large spread of sloping reef on the rocky wall, whereas Rajawali Reef, with vertical rocky walls which fall as deep as 32m, is home to corals and other marine life like batfish and black tip reef sharks. 

Besides calm coral gardens, you could also chance upon humphead parrotfish, giant stingray, bat fishes, whale sharks, leopard sharks, schooling jacks and others in the diving spots around Tenggol. Pulau Tenggol is located along the whale sharks migratory route normally from August to October every year. It is much anticipated by divers as not many places in the world that these whale sharks stays longer at a certain place. The surroundings of Pulau Tenggol is rich in its marine life and coral haven and this might be the reason that whale sharks choose Pulau Tenggol as their playground.

How To Get Here
By Bus
There are regular and daily bus services from most of the major cities and towns within Peninsular Malaysia. The nearest destination is Dungun town. Journey normally takes 5-6 hours from Kuala Lumpur. There are boat operators and travel agents at Kuala Dungun jetty that provides boat and tour packages to Pulau Tenggol.

By Air
There are daily and regular flights to the nearest destination of Kuala Terengganu. Malaysian Airlines, Air Asia and Firefly ply direct routes either from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. There are taxi and car rental services at the Kuala Terengganu Airport. Journey takes an hour to Kuala Dungun Jetty.

By car
The drive from Kuala Lumpur to Dungun takes about 5-6 hours. Take the Karak Highway to get to Kuantan. From there, follow the sign board to Dungun town. Dungun town is 79 km before Kuala Terengganu. Departing early in the morning should be convenient as one reaches Dungun around noon. The boat services starts as early as 8.00 am and last boat usually by 5.00 pm but it depends upon the weather condition. It is advisable to catch the early morning boat. There are few hotels and resorts around Dungun town should one wish to spend a night or two in Dungun or should one prefer to arrange a day trip to the island.

Where To Stay
  1. Tenggol Island Resort
  2. Tenggol Island Beach Resort & Spa

Attraction-Teluk Bidara in Dungun

A hotspot among locals for its accessibility, this beach comes to life during weekends when people of all ages engage in various beach activities. A family picnic under the shades, a stroll on the beach, playing some beach games or just enjoying the cooling sea breeze are among the activities indulged. There are food stalls selling fresh seafood products, local delicacies and refreshing coconut drinks. Greeted with a turquoise-blue waters and sandy beaches with the islands of Pulau Tenggol and Pulau Nyireh can be seen in the distance, famous for its dive sites. Pulau Tenggol is within one of the whale sharks migratory route, which is eagerly anticipated by divers.

How To Get Here
By Road
Dungun town is approximately 78 km south of Kuala Terengganu. Reachable through Jalan Seberang Pintasan, follow the new bridge over Sungai Dungun and look out for signage to Pantai Peranginan Teluk Bidara.

By Bus
Bus services are available in most major towns and cities in Peninsular Malaysia. Pick the nearest destination to Dungun. The bus ride will be between 4 1/2 hours to 6 hours, depending on weather and traffic conditions. Taxis are available at Dungun Taxi Terminal. Local bus plies regular service from Kuantan, Chukai, Kerteh, Kijal, Paka and Dungun.

By Air
There are daily direct flights by Malaysian Airlines, Air Asia and Firefly from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu. Taxi and car rental services are available at the airport and the ride to Dungun takes around 1 ½ hours driving.

Where To Stay
  1. Tanjung Jara Resort
  2. Residence Resort, Paka
  3. Ulek Beach Resort
  4. Mayang Sari Resort
  5. Rumbia Resort Villa, Paka

Attraction-Turtle Sanctuary in Dungun

In the 1960's, Rantau Abang Beach in the district of Dungun was made famous for being one of the six hatching sites in the world for giant leatherback turtles. Due to a number of factors that leads to the dwindling number of turtle landings each year, the State government has taken conservation effort by setting up turtle research and hatching sites in selected areas in the district of Dungun, Setiu, Kemaman as well in the islands of Redang, Bidong, Perhentian and Kapas.

There has been an increase in the number of turtle landings especially Green and Hawksbill turtles in Pantai Ma Daerah in Paka, Dungun and in Pantai Teluk Mak Nik in Kemaman. There's a Turtle Information Centre in Rantau Abang, Dungun for those who like to know about turtles. There is also an Aquatic Bio-Diversity Gallery at Turtle & Marine Ecology Centre within the vicinity of Turtle Information Centre where there are displays of marine life species, sea shells, replicas of marine life and marine information.

How To Get Here
You can get there by taxi or by bus to Dungun at Kuala Terengganu Bus Station.

Where To Stay
  1. Tanjong Jara Resort & Spa
  2. Rumbia Resort
  3. Residence Resort Paka
  4. Turtle De Village Inn Rantau Abang
  5. Merantau Inn Rantau Abang

Friday, 24 January 2014

Batik Sarong Night...Be the Sarong King and Queen

YES! You will be given a Batik Sarong @ the conference.

How A Batik Sarong Is Made?

The Malaysian sarong is basically a batik sarong. It basically is a length of fabric measuring about a yard wide and length around two and a half yard. There are three parts to a sarong which is the head, body and leg. The "kepala" or head is a foot wide area located in the centre of the sarong which would be stamped with a batik chop pattern forming a panel of batik design which would be usually contrast from the body of the batik. The leg would be stamped with a batik chop alongside its width to indicate that it is the bottom of the sarong. 

Batik sarong creation begin with a length of white cloth (usually the same length as the finished sarong) spread on top of a special table which had a layer of thin sponge layered in between the sturdy wooden table and plastic covering. Water would be placed to wetten the table surface. A chop which is actually a stamp would be dipped in hot wax before being applied to the white cloth. Different kind of chop would be used to create the head, body and leg of the sarong. This process is repeated until the desired pattern is created.

Afterwards, the cloth would be dyed in the desired colour. The process of stamping and batik and the dyeing of the batik would be repeated again and again until the desired colour and design is a achieved.

After the dye had dried, the batik would be soaked in a silikat solution to ensure the permanency of the day for up to 8 hours. Then, the cloth would be boiled to removed the wax. The intricacies of the batik pattern and their colour would emerged at this point. The batik sarong would be rinsed in clean water and hung to dry. It is now ready for use!

The Multiple Use of Batik Sarong

There are many ways for a Batik Sarong to be utilised. Of course for Malays, it is an everyday usage item. For ladies it is used as a skirt pair maybe with a comfy t-shirt at home or the glamorous kebayas for formal functions. For the outsiders, batik sarong is more of a beachwear, a cover up for the bikinis and such.
Here are some of the other uses of versatile & wonderful batik sarong:

As a Table Cover
A simple spread of batik sarong onto a table is wonderful in transforming a room into a tropical sanctuary.

A curtain or a sofa throw
For an unsewn batik, just use the length of batik to act as a curtain. It is also used as a wall hanging as each batik sarong is an art itself as each one is hand blocked and therefore each piece is unique.

A Towel / Beach Mat / Picnic Mat/A Blanket
Just lay the batik anywhere, it would look good be it at the beach or in the park.

A Batik pants.. Batik Blouse.. the list is endless
Nowadays, you can even find ready made pants made from batik sarong material. Else, just buy an unsewn batik sarong and based on your own body measurement, you can create a dress, a blouse, pants, skirts, bags.. the possibility is endless. You might also consider to make a cushion cover.

A Quilting Material
Basically, a batik sarong with its different and beautiful pattern for its three part of bodies is wonderful for quiting projects.

As a Head Shawl
Long time ago, this is a traditional use of the batik sarong. Ladies would wear one sarong as skirts and another one as a shawl to protect the head from the sun as well as a modesty veil for the men that they like.

As Baby Hammock "Sarong Buaian"
In Asian countries, it is a common sight seeing a batik sarong to be fashioned into a hammock, attached to a spring and strung up on ceiling beams. I was one of those babies being swing to sleep using one of these buai (swing). Nowadays, the role of batik has been replaced by a mesh sarong which enable better air circulation for the baby.

As a Baby Carrier
Batik as a baby carrier or sling is easy to make. Just sling the batik sarong tube across your body. One side below one hand and another on your shoulder. Tie up the batik side for the sarong to ensure the sling is just right for your baby (I prefer toddlers) to sit snugly inside the batik sarong and towards you.

Batik Sarong is a versatile item with endless possibility of uses.

How to Wear Batik Sarong?

Tube Wrap
This is how Malays from the early centuries had worn the Batik Sarong - just the sarong tied tube style at chest level & nothing else. Only after the arrival of Islam, ladies had become more modest and worn the batik sarong at waist level, pairing loose blouse or kebayas to cover their upper bodies.

Box Fold Batik Sarong
This is how we usually wear it when paired either with a comfy t-shirt at home or fancy lacy kebayas for special occasions.

A Line Batik Sarong
Another way of wearing the batik sarong as an alternative to Box Fold style. The same way of wearing this is also used by men wearing their Kain Pelikat, kind of Batik Sarong for men. Kain Pelikat designs usually just solid colour with checkered or line patterns.

Off Shoulder Batik Sarong Dress
Should you are bored with Tube Style Batik Sarong.. try Off Shoulder or Toga Dress.
Halter Neck Batik Sarong
Another cute alternative into making the Batik Sarong an exotic Halter Neck Mini Dress. Pairing it with a narrow belt or classic chain belt would make this outfit an original.

Short Skirt Batik Sarong
Here is one way of wearing the Batik Sarong

More Inspirations

Book Your Accommodation @ Primula Beach Hotel before 28 Feb 2014

Have you booked your accommodation for KT2014, 2-4 May 2014?

If you have not, please do so soonest, latest by 28 Feb 2014. All the rooms blocked by Primula Beach Hotel for KT2014 will be released after 28 Feb 2014. The rooms rates, reservation form and reservation policy are available HERE

Any booking after 28 Feb 2014 is subject to the rooms availability.

Book early to secure your room.