Friday, 17 June 2011


Wau  (pronounce as ‘wow’) can appear in all shapes and size but the most popular and famous kite is the moon kite (wau bulan) and cat kite (wau kucing) in the east coast.Kite making requires patience and tremendous skill. Bamboo will be cut and make into the frame or skeleton of the kite. The best time to cut the bamboo is in November or December and this will be kept for 10 months before it is split and soaked in water followed by heated to straighten and toughen. On the other hand, designs are traced on a tinted and shiny glazed paper and then carefully cut out and pasted on paper which is glued to the bamboo skeleton. The designs are normally flowers with vines which signifies women (flower) and man (vine), eg. if the flowers are in bud form, it symbolizes a young woman etc. In some older designs, flowers were drawn from the side and back to represent the shy and reserved personality of female in those days whereas for the vines, the more meandering the vines, the more twists and turns in a man’s life. There are also waus that are made using the batik technique or painted by batik artists and the designs are always more creative and less formalized by tradition.It is never an easy job to fly a Wau kite into the sky. A traditional Wau can be as big as 3.5m in height and 2.5 m wing span and usually needs the help of a group of person to bring it to the sky. In a windy day, a Wau can fly up to 450m into the sky. To choose a good kite, you should look at the harmonious colours matched and the flowers as well as the vines drawn which represent the inner state of the kite maker.


This coloured and patterned cloth is now becoming popular in Malaysia and the best Malaysian batiks come from the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. There are two types of batik, the hand drawn and the stamped. Recently there are also machine printed batik which design is clearer and colour on one side only.
Hand drawn batik uses a small copper cup and fountain pen like ‘janting’ with melted wax to draw across the length and breadth of the cloth. Dyeing process is like filling colour on the drawing block, only different is the outline is wax instead of pen. The waxed areas resist dye. The cloth will then sent to ‘boil’ in warm water in order to get rid of the wax after it is soaked in chemical that makes the colour stay.
Stamped batik has the similar process like hand drawn batik, only different is the janting will be replaced by a copper or sometimes a wooden stamp which looks like a domestic iron with artistically patterned bottom.
Today batik is not only used for outfits but some innovative commercial individual has made full use of this beautiful and artistic textile into making bags, cushion covers, curtains, slippers etc.

Woods Carving

For many decades, Terengganu crafts men have taken pride in their wood carving skills. As one of oldest crafts in Malaysia, wood carving has also been the specialty of Terengganu craftsmen and their artworks are often praised for their exquisite beauty. Most of the carvings are inspired by the rich local flora as well as the beautiful Islamic arts. Besides being used as decorative items, these wood carvings also possess practical purposes on houses, palaces and furniture. The quality of these woods carving from Terengganu enables them to stands the test of time.Wood carving was originally found in houses of sulatans or Malay nobility as part of their interior decoration and the craftsmen were commissioned for their services. Because human depiction is prohibited in Islam, Malay wood carving gets its inspiration from flora, animal motif and Islamic art but this has never influence its finest artistically designs. Terengganu wood carving not only found in the beams, doorways, window shutters of a house, but also in the traditional boat making industry and some furniture items such as sofa, bed frame and mirror frame and as small as a jewelry box.

Terengganu State Museum

The Terengganu State Museum complex is the largest museum in southeast asia. The complex consists of a main museum, a maritime museum, a fisheries museum, 4 traditional houses and a botanic and herbs gardens. The main museum is built on 16 stilts, in accordance with the traditional architecture of Terengganu. Its 4 blocks are adjoined, to represent a big family. There are 10 galleries showcasing textiles, crafts, historical, royal, new generation and contemporary arts.

Bukit Puteri

Bukit Puteri is situated at the mouth of Terengganu River. It covers an area of about 658 hectares and the height is about 200 meters from the sea level. Bukit Puteri was built to defend the Rulers of Terengganu from attacks by the enemies. Bukit Puteri is easily accessible as there are steps leading to the top. Bukit Puteri was said to have originated as a place of residence for Puteri Bunian. However, the princess left Bukit Puteri when the local residents borrowed her cutlery and did not return them to her. According to legend, this hill was opened by a chieftain from Johor named Tuk Raja Menteri who came to Terengganu to install Sultan Zainal Abidin I as the first Sultan of Terengganu.
During the year 1830, there was a struggle for power among the two royalty of Terengganu that is, Tengku Mansur, the Sultan of Terengganu who was conferred the title of Sultan Mansur Shah II and Tengku Umar, the Yang Di pertuan Besar. Tengku Umar had built a fort at the top of Bukit Puteri for defence. This fort was built of bricks and cemented with honey, lime and egg white. However Bukit Puteri was captured by Sultan Mansur Shah II and Tengku Umar was forced to flee to Besut. Bukit Puteri then came under the control of Sultan Muhammad I who ascended to the throne when Sultan Mansur Shah II passed away. However, Sultan Mahmmud was not able to defend Bukit Puteri when it was attacked by Tengku Umar army. Finally, Tengku Umar recaptured Bukit Puteri again.

A few historical artifacts still exists on Bukit Puteri till this present day. Among them are a big bell, cannon, a flag pole, light house, graves and a defence wall. However, long time ago there were many cannons at Bukit Puteri. The cannons were believed to have originated from Spain, Portugal and the Malay States and were given names such as Seri Jamlor, Seri Buih, Seri Johor and Laila Majnun. The bell that still exists today was built during the reign of Sultan Zainal Abidin III in the year 1908. The bell was made from yellow copper, the circumference and height of the bell were 228 centimeters and the weight was 175 kilograms. The bell was sounded when there were rampage, fire or enemies attacking the state. It was believed that the bell was guarded by a boy from the royal family. The boy job was to sound the bell if any emergency or natural disasters occurred.
A cave known as Gua Puteri can also be found here. It was used as a place to keep the gun powder, stone and iron bullets. The flag pole that is on top of Bukit Puteri was used to raise the royal flag when there were any royal ceremonies held. The weight of the flag pole was around 18 meters high. The lighthouse on the peak of Bukit Puteri functioned as a guide for fishermen and sailors that siles into Kuala Sungai Terengganu. During the reign of Tengku Umar, he built a palace called the Green Palace at the foot of Bukit Puteri but was burned down in 1882. He built a new palace near the site of the Green Palace and was named Istana Maziah which still exit until today.
Nowadays, Bukit Puteri is used as a firing range for cannon when royal ceremonies are held. Besides that, Bukit Puteri has been developed into a tourist attraction.

Sekayu Waterfall

The sight of water gushing and failing from a high altitude and the sound of rushing water is a very pleasurable experience. Sekayu Waterfall is located within the sekayu recreational forest, which is 56 km away from kuala terengganu. The drive through unspoiled country scenery takes about 45 minutes. A favourite retreat for visitors, the sekayu waterfall with its seven cascades are surrounded by its natural landscape of lush jungle-clad hills, a fruit orchard, a mini zoo, a bird park, a garden and countless species of flora and fauna, various facilities such as shelters, changing rooms, chalets, resthouse, camping site, car parks, food stalls and exhibition hall have been provided.

The Sungai Yak Yah’s Firefly Sanctuary

The Glow fly has resided here for many-many year and its has been a major place for some Terengganu’ people, researcher and student to came here for study or firefly’s appreciation activities and marvel at the many Glow fly that habitat here. The glow fly sanctuary here was almost not known to any body except for the villager and fisherman in and near Kampung Ibok, Chukai Town at Kemaman district.

Recently our Terengganu state government in 2006 had started promoting and selling the Firefly sanctuary as recommendation sight-seeing  and number one glow fly appreciation area inside the state after Sungai Penarik Firefly Sanctuary, near Kampung Penarik..

          The Sungai Yak Yah Firefly Sanctuary is the biggest fire sanctuary in Malaysia. Which is located about half an hour from the town of Chukai in Kemaman. The Yak Yah river is home to the biggest firefly colonies in Malaysia. But the sightseer whom visits this river every month is less than 100 and most of them are from Japan and a few from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur , Perak and etc, which leave the firefly sanctuary almost deserted because the local authority at Kemaman doesn’t paid much attention for the tourism industry until early 2006. When the local News paper like News Strait Time Press or (NSTP), The Sun, and Utusan Malaysia had highlight the concern and plead of the Kemaman people ,Villager of Kampung Sungai Ibok and tourism operators. When the Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh found out about the sanctuary ‘s problem Our MB Dato’ Idris then had direct the Kemaman ‘s DO or District Office to ensure the habitat of the fireflies was well protected , preserved and not disturbed. and like wise the State Government Tourism Action Council’ secretariat also had now started to promote Sungai Yak Yah as the state newest attraction and building the necessary amenities needed like a jetty , toilet  and etc.

     To tell you the truth there was a lack of publicity on the place during the fuss .I myself who had live in Kuala Terengganu Town Center,(KTTC) for almost 10 year . Though that Sungai Penarik in Setiu District, is the only Glow fly / Firefly sanctuary in Terengganu (which Ping anchorage agency always organise a trip there). I had never heard about the glowfly sanctuary in Kemaman until the fuss from the News Paper during the end of 2005 .Even thou there was two local Che Ghani and his partner, Zainal Ibrahim, were organising firefly-watching trips since 2001.

     Because the fuss last year, we had travel with our friends from KT Town a weeks after  the Chinese new holiday just to see for ourselves. There lack of road signs, no signboards or pointer along the way to inform traveller and tourist about the fireflies sanctuary’s that we tooks and insanely one hour driving and asking for pointer to the sanctuary from the local village people even though its only 11km from Chukai !!!!! .Still it was quite worth with to see the many firefly (we prefer calling them glow fly) along the river.

     Currently there are only two local villagers (Che Ghani and his partner, Zainal Ibrahim) who dedicated their full time bringing and conducting daily firefly tours and guide for by paddleing their wooden boat as not to disturb the firefly habitat and appreciation activities.and Kudus!! for they part in protecting mother nature’s treasure. Both of them can be found at the jetty. Or you can rent a boat from the many fishermen here. Last year’s 2005 the state government and theYang Berhormat / Most Honourable DO of Kemaman Distric had banned the use of motorised boats along the river Yak Yah. .....Kudos !! 

The appreciation activities  can be done all around the year except from the month of October to January and the best time to go here for firefly appreciation activities is from July to September, which is the mating season for the firefly.

     Almost everyday when the dusk falls the colourful firefly will crowded the area with glitter like neon light throughout the 13 Km long Yak Yah river. From the guide and the local villager .... The Best place to marvel or taking picture and the best spots for firefly appreciation  is around 5 km from the jetty. Here you will be astounded to see the many berembang and putat trees there, along the river bank lit up like Christmas tree with thousand of fireflies 

Currently.We don’t have any picture of the place after our last trip there my RM 1700 worth local “ I ” Digital camera went on a swim in the river and had never recover.  The place are still quite unknown and with the fact that we didn’t find any picture of the place in the Web prove it. .The tour operator are not many except for village folks and those two who pioneer and had organising firefly-watching trips with they paddle boat since 2001.

Those “Two” are Che Ghani and his partner, Zainal Ibrahim, who conduct daily firefly tours from 7.45pm to midnight for RM20 per person. They can be contacted at 019-9336458/013-9365681
Its is best to stay at the many cheat and budget motel and hotel at chukai as you can see how life goes on in this quite town which is quite famous for its fresh Kopi ‘ O (Grounded Fried Coffee bean +  hot steaming H20 + sugar =     Kopi’ O .that its taste and aroma had attract a lot of people especially those from Singapore, KL, Johor,Pahang and KB who frequently travel from the north to singapore and vice versa