14 February 2013

Vote for me and I would make Blogosphere a cool place to stay

Dearest Blogger friends,

This is the first time I write a serious cyber letter to you that meant to be read seriously. Somebody, a ghost writer who is hiding his/her true persona nominated my humble blog into a local Blog competition dedicated to tourism (MITBCA). I got to know my blog was nominated when a letter from the organizer reached my mailbox to confirm the participation. This  event  recognizes and awards Blog/Blogger who has in one way or another contributed to our local tourism industry. This is the second time this event being hosted.  The last day for voting is 22 February 2013. 

Thus, I am making a personal  pledge to all ardent Bloggers, Netizens,  and phantom voters to voluntarily cast their  vote for my blog. I promise, if this blog win we could celebrate, perhaps way ahead of  PRU13. As an added bonus, you will guarantee to get the opportunity  to read more spicy and juicy stories extracted from the tiny box of my brain.   

So, here is a step-by-step instruction on how to cast your vote:

1. Go to www.mitbca.com website
2. Login with you Facebook account
3. Look for "Tourism Lifestyle Blog" category
4. Look for Archiveoftime.blogspot.com
5. Click "vote" button and Voila! You are one cool guy/gal...

For your good deed, I thank you very much.   May God bless you all!

Yours truly,


12 February 2013

Turtle Alley and Kampung Cina are painted red

I have no special  relationship or interesting childhood memory that can be related to the Chinatown of Ganukite or Kampung Cina as known by the locals. There are not many stories regarding the place that I can tell or pass down to my future cucu cicit muit.  But I 've always had keen interest in this place. There is some sense of  rustic feeling or classical Oriental ambiance attached to this place. Unlike the other old and historical buildings in this vicinity, Chinatown of Ganukite seems to have strong immunity, standing tall and manage to evade greedy development that is fast ravaging the small towns of Ganukite. The oil-money that flooded Ganukite doesn't seem to pour  down onto this place. Or perhaps the money only linger and circulated among the pockets of some 'boyeh' tokeys and taikor who reside in the small idyllic shophouses or   big bungalows somewhere, hidden from the prying eyes the uninitiated tourists,   I have no  idea. But thanks to UNESCO for making this place another heritage site and saved this place from extinction from the World map.

There is something this place has that always draw my attention. Everytime I pass by the small one-way road commuting toward the other side of Ganukite town, something hit my memory domain. The bridge in the middle of the Chinatown at least has some picturesque memory of me . It was during the New Chinese Lunar Year of some 40 over years ago, I stood on the bridge with my father watching the procession of  beautiful 'tanglung' and tantalizing dragon play. The parade was beautiful and the lanterns  were made of multitude shapes and patterns. There were also dragons and other mystical things on parade but I couldn't remember much as my memory was still in its embryonic stage at that time. The colorful display ended close to midnight. Accompanying us was Uncle Wat, my father's close friend, whom like to go hunting ayam hutan in the jungle of Jerangau, Jabor and Bkt. Besi. Uncle Wat  must be in his early 70's now. It was Uncle Wat who had also introduced me to the sweet sticky cake of Kuih bakul, a traditional Chinese delicacy. I haven't met Uncle Wat for ages. That was the last time I stood on the bridge and watched the parade.

Kampung Cina nowadays, doesn't change much since the last time I visited the place. It retains most of its old charm. At least there is still no Starbuck or Coffee Bean around. I can't testify much on the taste of the food but the traditional and modern eating establishments seem to be crowded  by customers. As this place is very close and just a walking distance from the new water front, Pasar Kedai Payang and Hotel Seri Malaysia, it is a good spot to visit whenever you are in Ganukite or your feet feel itchy for some good leisurely evening stroll.

One of the old shophouse along the road of Kampung Cina in Ganukite town. With such authentic decor and old ornate buildings line up the street, this place is declared a world heritage site by the UNESCO. 

 The arch with two dragons, is a prominent landmark at the Southern end of Kampung Cina. Walking along the street, you can feel the atmosphere and the pungent smell of the spices that fill the air.

This particular spot, a mid section along the road of Kampung Cina has some international appeal especially for the film maker. A scene for a period drama could make this place another silver screen hit spot.  

 This window panes with decorative  panels are a feast to my eyes. The building survives, so as the tradition.

 Another well preserved architecture on some of the old building along the street of Kampung Cina. I was told the unique motif of this building  articulates the houseowner's hope for longevity, good luck, abundance and offspring.

 Another interesting feature that caught my eyes. The subtle  background color of the building and the brightly red lantern made good contrast.

Beautiful Chinese lantern (tanglung) on display by the members of the Chinese community on their shophouses.

Another tanglung that exhibit interesting details.

I don't know what the letters on the tanglung meant, but they surely looks very catchy.

Lanterns 'fruiting' from bamboo trees.

The residents of this China town competed  trying very hard to outdo one another with creative display of tanglung. The winner came out with a cheque of few thousand ringgit.

During my recent visit to the China town with my significant half, I found many interesting things about Kampung China. There are new exciting 'upgrades' to the place that will surely catch tourists' eyes. One of them is this special spot dedicated to turtle conservation. I love "piung", is a beautiful mosaic build by volunteers and turtle lovers.

This alley is special because it is very unique and load of good information on turtle conservation. It is hope that this alley will bring  awareness to the public on the importance to save this beautiful creature. Kids and adult alike would enjoy strolling along this lane, while at the same time find it very educational.

On of the mosaics in the Turtle alley. Actually this particular mosaic is the beginning of a story line, a journey of a little Maya and an adventure with the special creature - the turtle. 

This stretch of narrow alley, approximately 50 meter long is the Turtle alley. My significant half stopped and got mesmerized by the mosaics and interesting stories told by little Maya.

I noticed this sweet sticky cake or kuih bakul being 'baked' under the sun at the back of Kampung Cina. This cakes were similar to what Uncle Wat used to give to my family everytime the Chinese celebrates their Chinese New Year.

05 February 2013

New Kids On the Beach

Trengganu, as laid back as it should be is seriously not for IT geeks who like to spend hours in wifi-free kopitiams, Gangnam style K-pop fans, youngsters and young-at-heart looking for a night out, 40-something from the Acute Gout club  or even peminat Che Kiah pekasam. The place is so cool and the people is so blessed with laid back attitude to the effect that until today, 83 days from the day I applied for a new telephone line into my new house, my whole family and I are still talking to the wall without any land line. But Trengganu is where I put my heart now. It is a place for people who love tranquility, jam-free journey, unpolluted air, amusing people with the most powerful G-force in the planet, fresh sea produces and not to mention a long stretch of unmolested golden sandy beaches. 

This blissful place full of expressive form of life and nature has  never failed to inspire me and almost seductively transform me from being a scientist into a self-professed poet. The long infatuation with these zen-like life has from time to time drowned me into a nostalgic mode. My right brain tickles. Even an innocent looking female goat sunbathing  in the middle of Jalan Gong Pak Jin aroused my creative mind. 

My four super-heroes however are adapting to their new life. They are city boys. Three were borne in the City of Kay El and one in the City of Durham, a far away land where people eat Fish and Chips. But surprisingly, despite their endless fixation to PS3 and other  techno-gadgets, they share my intimate passion and similar perversion to the sand and the wave from the South China Sea. They are adapting well. The sea becomes a medium to bond the family together. I like it to stay that way. 

Somewhere in my sub-conscious mind  I always feel at home whenever i put my feet on the beach. I am not new to this  domain. It is very familiar to me.  I am not a new kid on the beach.  Ganukite is very synonymous with me. It will always be. But to my young super-heroes this place is an uncharted place offering them some new adventures. I however, have no worry as looking at their enthusiasm and their youthful spirit, I think they are ready to take the challenge. 

 And my significant half. She doesn't need to adjust herself or adapt to anything. She is part of me.   

 Trengganu without beaches is not Trengganu after all. It will be tasteless. Beaches almost without fail are always associated with fun and sunshine. But fun on the beach is as joyful only with calculated risk. With Monsoon season is  hovering and lingering  on the  horizon, still in its stagnant mode, do not estimate the power of the sea. Few fatalities were reported in the past along beaches like this because some didn't realize the hidden danger that lie under the gentle and alluring wave that beats the shore. (Pantai Pak Tuyu)

Friday morning we are on the beach, Saturday morning we are back on the beach, in fact family escapade will continue throughout the evening and some weekdays as well. In short, I can conclude that my four superheroes are also mesmerized and got sedated by Ganukite wonderful beaches....just like their  daddy. (Pantai Tok Jembal)

The four superheroes were warming up  for some beach actions and get ready to submerge themselves with whatever they thought fit into their fancies. (Pantai Pengkalan Maras)

Walking on the beach is like walking on an open field full of hidden treasures. You'll never know what you are going to find or stumble upon. You just have to pay more attention and with some sheer luck you will be rewarded with something totally unexpected. 

Anything that my superheroes found on the beach, anything that is playable will be their love and joy even an ordinary ornate slipper full of living barnacles.   This interesting slipper has some story to tell. Perhaps if we can talk their language, the barnacles will come up with some good epic story that fit into a Bollywood screen.

The slipper, perhaps drifting from one of  the Vietnamese fishing boats just off shore now become the beach volley-slipper. 

Oblivious to the big wave that hit the beach, my third and fourth progenies seemed to enjoy their newly found playground. The long stretch of Ganukite beaches are now becoming their private wonderland. Most of the time,  all by themselves. (Pantai Mengabang Batu Rakit)

A family photo beside a sampan, under the shade of a coconut tree to mark the historic and memorable occasions, which number is uncountable. The new spot is Kuala Baru, a new lepak place for the whole family along Pantai Tok Jembal. This blissful spot  has never registered in my 45-years-old's Ganukite map before which resided in my mind. Now it is a good time to update my mental Ganukite map with the latest version, minus the Nasi dagang of course.

The outing grand finale is always a family round-table meal  with a mouthful array of a-la-carte menu  consisting of nasi kerabu, nasi lemak and nasi dagang. This only makan place on the beachfront of Kuala Baru  is commendable for its reasonable price, scenic location and free air conditioning complimentary of 10-20knots wind from the South China Sea. And not to mention countless gallons of minute salty sea spray which in 20 years will corrode anything that is metalic in nature. I hope my mind and my perversion to the beach won't get corroded by then.

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