Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Reunited in Negeri Cik Siti Wan Kembang

Cik Siti Wan Kembang with her pet antelope - Kelantan Ruler 1610-1677 (source of photo unknown)

Recently I went up to the East Coast to go to friends' houses in Kelantan and Pahang. It was a wonderful and enjoyable adventure. My last trip to Kelantan and Terengganu was like in 2001 and it was a one month non-stop travelling visiting hospitals and schools with my collegues, Amin because I was doing hospital and school advertising back then.

This time, I had the chance to go with two of my dearest friends, Azizah and Mie. It's been awhile since the three of us went for a trip together. We used to be inseparable. Four of us in fact, but that will fix itself sooner or later.

My visit to Negeri Cik Siti Wan Kembang (famous name to indicate Kelantan, a beautiful princess who became the ruler of Kelantan for 67 years. Source: 'Detik-Detik Sejarah Kelantan’, Sa'ad Shukri bin Haji Muda, Pustaka Aman Press, Kota Bharu, 1971 via Ibnu Hasyim's Blog) was very insightful and nostalgic. The famous long-winded and fatally dangerous route from KL to Gua Musang was a bit of a worry to us, all the time. Lots of people died on that road because of speeding, or simply being sleepy. We reached up to Kota Bharu early in the morning, around 6.30am. Beautiful freezing morning that makes you want to pee... heehee... but can't fine the loo. Fogs forming clouds from among the trees going up to the sky and serene looking paddy fields and kampung houses. It gives you peace of mind. So peaceful that you forgot your camera to capture the moment (:

Our first stop in Kelantan is Pantai Cahaya Bulan (used to be called Pantai Cinta Berahi or Beach of Passionate Love). Unfortunately, nothing interesting about the beach. Not much of a development for the tourist. Not even a toilet. I was trying so hard to keep my bladder. However, we were entertained by a group of goats. The offspring were all cute, jumping up and down like a clown (photo taken by Mie). It made us laughed out merrily (:

Interestingly, I never thought of what people call goat's offspring in English because in Malay Language we did not have different names to differentiate male, female or its offspring. We called the female as betina, male as jantan and offspring as anak, then followed by the name of the animal. So if it's a goat, we called it kambing. If it's a male goat, it's kambing jantan, if female, it's kambing betina and anak kambing for the offspring. Very simple. But it's different in the western culture and language. They have names to indicate gender and status. So just for everyone's info: Female goats are referred to as does or nannies, intact males as bucks or billies; their offspring are kids (Source: wikipedia).

I realised, little has changed in Kota Bharu from my previous visit in 2001. All looks the same. Hardly new building in Kota Bharu except for some slow development of new shop houses here and there. Most of the rest still remain the same. The opposition party that rules the state obviously has not put socioeconomic matters into high priority. Lots of young Kelantanese had to go out of the State to build up their career in Kuala Lumpur. But that's not a complain, we love Kelantanese in KL for they made up the colourful faces of KL. They bring us the opportunity to taste the Ayam Percik, Nasi Kerabu and Nasi Dagang (famous Kelantan/Terengganu delicacies) in KL itself! (Photo of Nasi Kerabu taken from Cooking Momster Blog).

After Kota Bharu in Kelantan, we shoot down to Terengganu State, famous for its beautiful island beaches and conservation of its turtle. Okay I'm sorry I bought the turtle eggs sold in Pasar Payang, but that was not from the endangered species. I used to eat a lot of them when I was in Sabah. That was way back in the 80s and 90s, not knowing a thing about turtle extinction. Huhuhu... not anymore, ya. The photo of the three of us inseparable bunch taken in Pantai Kelulut in Marang, Terengganu.

So, we went to Pasar Payang as I was excited to discover its famous intricate hand-woven songket and hand-painted silk cloths. I've already bought one silk in Kelantan but now looking to buy one more in Terengganu for my Eid traditional dresses but can't afford to by the original songket because it goes by hundreds and some by the thousands of Ringgit! The most expensive that we asked has a price tag of RM5000+!!! Then I can understand why. It is very finely woven with colourful treads and detailed motifs that tell you story. It's not even repetitive in some of the master pieces. I was in awe. The photo showed Mie and Azizah with some of the Terengganu Songket for man to be worn with baju melayu (Malay man traditional attire).

After Pasar Payang, we shoot down to Pahang State to break our fast in our friend's family house in Maran. We stopped to buy the never to be missed when visiting Terengganu, the keropok lekor. A mixture of flour and fish flesh to make into the most addicted, mouth watering delicacies. Ummm yummy!

Then we went down to the nearby beach to leave some footprints in Terengganu as well as to instill the moment with a few photos to remember in years to come. The photo showed all of us who went for the trip, courtesy of Nurul's camera.

We reached Maran, Pahang just on time for iftar (breaking of fast). Mawi and his family (our outdoor friend) were so hospitable towards us, by serving a lavish buka puasa spread kampung style. Just as we like it!

Thank you to Azli and Mawi for your great hospitality in Kelantan and Pahang respectively. Thank you to Azizah, Mie and Mariati for all the tears and laughters in the car along the journey. Thank you to Pantas, Nurul, Jaja and Sham for being a good buddy along our journey together to the East Coast. It was loads of fun! Yeay!!!


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