Rough, big and fierce waves at Bukit Keluang Beach in Besut, Terengganu.
Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to take photos of Chinatown of Kuala Terengganu. The lighting and weather on that day were very favourable to me. The fine weather and clear sky in the early morning resulted in beautiful lighting with warm cast as well as flattering constrast.
The history of Kuala Terengganu Chinatown dates back to the 15th century while the existing buildings that are still around boast more than 200 years of history. Kuala Terengganu’s tiny Chinatown is a compact area centred on Jalan Kampung Cina (also known as Jln Bandar). It’s home to the usual array of small Chinese shops and restaurants, as well as Terengganu’s oldest Chinese temple, the Ho Ann Kiong, dating from the early 1800s, though much restored since.
Kuala Terengganu Chinatown was first established by the Chinese community in the late 18th century. It was once a hub for commercial activities that helped shape Kuala Terengganu into what it is today. The Chinese built the traditionally designed shop houses according to their place of origin in Mainland China. The buildings have been declared a heritage site by the United Nation’s UNESCO under its World Monument Watch Programme to ensure beautification and preservation of this pre-colonial heritage.
The Chinese have been living harmoniously with the majority Malays in the state. They blend with the local culture and heritage, speak fluent local dialect and share the likings of traditional delicacies while retaining their identity. Souvenir shops, restaurants, electronic and grocery shops lined the colourful buildings. It is also home to two grand temple or toapekongs, the Ho Ann Kiong and the Tien Hou Kong.
To all my Chinese friends and Chinese readers, I wish all of you a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year. Gong Xi Fa Chai.
Penarik Beach located about 55km north of Kuala Terengganu is famous among local as well as foreign tourist for its pristine white sandy beach and turquoise blue sea. It is still untouched by development unlike the beaches on the west coast of Peninsula Malaysia. What makes this beach more interesting besides its beautiful seascape is it is also home to conventional offshore fishermen. Penarik Beach is located in Kampung Penarik whose inhabitants are made up of mostly fishermen. Last week I stopped by at this beautiful beach on the way back to Jerteh, my hometown, from Kuala Terengganu and managed to capture a couple of photographs of the fishermen’s activities there. It is a dying trade and I believe in the not too distant future this scene will vanish forever at the expense of the so-called development.
Below is my response to the latest Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life
This photo was taken at Marang Central Market, Terengganu. It is a common sight in Terengganu and Kelantan if you find the traders manning almost all stalls in the market are ladies. In this picture a lady customer makes payment to a lady traders buying local produce as well as common household foodstuff.
If you are interested to buy this photo you can place order direct at my website. Photos are sold as print at various sizes and as digital download.
Comment and criticism are also welcomed with open arms.
I have to admit that I was not so happy with the result I have got when I first shot sunrise at Pantai Air Tawar a couple of days ago. Perhaps the lighting at that time was not so flattering and I arrived there a little late. Two days later I went there again much earlier with the hope that I could bag different and hopefully better pictures. Here goes….
This time I think the lighting is better as the colour is richer and the cloud more dramatic.
I would appreciate your comment and opinion which one is preferred.
Thank you in advance.
Sunrise at Pantai Air Tawar, Besut, Terengganu.
Hope you enjoy the pictures.
There are a couple of images to share when I went back to my hometown, Jerteh during the last school holiday.
Let’s start with some images of Kuala Besut. Kuala Besut acts both as a fishing port at which the fishing boats dock and unload their catch and it also acts as a jetty from which the tour boats ferry the holidaymakers to one of the most popular island destinations in Malaysia – Pulau Perhentian. Many more pictures of Besut can be found here in my zenfolio website.
Pantai Bukit Kluang. The most popular beach in Besut and the safest beach to swim at.
Enlightening facts about Besut:
Mostly outsiders are confused about Besut. When they come to Besut they complain that they cannot find Besut town. Certainly you will never find Besut town. The town of Besut is Jerteh. Besut is actually a district while the “capital” of the Besut district is Jerteh. Or is it Kampung Raja since Kampung Raja is the administrative town? Yes folks Besut is actually much more visionary and more forward thinking than its Federal Government of Malaysia. It was only as recent as 15 years ago that the then Prime Minister of Malaysia Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad was thinking about having a separate town from Kuala Lumpur as an administrative capital, hence the inception of Putrajaya.
But this has been long practised by Besut as far as I can remember by having a separate town between administrative centre and commercial centre being Jerteh as a commercial centre while Kampung Raja as an administrative centre.
Just like Washington DC as the administrative capital and New York as the commercial centre for the US or Canberra as the administrative centre and Sydney as the commercial centre for Australia.
Funny but true for the rural backwater of a district in the state of Terengganu – a state rich with petroleum but sadly not rightfully treated by the power-that-be thus still remains under-developed.
In Kuala Besut there is a weekly market every Friday from about 8.00am to 12.oo noon. It is where kampung folks as well as small-time traders ply their trade at the provided space. The goods range from agricultural produce, food as well as clothes and household items. But what is more interesting about this market is the majority of the traders is ladies. Despite their conservative lifestyle and well-entrenched tradition associated with ladies on the east-coast of Malaysia, they are well emancipated, very enterprising and financially independant.
Who says muslim ladies are inhibited?
Enjoy the pictures!
Check out this link for a slideshow of the pictures above.
Whenever I went back to my hometown I would not forget to visit Kuala Besut which is only 13km from my parents’ house. I love taking picture there and would normally try to find any photo opportunity in the small town which is famous for its fishing port and its jetty from which local and foreign tourists take the boat to the Perhentian Island – the famous tourists’ destination.
The day I last went there just before last Hari Raya the weather was not so favourable in the morning, with cloudy sky, flat light and all. However I didn’t despair yet and tried to shoot some close-up pictures although a little frustrated with the weather as I hoped I could get to see dramatic sunrise and subsequently deep blue sky in the morning.
Here are some pictures that I took which I feel like sharing with you all.
I believe not many fellow Malaysians know that one of the pioneers in Malaysian photography was the then Sultan of Terengganu, His Majesty Duli Yang Maha Mulia Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah (1907 – 1979). His Majesty was the 15th Sultan of Terengganu and the fourth Yang Di-Pertuan Agong (the Supreme Ruler) of Malaysia. His Majesty was also the grandfather of the present Sultan of Terengganu who happens to be the current Malaysia’s The Yang Dipertuan Agong, Al-Wathiqu Billah Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah.
His Majesty’s legacy – a large collection of photographs mostly in negative and a couple of prints which were printed by His Majesty himself were collected and selectively chosen for printing by a collector/custodian, Raja Mohd Zainul Ihsan Shah (Raja Ihsan). Raja Ihsan did extensive research on His Majesty’s photographic works. He self-imposed strict controls on each stage of the process from selection of photographs to be printed, choice of paper and right up to the final stage, printing. The printing was done with deliberate care and expertise, with pre-requisite that it truly reflects the printing philosophy of His Majesty himself. Little wonder Raja Ihsan took about 10 years to come up with the exhibition of His Majesty’s works whose online version is available permanently in a website sponsored by MIR Communications Sdn Bhd.
Looking at His Majesty’s photographic works I feel as if I had time-travelled back to Terengganu, my homestate, at the moment the photographs were taken. Each photo stimulates my mind and stirs my curiosity prompting me to know and see more of the scene captured. But I later realize that the scene has been long gone. It was taken more than 50 years ago. That I believe the power of a strong photograph. The one that can leave lasting impression in the viewers’ mind or as William Cheung, the ex-editor of Practical Photography Magazine puts it the type of photographs that jump out and hold you by your neck!
I wish I could see more of Terengganu images as very few photographs have been taken of Terengganu or of even Kuala Terengganu at that period of time. According to the collector/custodian Raja Ihsan in the preface of the website the period that the exhibition covers is between 1948 and 1958 which happens to be the important time in our country’s history culminating in the achievement of independence from the British colonial rule in 1957. This serves to show the power of His Majesty’s photographs which act not only as art pieces that stir your emotion and stimulate imagination but also become highly treasured documentation of the past.
I would like to congratulate YM Raja Mohd Zainul Ihsan Shah for the job well done. He has successfully salvaged and collected the priceless masterpieces and placed them where they should belong for the new as well as future generation to learn and appreciate their heritage.
Please feel free to view His Majesty’s masterpieces HERE and enjoy your time-travel
Note to YM Raja Ihsan
Dear YM Raja Ihsan,
If you happen to read this blog of mine, I would appreciate it very much if you could contact me by replying to this blog with your latest email address or you can email me directly at mzabdullahATgmailDOTcom. I tried to email you but the message bounced back as the email address provided in mir website doesn’t seem to be valid anymore.