Wednesday, May 4, 2016

#MuseumWeek | Discovering Malaysia's Painted Heritage

In conjunction with Museum Week 2016, a series of activities is going on on several social platforms around the world; one that is trending now is #MuseumWeek2016 or #MuseumWeek on Twitter from 28 March to 3 April. As for the rest of us that is not active on Twitter, the International Museum Day is celebrated on 18 May, 2016 coordinated by the International Council of Museums (ICOM), and the theme for this year is Museums and Cultural Landscapes. The main objective of International Museum Day is to raise awareness to the public on museum being an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.

In line with this prestige world event and its objective, Tripovo has invited a few bloggers from all genre to participate in “Discovering Malaysia's Painted Heritage” held in National Museum of Malaysia in collaboration with Textile Museum's Head, Miss Rosidha Abdullah where we learn and experience on batik canting and painting.

Having been to Muzium Negara (National Museum of Malaysia) during my school days, I was surprised to see the huge changes made and I was truly fascinated with the showcases displayed in the galleries, namely Pre History, Malay Kingdoms, Colonial Era and Malaysia Today. One that caught my attention was the history on Perak Man, Lembah Bujang and Malay Kingdoms. This definitely calls for a repeat visit. The Perak Man skeleton showcased currently in Muzium Negara is a replica as the original skeleton has been returned to Lenggong Museum in Lenggong, Perak. Having said that, one can still read the history, its excavation and its relics, artifacts and working tools, and learn how the supervolcano LakeToba eruption impacted Malaysia.

Here, at Muzium Negara, one can also learn about Lembah Bujang or Bujang Valley; a new rediscovered historical complex located near Merbok, Kedah is currently the richest archaeological area in Malaysia. Find out on civilization evidence on the existence Hindu/Buddhism trading and administration center in Southeast Asia from the 3rd. to the 12th century AD.

Gallery C covers Colonial Era, where I felt tourist and travellers can understand better of Malaysia culture diversity. Taking place from 1511 to 1945, this educates tourist and travellers on the arrival of Portuguese, Dutch and British colonialism in this country. Beginning from 1511 when the Portuguese seized Melaka and colonize Southeast Asia trading centre that ends the Melaka Malay Sultanate, until the Japanese Occupation. It also inform on how British administration help build our education system, transportation among others.

We later were highlighted on local famous craft – Batik canting. Canting or canthing/tjanting, is a pen-like tool used to apply liquid hot wax in the batik-making process, more precisely batik tulis or written batik. Where else batik is a technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to whole cloth. A tradition of making batik is found in various Asean countries, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Sri Lanka and Philippines. The Malaysian batik making is very different from the Indonesian Javanese batik. Malaysian batik can be found in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang, whereby the pattern and design is simpler with a bigger motifs and it rely on brush painting method to apply colours on fabrics in which pastel colours are emphasized. Batik canting is a traditional culture and art that is being preserve, one can learn more on local textile making and types in National Textile Museum, a 5 minutes walking distance from both Dataran Merdeka and Sultan Abdul Samad Building.

All in all, it was a very education trip where I relive history and reminded me how we suffer, fight for our independence, and establish our country. This indeed triggered the need for me to visit other museums around Kuala Lumpur. Below are the few museums that I (and you can too) plan to cover within this few weeks.
  • Islamic Art Museum
  • National Textile Museum
  • National Museum of Malaysia
  • Bank Negara Malaysia Museum & Art Gallery
  • Royal Malaysian Police Museum
  • National History Museum
  • Maybank Numismatic Museum
  • Tun Abdul Razak Memorial
  • Kuala Lumpur's science museum (or National Science Centre)
  • Royal Malaysian Air Force Museum
  • Biomedical Museum
  • Malay-World Ethnology Museum
  • Music Museum KL
  • Kuala Lumpur Craft Museum
  • Art House Gallery Museum of Ethnic Arts
  • Kuala Lumpur City Gallery
  • Galeria Sri Perdana

This “Discovering Malaysia's Painted Heritage” activity/trip is made possible by Tripovo, Textile Museum and National Museum of Malaysia.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Keris Taming Sari - Sultan Azlan Shah Gallery, Perak

Keris Taming Sari
(Taming Sari Dagger)

Everyone knew the famous and legendary dagger or keris as what we Malaysia calls it.

And this keris in particular – Keris Taming Sari is almost a must know by all Malaysia.

Legend says that it is owned by Malaccan warrior Hang Tuah. The frequently told story is that keris Taming Sari would and could leap out of sheath on its own and attack the assailant, its mystical power as well as Hang Tuah and four comrades Hang Kasturi, Hang Jebat, Hang Lekir and Hang Lekiu bravery is highly respected are known in the whole Malay archipelago.

Despite Hang Tuah being a Malay folklore, the keris actually exist and it made of 21 different types of metal, its wooden part (or sampir in Malay) as well as the lower part of the wooden sheath is covered in gold leaf. Keris Taming Sari is categorised as keris terapang gabus. Keris terapang gabus comes from keris panjang which is the highest stature amongst the keris family, it is ONLY used by kings and royal court officials. The differentiation is that kering terapung gabus is a gold plated keris panjang. Wielded by Javanese blacksmith; the champion of Majapahit - pendekar named Taming Sari of which the keris got its name.

The question is how Keris Taming Sari ended in Perak, in Sultan Azlan Shah Gallery?


Sultan Mahmud of Malacca passed the keris together with other royal regalia his son Muzaffar Shah, later became the Sultan of Perak. This was during Portuguese invasion of Malacca in 1511 which led to Sultan Mahmud retreating to Sumatra. The Keris Taming Sari is still being kept in Perak ever since 1528.

According to Puan Nor Janati Ibrahim; Perak Museum Director it is the original keris Taming Sari and not a replica as claimed by some. The famous Keris Taming Sari exhibition will be held every year during the sultan’s birthday in June at Gallery Sultan Azlan Shah, this is where and when the public can view the legendary keris Taming Sari. The exhibition usually last for one week.

Aside from keris Taming Sari, Sultan Azlan Shah also house memorabilia items and personal belongings of Sultan Perak. Aside from memorabilia, there is a separate building displaying the state cars and patrol cars used during Sultan Azlan Shah's travels.


The Sultan Azlan Shah Gallery was originally built as the residence of Perak Sultan Idris Shah I in 1898, it was later reconstructed to turn it into a gallery in 2001 and was completed in 2003. Resembling the National Palace, Ipoh High Court and Ipoh railway station architecture, however in 1957, this building was turned into a school, known as Sekolah Kebangsaan Istana Kota before converting it into what it is now, this majestic gallery.

Bukit Chandan
33000 Kuala Kangsar
Phone: +605 777 5362
Website :

Opening Hours
Saturday-Thursday : 10.00am - 5.00pm
Friday : 10.00am - 12.15pm, 2.45pm - 5.00pm

Admission fee
RM4 (adults)
RM2 (senior citizens)
RM2 (secondary school and college students)
RM1 (primary school students)

World of Wonders - Perak Media Fam Trip is in collaboration with Tourism Perak and all its sponsors with #GayaTravel as media coordinator.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Attractions in Macao (previously known as Macau)

As mentioned earlier (you can read it here), most travellers tend to visit Macao and cover mainly the hotels and casino, but what I want to share with you guys are places of interest/attractions in Macao. Yes, Macao has more to offer but you need to do abit of googling. And to help and ease my readers, I thought I should just share a few that I’ve covered. Aside from these historical places, you can also experience some culture shows.

These are a few places to see/do in Macau.

Ruins of St Paul’s (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Macao most famous landmark is a 16th-century Portuguese complex that was once a college and a church. The Church of St. Paul is also known as "Mater Dei" and was restored by the Macanese government; turning it into a museum while maintaining the concrete and steel fa├žade. If you are adventurous enough, you can attempt to climb up to the top. 

Guia Fortress/Guia Lighthouse (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Dated as far back as 1865, Guia Fortress and Guia Lighthouse is a military fort, chapel, and lighthouse complex, and also part of Macao UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fortress was built on Guia Hill, the highest point in Macao and it was constructed after an unsuccessful attempt by the Netherlands to capture colonial Portuguese Macau from Portugal.

Senado Square (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Named after Leal Senado or Loyal Senate building, is the original municipal chamber built in 1784 that is still standing strong till today. It is said that the name Leal Senado derives from the title “City of Our Name of God Macao”. Most of the buildings around the square are of European architecture and is protected under UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Guia Fortress/Guia Lighthouse (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Dated as far back as 1865, Guia Fortress and Guia Lighthouse is a military fort, chapel, and lighthouse complex, and also part of Macao UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fortress was built on Guia Hill, the highest point in Macao; it was constructed after an unsuccessful attempt by the Netherlands to capture colonial Portuguese Macau from Portugal.

Taipa Houses Museum
Built in 1921, these five Portuguese colonial residences used to belong to a well-off Portuguese families living in Macau during the 20th century. The houses have been restored and currently showcasing artefacts and exhibits of Macau’s culture and heritage. The Taipa Houses–Museum opened in 1999 and is administered by the Macau Civil and Municipal Affairs Bureau.

Monte Forte (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Monte Forte or Mount Fortress used to be a military centre for Macao. It is located near Ruins of St. Paul's and its main purposed was to protect Macao from pirates and invasion from Dutch. It is famous for the 32 cannons that was placed around the fort and was a restricted military area until 1965. You can enjoy a panoramic view of the mainland Macau from the park that is situated at the top of the fort.

St. Augustine Square (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
St. Augustine’s Church, Dom Pedro V Theatre, St. Joseph’s Seminary and Sir Robert Ho Tung Library are among a cluster of majestic Portuguese colonial buildings, settled within European- style cobblestone piazza and surrounded by monuments that left visitors awed by its interweaving culture.

I hope you guys are able to maximise your Macao trip base on the above tips I’ve shared, do include the prestige Macao Arts Festival that is happening in May into your itinerary.

Date : 30 April - 29 May, 2016

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