Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Free time at Teluk Chempedak beach, Kuantan

So yesterday I decided indeed to venture out to Teluk Chempedak beach in Kuantan on my trusty bicycle. It was around a 35-minute ride in the heat of the afternoon. Fortunately I was wearing my cap to shield my head and neck from the blistering sun.

It was a weekly free afternoon for me as I don't hold any tuition classes on Monday afternoons. Kuantan is a lovely place and having the Teluk Chempedak beach just a short journey down the road is a wonderful blessing.

It was a scenic ride down to Teluk Chempedak, a tough uphill and a bunch of monkeys chilling out on the fence opposite the Hyatt Regency Resort Kuantan.

It was a beautiful, sunny day, perfect for taking pictures of Kuantan's stunning scenery. On this visit to Teluk Chempedak I decided that the focus of my photography would be the marvellous large rocks strewn across the shoreline which are so distinctive of this lovely place.

A remnant of the recent Mooncake Festival which occurred on the Teluk Chempedak beach. Hoards of people used branches like this to hang their lanterns on.

A sea sponge washed up on shore

A family play together while the tide was far out

A small collection of sea-shells discovered on shore...

And a dead crab. I thought about taking it home for my wife to cook, but decided not!

Look closely and you will see an amazing tiny crab complete with pincers and popping-out eyes!

Here come the gorgeous wind, sand and water moulded rock formations...

Some have gaps...

The rocks come in a variety of colours and hues

And some in various shapes and sizes...

I love the distinctive shape of this rock. Very unique indeed

And some are a little further out in the shallow waters of the South China Sea...

And some of the rocks create lovely landscapes...

And then there's me...

I clambered up to the top of this rock and left my camera attached to the tripod on the rock below

This was almost like sitting on the edge of a cliff. I very nearly dropped my handphone out of my pocket as I got up to retrieve the camera! Luckily I grabbed it before it made its rocky way down to the ocean. I've already had one phone fall down the toilet bowl and another drop into the sea, so I couldn't afford another blunder!

I really enjoyed my afternoon at Teluk Chempedak, Kuantan. I just can't let these beautiful sunny afternoons slip away. After weathering twenty-something English autumns and winters, I'm grateful beyond measure for this stunning holiday weather I'm able to enjoy 365 days of the year! There is no such thing as autumn or winter over here and I think that's absolutely fantastic! At times, every day of my life here feels like a holiday. Making the most of our present conditions is what I'm trying to do each day.

On the way across the bridge back to the first beach at Teluk Chempedak, I came across some hairy visitors who were hanging out on the bridge. They seemed to be waiting ominously for something, much like when I was at high school and we used to line the sides of the corridor waiting for some first year student to walk by, upon which he would be pushed back and forth by everyone on opposing sides!

Anyway, these monkeys were after a little girl's 'kuaci' or bag of sunflower seeds. Her parents eventually gave the sunflower seeds to the monkey who began eating them all up! That's when I made my move and tagged along behind someone else to the other side!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Teluk Chempedak?

After one tuition class this morning, I have a free afternoon until 8pm tonight, when I have one more class. I wonder what I should do? I hate letting beautifully warm and sunny afternoons go to waste by staying at home all day long. However, I have to either persuade my wife to come out somewhere with me, or go myself.

This is the road to Teluk Chempedak. It slants uphill and as you reach the top, the sea begins to materialise across the horizon followed by shops, KFC, McDonalds and the Hyatt Regency Resort Kuantan.

I would love to go to TC again equipped with my ever-ready camera. Or perhaps, a slightly shorter journey to Taman Gelora, which is a gorgeous place for man and camera.

I guess you'll find out tomorrow which option I took.

It's time to decide. . . 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

'Sikh' and ye shall find

Sikhism is a relatively small religion in the world compared to the major faiths of Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism, especially in Malaysia. However, after a little 'sikhing' I came across the "Gurdwara Sahib Kuantan", which translates as "the house of God" in Punjabi. All Sikhs are well-versed in Punjabi from childhood so that they will be able to read and study the holy scriptures of Sikhism, called the "Guru Granth Sahib."

I entered this Sikh temple and didn't really feel out of place. It was clean and tidy and basic in its layout. It looked rather the same as the Sikh temple I had previously visited in Kuching, over on the island of Borneo. I was first met by these large wooden doors:

Upon entering I saw the familiar sight of the 'langgar' hall where meals are prepared and served.

I searched for any sign of human life, and eventually I poked my nose around a side door and saw a man with a long beard, watching the television with dazzling sunglasses attached to his face! He immediately stopped what he was doing and came to assist me. His English was very limited and my Punjabi is non-existent, so we struggled along with basic English and sign language throughout my brief tour of the Gurdwara Sahib Kuantan.

The prayer room was beautifully simple with nice chandeliers, and it was all bathed in the warm sunlight dashing through the windows. This room is situated on the first floor and I then went to the veranda to gaze at the view.

I found it interesting that the view from the balcony was a direct visualization of the Pahang State Mosque.

I took this lovely picture with the Indian man who was in charge of the Gurdwara Sahib Kuantan. I really can't remember his name; I didn't quite catch it when he first uttered it!

Here are a few views of the Sikh's beautiful Gurdwara Sahib Kuantan:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mooncake Festival at Teluk Chempedak, Kuantan

Wednesday 22nd September, 2010, we celebrated the Mooncake Festival at Teluk Chempedak beach in Kuantan.

From past errors, we decided to go very early this time, around 6pm, ensuring we avoided horrendous traffic jams and easily found a convenient parking space. Around 7pm, the road to Teluk Chempedak becomes jammed and with limited parking spaces, this area of Kuantan descends into chaos with impatient drivers honking their horns at will. (I am an impatient 'backseat' driver!)

We managed to find a nice spot on the beach at Teluk Chempedak and planted our branches into the sand where we later hung our lanterns. I cut up my fingers digging deep holes in the sand so we could light candles and place them down in the holes. All in the name of the Mooncake Festival where a supposed woman looks down on us from the Moon. I wonder what she would think?!

This image reminded me of one of my more favoured tunes..."Dancin' in the moonlight, everybody's feelin' warm and bright..." Although dancing wasn't really the appropriate thing to do on a quickly filling beach!

A few cut fingertips later and this is how our little display looked!

Our display stands brightly beneath the Moon

After the candles had burned out we saw a few people passing by who fell down the hole! Rather amusing! We laughed quietly to ourselves.

There was quite a lot of imagination on show, and this was my favourite display...

...This one was interesting too...

A turtle

A display using paper cups from McDonalds. I don't think it would have lasted long!

Almost like they are building a mummy!

The excitement was elevated each time someone released one of these mini hot air balloons up into the moon-filled sky. A number of them, unfortunately, ended up mangled in the trees.

My wife turns for a picture as we watch the scenes at Teluk Chempedak

Lauren enjoyed blowing out this candle!

There were so many people by 9pm. The beach was full of activity.

I bought along two of my students, Chai, on the left, and Syarina, in the middle. Lauren was tired and fell asleep quickly later in the night at bed time.

Go and check out last year's Mooncake Festival at Teluk Chempedak HERE


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