Monday, March 27, 2017

The Kabin, Jeram | #RentakSelangor

Container hotel/accommodation is mushrooming in Malaysia. Almost every state has their own version, owning one or staying in one can even consider as hipster or cool by some. And here I am, trying to be hipster-with-a-thirst-for-culture. Gitewww….

My knowledge of The Kabin was when I saw a couple of bloggers covering this cool accommodation some time back, and to my excitement upon receiving the invite, I get to stay here too. At this point, excited was an understatement, I was ecstatic, actually… I was beyond ecstatic, I was….. Flabbergasted, dumbfounded, spellbound. So here I am, at The Kabin (note how I emphasize it, full of poyo and riak tak?) and they did not fail to impress me. The pool, the café, the hall, the food, the room and all, not forgetting the friendly and warmness of the host. It was simply amazeballs (trying my best to sound cool and hipsterish here. Menjadi tak?).

The experienced blogger in me took charge (ceh wahhh), I scanned the café and main hall (as that’s where we gather for the briefing and room keys) – spacious, teabreak food was good. Saw some lepak place and half-court for basketball. Guest needs is catered and taken into consideration. Then come the accommodation/room – clean and full equip with basic amenities. Boleh lah…. And oh yah, it is fully air-conditioned.

The pool was of average size, there’s hammock, coffee area, barbeque pit and etc, Not bad for a family day gathering in fact. Overall, am very happy and impress with The Kabin.

I guess you may wonder how big is this Kabin thingy right?
There’s a few types of room available, namly, 4 and 6 pax dorm, twin sharing,
There are 17 rooms strategically located around this premise.
Able to house 78 pax (adults).

Breakdown as follows :
Rotterdam (Max 6 pax. Pool view)
1 Queen bed, 4 Single Bunk Beds, 2 Bathrooms, Private Balcony
Rate : Peak - RM490, Normal - RM440

Felixstowe/Hamburg/Atwerp (Max 6 pax)
1 Queen bed, 4 Single Bunk Beds, 2 Bathrooms
Rate : Peak - RM440, Normal - RM390

Durban (Max 2 pax. Pool view)
1 Queen bed, 1 Bathroom, Private Balcony
Rate : Peak - RM240, Normal - RM190

Santos Balboa (Max 4 pax. Pool view)
1 Queen bed, 2 Single Bunk Beds, 1 Bathroom, Private Balcony
Rate : Peak - RM340, Normal - RM290

Long Beach/ Vancouver (Max 4 pax. Pool view)
4 Single Bunk Beds, 1 Bathroom, Private Balcony
Rate : Peak - RM340, Normal - RM290

Shanghai/ Singapore/ Sharjah (Max 4 pax)
1 Queen bed, 2 Single Bunk Beds, 1 Bathroom, Private Balcony
Rate : Peak - RM310, Normal - RM260

Busan/ Keihin/ Kelang/ Ho Chi Minh/ Columbo/ Melbourne (Max 4 pax.)
4 Single Bunk Beds, 1 Bathroom, Shared Balcony
Rate : Peak - RM290, Normal - RM240

It is a walking distance from the beach (non-swimmable of course), good for lepaking and lazing. 5 mins or so to Burger King (in case the youngster can’t adapt with kampung food kan, lebih-lebih lah pulak), 15mins to Sasaran Sky Mirror (click here to learn on how to get there/local travel agent contact), less than 30mins to the famous Sekincan paddy field, Pantai Redang and not to forget, drivable distance to Jeram – Selangor seafood heaven.

The Kabin
Address : Jalan Haji Zainal, Jeram, 45800 Jeram, Selangor, Malaysia
Contact : +60 17-678 3825

Rentak Selangor Fam Trip is in collaboration with Selangor Youth Generation Development, Sports, Cultural and Entrepreneurship Development, UPENS (Unit Perancangan Negeri Selangor), Tourism Selangor and all its sponsors with #GayaTravel as media coordinator.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Sasaran Sky Mirror – Selangor Best Kept Secret | #RentakSelangor

No more a secret.

My sasaran (aim) for this year is to cover our very own Sky Mirror, and I did just that. My sasaran is met. And I owe it to Tourism Selangor and UPEN.

For you travelers out there, I bet you have heard of Salar de Uyuni or Salt Flats located in Bolivia. And I am pretty sure that it is in your bucket list right (jangan dok nak tipu *eyes squint*), well… fret no more (for Malaysian at least), you can now visit Sasaran Sky Mirror in Kuala Selangor; approximately 2 hours or so from Kuala Lumpur. It is doable and near (a definitely plus point and of course a great value proposition – gitew)… and I’ll share with you on how to get there, tips as well as my experience.

The Experience
So yeah. That’s me screaming my lung out.
To the joy of many of my friends (eyes squint with a smirk on my face) – removing you guys from my friend list.

The shell animals (animals ke?!) were basically moving, crawling and ‘ngesot’ing on the bar of sands, and if you are anything like me, the first word coming out from your mouth is either ‘ARGHDBHFBEULUWH….!!! or I wanna go back!!!! or perhaps…. I want my MOMMY!!!!’. Here’s the thing about me, I don’t like insect nor anything that is slimy and crawly, nor anything that is small, furry plus slimy and crawly. It’s a bad-bad-bad combination, a combination made for disruption. (Read : Disrupting me). It is between ‘The World Conspiracy’ versus ‘The-Making-Me-Freak-out-like-a-Lunatic’ or perhaps ‘The Agenda Yahudi’ theories in sabotaging moi (bold it on purpose). Tuh diaaa ehhhh… Sampai gitu sekali (sama drama sikit).  

#TravelTips 1 : Nonsense and ranting aside. I was told by the locals that this sand bar in Sasaran; a district in Kuala Selangor is as big as 50x football fields, having said that, don’t run around lah… as you wouldn’t know when the bar ends. Caution to mommies and daddies out there.

#TravelTips 2 : If photography is you kinda thang (hipster spelling). Bring prop(s), yup… like lotsa of them. No dark coloured attire as it doesn’t catch reflection plus it’ll look like a shadow instead. Bright and prominent colour would be better, the likes of red, orange, pink etc. Other suggestions will probably be… umbrella maybe, those signages thingy, flowers, hats (sombrero?), flowing shawl (Dilwale sangat) and etc. Basically, be creative lah.

The Journey
3 journeys in total. The first one is from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Selangor, and the other is from Kuala Selangor to Sasaran. And the last one is from Sasaran jetty to the Sky Mirror. Lucky you, am in a good mood and gonna share a little bit of each journey.

Journey 1 - From Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Selangor
It takes you approximately 2 hours or so,driving within speed limit with no selfie stops (#seriously). We stayed at The Kabin, of which it took 10mins ride to Journey 2 lag.

Journey 2 - From Kuala Selangor to Sasaran
If you happened to stay at or near we stayed ie The Kabin (hyperlinked), then I can confidentally inform you that the journey to the village jetty takes approximately 10-15mins. The landmark is Burger King (on your left), upon locating Burger King (corner lot shop [kot-kotlah banyak Burger King kan]), turn left at the small lane and 300m down the road, you’ll see a fisherman jetty.

Journey 3 - From Sasaran Jetty to Sand Bar
20-30mins boat ride on calm water, 45 mins or so on choppy water. Oh yah… you’ll pass by areas of migration bird as you depart from the jetty, quite a beautiful site, if you like nature that is.

#TravelTips 3 : Do an overnighter if you plan to visit Sasaran Sky Mirror as you can always do a heritage trail enroute Sasaran or home. Plenty of places like Bukit Melawati, Jugra lighthouse, the old palace etc.

#TarvelTips 4 : Where to stay probably come into your mind. Small matter tuh…. There’s 2-3 stars hotel around Kuala Selangor, Kabin concept – by the beach or in the paddy field (both offering different feel and experience). Google and you shall find.

After all the jumps, laughters and photoshoots (plus making me scream my lung out)… I had lotsa fun. So yah…. Do make a trip here *wink*.

Sky Mirror Tour & Travel Sdn. Bhd
Contact : Lim YM
Mobile : 019-266 6665

Facebook : 天空之 Sky Mirror Tour & Travel Sdn. Bhd

Rentak Selangor Fam Trip is in collaboration with UPENS (Unit Perancangan Negeri Selangor), Tourism Selangor and all its sponsors with #GayaTravel as media coordinator.

Monday, March 20, 2017

A culture migration - Kompang Tiga/Jawa in Malaysia

Malay Wedding - Kompang.
Opening ceremony - Kompang.
Event - Kompang.
A culture migration.

Kompang is a framed hand-drum. It has been a part of Malay culture since the 13th century, spread by the Arab merchants through the island of Java in Indonesia. This is ascertain in areas such as Tanjung Karang, Sabak Bernam, Kuala Selangor, Kelang, Banting and Sepang where large population dominating the areas are of strong Javanese descendants. This migration happens as the Javanese faced economic difficulties back in home countries. With this, they brought in their custom and culture of which as assimilate into the local culture and this includes Kompang Jawa, Wayang Kulit Jawa as well as Kuda Kepang Jawa. There are also findings stating that the kompang came from Muslim Indian traders to Tanah Melayu during the height of Melaka sultanate era.

Kompang originated from Persia, and is commonly used to liven up an occasion. One can easily expect to see it being performed for majlis berkhatan (circumcision), khatam Quran, zikir and berzanji. In fact, if one were to visit some kampongs during Maulid Nabi (birthday of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W) or Awal Muharram, there would be a procession by the villagers accompanied by kids singing praises for the Prophet Muhammad via the selawat with the kompang.

Kompang Jawa, also known as Kompang Tiga to some, is played by the local Javanese in Kuala Selangor. There are a few kompang troupes from the respective states that are active and prominent, and some of these ensembles are the Kompang Tujuh or/and Kompang Ribu. These kompang troupes are generally from Johor, Selangor and Perak. Their names denote the size (and the sound) of the ensemble or troupe themselves - Kompang Ribu (Thousands Kompang) refers to the numerous players creating a huge sound, where else Kompang Tiga (Three Kompang) and Kompang Tujuh (Seven Kompang) means there are three and seven players respectively in each troupe. A full scale ensemble in Kompang Ribu consist of the hadrah, rebana, dabus, rodat and kompang. A common troupe that are seen during weddings, consisting only the kompang.

This single-side frame hand-drum - Kompang Tiga or Kompang Jawa - is popular in Kuala Selangor. Originating from the days of Wali Sembilan (Nine Saints) Jawa Tengah who used the musical performance to attract people to the teachings of Islam, it is often played by the sekolah pondok pupils and later expanded all over Selangor. The Kompang Jawa is different from other kompang as its songs and compositions are based on the Kitab Berzanji. It is usually performed during weddings, baby showers, Quran recitals, majlis berkhatans and others.

Why is it called Kompang Tiga?
Kompang Tiga is known as Rebana Ketimpring in Indonesia. It is named such as it is played in 3 sets/players and the kompang comes with 3 tamborine bells. And each musician plays a different note; when combined forms a beautiful symphony. Each player/note has its own name, namely Telon, Banggen and Babon. When these notes come together it forms a harmonious melody. At times, a Kapatan and Penyalalu player/note are added as a filler to round up the melody.

In its country of originin, Rebana Ketimpring is split into 2 types - the Rebana Ngarak and the Rebana Maulid. The Rebana Ngarak is used for weddings processions from the groom's to the bride’s house. It is also said that the younger generation plays Rebana Ketimpring when practicing pantun (a clasical Malay poetic form) and silat (a traditional Malay martial art). The Rebana Maulid functions as an accompaniment when singing praises to our Prophet Muhammad S.A.W (selawat). It has become customary in Betawi now to play and perform these singings in other months aside from Rabiul Awwal. It is also performed at baby showers, majlis aqiqah, berkhatan, akad nikah, weddings and others.

As it is becoming less popular nowadays, one can only see active and enthusiastic participations among the youths in suburban and kampong (rural) areas.

It is a dream of mine to see the kompang make a majestic and festive return to our festivities, its rhythms and beats livening up our lives as we enjoy respite from the real world.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Wayang Kulit Jawa in Malaysia | #RentakSelangor

Nasi Ambeng, Ketiwol, Adat Berjojak and Adat Lenggang Perut are among the Javanese custom and delicacies adapted by us local Malaysian, especially in Selangor and Perak; where the Javanese communities are the largest in Malaysia.

The origin
During British and Dutch colonization in the 19th century; in the effort to establish Selangor, labour was highly seek after to clear the land for infrastructure and agriculture. Thus, the Javanese and Buginese were brought in to develop the vast virgin forest of Selangor. The Javanese population grew especially in areas such as Tanjung Karang, Sabak Bernam, Kuala Selangor, Kelang, Banting and Sepang where they still converse in Javanese language/dialect, upholding and practicing their Javanese culture and customs. Kuda Kepang, Kompang Jawa or Kompang Tiga, and Gamelan are among the culture and heritage they brought in with them.

In the present day, their livelihoods mostly depend on agriculture - paddy field and palm oil plantation. It is said that the earliest Javanese settlement in Selangor was in at Kampung Sungai Haji Dorani, Sabak Bernam district, in Selangor. Hence, it come as no surprise that the custom, belief and culture is upheld strongly here, Javanese delicacies are easily accessible, and it is common to find and hear the locals here conversing in Javanese language/dialect.

The Art – Wayang Kulit
The Javanese influence is visible in the traditional musical instrument and performance, it is strongly represented in Wayang Kulit Jawa which is still being practised and showcased in Kuala Selangor. Accompanied by a gamelan ensemble, wayang kulit or shadow puppet performance is synonymous to the Southeast Asia region, namely Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. 

Wayang Kulit Jawa
Originated from Indonesia, wayang kulit has received UNESCO recognition as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity on 7 November 2003. Upon making its presence in Kuala Selangor; Malaysia, the local ie Javanese communities has preserved this culture and heritage by training apprentices at their tender age and instill the love of traditional art.

Javanese Gamelan musical instrument,and Mahabrata and Ramayana story and characters are the key element of Wayang Kulit Jawa, maintaining the basic features of Indonesia’s wayang kulit purwa. The art of wayang kulit was said was invented by Wali Sembiland or the Nine Saints who uses music, performances and art as a way to interact and bridge the local culture thus converting Java to Islam.

From its birth place in East of Java, Wayang Kulit Jawa is largely performed by the Javanese communities here in Kuala Selangor, and it is very much different from the Wayang Kulit Siam in Kelantan, Wayang Kulit Gedek in Kedah and Wayang Kulit Melayu, Terengganu.

Back in those days, Wayang Kulit Jawa was performed during planting/seeding as well as harvesting time to seek blessing from mother nature and to thank for a bountiful crop season. Now, it is mostly being presented in special events and festivals.

Other type of Wayang Kulit in Malaysia

Wayang Kulit Melayu
Influence by Wayang Kulit Purwa that focuses on Mahabharata story side from Pendawa Lima and Panji, Wayang Kulit Melayu puppets looks similar to Wayang Kulit Jawa. However, a Malay rebab with 2 strings intertwined the Malay and Javanese musical culture. Unlike Wayang Kulit Jawa, Wayang Kulit Melayu is narrated in Malay language but with a touch of Javanese influence. Due to limitation in experienced tok dalang or puppet masters, Wayang Kulit Melayu is rarely performed.

Wayang Kulit Kelantan
Also referred to as Wayang Kulit Siam, it is believed to originate from Cambodia and brought it to Peninsular Malaysia via Patani in Thailand. It is practice and performed commonly in Kelantan and Terengganu. Hikayat Seri Rama is the epic story Wayang Kulit Kelantan is based on where in the past, it is served as a ritual. Today, it is performed as a form of entertainment ceremonial and official event.

Historically, wayang kulit is practice and performed to praise and devotion to wise one (tok guru/teacher), during healing ritual or spirit worshipping ritual as well as during harvesting festival.

Wayang kulit or shadow puppet theater portrays how the society feels back then, being represented in a form of art and music. Not only as a symbol of entertainment but also describe values, life, beliefs norms and heart of the locals back then. And this was clearly seen and captured in #RentakSelangor; The Breathing Pulse of Our Land.

Rentak Selangor Fam Trip is in collaboration with UPENS (Unit Perancangan Negeri Selangor), Tourism Selangor and all its sponsors with #GayaTravel as media coordinator.

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