Posts Tagged ‘Tumpat’

Kuih Akok is a sickly sweet dessert , some people described it as an egg pudding .The ingredients for making akok is simple  – santan, eggs, flour, palm sugar – but not all akok are created equal. Sometimes you see despicable and sad  looking akok at the stalls (especially at the pasar Ramadan)  – with the smooth surface, the too-light brown colour . And when you run into wrinkled akok with burnt bits at the edges- it might be your lucky day !

We usually get our akok from the stall at the market in Tumpat, but they sold out rather quickly and we were akok-less. Desparate, we asked our neighbour and a few Mak Ciks if they know of any akok sellers and they pointed us to the Akok-maker ! Wahhh, that is even better than getting akok from the stalls- which are just acting as the middleman  for the akok maker.

So we went for a walk…

We were told to take the road beside Masjid Ismali.  This  mosque was built back in year 1900 , you can read more about the mosque by clicking here P1020360

Walked past wooden housesP1020361

Yes, the Masjid was behind us now. I just noticed, what a lot of electrical wires we have in Tumpat…P1020362

Said Hi to Meow-meow, it doesn’t looked very pleased about being disturbed P1020363

After a few minutes walk ,the road stared to divide, take the right fork and you will see this view- coconut trees and allP1020371

Here we are – house number 66 C 66c

A pile of delicious akok ready for saleP1020368

The akok molds on top of gas stovesP1020365

Charcoals are placed on top of the covers, the covers will go on top of the akok molds.P1020366

The akok seller also runs a small convenience stall. The prices of the Akok Panas 1Malaysia as listed on a sign  : 5 pieces for RM2, 50 pieces for RM20 and 100 pieces for RM40Akok panas

Ah…this is what good akok looked like .P1020369

We bought 15 pieces of akok and headed home, saw a proud cockerel strutting his stuffcockerel

A sunny day for drying clothesP1020374

Said  Hi a second time to Meow-MeowP1020373

The akok are ready at about 9 am. The taste – Wonderful – these are good akok indeed.


Today, let’s talk about the reclining Buddha in Kelantan- which , at one time, used to be largest  in South East Asia.

And I am proud to say that this 40 meter long and 11 meter high sculpture is in Tumpat, Kelantan, my loverrly hometown. We locals addressed this temple as Wat Jambu ( well, the temple is located in Kampung Jambu) rather than the official name of Wat Phothivihan.  So, if you ask for directions, please mention Wat Jambu. Kampong Jambu used to be known as Kampung Beruk ( beruk = monkey), I am not sure were the people in the village happy with the name change, would you prefer to be from a fruity village or a monkey village ? hehehe.

The sculpture was constructed in 1973 and completed in 1979. I remember that the sculpture wasn’t painted until sometime later, and it took a bit of getting used to, seeing a coloured version of the sculpture rather than have it in the colour of nude cement. ( although I have to say that I find the grey version to be more impressive) , and in the earlier days, the statue was in the open and not under a roof.

This gigantic Alms Bowl, located not too far from the entrance gate,  was also something relatively new to the temple

The Isolation Area-  the building exudes a certain kind of calmness

Close up of the statue in front of the Isolation Area ( Bot)

A statue of the ‘future’ Buddha – Maitreiya , in front of the reclining Buddha statue

Buddha statues in various poses. These statues are all housed under the same roof as the sculpture of the reclining Buddha

Extract from  :  It is often said that Buddhists worship statues, in the sense that they believe that Buddha statues actually are the Buddha or that they have some inherent power. But such ideas are quite incorrect. Buddhists do not ‘worship’ Buddha statues , the Buddha statue is seen as a symbol that can be seen as helpful in creating devotion, uplifting the mind and focusing attention.

Statue of the four faced Buddha

The turtle pond- I wonder are the 19 terrapins that used to be our pets still here..hellooooo ?

At the main hall

Tok Guru is held in greatest respect regardless of the community or religion

Interestingly, this area below was marked as ‘Tibet’ in the directory

This was also one of the newer addition to the temple. Frankly, not my favourite part of the temple..  a bit too garish for my taste

As usual, you will find religious books / booklets for free distribution on the shelves…

And this caught my attention..huh ? growth fund worr..a new religion ?

There is a makan shop in the vicinity of the temple can get Thai style food ( the somtam is fiery mannnn) or soupy noodles etc etc , soft drinks and of course, coconuts..

Uncle tirelessly preparing the coconut for serving..

Please come visit Wat Phothivihan !! The temple is about 7km from either Tumpat town center or from Kota Baru.

There are other fabulous temples in Tumpat including Wat Pikulthong , Wat Mai Suwankiri and Wat Machimmaram . And the chinese Tien Hou Temple

Wat Phothiviharn
Chief Abbot: Ven. Phrakhru Prasart Prachakorn
Address: Kampung Jambu, 16200 Tumpat, Kelantan
Telephone: 09-7193019, 019-9586322

I am ashamed to say that – as a Tumpatese ( that was what one of my colleague categorized me as, anyway…)  and after all these years ( well, let’s not get into the details), this was my first visit to the Tumpat Thien Hou Temple.

 As far as I know ( not that I can see very far or know much), this is probably one of the few ( or maybe only one ?) Chinese temple in Tumpat ! Thai temples dominate the area like maybe 30:1 ? ( don’t quote me on this figure). But I can see that some newly built Thai temples or even existing ones, sometimes include or add some ‘chinese’ origin deity to the temple new wing or structures,  to cater for the Chinese community. So, even before the 1Malaysia thingy, the temples were farsighted enough to unite and have the 1Temple concept .But I digress…

The Thien Hou temple fence was eye catching in yellow and maroon. During the day of our visit, the front gate was closed but not locked, we unlatched the gate and made our way into the temple feeling a bit like trespassers.


The building with wide span wooden trusses, faded lanterns, painted yellow interior , very simple and basic – no gregarious dragons prancing on elaborate columns, looked a bit run down but yet, it felt like an elderly relative, kind and approachable ( oh..sorry, you mean your elderly relatives are all grouchy and intimidating ?)


 On a closer look ..

The richly attired  Deities with elaborate head coverings


You can also check with the Gods what the heavens have in store for you by shaking a wooden/bamboo vase like thingy , which is filled with numbered sticks. Shake the container up, down, left or  right, anyway you want it – a few times (concentrate while you do this and think about what you would like to know about your life or think pleasant happy thoughts) , after a while   there should be one ‘stick’ that will stand out among the many ( if more than one, continue the process until you only get one stick (unless you feel kinda kiasu and want to have 2 sticks for ‘safety purposes’  ) .Referring to the number on the stick, go to the ‘board’ ( shown below) and extract the correct piece of paper that will show you your destiny….. 


The most interesting part about the temple was the location -Kampung Tanjong Che Mas, is right smack in a malay kampong. But both temple and kampong manage to co-exist all these years without any unfavourable incident ( well, why should there be ? ).


Some info from web searches…

Other popular names for  Thein Hou include :  Mazu媽祖 and  Thien Shang Shen Mu天上聖母 ( empress of heaven) –among other names .

Extract from Wikipedia :  Mazu is the indigenous goddess of the sea which is said to protect fisherman and sailors , and is invoked as the goddess who protects East Asians who are associated with the ocean. Born as Lin Moniang林默娘; in Fujian around 960 CE, cult worship of Mazu began around the Ming Dynasty, when many temples dedicated to her were erected all across Mainland China, later spreading to other countries with Southern Chinese inhabitants.

Although she started swimming relatively late at the age of 15, she soon became an excellent swimmer. She wore red garments while standing on the shore to guide fishing boats home, even in the most dangerous and harsh weather.

According to legend, Lin Moniang’s father and brothers were fishermen. One day, a terrible typhoon arose while they were out at sea, and the rest of her family feared that those at sea had perished. In the midst of this storm, depending on the version of the legend, she fell into a trance while praying for the lives of her father and brothers or dreamed of her father and brothers while she was sleeping or sitting at a loom weaving. In either story, her father and brother were drowning. However, Moniang’s mother now discovered her and tried to wake her, and diverted Moniang’s attention, causing her to drop her brother, who as a result drowned. Consequently, Moniang’s father returned alive and told the other villagers that a miracle  had happened.

 Some other interesting sites ( with video of Spirit Medium of Mazu) Taiwan Mazu Society – Chinese  – Mazu temple in Taiwan ( broadband is rather slow at time of posting, i can’t seemed to be able to load the 3D virtual tour of the temple.) Quen Zhou ( China) Thien Hou temple website – Chinese