Formerly known as "Kedah Peak", this forest-clad Gunung Jerai is a massive limestone outcrop that rises 1200m above sea level. As the highest peak in the state, it adds a touch of variety to the scenic flat plains seen throughout the area. It's located near Sungei Petani, not far from the island of Penang. When you're in Penang at the penang esplanade, you can see the Gunung Jerai (across the sea) on the mainland. I didnt know that, when I was small I always thought behind those mountain was USA. (So silly, haha..)
From the historical viewpoint, Gunung Jerai plays an important part in the history of Kedah. Even before the Malacca Sultanate became famous, Indian and Arab merchants were already making a beeline for the Merbok estuary at the foothills. There's a small indian temple at the peak of Gunung Jerai.
Today, Gunung Jerai is Kedah's premier hill resort and recreational park. On a clear day atop the peak, the cool, refreshing mountain offers spectacular views of the rolling paddy fields of Kedah stretching up to Perlis, and the islands of Penang in the south and Langkawi in the north-west.
By road: On the North-South Expressway, take the Gurun exit. From Gurun town, turn towards Alor Star.
Access to Gunung Jerai is two km from town and five from exit.
From foot of Mount Jerai to Peranginan Gunung Jerai resort. You can drive the 13 km route to the resort.
ACCOMMODATION Peranginan Gunung Jerai, Jalan Kaki Bukit, Lebuhraya Gurun, 08300 Gurun, Kedah. Open all year round.
Campers can bring their own tent.
Thousand of devotes and visitors gathered around the Sri Sithi Vinayagar Temple and Sri Subramania Swami Devasthanam temple for Thaipusam celebration, in the hot blazing sun. Im sweating like a pig with no umbrella or a hat.
On the way from Sri Sithi Vinayagar Temple to Sri Subramanie Swami Devasthanam temple, I sure like the carnival like air, with song praising Lord Muruga. Chanting of Vel-vel and beating of drums and hindu trumpet.
The street were lined with Thaneer panthal (refreshment stalls) free drinks and foods for devotees and visitors. Some take this opportunity to open business selling Indian muruku, cakes, punjabi dresses etc.
All paal kadam and kavadi bearer will end their spiritual journey at Sri Subramania Sawmi Devasthanam temple with blasting fireworks.. Aaah.. What a wonderful experience...
For a real taste of Sungai Petani, visit the Farmer's Market which is held on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays in the center of town, beside the Sungai Petani river. A great place to sample locally produced Malaysian food at a good price. Im always there to buy fish, bunga kantan and whatever I needed for cooking my laksa..
We used Charcoal for cooking, bbq, steamboats etc.. but do you know how charcoals are made of, well, I also dont know, I just learnt today.. As you know every rivers in Sungai Petani have a lot of mangroves trees (the bakau trees). They are harvested according to the system set from the State Forestry Department, the bakau are cut, debarking is handled in the forest, the log are cut to 1.6m and weight about 20kg per log. Then they are transported back to the igloo like kiln and stacked by the side of the kiln to dry out carefully to ensure the air pollution is possible to have the black shiny ebony charcoal. Twigs and branches are used to lighten for combustion process. For 8 to 10days, the baking with temperature over 220 degree centigrade to remove the moisture from the wood. The charcoal are control by the smell of the charcoal until the temperature drop to around 83deg for further baking for another 12 -14days. Then they are cool down completely for 8 days. then the charcoal taken out and stacked in 5kg packing.
Picture 1 - Burning Charcoal
Picture 2 - The Real Charcoal Factory at Bakar Arang, Sungai Petani.
Picture 3 - Igloo like kiln
Picture 4 - The brick wall of kiln
Picture 5 - Thats how the wood are stacked properly before burning..
Church of Christ the King is located along Jalan Kolam Air adjacent to Convent Father Barre School in Sungai Petani, Kedah. It is the most distinguished church among the churches within Sungai Petani town.
Picture 1 :The Church of Christ The King, Picture 2 : Statue of Christ the King, Picture 3 : The Church Grotto, Picture 4 : My favourite hangout before school started. Picture 5 : I dont know whats that building.
My favourite market in Sungai Petani, situated at Taman Bersatu (formerly known as UTC Garden), You can find everything you need here and spend hours looking for clothes, shoes, watches, beautiful hairclips, handbags, etc...Me? I find something to eat before I start my shopping..You can eat almost anything here from nyonya cakes, dimsum, noodles, simply wonderfull and its cheap.
Picture 1 : Uncle and Aunty selling nyonya cakes
Picture 2 : Fish monger cleaning the fish
Picture 3 : Oh..such big salted fish head..
Picture 4 : Indian's Apom, tosai and chapatis
Picture 5 : Here come the train, I know its dangerous to cross the railway line, but I cant do anything but shouting like a monkey to them, not to cross the railway line..hehe..
Since the main road to Taman Bersatu closed for the double tracking railway line, you need to go to Pekan Lama and take a U-turn near the Indian Temple and CHinese Ti-Kung Temple.. Or you can cross over the railway track near Taman Petani Jaya.. Mind the coming Choo-choo train..
This (which I will call "A music wagon") small lorry that was fully decorated and a group of singers rendering devotional songs of Bahjans. Bhajans are devotional songs recited in praise of, and expressing love for and gratitude to, the Lord. Contemplating, uttering or writing the names of the Lord serves to purify one's mind, speech and action. Chanting the names of the Lord is one of the means of God-realisation.
Bhajans can be sung by an individual either quietly in one's heart or loudly for all to hear.
Devotional singing is not just a mechanical performance. Bhaava (feeling), Raaga (melody), and Thaala (rhythm) are the essentials for proper singing of Bhajans.The devotee should immerse himself or herself in the singing, combining one's voice, tune, feeling, and rhythm to the appropriate beat of the song.The sacred words of the song should be an outpouring of love and devotion towards God.
Thats so true, I wish I could jump into the wagon and listens to the beautiful Bhajans songs.
Dont feel like going for swimming at Pantai Merdeka beach then head on to Sungai Petani's the one and only water theme " The Carnival , water and land of Excitement" situated near Cinta Sayang Golf and Country Resort. The water theme was opened to public on 25 December 2006.
Opened everyday, but need to pay more on weekends, public holiday and during school holiday.
The rates : please refer to http://home.thecarnival.com/rates/water&landofexcitement.html
I feel like its not right, if I dont write anything about the Clock Tower..
The famous Sungai Petani Clock Tower located on the main street, Jalan Ibrahim. The clock tower was built in 1936. The clock tower was a present from Lim Lean Teng to George V and Queen Mary to commemorate the Silver Jubilee.
There are also Chinese devotees joined the Thaipusam. Mostly they prayed for more business opportunity. Walking barefooted, with small milk pots hooked to their bodies, vel (spike) pierced through their cheeks.
Some Kavadi bearers have their tongue and cheeks pierced with metal replicas of the vel (spike). Oh God, the piercing is a show of endurance and devotion. They do not feel any pain because they in a state of trance.
Here some scary pictures, close your eyes if you dont want to see...;-))
Thaipusam is a Hindu Festival celebrated mostly by Tamil community in Malaysia on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai (January / February). This year on 6th February.
In Sungai Petani, Hindu devotees throng the Sri Sithi Vinayagar Temple and Sri Subramania Swami Devasthanam temple to offer their prayers to Lord Muruga.
Kavadi bearer need to observe strict restrictions and fasts for a minimum 40days, having one simple vegetarian meal a day and also abstains from all pleasures of life and observes complete celibacy. No alcohol and no making love. ;-))
Mee Koo kuih is a traditional cake, where the chinese make it for prayers during the 1st and 15th chinese lunar calender and other prayers festives. It's a kind of bread a bit sweeter than our ordinary bread and coated with red color. Its very funny, for chinese everything for prayers must be in red color, hmmm...so as my surname, Ang. hehe..
I visited this shop on my way to have breakfast beside the shop. I thought all the meekoo are already ordered by customers, oh well, they make extra for some meekoo lovers like me. I bought 10pcs of small meekoo, one for RM1.
I always cut it into pieces and have it french toast, it is nice to dip in black coffee too or spread sekaya on top. Emmm...lovely.
Another famous Indian temple in Sungai Petani.. Very crowded during thaipusam and other festivals.
Everyone incl my family came here for prayers and blessings, I like to come during the prayer time at certain hours of the day, where indian trumpets and drums were played beautifully, you have to be to witness this special ceremony, where the priest will clean the statue, of yes, registered your name and pay a little amount of money for prayers you seek. Fold your hand in front of deity and the priest will say some prayers and speak your name in tamil, put a spot of ash on your forehead and give you some water to sip for blessing (You want to know what water it is? you have to ask me for the answer) hehe.. and leave the temple with a happy feeling..oh yes, remove your shoes before entering the temple.
I guess this is the one very major must see in this small town.
It is the od clock tower enar the city centre. This clock tower apparently was constructed to commemorate the coronation of King George V - the Briish current QEII's father.