January 29, 2009
You must be there to really enjoy the picturesque view
- Gunung Jerai (3,992 feets above sea level) is a majestic landscape in Yan, Kedah Darul Aman. It is ranked 68th in Malaysia’s highest mountain. Gunung Jerai has lots of picturesque places scattered around the mountain.
- During the recent Chinese New Year holiday (Monday, 26 January 2009), I climbed the the mountain to visit one of the most beautiful waterfall in Malaysia – yet unknown to the general public. It is known as Puteri Mandi.
- The outdoor activity was joined by my brother and our nephew, plus a trusted friend as our guide. We started our journey at 9.30 am from Titi Hayun, Yan. It took us about 2 hours and 30 minutes to reach the waterfall.
- Along the trail, we found lots of water sources and small waterfalls, huge threes of high quality log, rare herbs, and birds. Alhamdulillah, we found no poisonous creature such as snake or wild animal like black leopard (which roams the area freely).
- We visited the waterfall during its dry season. Waters lazily fall from the tip of the rocky-surfaced structure. As the waters fall, gusts of winds blow the waters from time to time into small particles and create thin mists that covered some parts of the waterfall.
- Why it is called Puteri Mandi? Old folks used to tell a tale of elves princesses using the waterfall as their playground. It is believed that the elf communities are still exist and living in certain parts of Gunung Jerai. No worries, they are one of the creatures of Allah who are living in the four-dimension world.
- Their world does literally exist concurrently with our three-dimension (3D) reality, but never meant to be inter-connected. You will not see them or accidentally bumped into them…unless you are the chosen one and they want to meet you. Sound creepy, huh?
- Come and cherish the moment of tranquility at Puteri Mandi waterfall. Tons of pictures can’t bring you the experience. You must be there and enjoy what the nature can offer you.
View more pictures…
Image Copyrights: Nasruddin Hj. Ismail
July 20, 2008
Assalamualaikum Wrt. Wbt.
- I was born in Kampung Titi Serong, Yan Kechil, Kedah Darulaman. My late father was a farmer and my beloved mother is a housewife. I have six siblings. I grown up in a peaceful village where life was really laid-back.
- As far as I could remember, I started to store memories of my life in my mental “hard-disk” when I was about 4 years of age. At that time, my activities were limited to roam around the village, eat, and sleep. Nothing else matters.
- My favorite game was “Combat”. The farthest point from my village that I had reached was Penang. My favorite foods and drinks? Whatever meals my mother cooked or prepared during breakfast, lunch and dinner!
I was born here!
- During my childhood, freshwater fish were plenty. Haruan (snakehead), Sepat Kedah or better known as Sepat Ronggeng, Sepat Benua (bigger species), Keli Padang, Lampam and Puyu were common catch. Even giant river prawns (Udang Galah Sepit Biru) existed in the river in front of my house!
- There were various methods to catch fish such as using cast net (jala), “bubu”, “empang” and fishing net. Normally, villagers stretched fishing net from one side of a riverbank to the other and left it for a half day. The best way was to anchor a fishing net during evening and retract it the next morning.
- Besides, a fishing rode made from bamboo was used in paddy fields, rivers, as well as ponds. A small fishing rode known as “taut” among villagers in Kedah (or tajur among villagers in central and southern Peninsular Malaysia) was an effective way to catch haruan (and snake and tortoise too!). Baits used in this activity were frogs and grasshoppers. Butterfly’s pupa was also used as a bait for haruan.
- The monsoon in October until January meant new stock of fish to rivers and paddy fields. Kedah receives downpours on daily basis for the whole months. The authority had to release huge amount of water from Pedu dam as high water could burst the dam and flood the surrounding villages and part of Kedah. The water from Pedu brought along them new fish and prawns for village folks.
- I still remember helping my father to catch freshwater prawns in our paddy field’s stream. We placed a prawn trap made from bamboo along the stream. It is very similar to “bubu” but of smaller scale. The trap’s must be placed in different direction of water flows. I was amazed by the amount of our catch. That night, the whole family dined with “gulai udang”.
- My father was a trapper too. He demonstrated to my brother and me on how to trap white-breasted water hen or Ruak-ruak (Kedahan said Wak-wak!). The trap was made from bamboo (another type of bamboo which is thicker, heavier and stronger than the one used to build “bubu” for freshwater prawns). We used paddy as its bait.
Water hen a.k.a Wak-wak
- The trap was put near the bird’s trail and was left for one day. I was so eager to see the result in the next morning. Usually, the trap worked effectively and according to our expectation. It was never easy to trap the birds. They were fast, quite skillful to avoid trap, and rarely move in group.
- A single catch was considered normal. The maximum number of catch per trap was only two or three as opposed to another technique using mole twitter and nets – it could produce as many as fifteen to twenty birds. Due to this unscrupulous technique, water hen is considered as endangered species in Malaysia. (Lately, the birds had migrated from paddy field areas to palm estates).
- On one occasion, we got a beautiful water hen. White-breasted, wide black wings, long yellowish legs, sharp greenish beak or bill, and short brownish rump feathers. No matter how beautiful it was, my lunch’s menu on that fortunate day was “Ruak-ruak goreng”.
- The bird was skinny. It was just not enough for everybody. My father and mother, as loving as they always are, asked us to share the exotic food and promised to catch more in the future. The next day, my father fulfilled his promise.