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MALAYSIA AND BORNEO – PENANG AND LANGKAWI – PART THREE

January 29, 2016

MALAYSIA AND BORNEO – PENANG AND LANGKAWI – PART THREE

FROM JULY 9 -27, 2015 LEONARD EPSTEIN  AND JANELLE BURGESS TRAVELED THROUGH MALAYSIA AND BORNEO

GEORGETOWN, PENANG

George Town, Penang  is the capital city of the Malaysian state of  Penang, located on the north-east corner of the island. It had an estimated population of 500,000 as of 2010. The metropolitan area (which consists of Jelutong, Sungai Pinang, Sungai Nibong, Gelugor, Air Itam, Tanjung Bungah and Tanjung Tokong) has a population of 2.5 million, making it the second largest metropolitan area and the biggest northern metropolis in Malaysia.Together with Alor Setar and Malacca City, it is one of the Malaysian oldest cities in the Straits of Malacca since been founded by Francis Light, who was a captain and trader for the British East India Company (EIC) after been instructed by his company, Jourdain Sullivan and de Souza to establish presence in the Malay Archipelago.

Light gained control the Penang Island when he negotiated with the Sultan of Kedah under a treaty although in the earlier stage of negotiation the Sultan did not want to cede the island. The Fort Cornwallis was then established and he success in increasing the island import values and settlement population especially with the free trade policy the Britain used at the time. The Sultan of Kedah ever tried to regain control the area when he saw the British have failed to provide protection to them as been promised earlier in the treaty they signed when the Sultan been attacked by the Siamese, the plan was however ended with a failure when Light have implemented night raids on the Sultan’s fortress.
Prior to its successful trading post, many Chinese traders began to settle in the town as well to other area in Penang Island. This was continued under the administration of Straits Settlements with the migration of more Chinese together with Indian workers prior to the Industrial Revolution in Britain. The situation during the  World Wae I, did not directly impact the town daily activities although there were a battle near the town harbour. However, during the  World War II, the town was suffering a large destruction as it was heavily bombed by both the Japanese and later by the  Allied,forces. After the war, the town was returned to the British and remained as the capital of Penang until the formation of Malaysia in 1963, and in 2008, it was listed together with Malacca City as one of Malaysian UNESCO World Heritage Site for its long history as a cosmopolitan city.
SOME PHOTOS OF GEORGETOWN:

The Kapitan Keling Mosque is a mosque built in the 19th century by Indian Muslim traders in Georgetown, Panang, Malaysia. It is situated on the corner of Lebuh Buckingham (Buckingham Street) and Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling (Pitt Street). Being a prominent Islamic historic centre, it is part of the World Heritage Site of George Town and lies at the centre of the city’s Tamil Muslim neighbourhood, the chulias. It is the first permanent Muslim institution to have been established in the area, dating from the early 1800s.Cauder Mohuddeen Merican is known as the founder of the mosque and leader of the Chulias. In 1801 Sir George Leith, who was then Lieutenant Governor of Penang, appointed a prominent Indian Muslim leader, Cauder Mohudeen, as Captain of the South Indian “Keling” community. He granted a piece of land to build a mosque on the south side of Malabar Street (Chulia Street). Cauder Mohudeen (born c. 1759) was a ship mandoor or foreman from Porto Novo, which the Tamils called Paringgipettai and the Muslims Mahmudbandar, about 50 kilometres south of Pondicherry in India. He was referred to as ‘Kapitan Kling’.

“Keling” is a Malay term for people of Indian origin, nowadays considered offensive but not so considered at the time when the mosque was built. The “Kapitan ” was a representative of the Indian community, like the “Kapitan Cina” for the Chinese community.

Another renovation in 1930 gave the Kapitan Keling Mosque its present appearance after the previous design was deemed impractical. In keeping with tradition, the mosque was not rebuilt, but only enlarged. Among the major work during this period included doubling the height of the central prayer hall, improvement to the ventilation system, and allowing more natural light to enter. The exterior is ochre yellowed while the interior had white marble floors and a high ceiling. The interior aisles are formed by a series of horseshoe arches, crowned with King Edward’s plaques. The façade of the building and its interior were decorated with geometric designs, as human and animal forms are forbidden in Islam.

 

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The Kapitan Keling Mosque

 

 

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The Kapitan Keling Mosque

 

 

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The Kapitan Keling Mosque (Detail)

 

 

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The Kapitan Keling Mosque (Detail)

 

 

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The Kapitan Keling Mosque

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The Kapitan Keling Mosque

 

 

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YAP TEMPLE – The Yap Temple, officially called Choo Chay Keon, is the clan temple of the Lum Yeong Tong Yap Kongsi.

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GEORGETOWN, PENANG, MALAYSIA

 

 

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GEORGETOWN, PENANG, MALAYSIA POSTERS ABOVE THEPENANG STREET ART

 

 

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GEORGETOWN, PENANG, MALAYSIA – BILLBOARD

 

 

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GEORGETOWN, PENANG, MALAYSIA – CURIO SHOP

 

 

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GEORGETOWN, PENANG, MALAYSIA – ICE CREAM VENDOR

 

 

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GEORGETOWN, PENANG, MALAYSIA

 

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GEORGETOWN, PENANG, MALAYSIA – MUNICIPAL BUILDING

 

 

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GEORGETOWN, PENANG, MALAYSIA.

 

 

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JUBILEE CLOCK TOWER, PENANG, MALAYSIA – The moorish-style clocktower at the junction of Lebuh Light and Lebuh Pantai is sixty feet tall, one foot for each year of Victoria’s reign. A corner of the wall surrounding Fort Cornwallis appears behind the tower, which was built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s 1897 Jubilee.

 

 

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Han Jiang Ancestral Temple is the only example of traditional Teochew architecture in Georgetown.it is run by the Penang Teochew Association. The temple is dedicated to the Taoist God of the North, a Teochew patron deity.

 

 

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PENANG HAINAN TEMPLE

 

 

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GEORGETOWN, PENANG, MALAYSIA

 

 

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GEORGETOWN DISPENSARY

 

 

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GEORGETOWN, PENANG, MALAYSIA

 

 

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GEORGETOWN, PENANG, MALAYSIA

 

 

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GEORGETOWN, PENANG, MALAYSIA – ADVERTISEMENT FOR A CLERK IN A CONVENIENCE STORE

 

 

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GEORGETOWN, PENANG, MALAYSIA

 

 

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GEORGETOWN, PENANG, MALAYSIA

 

 

 

 

Red Garden Food Paradise & Night Market

Red Garden offers a mix of Malaysian food cultures; Malay, Indian and Chinese. On top of this you can find foods from neighbouring Thailand and the Phillipines and further afield to Japan and Portugal. With lines at the Tandoori and North Indian Food section.

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GEORGETOWN OUTDOOR FOOD COURT

 

 

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GEORGETOWN OUTDOOR FOOD COURT

 

 

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GEORGETOWN OUTDOOR FOOD COURT

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BAZAAR CHOWRASTA

It was interesting to visit these markets to see how the how locals live (particularly housewives), purchasing their daily groceries and mingling in friendly company.

Bazaar Chowrasta is the famous “wet market” at Penang Road. At a “wet market” you can buy groceries, fish, meat, fruit and vegetables. Mostly wet markets are morning markets. They are keeping the fish wet with water, so the floor is wet.
The original Chowrasta Market was built in 1890 by the George Town municipality. The front portion facing Penang Road was rebuilt in 1920 and has remained virtually unchanged until 1981 when a new market was built in its place. In Urdu, Chowrasta means “four cross roads”. In the early days, more than three-quarters of the stall holders were Indian Muslims from south India.

 

 

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BAZAAR CHOWRASTA

 

 

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BAZAAR CHOWRASTA

 

 

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BAZAAR CHOWRASTA

 

 

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BAZAAR CHOWRASTA

 

 

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BAZAAR CHOWRASTA

 

 

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BAZAAR CHOWRASTA

 

 

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BAZAAR CHOWRASTA

 

 

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BAZAAR CHOWRASTA

 

 

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BAZAAR CHOWRASTA

 

 

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BAZAAR CHOWRASTA

 

 

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BAZAAR CHOWRASTA

 

 

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BAZAAR CHOWRASTA

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BAZAAR CHOWRASTA

 

 

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BAZAAR CHOWRASTA

 

 

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BAZAAR CHOWRASTA

 

 

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BAZAAR CHOWRASTA

 

 

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BAZAAR CHOWRASTA

 

 

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BAZAAR CHOWRASTA

 

 

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BAZAAR CHOWRASTA

 

 

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BAZAAR CHOWRASTA

 

 

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BAZAAR CHOWRASTA

 

 

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BAZAAR CHOWRASTA

 

 

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BAZAAR CHOWRASTA

 

 

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BAZAAR CHOWRASTA

———————

 

 

KEK LOK SI TEMPLE

 

The Kek Lok Si Temple is a Buddhist temple situated in Air Itam in Penang facing the sea and commanding an impressive view, and is one of the best known temples on the island. It is said to be the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia.It is also an important pilgrimage centre for Buddhists from Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore and other countries in Southeast Asia. This entire complex of temples was built over a period from 1890 to 1930, an inspirational initiative of Beow Lean, the Abbot. The main draw in the complex is the striking seven-storey Pagoda of Rama VI (Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas) with 10,000 alabaster and bronze statues of Buddha, and the 30.2 metres (99 ft) tall bronze statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy.

Mahayana Buddhism, Theravada Buddhism and traditional Chinese rituals blend into a harmonious whole, both in the temple architecture and artwork as well as in the daily activities of worshippers. The temple is heavily commercialised with shops at every level and inside the main temple complexes selling all religious paraphernalia.

 

 

HISTORY

The construction of the temple began in 1890 and completed in 1905. It was inspired by Beow Lean, the chief monk of the Goddess of Mercy Temple at Pitt Street in 1887; he had served earlier in the Kushan Abbey in Fujian in China. The site chosen by Beow, a spiritual location in the hills of Ayer Itam, facing the sea, was named “White Crane Mountain”. It was established as a branch of the Buddhist Vatican in Drum Mountain in Foochow in Hokkien province. Beow Lean was the first Abbot of the temple. The buildings of the temple complex were sponsored by five leading Chinese business people of Penang known as “Hakka tycoons”. They were: Cheong Fatt Tze, his cousin Cahang Yu Nan, Chea Choon Seng, Tye Kee Yoon, and Chung Keng Kooi. Collection of funds for building the temple was also facilitated by dedicating the structures and artefacts in the name of the temple’s benefactors. The main hall, which was completed first, housed a shrine to Guanyin, in a recessed area where many other female goddesses called the Queen of Heaven, the Goddess of the Earth, and Goddess of Childbirth are housed; which is said to represent, on a miniature scale, the island of Potalaka where there is a large shrine dedicated to Guanyin in the China Sea. People compared this shrine to the Amitabha Buddha’s Western Paradise and started calling it the “Kek Lok Si” (“Jile Si”). There are also many other shrine chambers, which have stately statues, all gilded, of the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, saintly Lohans, guardian spirits, and Heavenly (or Diamond) Kings of Pure Land Buddhism.

The consular representative of China in Penang reported the grandeur of the temple to the Qing Government. Following this, the Guangxu Emperor invited Beow Lean to Beijing in 1904 and bestowed on him, 70,000 volumes (7,000 is also mentioned in some references) of the “psalms and other sacred works of Buddhism” and also presented him edicts anointing him as “dignity of the Chief Priest of Penang” and also declaring “the Chinese temple at Air Itam as the head of all Chinese temples in Penang”.On the Abbot’s return to Penang, a royal procession, carrying the edict in a rattan chair and the scriptures in pony driven carts, was organised leading to the temple complex. Prominent Chinese dignitaries of Penang in their royal mandarin attire accompanied the Abbot in the procession.

Kek Lok Si pagoda tiers labelled with their architectural styles

In 1930, the seven storey main pagoda of the temple or the Pagoda of “Ban Po Thar”, the Ten Thousand Buddhas, a 30 metres (98 ft) high structure, was completed. This pagoda combines a Chinese octagonal base with a middle tier of Thai design, and a Burmese crown (spiral dome); reflecting the temple’s amalgam of both Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism. It represents syncretism of the ethnic and religious diversity in the country. There is a large statue of Buddha donated by King Bhumibol of Thailand diefied here.King Rama VI of Thailand laid the foundation for the pagoda and it is hence also named as Rama Pagoda

In 2002, a 30.2-metre (99 ft) bronze statue of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, was completed and opened to the public. It replaced the previous white plaster Kuan Yin statue which was damaged due to a fire a few years earlier. The bronze statue is located on the hillside above the pagoda. The statue is complemented with a 60.9 metres (200 ft) three-tiered roof pavilion (with 16 columns made of bronze supporting the pavilion),which was completed in 2009. It is the tallest Guanyin statue in the world.One hundred statues of the goddess Kuan Yin, each of 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) height, are set around the main statue of the goddess. However, its height was restricted to avoid its shadow falling on the Penang State Mosque. This shrine also has other 10,000 statues of Buddha, apart from a statue of 12 Zodiac Animal Signs of the Chinese Calendar.

The temple complex has a large hydraulically operated bell, which tolls with a high pitch at frequent intervals. Wood and stone carvings are profusely seen in the temple. In front of each deity there is a cushion, impressive scrolls, and candles set in very attractive suspended lamps, and with a large number of priests in attendance.

 

 

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KEH LOK SI TEMPLE

 

 

 

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KEK LO SI TEMPLE

 

 

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KEK LOK SI TEMPLE PAGODA

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GUANYIN – In 2002, a 30.2-metre (99 ft) bronze statue of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, was completed and opened to the public. It replaced the previous white plaster Kuan Yin statue which was damaged due to a fire a few years earlier. The bronze statue is located on the hillside above the pagoda. The statue is complemented with a 60.9 metres (200 ft) three-tiered roof pavilion (with 16 columns made of bronze supporting the pavilion),which was completed in 2009. It is the tallest Guanyin statue in the world.One hundred statues of the goddess Kuan Yin, each of 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) height, are set around the main statue of the goddess. However, its height was restricted to avoid its shadow falling on the Penang State Mosque. This shrine also has other 10,000 statues of Buddha, apart from a statue of 12 Zodiac Animal Signs of the Chinese Calendar. The temple complex has a large hydraulically operated bell, which tolls with a high pitch at frequent intervals. Wood and stone carvings are profusely seen in the temple. In front of each deity there is a cushion, impressive scrolls, and candles set in very attractive suspended lamps, and with a large number of priests in attendance.

 

 

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KEK LOK SI TEMPLE  –   GUANYIN

 

 

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KEK LOK SI TEMPLE – THE PROTECTOR

 

 

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CHINESE GODDESS KUAN YIN, KEK LOK SI TEMPLE

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BUDDHIST STATUE IN THE KEK LOK SI TEMPLE

 

 

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BUDDHIST STATUE IN THE KEK LOK SI TEMPLE (DETAIL)

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CITY VIEW FROM THE KEK LOK SI TEMPLE

 

 

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PRAYER CANDLES, KEK LOK SI TEMPLE

 

 

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BUDDHIST STATUE IN THE KEK LOK SI TEMPLE

 

 

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BUDDHIST STATUE IN THE KEK LOK SI TEMPLE

 

At the apex are a couple more temples, a fish pond, sprawling gardens and 12 animal statues that represent the Chinese zodiac. Kek Lok Si temple houses tablets and imperial Buddhist sutras gifted by Manchu Emperor Kwang Xi and Empress Cixi of the Ching Dynasty; these historic relics are kept in the temple archives.

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KEK LOK SI TEMPLE

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CHINESE ZODIAC ANIMAL, KEK LOK SI TEMPLE

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CHINESE ZODIAC ANIMAL, KEK LOK SI TEMPLE

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CHINESE ZODIAC ANIMAL, KEK LOK SI TEMPLE

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CHINESE ZODIAC ANIMAL, KEK LOK SI TEMPLE

 

 

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CHINESE ZODIAC ANIMAL, KEK LOK SI TEMPLE

 

 

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CHINESE ZODIAC ANIMAL, KEK LOK SI TEMPLE

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CHINESE ZODIAC ANIMAL, KEK LOK SI TEMPLE

 

 

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CHINESE ZODIAC ANIMAL, KEK LOK SI TEMPLE

——-

 

 

WAT CHAYAMANGKALARAM THAI BUDDHIT TEMPLE

Wat Chayamangkalaram is a Siamese temple which was officially given its site by Queen Victoria in 1845. It was presented by Mr. W.L. Butterworth of the East India Company of Penang on July 22, 1845.


   This main shrine and the pagoda were built in the year 1900 after the land was granted on behalf of her Majesty Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 30th May 1845 by W.L. Butterworth of the East India Company. The main shrine of chinese influence structure stood serving for 88 years until renovation became necessary.

The present appearance is of modern Thai Buddhist architectural designs. The pagoda however had ever since retained its original design and structure. In the year 1910, the consecration and laying of sacred stones (Loog Nimit – in Thai) was celebrated. These sacred stones were buried beneath the little pagodas around the shrine and pagoda.

This Thai architecture houses a 180-foot gold-plated statue of the reclining Buddha, Pra Buddhachaiya Mongkul – said to be one of the longest in the world. The reclining Buddha represents Pra Buddhachaiya Mongkul, the historical Buddha, at his death. This symbolizes complete peace and detachment from the world.

In the reclining position, Buddha lies on its right side with its head resting in the palm of its right hand to the North. He sleeps by turning His body to the right side and placing His left leg put over the right one. This position on the couch symbolizes the Mahaparinirvana (Enlighthenment or achieving Nirwana) of the Buddha which took place at Kushinagara (Uttar Pradesh, India). A peaceful half-smile gracing its serene face.

Behind the statue are countless niches with urns containing ashes of devotees. The interior of the temple is decorated with images of Buddha covered with gold foil. THe legend of Buddha’s life has been painted on the walls by leading Thai artists.

This gorgeous traditional Thai temple complex also consists of other smaller shrines of Buddhas and popular Thai deities. On the fantastically ornate temple grounds the visitors can see many beautifully carved and lavishly colored statues of Devas and other mythical creatures.

The floor of the temple is laid with tiles of lotus patterns – a powerful symbol in Buddhism.

Behind the temple is a small Thai village and a Thai cemetery. Local Thais celebrate the traditional Buddhist festivals (the Sonkran and the Loy Krathong) at Wat Chayamangkalaram.


   The temple was built by a Buddhist monk who came from Thailand. The five acres of land which was donated by Queen Victoria was to as a gesture of goodwill to Thailand and the Thai community. The first monk was a Theravada Buddhist monk from Thailand, Phorthan Kuat, also known as the “Powerful Monk”. The legend about the monk tells us, that he was very fond of “Laksa”, the local speciality of Penang. Even today devotees bring a bowl of laksa as an offering to his shrine.

The temple celebrates four important events, namely the Thai New Year, Wesak Day, Merit Making Day in July and the anniversary of the construction of the reclining Buddha. On these occasions, the temple is thronged with devotees burning joss-sticks and making offerings.

 

 

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WAT CHAYAMANGKALARAM THAI BUDDHIT TEMPLE

 

 

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WAT CHAYAMANGKALARAM THAI BUDDHIT TEMPLE

 

 

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WAT CHAYAMANGKALARAM THAI BUDDHIT TEMPLE

 

 

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WAT CHAYAMANGKALARAM THAI BUDDHIT TEMPLE

 

 

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WAT CHAYAMANGKALARAM THAI BUDDHIT TEMPLE

 

 

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WAT CHAYAMANGKALARAM THAI BUDDHIT TEMPLE

 

 

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WAT CHAYAMANGKALARAM THAI BUDDHIT TEMPLE

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WAT CHAYAMANGKALARAM THAI BUDDHIT TEMPLE

 

 

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WAT CHAYAMANGKALARAM THAI BUDDHIT TEMPLE

 

 

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WAT CHAYAMANGKALARAM THAI BUDDHIT TEMPLE

 

 

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WAT CHAYAMANGKALARAM THAI BUDDHIT TEMPLE

 

 

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WAT CHAYAMANGKALARAM THAI BUDDHIT TEM

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WAT CHAYAMANGKALARAM THAI BUDDHIT TEMPLE

 

 

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WAT CHAYAMANGKALARAM THAI BUDDHIT TEMPLE

 

 

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WAT CHAYAMANGKALARAM THAI BUDDHIT TEMPLE

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WAT CHAYAMANGKALARAM THAI BUDDHIT TEMPLE

 

 

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WAT CHAYAMANGKALARAM THAI BUDDHIT TEMPLE – THAI MONARCHY

 

 

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WAT CHAYAMANGKALARAM THAI BUDDHIT TEMPLE – THAI MONARCHY

 

Version 2

WAT CHAYAMANGKALARAM THAI BUDDHIT TEMPLE  – PRIME MINISTER AND KING

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DHARDHARMIKARAMA BURMESE TEMPLE

The Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple is situated along Burma Lane in Pulau Tikus and was founded on 1st August 1803, the temple was known as “Nandy Moloh Burmese Temple” then. This place of public worship was purchased by Nonya Betong from George Layton, granted by Sir George Leith Baronet, LT. Governer of Prince of Wales Island, for 390

Spanish Dollars and donated to the temple.

Being one of the earliest and the only Burmese Temple in Malaysia and featuring the historical pagoda, the temple’s well and Sima hall, the temple was designated in 1988 as one of the state’s historical sites to be preserved as a tourist attraction.
The temple is always managed by a Chief Monk to facilitate and complement the practice of Buddhism, the temple has a main shrine hall, a sima hall, a dining hall, monk’s quarters, preceptee’s lodge, Sunday school, a library and a lecture hall. The first Chief Monk of the temple was Venerable U. Nandamala.

 

 

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DHARDHARMIKARAMA BURMESE TEMPLE  –
Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple has ornate carvings and there are two enormous white stone elephants either side of the front gate which are partially obscured by the market umbrellas.

 

 

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DHARDHARMIKARAMA BURMESE TEMPLE – entrance to the temple

 

 

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DHARDHARMIKARAMA BURMESE TEMPLE   –   MAIN SHRINE

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DHARDHARMIKARAMA BURMESE TEMPLE

 

 

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DHARDHARMIKARAMA BURMESE TEMPLE

 

 

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DHARDHARMIKARAMA BURMESE TEMPLE

 

 

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DHARDHARMIKARAMA BURMESE TEMPLE

 

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DHARDHARMIKARAMA BURMESE TEMPLE – Behind the main temple, IS A huge globe guarded by a pair of winged chimeras known to as Panca Rupa. They act as the “Guardian Protectors of the world”.

 

 

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DHARDHARMIKARAMA BURMESE TEMPLE

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DHARDHARMIKARAMA BURMESE TEMPLE

—————–

 

 

FORT CORNWALLIS

 

The Fort Cornwallis is a star fort that the British East India Company built in the late 18th century on the northeastern coast of Penang Island, Malaysia. It is named after the late 18th century Governor-General of Bengal, India, Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis.Fort Cornwallis is the largest standing fort in Malaysia. In its entire history, the fort has never engaged in any battle.

HISTORY

Captain Francis Light took possession of the island from the Sultan of Kedah in 1786 and built the original fort. It was a nibong  stockade with no permanent structures, covering an area of 417.6 square feet . The fort’s purpose was to protect Penang from pirates and Kedah. Light died in 1794.

In 1804, after the outbreak of the Napoleonic Wars, and during Colonel R.T. Farquhar’s term as Governor of Penang, Indian convict labourers rebuilt the fort using brick and stone. Fort Cornwallis was completed in 1810, at the cost of $80,000, during Norman Macalister’s term as Governor of Penang. A moat 9 metres wide by 2 metres deep once surrounded the fort but it was filled in the 1920s due to a malaria outbreak in the area.

Even though the fort was originally built for the British military, its function, historically, was more administrative than defensive. For example, the judge of the Supreme Court of Penang, Sir Edmond Stanley, was first housed at Fort Cornwallis when the court opened on 31 May 1808. During the 1920s Sikh police of the Straits Settlements occupied the fort.

ARCHITECTURE

Royal Navy personnel under the direction of Rev. Peter Brown RN conducted an archaeological survey in July/August 1970. The fort was gazetted on 8 September 1977, under the Antiquities Act 168/1976, as an Ancient Monument and Historic site. Today, it has become one of Penang’s prime tourist attractions.

The Chapel at Fort Cornwallis was built in 1799. The first recorded marriage here took place that same year when John Timmers married Martina Rozells, Light’s widow. The building in the southwest bastion is almost certainly not the chapel, but the main magazine; the massive roof and the surrounding buttresses are typical of magazine buildings of the period. The building is the earliest roofed structure surviving in Penang from the colonial era.

Old cannons decorate the fort. The largest cannon, known as Seri Rambai Cannon, was cast in 1603, and was a gift from the Dutch to the Sultan of Johore in 1606. In 1613, the Portuguese took possession of Seri Rambai. They took the cannon to Java, where it stayed until 1795, when it was given to Acheh and brought to Kuala Selangor. The British seized the cannon and placed it in the fort in 1871.

A 21 m (69 ft) skeletal steel lighthouse was erected in the northeast corner of the fort in 1882. It is the second oldest lighthouse in Malaysia, after the Cape Rachado Lighthouse at Tanjung Tuan, Malacca. Originally named Fort Point Lighthouse, it was renamed Penang Harbour Lighthouse after renovation in 1914 and 1925. The State Tourism Development Committee chairman claimed in 2006 that it was the only lighthouse in Malaysia that resembles a ship’s mast, and the only one in Peninsular Malaysia not serving any navigational purpose.

 

 

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FORT CORNWALLIS

 

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FORT CORNWALLIS

 

 

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FORT CORNWALLIS

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FORT CORNWALLIS

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FORT CORNWALLIS

 

 

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FORT CORNWALLIS

 

 

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FORT CORNWALLIS

 

 

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FORT CORNWALLIS

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CLAN JETTIES OF PENANG

As traditional Chinese establishments in Malaysia’s quaint town of Penang, clan jetties are an integral part of the country’s heritage and history. With just six jetty clan communities left, they are fewer in numbers, but the waterfront shack communities are a still very much a part of the circuit for travelers through the area.

Built in order to house port laborers that could not afford housing on the mainland, the spanning clan jetties of Georgetown are today inhabited by the descendents of these workers. They are a bit run down and effectively shanties, but are considered by historians to be cultural landmarks that define a rather large group of people.

The wooden planks that make up the houses are aged and withered, but any visitor would be entranced by the structures that have lasted more than one hundred years, held together by the stilts that prop them over the waterfront.
The six jetties that still exist are Seh Lim Keo, Seh Chew Keo, Seh Tan Keo, Seh Lee Keo, Chap Seh Keo, Seh Yeoh Keo.They are a bit difficult to get to since they aren’t very close to the main areas in Georgetown. The six clan jetties of Penang are all one next to the other, so simply call one out and make your way around on foot.

 

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CLAN JETTIES IN PENANG

 

 

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CLAN JETTIES OF PENANG – CHEW CLAN TEMPLE

 

 

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A VIEW FROM THE CLAN JETTIES OF PENANG

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A VIEW FROM THE CLAN JETTIES OF PENANG

 

 

 

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A VIEW FROM THE CLAN JETTIES OF PENANG

 

 

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A VIEW FROM THE CLAN JETTIES OF PENANG

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LANGKAWI

 

Langkawi, officially known as Langkawi the Jewel of Kedah  is an archipelago of 104 islands in the Andaman Sea, some 30 km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia. The islands are a part of the state of Kedah, which is adjacent to the Thai border. On 15 July 2008, Sultan Abdul Halim of Kedah had consented to the change of name to Langkawi Permata Kedah in conjunction with hisGolden Jubilee Celebration. By far the largest of the islands is the eponymous Langkawi Island with a population of some 64,792, the only other inhabited island being nearby Tuba Island. Langkawi is also anadministrative district with the town of Kuah as largest town. Langkawi is aduty-free island.

The name Langkawi is thought to have existed by the early 15th century, although in the 16th century the island of Langkawi was also marked on maps variously as Langa, Langka, Lansura, and Langapura.

There are many suggestions for the origin of the name of Langkawi. According to one interpretation, Langkawi means island of the reddish-brown eagle in colloquialMalay.The Malay word for eagle is helang – which is shortened to “lang”, whilekawi is the name of a red stone used as a chalk to mark goods. This interpretation was used to create the landmark sculpture of an eagle as the symbol of Langkawi at Dataran Lang (Eagle Square) in Kuah.

It is however widely believed that Langkawi is also the same as the Lanka or Langkapuri mentioned in Indian sources. The name is thought to be related toLangkasuka, an old kingdom thought by some to have links with Kedah, and puri means a castle with a moat or a palace.Some also thought that Langkawi means “many beautiful islands”, langka being a Sanskrit word meaning “beautiful” while wimeans “many”.

In 2008, it was given the title of Langkawi Permata Kedah meaning “Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah” in 2008 by Kedah’sSultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah as part of his golden jubilee to impress upon tourists that Langkawi is part of Kedah.

Langkawi had long been at the periphery of, but closely associated with, the domain of the old kingdom of Kedah. Legend tells of a great snake ular-besar, the custodian of the Langkawi Islands, to which a new king of Kedah must sacrifice a virgin daughter whenever he first ascended the throne, or when a war was declared with another state.

The island of Langkawi was recorded in history by Chinese and other travellers. It was called Long-ya-pu-ti by the Yuan Dynasty traveller Wang Dayuan , and when the Ming Dynasty admiral Zheng He visited the region he marked the island as Long-ya-jiao-yi . In the 15th century, it was known to Acehnese as Pulau Lada or Pepper Island as they came over to plant pepper. In 1691, the French general Augustin de Beaulieu recorded going to the island of “Lancahui” (Langkawi) to buy pepper, and Beaulieu was required to obtain a license from Kedah’s heir apparent then in Perlisbefore the penghulu or chief of Langkawi would sell pepper to him.

Langkawi was historically home to seafarers, such as the Orang Laut (sea people) originally from the southern part of the Malay peninsula, as well as pirates and fishermen. It had been thought to be cursed for a couple of centuries – according to local legend, in the late 18th century, a woman named Mahsuri was wrongfully accused of adultery and put to death, and she placed a curse on the island that would last for seven generations. Not long after Mahsuri’s death, in 1821, the Siamese army invaded Kedah, and attacked Langkawi. In the first attack, the locals decided to burn down the granary at Padang Matsirat to starve and drive out the Siamese army. The Siamese nevertheless finally captured the island in May 1822, killed its leaders, and many of the islanders were taken as slaves, while others were forced to flee. Before the Siamese invasion, there was an estimated island population of 3,000–5,000, and only a small proportion was left after the invasion.

The island was recaptured from Siamese rule in a campaign against the Siamese in 1837. In 1840–1841, the Sultan of Kedah, who went into exile after the Siamese attacks, was allowed to return by the Siamese, and the population of Langkawi islands recovered afterwards mainly due to settlement of immigrants from Sumatra. However, the Orang Laut who fled after the Siamese attacks did not returned. In 1909, the islands came under British rule under the Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909. The middle of the channel between Tarutao and Langkawi would become the Siamese border, and Tarutao would be part of Siam while all the Langkawi islands to the south would come under British rule. During the Second World War, Siam took control briefly as Malaya fell to the Japanese.

Langkawi had been a haven for pirates which affected the northern part of the Malacca Strait. In a series of operations, between December 1945 and March 1946, the British cleared the pirates’ land base in Langkawi and Tarutao. The British continued to rule until Malaya gained its independence in 1957.

Langkawi remained as a quiet backwater until 1986, when the then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad decided to transform it into a major tourist resort, helping to plan many of the islands buildings himself.The island rapidly grew as a tourist destination, and by 2012, it had received over 3 million tourists a year.

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LANGKAWI

 

 

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LANGKAWI

 

 

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LANGKAWI

 

 

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LANGKAWI

 

 

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LANGKAWI

 

 

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LANGKAWI – SHOP

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LANGKAWI SUNSET

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Pulau Dayang Bunting
Lake of the Pregnant Maiden

Dayang Bunting is the second largest island in Langawi’s cluster of 99 islands. It’s located offshore and south of the main island, and can easily be reached by a boat. So why is this island so famous? The literal meaning of its name is ‘Island of Pregnant Maiden’. And it has a wonderful large fresh water lake (known as Lake Guillemard) surrounded by hills having dense rain forests. The lake too is known as Lake of the Pregnant Maiden.

The legend says that a man named Mat Teja met and fell in love with the princess Mambang Sari at the lake. They eventually married and the princess gave birth to a son. However their son did not live long and soon died. Having reconciled with their misfortune, they decided to lay their son in the water of the lake and allow him to rest in peace. The gracious princess also blessed all women having difficulty in conceiving a child. They would become fertile once they take a dip into the water of the lake.
Although not proven scientifically, this remains as a strong belief within the locals. To add to the mystery that surrounds the island and the lake, if you take a look at the hills that forms the backdrop of the lake, from an angle it looks like as if a woman is lying on her back and the belly bulging out like that of a pregnant woman.
 An amazing thing about the lake is, although it lies very close to the sea and separated by only a thing strip of rocks, it is a fresh water lake. Once you reach the island, there is a narrow jetty and then a concrete narrow pathway that leads up to the hills through the forest. After about 10 minutes of climb along steps on the hill, there are some 100 steps that leads down to the beautiful lake on the other side of the hill. The lake has deep blue waters.
As you walk through the pathway, be careful about the monkeys. They do not usually reach any harm or attack you. But if you carry food or packets, monkeys are likely to pounce and snatch them away. So do not carry any food or drinks with you, neither try to feed the monkeys. They may still look at you curiously, but won’t create any problems.

The lake and the surrounding area is part of the Dayang Bunting Marble Geoforest Park. This is one of the three geoparks of Langkawi with great limestone formations, marbles and unique geological features. The park has several caves. In fact the lake itself has resulted from a large underwater cave, the surface of which collapsed and later got filled with water.

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Pulau Dayang Bunting Lake of the Pregnant Maiden

 

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Pulau Dayang Bunting Lake of the Pregnant Maiden

 

 

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Pulau Dayang Bunting Lake of the Pregnant Maiden

 

 

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Monkeys at Pulau Dayang Bunting Lake of the Pregnant Maiden

 

 

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Monkeys at Pulau Dayang Bunting Lake of the Pregnant Maiden

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Gunung Mat Cincang in Langkawi

Gunung Mat Cincang is probably Langkawi’s best-known mountain, aside from its neighbour Gunung Raya. At 850m high, it is the second highest mountain in Langkawi and offers some pretty spectacular views of the island. It is home to the famous cable car that carries passengers 709m above sea level to the apex.

Besides enjoying the spectacular views of the forested and craggy sides of Mount Cincang, on a clear day you can see all the way to the mainland and southwest Thailand.

 

The histories of Gunung Mat Cincang and Gunung Raya are deeply connected and firmly rooted in legend. The story goes that once upon a time there were two giants named Mat Cincang and Mat Raya: though they were extremely close friends, one day at the wedding reception of their children, the two got into a squabble. Each grabbed items nearest to them (pots and pans) to throw at the other. In the middle of the mêlée a number of famous spots around Langkawi were created. A pot of gravy fell in Kuah town, thus resulting in its name (which means gravy in Malay), a bowl of hot water fell in Ayer Hangat (hot water) and a jar was broken in Belanga Pecah (broken crockery).

 

When the two giants finally came to their senses and realized what a mistake they had made by fighting with each other, they decided to atone for their mistakes by being turned into mountains. Mat Sawar, the mediator for the warring duo, was turned into a small hill (Gunung Mat Sawar) and placed between the two great mountains to ‘watch’ over them in the years to come.

 

 

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GUNUNG MACHINCANG

 

 

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GUNUNG MACHINCANG

 

 

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GUNUNG MACHINCANG

 

 

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GUNUNG MACHINCANG

 

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GUNUNG MACHINCANG

 

 

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GUNUNG MACHINCANG

 

 

PHOTOS:

LEONARD EPSTEIN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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