Somewhere in Asia travel blog

An old kite

Batik stamp

Batik staining

Batik wax application

A coconut-fetching monkey

An old Malay-style house

A local trishaw


A Kota Bharu alley

A young top-spinner

Another day in Kota Bharu. We woke up to torrential downpour outside that lasted all night and well into the morning. The last bouts of the monsoon season. The day was pleasantly cool for the next 15 minutes or so. We cycled out of town to see the South China Sea beach, as well as some local crafts in the making. The beach was totally abandoned except for a small group of people away in the distance. It is a predominantly a Muslim community. The traditional way of creating batik patterns has evolved a bit. They no longer use natural dyes to stain the fabrics. We were also lucky to witness a kite maker work on one of his creations. Each province in Malaysia has its own kite. The state of Kalantan has a moon kite, designated so for it's shape. When we entered his workshop he barely acknowledged our presence. He seemed so engrossed in his task that we felt like two flies on the wall, completely unnoticed but present. We observed his intensity for quite a while. His movements were deliberate and calculated. He carefully chose his background colours, and worked very quickly and efficiently. We slipped away unnoticed, having witnessed the energy flowing into these beautiful kites.

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