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This blogspot is a medium to share my thoughts and adventures apart from promoting my books. Below are the books which have been written or authored and published by myself.


"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Mencari Diri dan Erti".

ISBN 983-42031-0-1, Jun 2006


"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Membela Syiar yang Asal"

ISBN 983-42031-1-x, May 2007


"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Sirih Pulang ke Gagang?"

ISBN 978-983-42031-2-2, November 2007


It is interesting to note that while these books were written in Malay it has gained enough attention to merit being part of the collections of the American Library of Congress and National Library of Australia. Look here and here.


While the first three books were published by my own company, the fourth titled "Rumah Azan" was published in April 2009 by a company called Karnadya with the help of the Malaysian national literary body Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. It features beautiful pictures along with stories behind selected mosques which could be related to the history of Islam and the Malays alongside the formation of the Malaysian nation. Look at the article A collaboration of old collegemates - the book "Rumah Azan".


My fifth book "Ahlul Bait (Family) of Rasulullah SAW and Malay Sultanates", an English translation and adaptation of the Malay book "Ahlul Bait (Keluarga) Rasulullah SAW dan Kesultanan Melayu" authored by Hj Muzaffar Mohamad and Tun Suzana Othman was published early 2010. Look here... My 5th book is out! Ahlul Bait (Family) of Rasulullah SAW and the Malay Sultanates... . For more information check out my Malay blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU.



Like my fourth book "Rumah Azan", the sixth book "Kereta Api Menuju Destinasi" is also a coffee-table book which is published by the company Karnadya with the cooperation of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (the main Malay literary body in Malaysia). Coming out January 2011 it features pictures and stories on the adventure travelling by train to all of Peninsular Malaysia along with the interesting places which could be reached this way.


My seventh book "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah" in turn is a coffee-table book which is written, editted, designed and has pictures taken by me. Coming out of the factory October 2011, this book which combines family history with history of places such as Singapura, Johor, Batu Pahat, Muar and in fact the history of the island of Java and England has been reviewed with me interviewed live in the program Selamat Pagi Malaysia at RTM1. Look at the article Siaran langsung ulasan buku "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah" dan temu ramah di Selamat Pagi Malaysia. Some selected contents have been featured in Sneak peek "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah".


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The "Berpetualang ke Aceh" series of novels could be obtained in e-book form. Enter http://www.e-sentral.com/, click general novel and go to page 4. You can also type the word "Aceh" at the search box. Or click straight Book 1, Book 2 and Book 3.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The difficult land route to the tomb of Sultan Iskandar Zulkarnain

Now comes the main purpose of our recent trip to Perak, to visit the tomb of Perak's 15th ruler, Sultan Iskandar Zulkarnain which lies at a very secluded area...

After the visit to the tomb of Keramat Kuala Bidor (look at My latest visit to the tomb of Keramat Kuala Bidor) we went further northwards where we got locals to show us how to get to the tomb of Sultan Iskandar Zulkarnain.


For the record I have tried to get to the tomb by boat in April. While I then managed to get to its vicinity I just couldn't find the actual site because of the bushes and thick growth.

This time I've learned that the affected area has been cleared and thus made a new attempt using land route.


Mind you we were not using a four-wheel-drive vehicle but just our trusty Kenari, a simple car more suited for in-town driving.



But here we have to 'pretend' that we have something that could match a 4WD...




We have to do that as far as we could for the sake our one-year-old baby who was brought along with me and the wife. Just imagine driving a small 1.1 litre town car through this area and trying to snap pictures too...





Soon we reached a point where the car just can't come in anymore. That's when the two motorcycles brought in by the locals came in handy...





I took one while the locals continued on another. OK. Obviously I can't take pictures while riding with my wife and baby, what more through such growth and bumpy path. Next, came a point where we have to leave the bikes and started walking...





Thank God, the news I got about the area around the tomb having been cleared is indeed true. Through the bushes I could see the tomb building at a distance and sighed a strong relief. At least I know I don't have to go through the bad experience of April where I couldn't even pinpoint the exact location of the tomb. Look at the old article Looking for the tombs of Sultan Shahabuddin and Sultan Iskandar Zulkarnain....





Nevertheless there's still a distance to cover before mission was accomplished...




For one I was still worried about how the bushes, foliage and drains could block our path.






At this juncture I have taken the baby from my wife...





While we still have to pass through drains and such it was not as difficult as before as the whole area was much cleaner...





The tomb at last. I shall talk more about it in a new article for my bi-lingual blogspot SENI LAMA MELAYU (MALAY OLDEN ART).



My latest visit to the tomb of Keramat Kuala Bidor

After the old railway bridge we went to the tomb of Keramat Kuala Bidor, a saintly figure of old who is said to have miraculous powers.


Actually there's two big tomb buildings here and I visited this one first.



While this particular tomb is generally not known belonging to whom it is my belief that it also belongs to the person known as Keramat Kuala Bidor.


The tomb officially designated as that of Keramat Kuala Bidor is this one. So how could I even consider the other as belonging to the same personage? Let's just say it belongs to one person who has assumed 2 different identities in 2 different period. Do have a look at the article Makam (Tomb of ) Keramat Kuala Bidor in the blogspot SENI LAMA MELAYU (MALAY OLDEN ART).



Anyway there are actually 3 tombs within this enclosed area...




Perhaps the other 2 is that of a wife and an offspring?





Anyway let's recite the Quran's opening verses, the Al-Fatihah for his spirit. May you rest in peace always o dear great great great grandfather. To know more read the stories translated from my first book "Berpetualang ke Aceh : Mencari diri dan erti" (published June 2006) at the following links. For the record this is the 595th article in this blogspot.

The tale of Keramat Kuala Bidor

The tale of Keramat Kuala Bidor 2… Touching a bit on the world shadow government

The Tale of Keramat Kuala Bidor 3 – And so the story goes…


The old railway bridge at Teluk Intan

Still on Perak. Continued from The vast freshwater lake at Sungkai.


Next day, after spending the night at a hotel in Teluk Intan we headed northwards and dropped by at this bridge.


The bridge crosses the river Bidor, a main river which pours into the larger Perak river. Once upon a time Teluk Intan was the main port for exporting tin to outside of Perak, mined mainly from the Kinta valley (which contains Ipoh). This bridge was part of a connecting rail network. If I'm not mistaken the railway went to Tapah Road before heading to Ipoh and vice versa.

Nowadays the railway up to Tapah Road is not in operation Perhaps there's parts still used at times to transport palm oil produce but that's about it. As far as this bridge is concerned, the railings have all been removed. The bridge then is used by pedestrian and motorcyclist as short cut. Otherwise one have to use the main bridge about a kilometre further, a route which makes the journey to Teluk Intan 3 km longer.



Monday, October 25, 2010

The vast freshwater lake at Sungkai

Continued from The lake I've just discovered near my house.....



OK. The reason I wrote that piece about the lake near my house is one, I'm excited after seeing it for the first time up close just about 4 hours ago. Two, I could somehow relate it to a vast freswater lake which is said to have existed near Sungkai in Perak.


You see, on Saturday I went to Perak to complete a certain mission and made a stop at Sungkai to get some information about its olden history. Thus I was shown among others the site which used to be said vast lake.

According to the stories it was called Laut Tawar (the freshwater sea) because of its vastness.



The name reminds me of the Danau Laut Tawar present on the mountains in middle Aceh. Look at the articles Enter Takengon and the highland fresh water lake Danau Laut Tawar and Morning views of Takengon and Danau Laut Tawar.



Anyway while the Laut Tawar of Sungkai was situated on low ground it should cover a similar vast area.




Just imagine the areas shown here all inundated by water except some higher ground, that is the Laut Sungkai which is said to have existed as late as the end of 1920s. The water level then went down turning it into a vast swamp and later the swamp was reclaimed to make way for a modern plantation...


The lake I've just discovered near my house....

Making excursion from the Brunei stories... again...


Today at noon I went to a certain place just a kilometre away from my house.


It is just only a week ago or so that I noticed there's a big lake around...



Funny. I've been plying the nearby road from Bandar Tasik Puteri to Batu Arang the last 2 years but only recently noticed the lake, even then after my wife saw it first...


Zoom in. Later that night I checked using Google Earth and confirmed that there's indeed a big lake here...



Now time to find a way to get in near...




As you can see in the earlier pictures, the nearby area is swampy. So I have to find a more solid route to get inside...





Luckily I could find one nearby...





Then I found a part with plenty of yellow discoloured rocks...





Is it possible the rocks are actually ruins from some sort of ancient stone building?








Anyway as I pressed on I found another access...







There's a sandy road which should be able to connect to the nearby main road, albeit from a further junction.








I followed the route to get in deeper.










Soon, the lake is in sight...







Ah. How could I not noticed such a big lake like in the vicinity of my house before?





Mind you, the lake is more than 300 metres wide...





And it stretches almost a kilometre long with one end just about 500 metres from my house!