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".


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, July 25, 2007

The ancient valley of Bujang in Merbok

The British-built clock tower at Sungai Petani...
After leaving Kota Kuala Muda, I immediately head for Sungai Petani, the main Kedah town some 60km south of the capital Alor Setar. I arrived just before dusk. That's when I had to make a choice whether to spent the night there or continue the journey towards Yan, a coastal town in Kedah which I've never visited before and thus was well on the current travelling programme.
The answer that came - If I could find a cheap hotel for under RM20 per night that night, then I would sleep there. Otherwise, just head towards Yan whether I reach it or not that night. Just get out of town.
As it happened, I couldn't find a room for that price... And there was one last bus to Yan. And so I headed there but decided to stop elsewhere...

The small town of Merbok seen in the morning...

I spent the night at a surau there. Apparently just before I stepped on the bus to Yan, a new 'instruction' dawned into my heart - go to Merbok and visit the places there. There's answers to be found related to my search to understand more the coming of Islam to the Malay Archipelago.

Actually, I was already thinking about going to Merbok even before stepping foot on the northern part of Malaysia more than a week before. It's just Merbok was not a 'complusory' destination, just like Bukit Meriam is not must-visit place in this particular trip.

Having problems trying to understand what I mean? Well let me give you a clue. As far as this particular trip to the North is concerned, I must visit Yan and Alor Setar among other places. I would feel sorely inadequte if I don't do so because it is complusory on my list. Bukit Meriam on other hand is not a must-visit place. That's why I could go straight from Kota Kuala Muda to Sungai Petani without feeling guilty. But Merbok become 'compulsory' when I received the 'instruction' just before stepping foot on the bus. Otherwise, I would have saved time and energy by going straight to Yan. So there...

So what is in Merbok that makes it compulsory to visit? Just look at this signboard... The archeological museum of Bujang Valley, 2km away.

It was early morning and I had the energy... Decided to walk all the way and came across this big house said to belong to a very wealthy Malay...

Some 15 minutes later (or was it more?), banners greeting visitors enter the view...

And so after a brief stop at the main museum building, I headed straight for the artifacts on display outside, things which I don't know function for what originated from areas in and around the Bujang valley from as early as the 2nd century AD!

Some of the artifacts won't be out of place if put alongside ancient Greek city ruins and such...

Hmm... Pillar like this make the word Atlantis comes to mind...

There, more ancient gadgets on display... These bowls (or bowl-like things) could either be soup bowls for giants (legends say they do exist in Kedah sometime ago) or maybe it was for cooking people inside? Hehe! :]

Hmm... One look at this particular artifact and the word trilobite, those ancient insect-like sea animals which were supposed to live before the dinasour appeared 70 millon years ago came to mind...

Ah... My heart urged me to share the remaining pictures to be used on the Bujang Valley story at my Malay blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU instead, so there I go now...

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