I have no special relationship or interesting childhood memory that can be related to the Chinatown of Ganukite or Kampung Cina as known by the locals. There are not many stories regarding the place that I can tell or pass down to my future cucu cicit muit. But I ‘ve always had keen interest in this place. There is some sense of rustic feeling or classical Oriental ambiance attached to this place. Unlike the other old and historical buildings in this vicinity, Chinatown of Ganukite seems to have strong immunity, standing tall and manage to evade greedy development that is fast ravaging the small towns of Ganukite. The oil-money that flooded Ganukite doesn’t seem to pour down onto this place. Or perhaps the money only linger and circulated among the pockets of some ‘boyeh’ tokeys and taikor who reside in the small idyllic shophouses or big bungalows somewhere, hidden from the prying eyes the uninitiated tourists, I have no idea. But thanks to UNESCO for making this place another heritage site and saved this place from extinction from the World map.
There is something this place has that always draw my attention. Everytime I pass by the small one-way road commuting toward the other side of Ganukite town, something hit my memory domain. The bridge in the middle of the Chinatown at least has some picturesque memory of me . It was during the New Chinese Lunar Year of some 40 over years ago, I stood on the bridge with my father watching the procession of beautiful ‘tanglung’ and tantalizing dragon play. The parade was beautiful and the lanterns were made of multitude shapes and patterns. There were also dragons and other mystical things on parade but I couldn’t remember much as my memory was still in its embryonic stage at that time. The colorful display ended close to midnight. Accompanying us was Uncle Wat, my father’s close friend, whom like to go hunting ayam hutan in the jungle of Jerangau, Jabor and Bkt. Besi. Uncle Wat must be in his early 70’s now. It was Uncle Wat who had also introduced me to the sweet sticky cake of Kuih bakul, a traditional Chinese delicacy. I haven’t met Uncle Wat for ages. That was the last time I stood on the bridge and watched the parade.
Kampung Cina nowadays, doesn’t change much since the last time I visited the place. It retains most of its old charm. At least there is still no Starbuck or Coffee Bean around. I can’t testify much on the taste of the food but the traditional and modern eating establishments seem to be crowded by customers. As this place is very close and just a walking distance from the new water front, Pasar Kedai Payang and Hotel Seri Malaysia, it is a good spot to visit whenever you are in Ganukite or your feet feel itchy for some good leisurely evening stroll.
One of the old shophouse along the road of Kampung Cina in Ganukite town. With such authentic decor and old ornate buildings line up the street, this place is declared a world heritage site by the UNESCO.
The arch with two dragons, is a prominent landmark at the Southern end of Kampung Cina. Walking along the street, you can feel the atmosphere and the pungent smell of the spices that fill the air.
This particular spot, a mid section along the road of Kampung Cina has some international appeal especially for the film maker. A scene for a period drama could make this place another silver screen hit spot.
This window panes with decorative panels are a feast to my eyes. The building survives, so as the tradition.
Another well preserved architecture on some of the old building along the street of Kampung Cina. I was told the unique motif of this building articulates the houseowner’s hope for longevity, good luck, abundance and offspring.
Another interesting feature that caught my eyes. The subtle background color of the building and the brightly red lantern made good contrast.
Beautiful Chinese lantern (tanglung) on display by the members of the Chinese community on their shophouses.
Another tanglung that exhibit interesting details.
I don’t know what the letters on the tanglung meant, but they surely looks very catchy.
Lanterns ‘fruiting’ from bamboo trees.
The residents of this China town competed trying very hard to outdo one another with creative display of tanglung. The winner came out with a cheque of few thousand ringgit.
During my recent visit to the China town with my significant half, I found many interesting things about Kampung China. There are new exciting ‘upgrades’ to the place that will surely catch tourists’ eyes. One of them is this special spot dedicated to turtle conservation. I love “piung”, is a beautiful mosaic build by volunteers and turtle lovers.
This alley is special because it is very unique and load of good information on turtle conservation. It is hope that this alley will bring awareness to the public on the importance to save this beautiful creature. Kids and adult alike would enjoy strolling along this lane, while at the same time find it very educational.
On of the mosaics in the Turtle alley. Actually this particular mosaic is the beginning of a story line, a journey of a little Maya and an adventure with the special creature – the turtle.
This stretch of narrow alley, approximately 50 meter long is the Turtle alley. My significant half stopped and got mesmerized by the mosaics and interesting stories told by little Maya.
I noticed this sweet sticky cake or kuih bakul being ‘baked’ under the sun at the back of Kampung Cina. This cakes were similar to what Uncle Wat used to give to my family everytime the Chinese celebrates their Chinese New Year.