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Wednesday, May 18, 2011



The original Labu Sayong is a black gourd-shaped clay pitcher used for containing drinking water. The idea originated from the use of actual matured pumpkins to store water, after the contents had been removed and the inside cleaned.

It is believe that the water stored in Labu Sayong help prevent many illnesses and stomach disorders. No research has been done on this medical value. Anyway, it is very important to drink lots of water each day.

There are numerous Labu Sayong Enterprises in Kg Sayong, Kg Bukit Lada, Kg Pauh, Kg Sayong Ketengah and Kg Kepala Bendang approximately 15 kilometers from The Royal Town of Kuala Kangsar from the Northern State of Perak, Malaysia. The Malaysian Government is promoting this Cottage Industry as part of their SDSI (Satu Daerah Satu Industri) program literally translated as One District One Industry. The Perak branch of the Malaysia Handicraft Development Corporation has opened a Handicraft Centre at a nearby town of Enggor which offers a training course in the making of Labu Sayong apart from selling these useful and attractive products.


The clay found along streams and river banks at Sayong River is most suitable to make the Labu Sayong. Traditionally, this clay is left to dry under the sun for days. It is first pounded into extremely fine powder and then sieved from coarser remains and wood to obtain the finest and cleanest clay. Water is then added to this clay powder and kept in a container for a few days. During this process, the clay will settle down, The water is then removed and the remaining clay is taken out and put on a plaster slab to be kneaded and wedged. This process of kneading and wedging will remove air bubbles which can cause the pot to break when exposed to intense heat. After that, it is shaped into its distinct traditional 'double-bulb' shape. Such tedious and painstaking process!!!

Nowadays, the clay soil is mixed with Sodium and water in a simple improvised machine to produce a batter.

The batter is pour into the mould. Let it set inside the mould for 3 hours or so depending on the weather. The bigger pot usually takes one day or so. The pot is removed from the mould and turn upside down to dry.

The process of shaping and decorating is done on a simple rounded wooden board wheel rotated by hand.

The  pots are then dried in the sun for 3 days or so to harden the surface.

Back in the old days, the pots are fired in open trenches filled with dry rambutan trees, bamboo and palm fronds until they are red hot. They are immediately removed and placed on a pile of paddy husk or saw dust for 20 minutes to impart the black sheen. The base of the pot is brushed with liquid resin or wax to render it waterproof. Imagine all those opening burnings, sweats and hard work!!!

Nowadays, the pots are baked in a kiln at temperature of 1000 centigrade for 10 hours or so depending on the size and purpose. The longer the baking, the more expensive it is. However the original black Labu Sayong is still processed the traditional ways

Till this day, Labu Sayong is greatly admired, not only for its utility, but for its beauty and aesthetic quality. Beside the water pitcher, Labu Sayong can be made into lamp stands and vases. To produce the different, beautiful and unique looks, different techniques are used.

For a greenish look, the pot is sprayed with Meranti liquid. Generally, this type of vase cost RM 6.00 per small piece, RM 45.00 per medium piece and RM 95.00 per large piece. Of course, the price will be more expensive for more intricate design.

For the earthen look, it is dipped in the natural wood-colored paint. Otherwise, the pot is painted over its natural baked state.

For the glossy and varnished look, it is glazed with liquid resin.

Lamp Shade is the most sought after decorative item. The price ranges from RM 48.00 to RM 95.00 per piece with or without base, wiring and lamp shade.

5 easy steps to clean and use the Labu Sayong water pitcher.
Step 1 - Rinse the inside with plain water to clean the clay
Step 2 – Wash the rice thoroughly. Keep the 1st washed water.
Step 3 - Rinse the inside of the Labu Sayong again with the ‘rice water’.
Step 4 - Turn it upside down and leave it to dry for 24 hours.
Step 5 – Now it ready to use. Enjoy!!

If you wish to witness this famous handicraft-making cottage industry in Perak and is mainly found in Kuala Kangsar, please contact Wan at 603-2260 2667/ 3667 / 4667 fax 603-2260 5667 or email your request to I could also organize a visit several places of interest in the royal town of Kuala Kangsar, mainly the ‘Istana Kenangan’. Originally a royal residence, this 1926 timber building was constructed without the use of nails and converted in a Royal Museum which displays Perak’s royal regalia as well as pictures and depicts then history of the royal family. Another beautiful historical landmark is the Ubudiah Mosque which was constructed at the turn of the century by the 28th ruler of Perak, Sultan Idris Mursyidul Azam, with its magnificent golden domes and minarets.

There are more pictures in our Facebook.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


If you wish to be close and personal with the Elephant, the place is Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary in Lanchang, Pahang, Malaysia!!!

If you wish to bond with the Elephant, have a family outing at Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary!!!

Watch Man and Beast at Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary!!!


Meet the Elephants from Thailand and Myammar at Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary!!!


KUALA GANDAH is located at the river mouth of River Gandah and River Tetris although what you see is only the River Tetris whereas River Gandah is a small stream nearby. The name Gandah is combined words of ‘Ngan’ (bird) and ’Dah’ (curse). The legend says that a pair of Hornbills is cursed to remain as a couple for the rest of their lives and can only be separated by death.

River Tetris
Approaching the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, you will see several bamboo houses on stilts. These are the homes of CHE WONG ABORIGINE TRIBE for many generations. They are the smallest groups of indigenous people which can only be found in the Krau Wildlife Reserve in Pahang. There are only over 350 residents from 100 families at the Kampung Orang Asli Che Wong Lanchang. The house is built from bamboos rattans, attaps, tree barks and hard wood. Actually each house is a bedroom with basic sleeping mats or mattresses with mosquito nets. There is no attached bathroom, fancy dresser, cupboard or fan. Although they are given a 2 Bedroom single storey bungalow by the Government, they still prefer to stay in their simple houses.  They still uphold and preserve their traditional way of life. Like all other Aborigines tribe in Malaysia, Che Wong tribe’s social, health and economic welfares are being taken care of by the Department of Orang Asli Development (JHEOA – Jabatan Hasil Ehwal Orang Asli) under the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development. The elders still goes to the nearby diminishing jungles to collect forest products for own consumption and making handicrafts such as head gears, small souvenirs and traditional games. The younger generation works at the nearby Oil Palm plantations and Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary as laborers, security guards and elephant trainers or ‘mahout’.

Just at the entrance of the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, there is a Che Wong Community Cultural Hall donated by Genting Malaysia Berhad under their Corporate Social Responsibility ‘We Care’ Program. This building houses a mini museum, exhibition centre, reception room, mini library and classroom.

At the Registration Center, after paying the Conservation Fee of a minimum of RM30.00 per person, you will be given a Colored Sticker. The Red Sticker A labels you as a Visitor that can feed and bath with the Baby Elephants. The Yellow Sticker B is for Visitor who can participate in the afternoon activities such as feeding, riding and bathing with the Baby Elephants. This is limited to only 150 persons each day, hence come early on weekends, public and school holidays. Bathing with the Elephants is subject to the water level and at the discretion of the staff. The Green Sticker B is for Official Visitor for the morning sessions activities such as feeding and riding the elephants only. This is for a group of 40 persons and above with prior arrangement.

Whilst waiting for the activities with the Elephants to start, you may spend time at the new Information Centre. Watch a 30 minutes National Geographic documentary titled ‘Return to the Wilds, the Homeless Elephant’ in an air-conditioned mini theatre that sits 120 visitors. This video shows issues regarding the wild elephants, diminishing habitat and translocations. Video Time: Monday till Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays 1,00pm, 1.30pm and 3.45pm, Friday 1.00pm. 1.30pm, 2,00pm and 3.45pm 


Learn fun facts of the Elephant

Ø  The Elephant’s Tail serves as a Fly Swatter. Flies are its biggest enemy as it can lay its eggs under the thick skin that cause extreme itch.  The tail of the Elephant weighs only 10kg equivalent to a weight of a bicycle. Watch out for ‘Sanum’ the Tailless Elephant at this Kuala Gandah Sanctuary.

Ø  The Elephant is a habitual animal. It will use the same path for the rest of their lives and disregard whatever comes in its way. This fact explains the normal sighting of a Herd of Elephants crossing the Butterworth - Kulim – Gerik highway in the Northern States of West Malaysia during the early wee morning.

Ø  Elephant are gentle Giants.  Mother Elephant will constantly cuddles, strokes and protects its baby. The more matured and experienced Elephants help to calm down the Wild Elephants by touching the eyes, face and ears of the Wild Elephants during the Translocation Exercise. When one of the elephant dies, the rest of the herd will grieve by lowering their trunks coupled with drooping ears and sad eyes.

Ø  Each day, an adult elephant eats pellet, papaya, watermelon, carrot, sugar cane, a mix of grass, banana trucks and fruits worth RM 100.00 and drinks about 100 to 150 litre of water. For daily diet of the Baby Elephant is ANLENE Gold Milk 51, DUMEX DUGA for the 1 to 3 years old, NESVITA OMEGA PLUS, Glucose, Palm brown sugar and 10 kilograms bag of rice. All donations in kind can be handed to The Visitor’s Registration counter.

FACILITIES at the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary

Picnic Areas

Resting Shacks

Baby Elephant Platform

Adult Feeding Platform

Adult Riding Platform

Children Riding Platform
Bathing with the Elephant Platform 

ACTIVITIES at the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary

 Feeding the Baby Elephants

 Feeding the Adult Elephants

 Riding the Adult Elephants

 Riding the young Elephant 

 Bathing with the Baby Elephant

 Photos with Baby Elephants 

Leisure & Incentive Tours Sdn Bhd, a licensed Malaysia Travel Agency organizes a Day Trip to Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary

All tours (ex-KL) are based on minimum 2 adults. Child is between 4 to 11years.

Price (2 – 3 persons)
Price (4 – 8 persons)
Elephant Sanctuary at Kuala Gandah
10.00 am
Approx 8 hrs
(Include simple local lunch and conservation fee)
RM 225.00 adult
RM 150.00 child
RM 190.00 adult
RM 120.00 child

For reservation, enquiry or quotation, kindly contact us at 603-2260 2667 / 3667 / 4667, fax 603-2260 5667 or email