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New Straits Times



Lost glories of Langkasuka

SETIU: The lost glories of the Hindu-Buddhist kingdom of Langkasuka have been captured in the form of art and culture at two tourism spots in Terengganu.

The Caritra Langkasuka exhibition, which runs for three months until Sept 30 at the Terradala Museum Cafe in Jalan Sultan Sulaiman in the city centre and Terrapuri Heritage Village in Penarik.

Terengganu Tourism Association deputy president Alex Lee Yun Ping said apart from dozens of batik-cloth art by Asri Mat Yaman, the exhibition also featured Langkasuka architecture and artefacts, as well as santapan Langkasuka (Langkasuka delicacies).

“To complement the exhibition, we have created a ‘Caritra Langkasuka Escapade’ with tours to Pulau Duyong, Pulau Sekati, Penarik and Kampung Pengalan Gajah fishing villages with colourful boats, Kampung Raja wood carving, Wat Mai Suwankiri temple and the firefly and turtle sanctuaries,” said Lee who is also adviser to the Terengganu Peranakan Association.

The name Langkasuka, which is Sanskrit in origin, is believed to refer to a ‘resplendent land of bliss’ that is related to the empire of Indian emperor Asoka the great (circa  268 to 232 BC) and Bhagadatta and legendary Kedah warrior Merong Mahawangsa.

Lee, who is managing director of Ping Anchorange Travel and Tours, said response to the exhibition and tours had been encouraging, not only among foreigners but locals as well.

He said visitors could sample traditional Terengganu and Peranakan fare while enjoying gamelan music.

“Many are using this opportunity to better understand the Langkasuka kingdom which is linked with southern Thailand, Kelantan and Terengganu.

“They are intrigued at the batik art, and the wooden and bronze artefacts, which rekindle the kingdom’s history via decorative items.

“The exhibition is an added service to the travel, tour and tourism industries in Terengganu,” said Lee, who owns both Terradala and Terrapuri.

Lee said Terradala referred to the ‘land of decorative arts’, while Terrapuri was a ‘land of palaces’ with traditional Malay classic bungalow houses overlooking the South China Sea.

He said he had roped in notable traditional artist Asri, a native of Cherang Ruku, Kelantan, to add glamour to the exhibition.

An ardent art lover and collector of artefacts, Lee has over the years acquired almost 500 traditional and historical decorative craft items and artefacts worth several million ringgit, for display at the Terradala Museum Cafe. Visitors can also buy traditional Terengganu ware and clothes at the cafe.

“I spent time looking for such historical, heritage and antique arts and crafts from old palaces around the region,” said Lee.

He is now embarking on refurbishing his Terradala Museum Cafe, situated on the ground floor of a five-storey building complete with outdoor gazebo, into an eight-room wooden-ornamental adorned boutique hotel, with a rooftop garden.




Terrapuri | Kampung  Mangkuk, 22120 Setiu, Terengganu, Malaysia.  T : +(609) 6245020  +(609) 6312081  F : +(609) 6228093  E :