Friday, June 24, 2016

Contrasts of the old and the new in Langkawi

I was in Langkawi recently and after seeing so much development there, I began to wonder how building materials, scoefically cement and concrete, were brought to the island. Well, my curiosity was soon answered when I rented a car and drove all over this resort island.

Located on the northern side of Langkawi was a huge structure that looked like the space launch pad of Cape Canaveral. Rising over 10 stories high at least, this structure in green and grey turned out to be the Lafarge Kedah Cement Quarry. I decided to stop by and do a piece on it because I had not done one on a cement quarry/factory before.

Since there were no security outposts like most factories in Klang valley, I invited myself into the compound and parked my car along the drive way so that I could get a good view of the factory complex. I had to station myself quite far away to get this main complex into the piece and I had to also work fast because it was almost lunch hour and my presence could attract unnecessary attention.

The Kedah Cement Quarry/Factory owned by Lafarge, located north of the Langkawi Island.
Despite the wave of concreted buildings sweeping across this resort island, I am pleased to be able to find some very beautiful traditional houses in Langkawi.

One such house - there are many more as I have spotted, especially along the non-touristy areas of the island - is at Padang Matsirat, where the Padang Beras Terbakar or Field of Burnt Rice is located. This house (photo below, inset) belongs to Ku Halim Ku Hassan and is a fine looking timber structure built raised on stilts. It has a lovely concrete staircase.

This is a lovely timber house that is also well taken care of. I like the clean surroundings and
 the beautiful Malacca-style concrete staircase leading into the serambi (sitting area) of the house.

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