Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Silvered langurs at Kuala Selangor

Went to Kuala Selangor last evening (15 Mar 2010) and was really happy to see lots of silvered langurs on the road at Bukit Melawati  (Malawati). It's far more common to see macaques in Malaysia, especially in populated areas, so it was a very pleasant surprise to see these langurs.

The adults have dark grey fur and the paler tips give a silvery appearance. The infants are a contrasting orange colour. These arboreal monkeys eat leaves, shoots, fruits and flowers. A Malay man was selling bundles of beans to feed the monkeys. It was quite surprising to see that the macaques mostly kept away. Normally macaques are quite aggressive and opportunists.

See 2nd album Sept 2011.


© Liz Price <br>
No reproduction without permission

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rimbun Dahan

Went to Rimbun Dahan today, which is the home of Angela Hijjas and Hijjas Kasturi at Kuang in Selangor. The house is set in 14 acres of indigenous Southeast Asian plants. We had a tour of the garden which includes forest species, the herb garden, and wetlands.

The garden was fascinating as there was so much to see. The only drawback was that the mosquitoes were horrendous and in vast swarms, despite the fact we were all plastered in repellant. Some of the big trees have been struck by lightning. One area had been left to grow wild without being controlled, so that Angela could see what was appearing in this patch.

Some trees have towns named after them, e.g. Ipoh, Petaling, Kemunting.
bark of Parashorea densiflora -
new leaves curled up
palm with berries
What are they looking at -
Main house
guest house
lily & lotus
betel palms
Hindu statue

The herb garden, Taman Sari, has a great mix of fragrant, medicinal and culinary plants used traditionally in the region, as well as some organic vegetables. The entrance has a cluster of betel nut palms, Areca catechu. Although the betel nut palm has given its Malay name, Pinang, to the island of Penang, it originates from (Java?). There were nutmegs which come from the Moluccas, various gingers and many other plants seen and used in Malaysian kitchens.

Alocasia sanderana
Alocasia sanderana
kanthan ginger
Pitcher plants

Hindu statue
misai kuching
aloe vera
okra flower
betel palms
mace and nutmeg
Ipoh tree
banana and insects feeding
Alocasia -
Alocasia seeds
Petaling trees
Kemunting shrub

We were also able to see the century old kampong house, Rumah Uda Manap, which came from Parit in Perak, and is thought to have been the home of Maharaja Lela or at least his family.
The house has a mix of Chinese decoration and Malay architecture.

In addition there is a newly restored Anglo-Malay cottage from Penang.
Window in cottage -
Mace lace wallpaper in bedroom
Thief in action!
Lady of the house
old house, modern mast

We saw the artists gallery and collection of classic cars. The Morris Minor was my favourite.

The compound of Rimbun Dahan is a centre for developing traditional and contemporary art forms. We went to the underground gallery and saw an exhibition of the work of the artists who have been in residence for the last year: Samsuddin Wahab, Monika Behrens and Rochelle Haley.
Fat Cat painting
Little Dragon Ladies -
skeleton and reflection
3 skeletons
by Samsudin Wahab
Water cascade

The main house and other modern buildings were designed by Hijjas Kasturi.

Thanks to Angela for a great tour, and for providing refreshments at the end.

For more info, see Rimbun Dahan,

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission