Wednesday, 27 February 2013

High Flyers at Pasir Gudang

“Colouring the Sky” could not be a better theme for The Pasir Gudang World Kite Festival this year. Imagine 3,000 colourful kites flying simultaneously in the sky of this southernmost state of Peninsula Malaysia, creating a new record in The Malaysian Book of Records, thanks to the participation of students from around the district. This year is the 18th edition of The Pasir Gudang World Kite Festival. The inaugural edition started in 1995, registering only 11 foreign participants from five countries. This year it recorded 236 participants from 36 countries which included new entries like Zambia, Colombia, Russia and Ukraine.

My journey to Pasir Gudang started at 8.05am from Kuala Lumpur, a brief stop at Pagoh Rest Area and off we shoot to Rahmat Ikan Bakar at Kampung Pasir Putih, Pasir Gudang for an early lunch. We reached the popular  restaurant-by-the-sea (it’s actually by the straits of Tebrau) at 11.10am. The restaurant’s specialty is grilled seabass, hence the name ‘Ikan Bakar’.  The customers can choose their dishes from the wide array of food choices but grilled-seabass is a compulsory dish.  Streams of customers could be seen coming in small groups as we were enjoying our scrumptious lunch while being cooled by the afternoon sea breeze. We took our time to savour our delicious meal, and as we planned to reach Bukit Layang-layang (layang-layang means kite in Bahasa Malaysia), the venue of the kite festival by 2pm, we figured we still have plenty of time. I paid for the meal for two. Total bill - 1 grilled seabass + fried prawn + sambal petai (bitter bean) + lauk sayur kobis (cabbage) + 2 plates of plain rice + 2 glasses of ice lemon tea= RM38.00. That was really cheap… and a great start to my trip!

My best lunch for this year

3 kilometres away from venue and we could already see the sea of kites soaring in the sky. What a panoramic sight it was! How I wish my kids were with me to share the experience. I was in time to watch the Rokkaku Challenge and the Lolly Pop Drop by both local and international participants.

One of the participants, Peter Lynn said he never missed the event ever since it started 18 years ago. “It’s great to see so many participants here, and the event is getting better and better” exclaimed Peter, who is running a full time kite business in Ashburton, New Zealand.  Another participant, Kim Yoon Sik said that this was his first time coming to Pasir Gudang and agreed that this was one of best kite festival he has ever went to. The 60 year old Korean kite enthusiast who chose insects to be his main subjects, said he promised to come again next year with better kites.

Kites of all shapes, sizes and colours filled the sky.

This year was the first time the event was having a special category for the Asean School Kite competition. The competition attracted participants from Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia, China and Malaysia. This was besides the five standard categories which were “The Most Creative Kite”, “The Most Harmonious Kite  Design”, “The Dragon Kite”, “The Train Kite”  and “Rokkaku Challenge”.

Launching the kites are no easy task.

The happy kids and their kites

The success of Pasir Gudang World Kite Festival, which is an annual event, has won itself “The Best Tourism Product” from the Johor Tourism Department as well as being an important event in Malaysia’s tourism calendar. I, for one, will definitely come again for next year’s event, only this time I’ll make sure I bring my kids along. 

For more information on Pasir Gudang World Kite Festival and other tourism events, please visit:

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