Legends and myths exist for a reason. Some may say, it’s just a way for our ancestors to entertain themselves, or it might just be a prank. But there are professionals out there who went all out to bare the secrets of tales and legends. Thanks to them, tourism based on legends, myths and histories emerge.
For all I know, myths and legends are here to teach us lessons. Now, I want to revisit the past, the realm that fancy neither gold or silver. Join me in my adventure to uncover the truth. Now, take my hand and let’s cross the bridge to yesterday!
Kota Mahsuri, Langkawi, Kedah
Let’s start with the popular one. The legend of Mahsuri in Langkawi. She was set-up to be slandered of having an affair by her own mother-in-law who’s bitter of Mahsuri’s beauty and homage. As a result, Mahsuri was sentenced to death and shall be pierced using her family’s heritage kris (which was the only weapon that could kill her).
Mahsuri begged for mercy and deemed innocent but no one gave her any chance to prove it. Everyone there was shocked to witness white coloured blood flowing out of Mahsuri’s body and from there they knew it was a mistake that couldn’t be reversed.
As a result, their place was cursed for seven whole generation, comdemning everything and everyone in Langkawi. One episode to prove Mahsuri’s living hex was when all the rice burried underground by the villagers to prevent their enemy from taking their supplies was mystically burnt.
In the end, Mahsuri’s wretched story becomes part of Langkawi’s identity. Kota Mahsuri was erected to honour her sacrifice. There, you can witness Mahsuri’s tomb, a traditional Kedah house that is said to be the exact location of Mahsuri’s own home. They also display the burnt rice for you to see and feel whether the malison was true or just bogus. Pay Mahsuri a visit and learn all about her at the museum and traditional theatre in Kota Mahsuri, Langkawi.
Kota Mahsuri, 07000,
Kedah, Kampung Mawar
07000 Langkawi, Kedah
12 minutes drive from Langkawi International Airport (8.4 km)
Call:+604 966 6560
Entrance fee: Adult (RM12) Children (RM 6)
Legend of Mahsuri is staged on Friday, Saturday & Sunday at 3.00 pm
Opening Hours: Daily 8.00 am – 6.00 pm on the weekdays
8.00 am – 6.30pm on the weekend
Laman 3 Budaya (which covers the state of Johor, Melaka & Negeri Sembilan)
Most Malaysians might know about the Legend of Hang Tuah, hero to many, and the name that is still sung till today. We can never forget what Hang Tuah teaches us although he had to go through the inevitable fight with his own friend, Hang Jebat. But that part is not the episode associated to Laman 3 Budaya that translates into The Land of Three Cultures (because the scene happened in which the place now is the border of 3 states: Johor, Melaka and Negeri Sembilan).
In the Legend of Hang Tuah, there was a part where the Sultan of Melaka, Sultan Mahmud Shah heard about an alluring princess living at the top of Mount Ledang (which is now part of the state of Johor) named Puteri Gunung Ledang. He was instantly charmed and ordered Hang Tuah with Tun Mamat which serves as his right-hand man to propose to her for the Sultan.
Knowing how powerful the Sultan was, the princess utilized her wits and demanded the Sultan to prepare and fulfil seven of her wishes. One of it is a golden bridge that stretches from Melaka all the way to Mount Ledang (which takes nearly an hour by car. Now imagine walking!). In the end, the princess was let loose as the Sultan couldn’t bare her last wish which was a bowl of blood from the Sultan’s own son.
Getting back to Laman 3 Budaya, it was said by the locals, she requested for a bridge made of gold as her resting place at Mount Ledang was near to a river named Gemas (somewhat resembles the word ‘emas’ meaning gold) which is now part of the state of Negeri Sembilan.
Today, Laman 3 Budaya offers a thrilling staycation with unique attractions such as a water park that uses treated water from the waterfall of Mount Ledang. The idea of being in three different states at the same time itself is just phenomenal! You can hike Mount Ledang in Johor, spend time with your kids at the water park in Melaka and discover Negeri Sembilan hidden gems in the district of Gemas.
Laman 3 Budaya
77100 Jasin, Melaka
Coordinate: 2.4092° N, 102.5933° E
55 minutes from Melaka Airport (52 km)
Call: 06-529 5555
Entrance Fee to Water Theme Park:
Mon – Thurs Adult (RM 3) Children (RM2)
Fri – Sunday Adult (RM 10) Children (RM 5)
Opening Hours: Daily from 9.00 am – 8.00 pm
Batu Si’ib, Kampung Selampit, Lundu, Sarawak
Like the tragedy of Romeo & Juliet, we do somewhat have the same buskin, but revolves around traditional believes towards love. It all happened before the 1940s, the marriage of Jumat Prima Jawa and his beloved, Minah Ajoi was declined by the village chief. They were sentenced to death and was ordered to be sunken into the river. The villager’s jaw dropped as the couple that they just condemned are present right in front of them. They did the same thing twice but the couple kept on appearing back at the village.
People began to feel scared and furious. Knowing how the villagers really reject them, Jumat and Minah decided to leave. “If by any chance people started to miss us, row up along the Batang Kayan river when the tide is low. Look at the right of the bank and search amidst the palai trees. There would be a long rock, a round rock and a small rock. My wife and I, we had been cursed into stones which is called Si’ib.”
All the words spoken by Jumat was deemed true. People began paying their homage and respect by going there. Ritual was set up by banging on gongs as a form of offering. It is said that the stones bring good luck and preserved the village from all kind of harm.
From that incident, every 2nd of June, in line with the Gawai celebration, the villagers of Kampung Selampit would hold a special ceremony to pay respect to the couple as well as a form of remembrance and thank you for the peace and serenity they have.
Today, thanks to the story, Kampung Selampit strives into a unique destination that attracts people from around the world. Other than the Si’ib stone, their lushious nature surrounding becomes a plus in value.
You wouldn’t regret coming here, but make sure you’re present at the right time. Numerous activities are carried out. Rituals, cultural performances, games, music shows, and not to forget, the food!
Mark your calendar and make a reservation fast. The festival is going to get huge year by year as it is supported by the local council board. Not to mention, the increment of visitors and tourists coming to have a taste more than just the festival, but to experience and connect with the culture and ritual of the Si’ib stones.
Lundu District, Kuching Division, Sarawak
More infos can be obtained from Sarawak Tourism Board at https://sarawaktourism.com/contact/
And the truth…
In the end, we question and ponder for the truth. Whether to call it genuine or a phoney, it’s your call. But if you decided to stand on the line like me, it’s better for you to go and experience it yourself. Stories and lores always give soul to a place. Call it history or conspiracy, mortals and creatures share the same ground that we call home. Pay them a visit and you might get the ‘special call’ and if you’re lucky enough, ‘they’ might show themselves.