My beach stories

 

I came to Malaysia to work in 2004. At first, I was working in a small, peaceful district hospital, then an astrologer from Burma told my mom ” Your daughter is going to move to a new place which is near the beach. And she is going to be happy”. ( It’s our culture that parents tend to ask astrologer about children’s future in Asia ).

I was  skeptical , but hopeful at the same time. I never lived near the beach in Burma. Amazingly, I was transferred to a bigger city called Kuantan near  South China sea. Kuantan has plenty of beaches, one is even in black color, some are even suitable for windsurfing and some are quite isolated and not well developed yet.

My favorite beach is 3 km from my house called Teluk Chempedak. It is quite commercialized now, but I prefer the small beach which is continuation of Teluk Chempedak because the beach is deserted and there is a forest .

The forest is preserved by private property owner and it is the homes for variety of species especially wild pigs, monkeys, wild cats and variety of birds.  Here is the pictures of trees , some might be migrated from swamps, and some trees have flowers.  When you enter the beach during the time of blossom, you can smell that particular smell  which is quite fragrant.

 

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forest with flowers
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yellow color flowers with that particular smell 🙂

 

There are a few facts about this beach

  1. It can be quite deserted and sometimes you can be alone as most people in Kuantan do not know about that beach.
  2. The length of the beach depends on the season and the tide. When there is no tide, the beach can be long as you can walk further , if the tide is high, you can’t walk much because of large boulders .
  3. Some people believe there can be spirits as the beach is deserted and there are plenty of trees.

 

Whatever people say, this beach is the best place for me to hide away from the crowd and to be with nature. I can get lost there  , simply sitting on the stone under the shade with a book. Sometimes it’s very breezy and sometimes it can be sunny depending on the weather. I like to lie on the beach and even fall asleep sometimes .

 

 

I have seen some Europeans bring their dogs who like swimming in the sea. Sometimes, children sit and make sand castles. Some kids like to pick up sand and throw at each other, giggling. Sometimes I can see a few loners like me who like to come with a book . I never try to talk to anybody there because I know only people who don’t want to interact go there.

A lot of stones are perfect to sit and even to lie down. When I lie down , I can see the clear blue sky. It’s a very nice feelings.Sometimes people do swings and bamboo chairs which last temporarily. Afterall, everybody goes back to lie on the stone because they are more long lasting than man made materials.

 

Sometimes, I like to see fishermen catching fishes, crabs and clams. Some people just do it for fun.

 

Regarding crabs, they are wonderful creatures. They can really sense the vibration of the footsteps and before you catch them, they run away swiftly. I tried to catch a medium sized blue color crab in the sea and I could manage to grab it ,, but it tried to struggle and tickle my palm. I threw it away in alarm and he quickly escaped. The bigger crabs are cleverer and more elusive than younger ones. when I see the crabs, they remind me of my niece who is a toddler. She tends to walk side to side like crabs. They make me smile, thinking of my niece.

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Can you find the crab?

 

One time, I was strolling at the beach looking at the gorgeous kingfisher sitting on the stone with the background of the rainbow.

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Can you find the kingfisher sitting like a king on the rock. There was a rainbow behind him.

 

 

Suddenly I found a turtle near the water. He was not moving and when he sensed me, he quickly retreated his head. I bet he would be scurried away if he was a crab. But he is just a poor turtle who cannot even walk. May be I would never want to be a turtle if I become an animal in my next life. He seemed so vulnerable.
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The small turtle walking in slow motion. It was the size of a coconut

 

I picked him up and talked to him not to be scared. It was no use and just made him angrier, I guess. A lot of noise came out from his mouth. I never know somebody can piss off a turtle that much.

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He looks quite old. I kind of scrutinized all his body parts and clear off small stones inside his shell. He has beautiful brown eyes, wide and tender. He did not cry but looked very unhappy. I touched his claws . They are tiny.Amazingly he did not attempt to bite me when I touched his lips.

For a few minutes, I played with the idea of keeping him as a pet. He would be perfect, not dirty like rabbits, not playful like dogs and has no fur which is good for asthmatic patient like me. But he would be stupidly standing there if I ask him to come or to talk. No interaction. More than that he would become bored with me sooner or later. For the first time, I realize the stress of the pet owner, which is total lack of bonding.

So I carried him towards the sea and put it back in water. .Alas! he turned back. I asked ” where are you going Mr Directionless?” and there is no answer as I expected. Not even an angry sound. Its like he did not give a damn. So I picked him up and put him back under the tree where he can eat small plants and also cannot be seen by kids.

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Mr Turtle agreed to disappear into the forest, may be that’s his desired destination rather than sea.
I felt a bit sad when I said good bye to him. But definitely we are not meant for each other. But I still wish I can see him again.
One time, I saw two beautiful toucans. They were  fighting with each other. One of them wanted to destroy another one nest ( such a villain ). I shouted to them and said ” Hey, stop destroying other people, oops ( my mistake ), other bird’s property”. He clearly did not listen to me.
There is a family of kingfisher and  hawks. The male hawk is very big and it soars very high. Sometimes I  lie on the beach and look at him, awed at his freedom and gigantic wings. The stray dogs who usually roam at the beach are particularly restless whenever migratory birds come although they do not mind when kingfishers leisurely rest near the water. Occasionally , I saw the pack of dogs chasing at the paddy bird.
The dead fish and shrimps at the beach are forever favorite food for birds and wild pigs. One time, I saw a wild pig leisurely gnawing at the dead fish. There was a family of picnic goer near the pig and he didn’t even bother to move away. The children were amazed at its bravery. This is the example of how we should live in harmony with each other.
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The wild pig leisurely eating the dead fish
The animals which I am afraid are monkeys. If there is not much food in the forest , they tend to steal food from us.
We went to the beach for a picnic and on the way back, a big monkey came out of jungle and chased us. She was worried for her small babies as if we were going to harm them. We ran towards sea and walked in the water. I threw some fruits towards them and whole family eagerly ate them. Then they still chased us and I had to leave picnic basket behind and got inside the car. They took my chips and the whole bag of bread without messing with other plastic boxes which are apparently empty. We were amused although they robbed us in daylight.
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day light robbery by monkeys

Other creatures which are quite annoying are ants and sand flies. Ants can smell the food as soon as we put down our picnic basket and we always need to move the place here and there. Sand flies are nasty, blood thirsty insects. They can suck your blood with ardor until your skin swells into a  big bump and the itch will last for a few days. I avoid sitting on the wet log as logs are favorite dwelling place for sand flies.

In the late morning, the water is warm and it is wonderful to sit down in the water and feel the serenity . Many times, I said ” Thank you for allowing me here” to the sea.
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I usually come to the beach with children and it is the favorite place to find out the new types of flowers and sea animals.
One time, I came to the beach with a girl who comes from Singapore. She is around 9 and told me she is frustrated with a lot of homework. She requested me to drive her to beach. We sat at the beach side to side and simply listened to the sound of waves, rustles of leaves and the birds. The birds chips and the leaves fall slowly . We immersed in the pleasure which the nature generously offered us. I was amazed at the maturity of the girl who can sit silently and know how to enjoy herself at that young age ( what a privilege! ) After a few minutes there, we feel energized and come back home with optimism and happiness.
I owe to the beach for sparing me from shrinks. Thank you, thank you and thank you !
nature is my medicine
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6 thoughts on “My beach stories”

  1. A beautiful post,Hninn. Your photographs are superb and really took me to that incredibleTeluk Chempedak Beach. I could almost smell the salty air and the scent of the forest, and feel the warm water lapping around my feet. I laughed when you described the thieving monkeys, although I know they can be very vicious and quite frightening. Lovely descriptions of all the birds and other wildlife, too, although I wouldn’t like a few bites from those sand flies. I come up in big lumps whenever I gat bitten by gnats or mosquitoes..Thanks for sharing all this! 🙂

    1. Dear Millie, you inspired me to write this post because I know you have curiosity like a child like me . That’s why we are so good with kids, I think. Yeah, I love this beach very much and since I started to visit the same beach frequently, I can understand now why some people are offended when their favorite spot is transformed into a hub. I would be so angry if someone try to chop down the trees in the forest. Certain places have sentimental value .

      1. I was entranced reading this post, Hninn. You captured the whole feel of that beautiful beach so well. I would love to be there alone, like you, just to savour the atmosphere and wildlife there. Crowds of people would spoil the whole ambience of the lovely spot. Beach habitats are fascinating in any part of the world. I was born and raised in a seaside town and miss it terribly. And chopping down forest trees is so wrong anywhere. Places that hold sentimental value for us are so precious.

    1. haha, it’s ok, I worship imperfection, so this is the perfect place to do a bit of errors. Don’t you think so? And I perfectly understand your comments. It’s lovely comment. Thank you Millie.

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