What I see, hear and feel

What I see and did..
Biei-Furano, Hokkaido

Friday, December 27, 2013

Tawau Again

It has been a long time since I wrote my last post. I'm a slow writer and not a very good one.

After SPM is over, I went back to school to update the files and did stock check. Updated the profile information in HRMIS. Sent the PBS exercises to be printed for the 2014 first few weeks of school.

I also attended the wedding of my husband's niece at Villa Sangkot, Ulu Langat and sending-off-the-bride ceremony at Putrajaya during the weekend. She is the third child and youngest girl in the family of six, 3 girls and 3 boys. It will be many more years down the road before another wedding as the 4th child is only 16 years old.

Then off we flew to Tawau for our annual visit to my hometown. This time with three children in tow. Their last trip was 2 years ago and they had missed their grandma's kampung. A recommended Bernama article related to shopping in Tawau can be read at the end of this post.
Along the Highway on the 2nd day, watching the sun went down over the horizon from the sea front.

During our short seven-day stay, we shopped, sampled and ate various food, visited relatives and breathed in the fresh air at the nature park.

Local food (clockwise): fish soup, soto banjar, sanggar cheese, fried mee, sanggar peppe, tauhu soup, sup tulang
Meeting the relatives
Fresh market and 'Pasar Gantung'
Tawau Hills Park
Wallace Bay, the kampung where I grew up was an ex-timber camp administered by the North Borneo Timbers Company, NBT for short.
Finally, the time to say farewell

An article from Bernama

Tanjung Tawau Market, The Ideal Place To Get Dried Seaweed

By Wan Shahara Ahmad Ghazali TAWAU (Bernama) -- Maybe it is not wrong to describe the Tanjung Tawau market here as a haven for shoppers because it offers almost all kinds of daily essentials as well other items.

Established in 1999 in Sabah's third largest town, the three-storey market has some 6,000 shops and stalls making it the largest 'indoor' market in Malaysia.

Marketgoers can find almost everything they fancy there. Right from handicraft, pots and pans to children's toys as well as fresh vegetables, various spices, sea and agriculture produce apart from countless number of foods.

The market's ground floor offers fresh fruits and vegetables as well as various dried food including the popular locally-made traditional crackers 'amplang'.

As for enthusiasts of handicraft and souvenir items, the market's topmost floor is a 'haven' for them as this level offers various woven mats and baskets, among others.

This floor is also known as 'Pasar Gantung' as it also offers various kinds of textiles, clothes and handmade garments of the local ethnic groups apart from that from Indonesia and Philippines.

CHEAP DRIED FOOD

The market's middle floor has shops that offer a wide choice of dried seafood such as anchovies, shrimps, squids as well as the famed seaweed sourced from the Sabah's waters.

Fancy this!

Medium-sized anchovies which are far fresher sell for only RM25 a kg here as compared to the same seafood that is sold for at least RM40 a kg at markets in Selangor.

The friendly shopkeepers will also help to pack the dried seafood in boxes for shoppers who want to board flights bound for the Peninsula.

SEAWEED, A RICH SOURCE FOR COLLAGEN

The Tanjung Tawau market is also among the best location for shoppers to buy dried seaweed in bulk.

The seaweed is renowned as a rich source for collagen which is vital for health and beauty care.

Scientists believed that seaweed has various health benefits and is used in the halal food, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, medical and biofuel industries.

Usually the seaweed is harvested for the Carrageenan extract which has high value in the food industry as an emulsifier and stabiliser apart from producing the halal gelatin.

This halal gelatin replaces that extracted from pigs which is widely used including in making medicine and vitamin capsules.

Carrageenan is used in dairy products to retain the creamy texture of icecream and yoghurt apart from retaining the soft and juicy texture in meat products.

Semporna, a district near Tawau, is the location of Malaysia's seafood industry making Tawau and the Tanjung Tawau the primary route for the trading of seaweed.

THREE TYPES OF SEAWEED

There are three types of dried seaweed in the market which is namely greyish, reddish and greenish in colour.

But according to a local villager, who wishes to be known as Syafiqah, there is nothing much to differentiate the three types of seaweed.

"Actually it is the same seaweed, the different colour is due to the different ways of drying the seaweed used by harvesters.

"Seaweed dried in closed and shaded places will retain the greyish colour while that dried under the sun's rays will fade and becomes reddish orange," she said.

As for the green seaweed, the vegetation is soaked in natural colouring substance to make it more attractive.

A check at shops in the Klang Valley shows the greyish dried seaweed sells at RM35-RM45 for every 100 gms.

Instead in Tawau, the same seaweed sells for only RM10 per kg. It is RM20 a kg at the Filipino market in Kota Kinabalu.

SEAWEED PRODUCTION INDUSTRY

Sabah is the only seaweed producing state in Malaysia and is expected to increase the production of this commodity to meet the increasing global demand.

So far the seaweed aquaculture industry is developed in Semporna as a National Key Economic Area (NKEA)} under the mini estate project involving the Kappaphycus alverazii and Euchema spinosom species.

A Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) study expects the state to produce some 150,000 tonnes of processed high quality seaweed valued at RM 1.45 billion a year by 2020.

-- BERNAMA 


Thank you for reading and visit me again.

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