Faces of
Malaysia
Kuantan

Kuantan is the largest city of the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia with a population of about half a million. It is also the capital of the state of Pahang.

Kuantan is located about halfway between Singapore (to the south) and Kota Bahru (to the north). The city is situated at the coast of the South China Sea near the mouth of the Kuantan River. The city is not a major tourist destination, rather a stopover point for island destinations (Tioman, Redang, Perhentians, etc.) along the East Coast. From Kuantan you can also also reach the popular beach in Cherating in less than an hour with the local Bus.

Alor Setar

Alor Setar is the capital of the state of Kedah. It is a transit point for trips to Thailand and to Pulau Langkawi. The ferry to Langkawi departs from Kuala Kedah, just few minutes outside of Alor Setar. The city is a center of Malay culture and is surrounded by paddie fields .

Hawker Stalls in Penang

Thaipusam Festival

The Hindu Thaipusam Festival festival is a public holiday in Malaysia and takes place every year end of January / beginning of February.

The spectacular Thaipusam Festival draws more than one million devotees and visitors to the Batu Caves near Kuala Lumpur but there are also large precessions in Georgetown/Penang and Singapore. Thaipusam is a Hindu festival celebrated mostly by the Tamil community. Especially images of devotees piercing their cheeks, tongue, face or other suitable body parts with sharp objects make this event memorable.

Body Piercing Thaipusam

Thaipusam Malaysia


Devotees at the Thaipusum procession at Batu Caves near Kuala Lumpur
photos: Matt & Konni

Thaipusam is a celebration of the birthday to the Hindu deity Subramaniam.
The highlight of this celebration is the kavadi procession. More than one million people are expected to throng Batu Caves (just north of Kuala Lumpur) for this celebration. There is also a big parade in Georgetown, Penang and Singapore (procession is a 4km walk from Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Serangoon Road to Sri Thendayuthapani Temple on Tank Road).


Thaipusam 2019
Thaipusum Festival 2019
photo: John Udovic

Next / Recent Occurances:
2019: 21 January
2020: 
The date of Thaipusam fluctuates and always takes places either end of january or beginning of february.


list of Public Holidays in Malaysia



more information
Wikipedia Thaipusam

portrait photo Thaipusam in Penang
photo taken in 2018 in Penang by Matt Hannewald

more portrait photos taken at the Thaipusam Festival in Malaysia:
Recelebrating Ecstatic Thaipusam (2018)
Celebrating Ecstatic Thaipusam  (2009)