The Colors of Ramadan 2010 (Part 1)

Posted by shloke 15 August 2010
OK...I'm staring at my monitor screen and listening to Lady Gaga's Bad Romance. My head is still spinning, after effects of hours of post-processing. It's pretty difficult to write. One word that comes to my mind is “BLANK!”. I'm still hearing Lady Gaga shouting Bad Romance...many times. LOL! Typically, this is not my kind of music at all (I prefer Tiesto's jamming); however, I find it fantastic to listen to while writing blog articles. Five words - music helps me to write. I think I'm getting back my EUREKA moments. WOOHOO!

Street photography is my forte. I'm always looking for ways to improve on my photography skills. Street photography demands loads of courage and people skills. Part of street shooting is getting to know people and gaining their trust. You don't walk into a total stranger and jam your lens onto his/her face. You need to chat with your subject and gain their trust. It's easier said than done 站着说话不腰疼. I've been rejected numerous times. What does not destroy me, makes me stronger :)

Two days ago, I visited Kampung Baru Ramadan Bazaar in Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia. Ramadan Bazaar is Malaysia's very own month-long, delightful food carnival and extravaganza. Essentially just rows of hawker stalls selling varieties of Malay food and drinks for the breaking of fast (during the Holy Month of Ramadan رمضان), it is a quite a vibrant attraction, found not only in KL but the whole of Malaysia. Simply a haven for photography hobbyist like me.

It was an exhilarating experience. The hawkers were incredibly friendly and chatty. A far cry compared to those vulgar mouthed Ah Bengs and Banglas in Chinatown, KL. The welcoming feeling I get when I walk through the bazaar is amazing. I found everybody very friendly and almost instantly felt at ease. Taking photos of unknown people can be a challenging job. As usual, we are a bunch of shy people. Once you gained the trust from them, you'll have unlimited photo opportunity. Word of advice: be courteous and friendly.

I've spent almost two hours exploring more than 100 ++ hawker stalls in Kampung Baru. The trip was worth every minute of the day. Stay tuned for Part 2 - Comprehensive travelogue and more exclusive pictures fresh from Kampung Baru Bazaar Ramadan 2010. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my Muslim readers "Selamat Berpuasa".

Location: Ramadan Bazaar Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Date: August 13th 2010 (Friday), 3:50 p.m.
Camera: Nikon D60 [18mm f/5.0 manual 200 ISO 1/100 sec]

Well-marinated honey chicken wings were beautifully grilled with a hint of charcoal aroma. Only RM1.50 per piece. I can easily eat 30 pieces of wings and still feeling hungry. LOL!

中文: 翼 English: Wing

Location: Ramadan Bazaar Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Date: August 13th 2010 (Friday), 4:09 p.m.
Camera: Nikon D60 [32mm f/5.0 manual 200 ISO 1/60 sec]

This man was setting up his 'ayam golek panggang' stall (translation: roast chicken). There were rows and rows of marinated chickens turning on the manual griller over charcoal fire. It was one of those difficult shoots. He was splitting the burning charcoal with a big a machete-like tool. Charcoal shards were flying all over the place. GOSH! It was SCARY!

中文: 鶏 English: Chicken

Location: Ramadan Bazaar Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Date: August 13th 2010 (Friday), 3:30 p.m.
Camera: Nikon D60 [44mm f/5.3 manual 200 ISO 1/100 sec]

A man making 'air tebu' (translation: sugar cane water). I walked to the sugar cane juice extractor machine for a better shot. The hawkers were surprised to see me standing so close. I was hoping this guy will look at my lens. I guess he was too busy to notice my presence :)

Location: Ramadan Bazaar Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Date: August 13th 2010 (Friday), 4:10 p.m.
Camera: Nikon D60 [26mm f/4.2 manual 200 ISO 1/60 sec]

OK, I had a great time photographing this chap. He is friendly, confident and always ready with a smile. That's perfect! So I asked his permission for a portrait shot. He obliged after much persuasion from his family members. But there's only one problem. He was looking into the bowl of curried meat. A bit shy. LOL! I asked him to look at my lens. Finally he listened. COOL! I snapped it instantly.

Behind the scene: He said the container of meat was still cooking. He was unwilling to open the first :)

中文: 美味 English: Delicious

Location: Ramadan Bazaar Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Date: August 13th 2010 (Friday), 3:25 p.m.
Camera: Nikon D60 [30mm f/4.8 manual 320 ISO 1/500 sec]

This was a not a good day for photography. A dull afternoon with clusters of heavy gray clouds. I was very disappointed. There are many elements of great photography. One of the most important is natural lighting. So I was trying VERY HARD to get the right composition. Luckily, this close-up shot turned out to be one of my favorite shots at this location. WOOHOO!

In this picture: The making of popiah 薄饼 aka spring roll. A middle aged man spreading a layer of hot chili sauce onto a soft thin paper-like crepe before adding the filling.

中文: 潤餅 English: runbing aka popiah

Location: Ramadan Bazaar Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Date: August 13th 2010 (Saturday), 3:50 p.m.
Camera: Nikon D60 [42mm f/5.3 manual 800 ISO 1/400 sec]

The chicken wing marinating sauce seeps deep into the meat, making every bite satisfying with the infused flavours. OH YUMMY!

中文: 好吃 English: Tasty

Location: Ramadan Bazaar Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Date: August 13th 2010 (Friday), 3:08 p.m.
Camera: Nikon D60 [55mm f/5.6 manual 450 ISO 1/500 sec]

A close-up shot of an elderly lady who was scooping piping hot 'bubur lambuk' (translation: mix rice porridge). Bubur lambuk is a type of Malay mix rice porridge that is cooked and distributed free to the public during the fasting month of Ramadan in many places; usually distributed after the Asar عصر or evening prayers at the local mosque.

The aromatic spices and herbs used in preparing the porridge makes the porridge taste delicious and includes cardamom pods, star anise and cumin seeds are added to the boiling pot of rice. Meat (fish crackers, dry prawns, chicken) is then added and boiled for hours before it is ready.

中文: 暍 English: Hot

Location: Ramadan Bazaar Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Date: August 13th 2010 (Friday), 3:08 p.m.
Camera: Nikon D60 [18mm f/3.5 manual 250 ISO 1/500 sec]

Four ladies were happily packing 'bubur lambuk'. This is a big hawker stall with five large containers of fresh and piping hot mix rice porridge. Did you noticed? The workers were wearing the same red colored Babas' apron. Talking about free advertising :)

中文: 开心 English: Happy

Location: Ramadan Bazaar Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Date: August 13th 2010 (Friday), 3:09 p.m.
Camera: Nikon D60 [18mm f/5.6 manual 200 ISO 1/125 sec]

A motorist buying his packet of 'bubur lambuk'. I wanted to get myself a packet. But I'm not a big fan of porridge. Regretted that. The recipe sounds good. I will try it someday :)

Location: Ramadan Bazaar Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Date: August 13th 2010 (Friday), 3:39 p.m.
Camera: Nikon D60 [18mm f/5.6 manual 100 ISO 1/125 sec]

A wide array of Malay and Nyonya desserts to end the gastronomic journey this Ramadan. 'Kuih' or 'kueh' 粿 in Malaysia refers to variety of bite-sized Malaysian cakes and snacks, usually taken for breakfast, afternoon tea or as a light supper or meal.

These cakes has a cultural blend of Chinese Nyonya and Malays. Can you name all the 'kuih'? I can see Tepung Pelita, Popiah aka spring roll and keria aka kuih gelang (sweet potato doughnuts). Click HERE to learn more about kuih.

中文: 粿 English: Cake

Location: Ramadan Bazaar Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Date: August 13th 2010 (Friday), 3:47 p.m.
Camera: Nikon D60 [24mm f/5.6 manual 160 ISO 1/125 sec]

Putu Bambu! I've heard so much about you! I finally got my chance to try out Putu Bambu on a greatly anticipated trip to Kampung Baru, KL.

Putu bambu is made from ground rice flour and steamed in different casings - there's the flat version i.e. the Putu Piring (Piring means plate in Malay) and the cylinder kind which is steamed in bamboo casings hence the name Putu Bambu. It is served with 'gula melaka' (translation: palm sugar) and a dash of shredded fresh coconut as they taste powdery if eaten alone.

Click HERE to read more about Putu Bambu (Out of the core of a bamboo - TheStar). Scroll down to watch my YouTube video.

中文: 甜 English: Sweet

Location: Ramadan Bazaar Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Date: August 13th 2010 (Friday), 3:46 p.m.
Camera: Nikon D60 [26mm f/5.6 manual 200 ISO 1/125 sec]

The man and his steam machine.

I bought 5 rolls of putu bambu for RM2. It was wrapped with banana leaf and tasted quite OK. The texture of the cake is biting a soft pillow :) I wish this hawker can be a bit generous by adding more palm sugar and coconut shred. It does taste bland without the added sweet ingredients.

中文: 蒸 English: Steam
Chinese to English translation from Chinese Tools

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Last updated August 16th 2010 (1:20 a.m.)

Kampung Baru Ramadan Bazaar 2010 - Directions, Getting There & Maps:

Kampung Baru can be accessed via Jalan Chow Kit, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Jalan Sultan Ismail or Jalan Tun Razak. The easiest way to get here is via the Putra LRT disembarking at the Kampung Baru station. There are also ample buses and taxis in town willing to give you a ride.

Note: Walking directions from Kampung Baru LRT Station to Bazaar Ramadan Kampung Baru. Click on the thumbnail to load a larger version of the map.

Kampung Baru Ramadan Bazaar 2010 - Google Maps:

Kampung Baru Ramadan Bazaar 2010 - My YouTube Video:

Kampung Baru Ramadan Bazaar 2010 - Food to try:

  1. Air tebu segar (fresh sugar cane water)
  2. Putu Bambu
  3. Rendang daging with lemang (curried meat with hollowed bamboo rice)
  4. Popiah (spring roll)
  5. Ayam panggang (grilled chicken)
  6. Nasi ayam (chicken rice)
  7. Malay kuih (cakes)
  8. Bubur lambuk (mix rice porridge)
  9. Ikan bakar (spicy grilled fish)
  10. Roti John (omelette sandwich)
  11. Nasi briyani (a set of fragrant rice-based foods made with spices, rice - usually basmati and meat, fish, eggs or vegetables)
  12. Murtabak (pancake filled with eggs, small chunks of meat and onions)

Kampung Baru Ramadan Bazaar 2010 - Read More/Useful Links:

  1. (Wikipedia article about Kampung Baru)
  2. (Out of the core of a bamboo, The Star article)
  3. (Bazaar Ramadan blog from Tourism Malaysia)
  4. (Customers at Ramadan bazaar spoilt for choice, The Star)
  5. (Wikipedia article about 'kuih')


  1. Rafael Lam Says:
  2. I will try next time to listen Lady Gaga next time if I want to write, actually writing is the hardest part for me...
    May I can't write properly and correctly, that's why I want to express myself with pictures...

    Btw, your pictures are awesome, those descriptions are great too! Only have some chinese words I can't read... may be will have someone to telling you later...
    Great post! I like it!!

  3. fufu Says:
  4. yeah street photography is not easy... need pretty much of courage ya :) erm i think malaysia is still one nice country, some will even pose for you... hihihi ops... lady gaga...bad romance... you are kinda late :) she has more new songs now lol anyway the chinese words this time are more appropriate :) hihihi interesting =p wish i could have some kuih muih for my teatime later :p

  5. micki Says:
  6. Very nice street photos! I especially like the photo with the guy smiling at the camera. Impressive, all your main words are translated to Chinese appropriately. I found the Putu Bambu interesting from your video. Wrap with banana leaf, adding palm sugar and coconut shred. Thanks for the video clip so that the whole process can be seen! :)

  7. Ha ha... Fufu's right. Bad Romance is kinda old now.
    People now listen to her new Spanish song, Alejandro. You can youtube that song.

    Did you watch Glee? It's quite good, if you like music, songs, theatre, etc. You should go and watch this series. Season 1 is the best one.

    I noticed you mixed Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese together. You need to be careful not to get too confused with these two separate forms.

  8. shloke Says:
  9. Rafael,

    I totally agree with you. Writing content for a blog is not an easy task - especially the intro part.

    Listening to music inspires me to write. I guess any type will do :)

    Thanks for your kind comments!


    Street photography is TOUGH but FUN :)

    I think Bad Romance is not too bad. Kind of jumpy and energetic.


    Thanks! It was a natural pose and smile. I'm glad it turned out well in the end.

    The video was recorded with my hand phone. I should have recorded more videos.


    I have Lady Gaga's latest album (including Alejandro). I'm OK with her songs. Not really a BIG FAN. My favorite is Justin Nozuka's R&B songs. TERRIFIC voice!!!

    I also have Glee Season 1 in my PC. But too busy to watch.

    Thanks for the reminder! I will be more careful next time :)


  10. lechua Says:
  11. another part of malaysia documented by mylo! yes street photography is unique coz need to be spontaneous and also brave enuf to ask for permission and make ppl feel comfortable enuf being photographed.

    btw.. u've got such a great set of msian photos... should consider participating in the 'MyMalaysia' photo contest @

  12. lolyat gang Says:
  13. shloke
    saya suka dengan liputan bazar ramadan yang kamu lakukan ini.
    interesting photos.....tahniah.

  14. Rafael Lam Says:
  15. Re: Thanks Alex! Yeah the bamboo dacne was full of fun!

    I use the i-movie to make this video,
    it is easy to use and user friendly!

  16. shloke Says:
  17. lechua,

    Lucky to have friendly Malaysians who agreed to be photograph without much hassle. In UK and US, you need to ask your subject to fill up Photography Release Form.

    The carlist contest is so CHEAP! You should participate in Oakwood Asia Pacific's 50th Anniversary Photo Contest. You know what??? The grand prize is Canon EOS 5D Mark II 21.1 MP. WOOHOO! Check out my official Facebook page for more details :)

    lolyat gang,

    WOW! Terima kasih dan selamat datang bro!


    Oooooh! I need to have an Apple machine. Oh shucks! Thanks anyway :)

    Cheers yo!

  18. Shelyn Says:
  19. hmm... you didn't receive my comment sent on 20 Aug? My comments always gone missing. Might be the word verification thingy.

    Anyway, I commented that Putu Bambu is awesome. The first time I tasted it was just some time ago in i-City in one of the hawker stalls. Oh.. not really some time ago, it was during last year CNY when the place had beautiful lights display.

    The owner of the stall actually allowed you to take the video huh? I always feel shy to ask :-p

  20. shloke Says:
  21. Shelyn,

    I think you missed the word verification thingy.

    I have yet to visit the i-City. I'm gonna get there someday. The perfect place for night photography :)

    The owners were OK with my camera and hand phone :) I asked for permission before taking photos and vids.

  22. Shelyn Says:
  23. hey.. just saw this '站着说话不腰疼' in your post. Cool proverb.. where did you learn it from?

  24. shloke Says:
  25. @Shelyn,

    Easy as pie :) Direct translation from Google Translate. I listen for the proper audio pronunciation before adding it into my post.

    Try this

  26. Love your street photography. Maybe you can share with us your post production techniques in the future!

  27. Everything looks so yummy :)

    Great street photography

  28. ramadan Says:
  29. Its very nice photos

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Traveling & photography are the most rewarding & enriching experiences in my life. Photography is all about discovery, enjoying myself, having adventure, learning people & nature. The greatest experience for me is the connection I felt with NATURE. If you haven’t seen Malaysia, you haven’t seen the world! My photography works are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.
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