Macam Macam ASEAN | LOTR Laksa of the Region

Macam Macam ASEAN | LOTR Laksa of the Region

Macam Macam ASEAN | LOTR Laksa of the Region

George Town Festival 2017 ‘s “Macam Macam Asean” at the Penang State Museum is a hive of activities with two prominent displays. Handicrafts and artisanal offerings at the Craft and Creative Market drew shoppers and browsers.

Laksa of the Asean region (LoTR) reigns this year with action stations as home cooks, restaurants and regional representatives dish out 24 different Laksa.

If air-conditioned comfort is your thing, then check out the ASEAN collective room with beautiful works by designers from

  • Cambodia
  • Vietnam
  • Thailand
  • Myanmar
  • Laos

Some of the artisanal products are one of a kind and unique. This is a festival of the ingenuity of the local people of the region.

Macam Macam ASEAN | LOTR Laksa of the Region

A little fish! Photo: George Town Festival FB Page


The Craft and Creative Market have the most prominent display of colourful hand-woven items made by the indigenous Penan tribe of Sarawak.

An NGO has helped the displaced Penan women start a livelihood selling traditional baskets.

Many of these beautiful and practical baskets and bags of all shapes and sizes are snapped up by the public.

A full 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of these items help the displaced Penans who are a hunter-gatherer tribe.

The Penan women weavers use strips of plastic to make the baskets.

For the bigger baskets, rattan is added to the edges. The popular handicraft shows the rich tapestry of the Penan culture.

Macam Macam ASEAN | LOTR Laksa of the Region

Penan weavers with their bags and baskets. Photo: Penan Bags Europe FB Page

Sarawak Native Tattoo

Check out the charming tattoos of the Ibans displayed on the bodies of tattoo-covered artists from Monkey Tattoo Studio, Sarawak.

Legend has it that Iban warriors armed with his spears and charmed tattoos have fought Japanese soldiers armed with guns in the Second World War in Malaya.

Monkey Tattoo Studio specializes in tribal-inspired bold and intricate tattoos designs.

Macam Macam ASEAN | LOTR Laksa of the Region

A tattoo artist at work in the Monkey Tattoo Studio. Photo: George Town Festival FB page

Laksa of the Region (LoTR)

For Laksa lovers, it was the chance of a lifetime to try 24 different types of laksa from all over Southeast Asia (SEA).

So the next time someone says Penang Assam Laksa it the best in the world, you may want to challenge them if they have sampled the best in South East Asia?

Each flavor is distinctly aromatic and different. From the sour, red and fiery soups to creamy coconut crème smooth vary, the selection is endless. So are the noodles used? Laksa Johor uses spaghetti instead of fresh rice noodles. Laksa Bogor uses fine vermicelli noodles. Whilst most Laksa has a decidedly fishy smell, there is even a vegan version available.

The countries represented are Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and Malaysia’s very own Penang Assam Laksa, Johor and Sarawak Laksa, Nyonya laksa and Laksam Kelantan.

Visitors get to vote for their favorite laksa by uploading a picture on Instagram. Local restaurant No Eyed Deer’s which has been serving their Laotian Laksa since 2000 is the most popular stall.

Catchy, many who arrived late missed the Laksa of the Region (LOTR) stalls.

Macam Macam ASEAN | LOTR Laksa of the Region

A bowl of fiery red sour Assam Laksa. Photo: George Town Festival FB Page


In the evenings, the three main performances to entertain the crowds; the Gus Teja World Music at 7 pm, Peperangan Bintang: Star Wars-inspired wayang kulit at 8 pm and Potehi: A Penang Story at 9 pm.

Gus Teja World Music has the traditional instruments slonding, tingklik accompanied by modern guitars, bass, drums, and flute.

Macam Macam ASEAN | LOTR Laksa of the Region

GUS TEJA World Music rocking the stage at Macam-Macam ASEAN; it’s so hard to stay still and not dance! Photo: George Town Festival FB Page

Fusion Wayang Kulit’s Peperangan Bintang (Star Wars) tells the story of the rise of the empire. With characters like Sangkala Vedeh, Tuan Puteri Leia and her two droids, Si P-long and Ah Tuh, it was exciting to see the evil force defeated.

Macam Macam ASEAN | LOTR Laksa of the Region

Wayang Kulit characters on display. Photo: Sariel Leong

Penang’s lilting Hokkien is heard as traditional potehi hand puppets play out a story about Penang. The puppet show put together by Ombak-Ombak Art Studio follows the lives of main characters, Chew, Nya, Li and Kahssim. The story tells of the arrivals of traders and workers from India and China, the British and, the early trading town of George Town. Penang Riots of 1867 are played out. The story ends with the festivities at New World Park.

Macam Macam ASEAN | LOTR Laksa of the Region

“Story of Penang,” told by puppeteers. Photo: Sariel Leong

Macam-Macam Asean is open to the public on 29 & 30 July 2017 from 11 am to 10 pm. The entrance is free. Find out more about other GTF 2017 events here


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