Yours truly visited the Federal Territory of Labuan at the end of April for a week, at the invitation of Gaya Travel Magazine. The small delegation was hosted by Labuan Corporation and Labuan Tourism.
Our first stop upon landing at Labuan International Airport (LBU) was Kampung Layang-Layangan. Located on the North-West coast of Labuan Island, Kampung Layang-Layangan is an award-winning model village in the Federal Territory. The village, with only slightly more than 4,000 residents, is named after a bird of the Layang-Layangan species.
Our delegation was given a warm welcome by the village folk with a rousing beating of the traditional kompang, followed by a welcome drink of Piasau, or fresh coconut.
We were then given a short briefing on the village to enable us to know it better. Like most villages, the gotong-royong spirit is very strong here. Everything is community-based. Precisely, the statement “You’ll never walk alone” stands true.
During our evening there, we were introduced to three traditional snacks: Kuih Jala, Kuih Sapit and Ambuyat.
Kuih Jala and Kuih Sapit need no introduction. Those of us from West Malaysia know these as well. The third item was Ambuyat. If you have visited Sabah, Sarawak and even Brunei, you will know this.
Made from sago palm, this gluey-like starch is bland by itself but its taste is derived from the many side sauces and condiments. To eat the snack, roll the starch around a skewer, then dip it into a sauce of your preference.
There was a silat demonstration by school children before the event proceeded with stage entertainment of busking and dancing, and finally wrapped up with a joget (dance) by all delegates.
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