Natural Batik Village Sdn. Bhd. Kuantan Reviews
One Stop Shop for All Feb 22, 2016
I’m always passing by the area of this batik village at Balok (Kuantan, Malaysia) but never did I get the feeling of dropping by as I thought it was just a residential village. And again on 21 Feb 2016, as we were having a lunch at Karipap Panas after having a swim at the De Rhu Resort, I’ve seen again the big bold sign of this batik factory. Since it is just behind the restaurant and in fact at the same compound, why didn’t I give it a try?
Well, I never expect that this simple signboard would mean a large compound as a whole. It is really a one-stop shop. The compound caters the batik factory, the bamboo shop, handicraft centre, art gallery, the batik show room and store, and batik painting area.
As I’ve seen on the display, they have wide array of batik souvenir products of various and colorful designs ranging from handkerchiefs, bed sheets, bags, scarf, table mats, and of course children wear, gents and women outfits.
They also offer educational tour package for students and letting them experience the fun of making batik stuffs by themselves. And for me, I had a chance to experience batik making even just for a moment the do it yourself way. It’ really a valuable experience. If you are within the Balok area, I would suggest you to visit this factory. It is worth a visit.
Part of the DISCOVERING MORE OF MALAYSIA, TRULY ASIA (Malaysia) travel blog
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Natural Batik Village Sdn. Bhd. Dec 03, 2012
Batik is a cloth that is traditionally made using a manual wax-resist dyeing technique. It is popular in Malaysia as well as Indonesia. Although I grew up in Kuantan, Pahang, I've ignored the existence of this Batik 'factory' until recently.
Well, I knew all along there's such a place that sells batik and even allows visitors to paint their own cloth, but I've never attempted it until 2 months ago. I was never (and still am not) good at art/drawing/painting, so I didn't want to ruin the art of Batik. But it turned out that, now matter how lousy you paint, it'll still turn out well! Haha!
When you reach this place, you'll find lots of batik clothes and clothes, as well as other Kuantan souvenirs. Some are reasonably priced, some I consider quite expensive. Of course, the more you buy, the more you can bargain. But I must say the dresses, pareos, beach bermudas, table runners, clothes, etc are very colourful and attractive. Most tourists only buy the ready made ones, probably because the tour bus won't wait that long for them to paint their own batik!
My friend and I were there for slightly more than 2 hours to complete 3 paintings. The cloths are pre-designed with wax, and you'll just have to choose whichever pattern you like most. They come in 2 sizes, one about the size of a normal handkerchief, and another one probably about the size of a drawing block. You'll have to tell the staff there that you wish to do the painting, and they'll bring you to a small corner where you'll have to squat and dig out the cloths. They should have promoted it in front of the shop and not at a corner, underneath a table!Poor marketing skill, I'd say. And they only had posters at the back of the shop... which is not prominent... we just happen to know... and now you know too! :P
Although they only have about 8-10 different designs, it took me quite long to decide which to choose. Hehehe, that's because I was too stingy to buy more pieces, and couldn't decide if I should get a small one for MYR 10, or the big one for MYR 15 (hmm...if I pay additional MYR 5, I get a bigger cloth... *tit tit tit tit* sound of calculator).... Anyway, I settled for 3 small ones, just in case my painting turns out to be awful.
After choosing, the staff will bring you out of the shop, to a long table and provide you with pallette, paint and brushes of course. But before that, they will ask if you wish to 'wash' (remove the wax and use it as a handkerchief) the cloth later on, or just hang it up for decoration (with the wax still intact). The reason they need to know is, apparently, different paint colours are used. 'Special ones' if you plan to wash the cloth, so that the colour stays. They will use special chemical to remove the wax, and for this, be prepared to pay an additional MYR 5. If you buy more, you can bargain of course.
Just behind the shop you'll get to see how those people wax the cloths and it's really amazing. Before I started painting, I couldn't help but admire the paintings done by the professionals.
Ok, let's get to work! Now what should I do? Just dip into the pallette and touch the brush on the cloth? That's EASY! Yes, and that's all that you need to do! The paint will smear and mix the colours by itself! My friend and I took our time painting while chatting. Some of the wax were unfortunately 'cracked' (if you know what I mean), so our colours smeared although it was not intended to. During our 2+ hours there, we were surprised to see so many tour buses stopping by. The tourists (I presume local) were 'fascinated' by our work of art. Hehehe.
If you don't have time to sit there and paint, you can always buy the DIY set and do it at home. But I guess, then you'll not be able to 'wash' the cloth and can use it only as a decor? Not too sure about this point though. The DIY set comes with a pallette, brushes and different paint colours.
Once you're done painting, pass them to the staff there, who will then dry it and do the necessary. This will probably take a couple of hours and if you finished it in the evening when they were about to close, you'll have to come and pick it up the next day. If it's too far for you, then you can always ask them to send it to their branch shop at Teluk Cempedak beach, much nearer to the town and more convenient.
One tip about batik painting, based on my experience, is that you'll have to use super strong striking colours to make it nice and bright. Otherwise it will look a bit 'washed out'.
I think it's a good time out for family outing.
4 / 4 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy