Sunday, 4 November 2007

Last stop before Singapore

One of the joys of following Mark's GPS tracker is that some days it leads you to little places you've never heard of and would probably never have reason to know anything about if he hadn't stopped there and fixed his position.
So... welcome to Bahu Pahat at just 1 degree and 51 minutes north of the equator ! In case you are unsure of the divisions of degrees, there are 60 minutes in one degree of latitude or longitude. and the GPs tracker always gives, degrees and minutes to three decimal places. By tomorrow, when Mark reaches Singapore, he will be at the southern extremity of the continent of Asia but will still be one degree short of the equator. He won't cross the equator until he flies out of Singapore bound for Perth.

According to the entry in Wikipedia, Batu Pahat has a population of about 140,000 - hard to imagine when viewed from this altitude! It is a thriving manufacturing city with industries encompassing textiles, electronics, food-processing, timber, porcelain and plastic industry. It produces 50% of the textiles exported from Malaysia and there are about 300 garment and textile factories. A little search on the Internet produced this resource . It's a sort of blog about Batu Pahat but it might on first sight give the impression of being entirely to do with the local gastronomy! Stick with it and you will find some good images of the city and you will certainly be well aquainted with the local delicacies!
A better impression comes from these photos sourced from Flickr...
And how is this for rain .... snapped in January of this year in Batu Pahat... Small wonder that serious flooding followed... Although the Google imagery of Batu Pahat is low res, just to the east of the town there is an area where we can see much more clearly how intensively farmed the surrounding hinterland is.
This is quite a different pattern of land tenure to what we were seeing further north in the areas of extensive plantations. Here, the land seems to be mainly farmed in smallholdings...
It is difficult to be certain what is growing here but there are certainly tree crops other than oil palms. Perhaps, at last, we are seeing some rubber trees! According to Wikipedia the area is also noted for fruit produce such as water-melons, papayas, bananas, pineapples and durians.
And finally, although it's not quite the 5th of November, here are some fireworks in Batu Pahat - the celebration is Malaysian National Day and they are seriously good fireworks....

No comments: