Saturday, April 30, 2016

Islands & Beaches of Malaysia - Series III

It has been more than a decade since the last issue by Pos Malaysia on island and beaches of Malaysia. In 2015, Pos Malaysia issued another set of stamps featuring five of these gems of Malaysia.

The following four islands are featured in the se-tenant stamps while Pulau Mataking, Sabah is featured in the miniature sheet.

Pulau Sembilang, Pahang - This island, gazetted as a marine park on 20 Oct 1994, is part of the Pulau Tioman group of islands. Situated at about 30 km from Tanjung Gemok, with waters covering 6,060 hectares, this island has no inhabitant or any resort operator. Records show that there are 57 species of hard corals here.

Pulau Satang, Sarawak - Pulau Satang is made up of Satang Besar and Satang Kecil, and is part of the Talang-Satang Marine National Park. A centre has been set up here to conserve Sarawak's turtle population. Best time to visit would be between Apr and Oct when turtles land and hatchings are released. Diving is another main activity in Satang where coral reefs fringe two-thirds of the island's edge.

Pulau Tenggol, Terengganu - Situated in the South China Sea, Pulau Tenggol has no local residents, instead four resorts are available here. Gazetted as a marine park on 27 Mar 1998, it is mainly a rocky outcrop, with only a few sandy beaches. There are 13 scuba diving spots - popular ones are Tanjung Api, Tokong Timur and Tokong Laut; while the more challenging spots are popularly known as the Fishbowl and the Highway. Pulau Tenggol is also where colourful coral reefs, turtles and manta ray are found.

Pulau Tinggi, Johor - Pulau Tinggi is part of the 13 islands gazetted as marine parks on 20 Oct 1994. The value of the reef heritage of this island is immense - there are more than 228 hard coral species, over 300 species of reef fish and 11 species of seaweeds here. The beaches are made up of fine sand while the island's interior are covered by jungles.


Date of Issue : 17 Nov 2015
Postmark : Kuala Lumpur
Denomination : 2 x 70 sen and 2 x 80 sen
Stamp Size : 70mm x 100mm
Paper : SPM Watermarked, Phosphor Coated
Printing Process : Lithography


Past issues by Pos Malaysia on Islands & Beaches of Malaysia stamp series :

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Islands & Beaches of Malaysia - Series II

Sabah, also known as "Maldives of South East Asia", has dozens of islands, with its pristine clear waters and beautiful beaches. Divers travel thousands of miles to experience the amazing wonders of the underwater realm here.

On 17 Dec 2002, the International Court of Justice concluded that sovereignty over Pulau Ligitan and Pulau Sipadan belongs to Malaysia. Both islands are located in Sabah, Malaysia.

Continuing from the Island & Beaches of Malaysia stamp series issued in 2002, Pos Malaysia issued another set of four stamps in 2003 featuring both Pulau Ligitan and Pulau Sipadan.

Pulau Sipadan - Being one of the top five diving destinations in the world, Sipadan lies 5 degrees north of the equator in the Sulawesi Sea. Sipadan was formed from living corals growing on top of an extinct undersea volcano, which rises 600 metres from seabed. A unique feature of Sipadan is the so-called 'turtle bomb', an underwater limestone cave with a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers that contain the skeletons of turtles that become disoriented and drowned. What also thrills the divers are the swirling tornadoes of barracudas, jacks and hammerhead sharks as well as schools of brilliantly-hued reef fish.

Pulau Ligitan - While Sipadan has achieved its worldwide fame, Ligitan is the great 'secret' of the international diving community. Surrounded by very large reefs, which forms the Ligitan group of islands, the thrill of diving in unexplored waters brings world's best divers here. The underwater scene in Ligitan is a macroworld of great interest featuring rare fauna such as dragonets, fire gobies, wasp or leaf fish, gurnards, the tame crocodile fish, blue-ringed octopus, to name just a few. Indeed, it is regarded as one of the world's top destinations for underwater nature photography.


Date of Issue : 28 Jun 2003
Postmark : Kuala Lumpur
Denomination : 2 x 30 sen and 2 x 50 sen
Stamp Size : 40mm x 30mm
Paper : Watermarked, Phosphor Coated
Printing Process : Lithography and Emboss


An interesting feature of this stamp issue is the emboss printing technique applied on two of the stamps (both stamps on the right), thus giving these stamps some 3D feel.

Here's the link to other issues on Islands & Beaches of Malaysia stamp series :

Friday, April 22, 2016

Islands & Beaches of Malaysia

Malaysia is known for its many islands that feature stunning beaches, tropical rainforests and diverse cultures. A number of these islands are popular diving and snorkeling destinations because of their crystal clear waters and colourful coral reefs.

This stamp issue by Pos Malaysia in 2002 features six of these islands and beaches, which are popular tourist getaway destinations.

Pulau Sibu, Johor - Pulau Sibu is a half an hour boat ride from Tanjung Leman. Artifical tyre-reefs have been set up off the coast, making it a truly anglers haven.

Pulau Perhentian, Terengganu - Pulau Perhentian is located 21km off Kuala Besut, Terengganu; and is divided into Pulau Perhentian Kecil and Pulau Perhentian Besar. Formerly a fisherman village, the natural unspoilt environment and rich diversity of corals and marine fauna is the main attraction of the island.

Pulau Manukan, Sabah - This semi-circular island, located 15 minutes from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, offers raw natural beauty including long white beaches, sparkling emerald waters and rich fauna and flora. Diving enthusiasts would be truly fascinated by the rare coral reefs found underwater.

Pulau Tioman, Pahang - Lies 60km off the southeast coast of Peninsular Malaysia, Pulau Tioman is one of the most beautiful volcanic islands in the world. Its clear emerald waters, an amazing underwater world, exotic tropical flora and white sandy beaches are just some of the magical attractions of this island.

Pulau Singa Besar, Kedah - This island is a mere 40-minute boat ride from Kuah Jetty. The white sandy beaches and the varying species of birds and animals are great attractions not only for tourists but also for scientists.

Pulau Pangkor, Perak - Merely a half an hour boat ride from Lumut Jetty, Pulau Pangkor is a tropical paradise with white beaches and crystal clear waters. The island also has a number of historical remnants, left over by the Dutch and Bugis pirates.


Date of Issue : 31 Jul 2002
Postmark : Kuala Lumpur
Denomination : 2 x 30 sen, 2 x 50 sen and 2 x RM1
Stamp Size : 40mm x 30mm
Paper : Watermarked, Phosphor Coated
Printing Process : Lithography


Subsequent issues in the Islands & Beaches of Malaysia stamp series :

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Verse of Song Dynasty

China has a long and rich literary tradition, of which includes many forms of poetry and verse. Ci poetry came about during the Tang Dynasty, however only came to its fullest array during the Song Dynasty, when the style was formatted and regularised.

Ci 词 lyrics, perhaps one of the most beautiful, sorrowful and tangible, are arranged to the tune of traditional songs, known as cipai 词牌. A ci poet would typically choose from a set of about 800 traditional tunes and insert his verse to fit the rhythm and metre of the song's melody.

The China National Philatelic Corporation has issued a set of six stamps and first day covers featuring the Ci of the Song Dynasty - depicting the following six poetry.

Cover 1

Sand of Silk Washing 浣溪沙
by Yan Shu 晏殊

This poem expresses the sentiment about Spring, containing the reflection of life. The poem reiterates the topic by clinging to the new and the old, the gone and the coming, and the changing and the unchanging. The two lines starting with "helplessly" regret the past with the first line, and greet the new with the second.

Cover 2

Meditating on the Past at Chibi 念奴娇 . 赤壁怀古
by Su Shi 苏轼

This poem was composed when Su Shi was demoted to Hangzhou, and it expresses the author's admiration for heroes and his sentiment about the emptiness of human life. The poem starts in a grand heroic air, relating natural scenes in the presence to the thinking of history, while the second stanza tells Zhou Yu's achievement.

Cover 3

Fairy of the Magpie Bridge 鹊桥仙
by Qin Guan 秦观

This poem tells the tale of Niu Lang (牛郎) and Zhi Nu (织女). The two lines beginning with "golden breeze" depict the joyful gathering of Niu Lang and Zhi Nu, while the three lines beginning with "tenderness" represent the touching affection when they stayed together and the sadness of parting. The last two lines display the author's attitude towards love.

Cover 4

A Twig of Plum Blossoms 一剪梅
by Li Qingzhao 李清照

This poem expresses the yearning between lovers. The three lines beginning with "this feeling" are wonderfully conceived, and indicate the subtle psychology and deep affection of the author, while "cai xia" (to have just gotten off) and "you shang" (to step again) depict the endless lingering of lovesickness.

Cover 5

Ode to the Wintersweet 卜算子 . 咏梅
by Lu You 陆游

This poem describes various victimisations, giving one foil after another to the moral courage of wintersweets. The first stanza describes miserable and desolate environment where wintersweets grow, and the loneliness and distress they suffer. The second stanza depicts the character of wintersweets : high-hearted, scorning to compete with other flowers during Spring. Despite being delicate, wintersweets display their unchangeable sublime spirit, filling people with strength.

Cover 6

A Poem to Chen Tongfu in a Heroic Vein 破阵子 . 为陈同甫赋壮语以寄
by Xin Qiji 辛弃疾

A patriotic poem full of heroism, this poem describes a military life. The author imagines himself as a hero in his prime, and galloped into the battlefields. For the country, he recovered lost territories, while for himself, he became a hero. However, in the end, he suddenly fell back to reality - he gained nothing but instead was filled with distress due to disillusion, and grief and indignation for having no opportunity to serve his motherland.


Date of Issue : 31 Aug 2012
Postmark : China
Denomination : CNY0.80, 4 x CNY1.20 and CNY3.00
Stamp Size : 40mm x 35mm
Printing Process : Offset


Another memento from my last trip to Guangzhou. Got it from the China National Philatelic Outlet in Beijing Lu Pedestrian Mall :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

International Letter Writing Week 2000

The 2000 International Letter Writing Week was held from 7 to 15 Oct 2000. In conjunction with this event, Thailand Post has issued a set of commemorative stamps featuring award winning paintings from the 1998 International Letter Writing Week Paintings Competition.

Entitled Gilded Polychrome Tea Set in Rattanakosin Period, the following 4 tea set designs are featured in this stamp issue :

*  Top left : Chinese cabbage design
*  Top right : Ducks and aquatic animals in lotus pond design
*  Bottom left : Lotus bud shape in meshed leaf-stalks design
*  Bottom right : Butterflies and bees amidst floral design


Date of Issue : 7 Oct 2000
Postmark : Bangkok
Denomination : 2 x 6 Baht and 2 x 12 Baht
Stamp Size : 27mm x 45mm


A memento I bought myself during my last BKK trip - something that I will do whenever I visit a foreign country ...

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The 21st HKTDC Hong Kong Book Fair

The 21st HKTDC Hong Kong Book Fair was held from 21 to 27 Jul 2010 in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. This annual event is an epitome of the outstanding achievements of the publishing industry in Asia.

Above souvenir cover was jointly issued by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and The Commercial Press (HK) Ltd as a memento of this occasion.

A limited quantity of 2,500 pieces of souvenir cover were issued. No special stamp was issued for this event. The stamp affixed on the souvenir cover is from the Characteristic Streets in Hong Kong stamp series. The stamp design above portrays Pottinger Street (呠典乍街), a street in Central, Hong Kong.


Date of Issue : 21 Jul 2010
Postmark : Hong Kong
Quantity : Limited 2,500 pieces


Date of Issue : 24 Jun 2010
Denomination : HK$1.40
Stamp Size : 35mm x 35mm
Paper : Paper with Security Fibres
Printing Process : Lithography


Got this as a souvenir from a friend who has flown all the way to Hong Kong just to attend the book fair. Such a book lover :)

Monday, April 18, 2016

Freebie Postcard - A Midsummer Night's Dream

Been close to three years since my last post on freebie postcard. The following is one of my favourites ... A Midsummer Night's Dream.

[ Australia, 1999 ]

A Midsummer Night's Dream, a comedy written by William Shakespeare, portrays the event surrounding the marriage of Theseus, the Duke of Athens to Hippolyta, the Amazon queen.

These include the adventure of four young Athenian lovers and a group of six amateur actors who are controlled and manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest.

The 1999 film version was written and directed by Michael Hoffman. This adaptation relocates the play's action from Athens to a fictional "Monte Athena" located in Tuscany, Italy.

Cast :

*  Rupert Everett as Oberon
*  Calista Flockhart as Helena
*  Kevin Kline as Bottom
*  Michelle Pfeiffer as Titania
*  Stanley Tucci as Puck
*  Sophie Marceau as Hippolyta
*  Christian Bale as Demetrius
*  Dominic West as Lysander

Source : Wikipedia