4am stories, Teluk Intan, Perak, Malaysia.

” Teluk Intan(安順)is a town located in the state of Perak in Malaysia. It is the largest town in Hilir Perak district and third largest town in the state of Perak with an estimated population of around 120,000, about half of Hilir Perak district’s total population (232,900). Teluk Intan is the district capital of Hilir Perak district. – Wikipedia. For more information about Teluk Intan, please visit : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teluk_Intan 

That is the general information about it, let’s get back to my title, 4 AM. How many of you have ever think what is happening in your town at 4 AM in the morning? Which i believe most of us will be sleeping soundly, except those football fans who are still awake for the Euro 2012.

Being here for 25 years, i have never thought of what is going on out there at this time? Like my sister suggested me to go at 6 am, which she thinks most of them will be awake at that time, but i do not want to miss out anything, so i stick to my old plan. And so, i woke up at 3.30am and get myself prepared to check this out.

I went to a few places in the town where my ‘tour guide’, my mum suggested me. Surprisingly, I met a lot of them, we talked and we shared our stories, looking at my RAW data, it was 4.10 am.

I walked along to the Teluk Intan wet market at 4.45am. This is the only light that could be seen from far. I was told by her that they started to work almost an hour before i reached.

What’s happening in this photo? The men were arguing right at the back, and the lady just carried on getting her job done.

The son was packing ; the dad supervising ; the grand was instructing.

I met him as a total stranger, but we had a conversation like an old friend.

I left the wet market at 6.30 am and got back to the main street. I took this photo at my last stop, Keng Heng Kopitiam, one of the most historical around here.

3 hours project, I spent one and a half hour talking, an hour exploring, and only half an hour shooting. This is my first photography project and I seriously gain more than I expected. To be mention, all the photos were taken with permission.

So what is your story? Lets share !


100 thoughts on “4am stories, Teluk Intan, Perak, Malaysia.

  1. nearly the same in my town, since we have a market, too. But there is not that much fish involved, I am afraid. Very nice pictures! Seems the area is buzzing as much at night as it is during the day. Cheers, Andreas

  2. great work, patrick! i will be doing a small article about you and your work on my blog soon…i hope you will allow me to post some of your photos on my site at that time! of course, i will be crediting your name and blog as well! i really love your street shots!

    • I was about to say the same thing, Courtney, in a separate reply below. But I am just going to second you on that. This was a brilliant idea, Patrick. I love the photos. I think you should carry the 4am project further, to any city you travel to. I would keep on coming back to see those photos.

  3. Great Post. It’s interesting what goes on in the neighborhood (generally speaking) when we’re not awake to see it. I go out at 5:00 and it seems I’m in a whole new area. BTW, the freshly pressed picture looked like my Grandfather from Vietnam

  4. We get a number of freight trains, to or from the state of Maine, from the rest of the U.S.
    I suppose the rest of the action is with the overnight shift at the hospital.
    But Dover’s a rather small city.

  5. Fabulous idea, and so well done! Thank you for getting up so early to find this out. I’ll look back to see what you’ve got next.

  6. I like what you said: I met him as a total stranger, but we had a conversation like an old friend.

    It’s amazing to discover how much we have in common with people we barely know. That’s one of the reasons I love taking photowalks.

    I love your idea! I hope you don’t mind if I borrow it 😀

  7. I may never get the chance to go to Malaysia let alone Teluk Intan. I find it very interesting to see the everyday life of other cultures and to compare the similarities and differences from my culture to others. I am really looking forward to following your blog and seeing life through your lens. Thank you 🙂

  8. Wonderful shots – remind me of our second home Chiang Mai in Thailand where my wife an i volunteer at a foster home – Hope Home for disabled children for our holidays – the markets are the same and envigorating at 5am!

  9. Great photos! I have not been back to TI (was still known for a while back then as Teluk Anson) for a really long time. I don’t remember much of it except for the clock tower in the town centre and of course my housing area in Taman Ros.

    Thanks for the walk down memory lane. 🙂

    Congrats on being freshly pressed too!

  10. I’m not a morning person and as it is, waking up at 8am is tough enough for me. But your post is inspiring and one of these days I should explore my neighbourhood (PJ) at 4am.

    Congrats for being freshly pressed btw! =)

  11. I just love your post here man. I’m N, a fellow Asian blogger too and is about to go to Europe. The way you tell the story is very simple. Few straight words. Photos are the stories themselves. I’ll be doing the same man. I’ve learned a lot from you. Terima Kasih.

  12. Great initiative, Patrick! You’ve inspired me to post something similar about the traditional wet market in my district. It becomes crowded since midnight to wee hours in the morning, mostly vendors setting up goods and street peddlers purchasing stuffs for their customers. The market is definitely a unique part of the city at these hours 🙂

  13. Very nice. Thats the uniqueness about small towns and mom and pop shops. No matter how big the city gets or large hypermarket corporations grow they will never match the personalized treatment and care this smaller shops and town have. That have a special place in all the hearts of the Malaysian people. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Gorgeous!

    in my town in Indonesia the coconut’s seller also begin to work much more earlier than others, 2 am in the morning. they surely are interesting 🙂

  15. Looks like a hard life. Patrick my father was a cook in a Chinese restaurant in a small city outside of Toronto in Canada for most of his adult life.

    I enjoy markets and we’ve been to several world-wide: http://thirdwavecyclingblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/growing-up-and-cycling-through-the-years-to-farmers%e2%80%99-markets-home-and-abroad/

    But I haven’t been to Asia yet myself. Yea, I know. It IS possible to creat a place from not visiting it either but it does have to have a particular theme, spin. Here’s mine:


  16. Dad supervising and smoking at the same time? This will not be possible here. But anyway, interesting. Conjure up old memories of mine (mid 1960 in S’pore).

  17. Pingback: edging towards something spiritual in the wee hours… « running in circles

  18. Reblogged this on QuarterFlip and commented:
    I would LOVE to have the chance to see this and be able to write about it. The culture looks so unique and to be able to experience it first hand? Amazing. Maybe I just might have the chance yet… 😉

  19. Amazing pictures! I never expected Perak to be so beautiful, haha I always thought of it as a “kampung” place for some reason.
    Really well written compared to other photography blogs I’ve read, keep up the great work! 😀

  20. Lovely shots, Patrick. I particularly like the guy at the flower shop and the guy you talked to like an old friend. Makes me want to sneak around Tokyo and 4am with my camera – next time I’m out all night I’ll try to stay sober enough to do this!

  21. A really interesting post (loved the photos). I like the concept of your post, and it had made me curious about doing this in my own city!

    Looking forward to seeing what other projects you come up with!

  22. I am glad that the idea actually inspired some of you, whether its a photography project or a thought to know more about your neighborhood, at the end of the day, you’ll probably gain something just like me, or even more 🙂 Do share with us !

  23. Wow! Love this post! My parents are from Teluk Intan and no one outside the family ever seems to know where that is when I tell them so love to see this feature 🙂 been forever since I’ve been there but you didn’t happen to catch what my dad calls the “leaning tower of TI” at 4am did you? 😉

  24. Pingback: A happening month, June 2012. « Patrick Tan | Journalistic portrait & wedding photographer | Malaysia

  25. good one..i live in teluk intan..and for me my hometown is the most greatest town ever with lots of yummy food…did you try our chee cheong fun?

  26. Pingback: We love where we are. « Patrick Tan | Your Memory . Your Love | Malaysia

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