HANDICRAFT & ART VILLAGE
KUAH – Bank District
(Map at the end of the article)
Operating Hours: 9.00am – 6.00pm
Tel: +6 04 – 955 7730
+6 012 – 332 6606
Looking for an original gift with a truly Langkawian flair?! Head to Pisang – one of the island’s most famous stores! Founded nearly 20 years ago, the shop specializes in hand-made gamat soaps & lotions that are so popular, they are distributed also to other parts of Malaysia and sold abroad. The miracle ingredients that makes them so unique? Sea Cucumber and Virgin Coconut Oil!
Inhabiting the seafloor around Langkawi, the marine creatures called Sea Cucumber (or in local slang ‘Gamat’) are believed to have great medicinal value which was discovered some three hundred years ago in a rather unusual way:
Heading to the shores to bring home the day’s catch, a fisherman brushed with his leg against the slimy elongated body of a Sea Cucumber. As a natural defense, the creature released a milky fluid so sticky it can compete with the most advanced underwater adhesives utilized today! Realizing that he will have to shave his leg to get rid of the gummed up hair, the fisherman took his rusty old axe, hacking in fury any sea cucumber around into pieces. The surprise came on the following day. Instead of finding a shore full of lifeless Sea Cucumber bodies, the fisherman discovered that his victims miraculously recovered over night. Superficial wounds were completely healed and while looking a little sore, those sea cucumbers that were cut right through somehow managed to re-join their detached body parts. A finding that got the fisherman thinking: If capable of healing itself, could a Sea Cucumber extract assist with wound healing?!
The thriving Sea Cucumber industry of today proves him right.
Producing granules of insoluble proteins that stick together, Sea Cucumber has the ability to accelerate regeneration and trigger the growth of new cells which makes it one of the most effective natural wound healing agents. Boosting additionally the production of collagen, Sea Cucumber extract has also the reputation to reduce fine lines and counter-act the development of deep wrinkles, enhancing the appearance of aging skin.
While an amazing ingredient, it does make a difference how is it further processed.
Which is where Pisang’s skin care production comes into play. Obtaining the gamat extract from selected fishermen that adhere to sustainable practices, the manufacturing process is strictly regulated in terms of hygiene and the fresh goat milk and fine coconut powder added to create the hand-made soaps are of highest quality. Infused with pure essential oils for an Cucumber extract assist with wound healing?!
Infused with pure essential oils for an added Aromatherapy benefit, you can choose a calming lavender, invigorating peppermint or a soap with the sensual scent of pink plumeria. Ideally complemented by a matching lotion or cream.
Recently added to the assortment is a range of wonderful product from a virgin coconut oil with a scent so rich and divine you will not only love to pamper your skin with it but also tempted to drizzle it over an exotic tropical salad. Which is absolutely an option!! While at it, purchase also a few bars of coconut soap. You can choose between a refreshing Lemongrass aroma, a sensual Sandalwood or the invigorating Peppermint scent. But even the unscented bar of a coconut soap is so fragrant, you may happily stick to the pure version.
Intrigued? Wait until you see the beautiful packaging! Wrapped in colorful fabrics, the skin care products make the perfect gift while giving away another specialty of Pisang: Wonderful batik accessories!
Crafted by the local artisan Azira in the art studio on the first floor, they range from tiny coin purses, bags, scarves and pareos to beautiful large paintings that can be rolled up for a convenient travel arrangement. Whether you like a modern pattern or traditional art with heliconia, hibiscus or lotus flower motives, the selection is large and you can even have a made-to-order piece!
Curious how the batik art is made? Join a workshop and experience first-hand the overall process from drawing a pattern with a canting dipped into a hot wax and subsequent coloring with the wax-lines building a natural barrier that prevents the colors from spilling, making sure you end up with the stunning piece you envisioned!
Still in a shopping mood? Take your time walking around the spacious store and discover some hidden treasures such as unique jewelry made of semi-precious stones, original beats and the famous freshwater pearls from Borneo! Whatever your taste – a visit to the Pisang Handicraft & Art Village is a must when looking for lovely gifts to bring back from your holidays in Langkawi.