Malaysia's Kite

One of Malaysia’s few national symbols, the Wau stands proud among other culturally significant icons such as the keris and hibiscus. The wau is a uniquely Malaysian kite, a work of art made from bamboo, strings, adhesives and paper that, when properly flown, soars majestically across the sky. The bold, colourful designs, made by cutting multiple layers of coloured paper, ensure the wau remains captivating even when flown high in the air.

Just as many traditional past-times, wau-flying has been on the decline. Despite that, the activity is still popular in areas such as Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis.


The most well-known wau is definitely Wau Bulan (Moon Kite), which at one point of time was featured on the nation’s 50-cent coin. It is followed by the nationally recognized Wau Kucing and Wau Jalabudi. Other than that, each state of the country is well-known for their unique wau, such as Wau Kangkang of Kedah or Wau Kapal of Selangor.

Waus aren’t as common as they used to be these days, but for those who are curious about this traditional craft, there are still a number of events that cater to wau enthusiasts, such as the Pasir Gudang World Kite Festival where hundreds of types of wau can be found amongst a great variety of kites!