Thursday, January 28, 2010

East Coast Tour - Terengganu

Growing up in the southern part of Malaysia (Johor Bahru) had always barred me from the east coast states of Terengganu, Kelantan, and even Pahang.

It's mid-term break and after some hasty decision making, I was on the way to Kuala Terengganu (aka KT) with Keat and my 2 housemates - Wui Jern and Chia Hui.

I've to admit my housemates are really steady people. Many people will stop at the first huddle when they think of going to a place like Terengganu. If it wasn't for them, I won't get enough people to go there anyway.

At least my final semester of uni life had something different!

Another round of applause because they were really the drivers on the day. Thanks guys for being the man behind the wheels most of the time as Keat and I took turns taking naps...

We left KL in the afternoon last Saturday. We planned a 2 nights stay at Thomas's place in KT, the capital city of Terengganu.

It took us about 5.5 hours there.

We reached there around 10pm.

Dinner at Thomas's

Then we were out at KT for a few rounds.

China Town (which had only a few shop lots, and 2 chinese food outlets)

The tourist - (From left) Chia Hui, Wei Ren, Keat, and I

Ikan Bakar

We called it a day after that short supper. Keep in mind that we actually continued with our supper after dinner!!!

And that's only the start of our eating spree...

We planned a long day of "events" the next day.

We woke up at 7am. Even Ah Keat was able to wake up in time as we all knew that we were on a tight schedule.

The most famous place for breakfast in KT

Mini toast bread (No extra decoration, no fanciful touch, but it tasted so good that we came back the next morning)

More side dishes

Our first stop was the Kenyir Dam at Kenyir Lake - The biggest man-made lake in South East Asia. The lake was formed because of the mining for tin, minerals and etc. (If my geography knowledge is correct)

It took us like 2 hours to reach there from KT. (Very far...)

A hydro-electric dam was build to generate electrical power.

TNB... Namewee got comment?

But to our disappointment, we were not allowed up to the dam. The security guard talked to us about football instead.

Terengganu FC beat Selangor FC 4-0 the night before...

This was how far we went - Some overflowing water from the dam

And some high tension cables - A proof that there's a hydro-plant there

Undeterred, we drove another 1 hour, this time, to the other side of Kenyir Lake - Kenyir Resort.

There, they have a few tour guides, chalets and boat service onto Kenyir Lake.

At least we see the lake ourselves this time

The scenery was fine though

Next up, we went to a waterfall called Sekayu, which means 1 wood...

Maybe there is a wood sticking out of the waterfall?

Warning signs that you MUST read, especially at a waterfall

The water current made me looked like Aladdin

Crystal clear water

Maybe I found "that" wood

We left Sekayu and headed back to KT to meet another friend of ours - Malcolm Wee, The Boss.

It took us about 1 hour's drive thru thick forest roads in some no-mans-land to reach a small town called Wakaf Tapai.

Well, it's not considered a small town. It's a few rows of shops.

One of the shops - 188 Seafood Restaurant (I can't remember if that's the name) had curry "mountain boar's meat" on it's menu, courtesy of Thoma's dad's recommendation.

Not bad for a cheap and simple lunch

Another 45 minutes, we were back at KT (Thank god... We were back in civilization again).

My 2 housemates waiting for The Boss - They somehow looked odd in context

Malcolm stays in Besut, some 2 hours to the north of KT - which he says has nothing but trees and STRONGLY advised us not to go that night.

So, we decided to fully explore KT.

First stop, Marina Bay (Oooppsss... Copy cat from Singapore's?)

Malaysian International Sailing Circuit

Venue for the Monsoon Cup

Marina Bay KT was actually in a sorry state, where there were no upkeep and better planning. The place and buildings there looked classy and grand, but there were almost no one there. It's a waste really.

I guess they only use this luxurious place annually for the Monsoon Cup.

We also tried and ate more local food.

Keropok Leko - Finally after years of buying and eating them by the road side, I tried the original one in KT!!! Tasted different, but much fresher and better

As a Malay and Muslim majority state, Terengganu indeed has lots of mosques. And very majestic ones by the way.

This one's called the Crystal Mosque at Taman Tamadun Islam (Islamic Civilization Park)

The floating mosque

Well, for the not so spectacular buildings, they have the infamous Gong Badak Stadium.

It could've caused catastrophic disaster if there were people in the stadium during the collapse of the roof last year - These things definitely can only happen in Malaysia... And there's no news after that of who's responsible just because no human life was involved.

I can't imagine and believe what is wrong with the contractors and consultants of this multi-million dollars stadium.

We then headed to the coast-line for more food.

Fried (and fresh) sotong (or squid)

Coconut jelly drink

Seaside

My friend looking for oyster

The moon comes out earlier in KT

Then, we had some famous "rice" at a place called Ladang.

Nasi minyak, nasi kuning, and nasi kunyit

Contrary to my expectations, those "nasi" were good to be honest. They taste great, and were not too oily or salty. And they're quite cheap too.

When you have Malcolm, you have:

Pool - Terengganu style

Then we went to this burger shop, just opposite KT Hospital. Had to wait for about 45 minutes for our burgers, as this guy is really hygienic and clean.

Where got people do burger use plastic gloves and scoops???

And he makes burgers with passion... No wonder this burger outlet is a shop (with ceiling fan) rather than a stall by the road.

We called the "special-lest burger special" he could make with maximum ingredients - Burger meat, canned red beans, cheese, numerous kinds of veges, extra mayonnaise... Only at 4 bucks

It must have been one of the best ramli burger I've ever eaten... It was like eating 3 McChicken...

I went to bed with my stomach really really full. Not sure how much bigger my waist line became.

Next morning, we woke up (to eat some more) at around 8am.

The famous nasi dagang (Nice~)

A fine blend of fresh fish with rendang... Again, the taste was balance and perfect

Pulut "nipple" (I know what you're thinking... I also don't know why they call it that way)


And we then went back for more mini toasted bread

Then we went to the market place.

Coin parking system

Local favourite - Fried keropok (4 of us bought about 80 packs) - Anybody want some?

Un-fried ones

We left for Kemaman shortly after mid day.

And reached Chukai, Kemaman after 2.5 hours of drive, this time taking the coastal road.

We passed by places like Kerteh and Paka, which houses heavy industrial sites like Petronas oil rigs and power plants.

Waited for our friend Ah Gan at Hai Peng

Local favourite Au Lat

Ah Gan brought us to this famous shop for a famous dish

Crab meat - Kemaman style

Wow~ Nice...

Sambal-Squid was also fresh and nice

But that meal wasn't cheap. Luckily we had a local guide in Ah Gan, if not, this shop will "chop you down".

Then we walk across the road to this shop:

Ah Gan says he will eat here at least once everytime he comes back

Nasi lemak - Not bad

We visited Ah Gan's place for a "pit-stop" before going for:

More

Otak-otak

The Kemaman otak-otak is much smaller compared to those from Muar. But it's much more wet with it's delicious chilly blend source covering the piece of fish meat.

A short drive took us to the beach side (Ah Gan on the far right)

Again, just like in KT, the waves were strong, powerful and inviting...

Ah Gan, Keat and myself were really tempted to experience first hand South China Sea "jacuzzi".

Very very fierce

But after considering the timing (it was already about 5pm) and the hustle to bath after that, we only managed to soak our feat in the water.

It's a little dangerous and risky anyway.

So we left Kemaman about 6pm and reached KL after about 2.5 hours.

There goes my weekend at the east coast.

~~~

Terengganu's a nice place really (if you know the it well - Good food and nice scenery). Compared to cities like KL and JB, there is a sense of calmness in the air there.

Life's simpler in Terengganu.

Overall, it's a nice for a short escape from the city life.

SPECIAL THANKS TO THOMAS, MALCOLM AND AH GAN FOR THE HOSPITALITY IN TERENGGANU. YOU GUYS ARE WELCOMED TO JOHOR BAHRU AND SINGAPORE ANYTIME. I'LL BE THE TOUR GUIDE THEN.

THANKS GUY! I HAD A GREAT TIME (eating).
~~~

Half the mid-term break is gone. I have done nothing really...

I am spending more time looking at postgrad opportunities rather than my own final year project.

Next week (Wednesday & Thursday) is Career Fair, and I'll be quite busy. Worst still, there is a test on Thursday.

Have to start working!!!

4 comments:

Jason said...

Very nicely compiled man

Jason said...

The crab meat is very very special and tempting ! One whole bunch of crab meat , just like egg omelet ?

crusader said...

Thanks Jason...

The crab meat was nice la... Maybe they did some seasoning in the crab meat and mix it up... Maybe with some egg la...

But it's like Rm7.50 for 1... Worth the try anyway... Only found in Kemaman...

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