Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Short Visit to Terengganu

The month of December is constantly filled with travel, lots of travel. On the second day of Raya Korban we drove to Kota Bharu. It was a Tuesday and a public holiday in Kelantan, like all the other Malay states of Perlis, Kedah and Terengganu. The traffic was surprisingly light. The damn famous White House cafe was not opened for business, and so we had our drink and snack at McD. On the top floor of McD, a few of the customers were simultaneously having their meals and surfing the internet .

The following day, we took the coastal road to Kuala Terengganu. which was almost a repeat of the trip we made last year to attend the riveting Monsoon Cuppa, and saw the late Datuk Razali Ismail there who we later found out was a neighbour of Mama’s Tok Ayah in Kuala Berang. Our first stop was Kuala Besut to enquire about the speedboat services to Pulau Perhentian but there were none at this time of the year as it was monsoon season.

Next, we stopped by the roadside stall at Rhu Sepuluh beach for a satisfying bite of the crunchy seafood fried in batter. We then checked out The Aryani Resort in Merang, and the place is secluded and really deserted. We did not see a single soul dining or sunbathing there. We spent the night in Kuala Terengganu at a brand new hotel overlooking the glittering Crystal Mosque by the Terengganu River. The iconic Burj-Al-Arab-Jumeirah-look-alike hotel is owned by a major plantation company whose Chairman is a politician from Terengganu. Our dinner at an almost full house restaurant in Jalan Hiliran, not very far from the hotel, consists of nasi minyak, rojok and laksa Terengganu.

The next day was spent mainly in the vicinity of Masjid Zainal Abidin, Istana Maziah and Bukit Puteri, which are  featured in the best seller Growing Up in Trengganu, and at the newly opened Taman Tamadun Islam (TTI). Surprise, surpise, we actually spent almost four hours wandering aimlessly around TTI. Of all the 21 iconic Islamic monuments from around the world built in the Edutainment Park on Pulau Wan Man, we decided to spend more time at the Masjidil Haram and the Taj Mahal.

My siblings opted to cycle from one mini monument to another, but we chose to ride on the tram. We overheard one elderly lady passenger telling another in local dialect: “Tepak ni best. Dok pahang bak pe oghang kutuk”. Papa noticed that the developer left a few matured trees on the small island untouched. Before we left Terengganu for Cherating, my parents made sure I had my first taste of beronok, a bright red sago pudding coated with grated coconut. I loved the small portion Mama gave me as it is so like strawberry.



Zawi said...

Sorry I was in fataway Sabah myself and thus couldn't meet u up while u were in KB. By the way the Kubang Pasu of KB is just a walk away from the White House.

GUiKP said...

Another time insyaAllah.I'm also keen to visit the Kandis Resource Centre. Wow, we were at the frontier of the Kubang Pasu of KB.

ruby ahmad said...

Hey GuiKP,

The kedai kopi 'White House', sounds interesting. Saw the photos from the link & wow quite authentic kedai kopi that.

I like such atmosphere. The unpretentiousness is endearing always.

Happy Hols.

Al-Manar said...

It is a shame that you did not call on us in KT. Aryani is just about ten minutes’ drive from us. We could have easily accommodated you and family - minus the luxury, of course. It would be great to stroll along the beach together and watch the huge waves rolling threateningly before dissipating into a spread of white froth on your feet. The children would be thrilled as our grandchildren do when they visit us. (Sometimes we wonder whether it is the beach and not us that they come to visit.) And I could have taken a ladder to pick a couple of young coconuts for a drink.You could still drive to town and back as we do almost daily. I could have taken you to the late Dato’ Razali’s house as his wife is my cousin’s daughter. And all these are for free!

Pak Cik

GUiKP said...

When you feel like visiting White House next, do give us a shout. We can be there at short notice to meet you. Perhaps we can also meet Zawi and other Kelantan bloggers like the fascinating Mat Cendana.

GUiKP said...

Pak Cik Hassan of Al-Manar
That short visit was quite a rush. I had to be in KL on the weekend 13and 14, on work related business. And there were two other stops between KT and KL, Cherating and Bukit Tinggi (Berjaya Hill now). InsyaAllah we will pay you a visit soon. I've never been to Istana Tengku Long, and would like to see the wooden palace very much. How's demam pilihanraya now? We didn't feel it during that trip.



Terengganu remains one of my very favourite places to visit!

Have a glorious new year! Salam to all!

GUiKP said...

Salam 1-Muharam Sis Ena,
Somehow I feel that Cherating has lost the magic that prompted Club Med to set up her first resort in Asia there. But then again Cherating is in Pahang, not Terengganu although it feels and smells very Ganu kite.