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.
MERRY XMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL.