Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Weekend In Kuala Terengganu

I know what you're thinking; why Kuala Terengganu during Ramadhan? The honest answer is; I had bought the tickets during an AirAsia sale last year, and I didn't even realise it was gonna be during the fasting month. But sure, I WAS looking forward to going since the last time I visited KT was approximately 15 years ago!

We took the flight out on Friday night, which was pretty interesting in itself, seeing how we were at the LCCT gate when buka time came. So unlike other days where we're usually confronted by huge spreads of food, berbuka that day was a humble kaya turnover and mineral water for me.

We reached Kuala Terengganu around 9pm + and I was impressed by the airport's new facade. It was rather clean and well-maintained on the inside as well.

We then took a taxi to our place of accommodation, the Ri-Yaz Heritage Resort & Spa at Pulau Duyong. This is the place where all of the Monsoon Cup contingents stayed, so it's aptly called the "Home of the Monsoon Cup". From the main lobby as well, we could see KT clearly along with its own version of i-City.

It was rather quiet though, and after checking in, we were taken to our chalet on a buggy. It was already quite late, so there wasn't that much to do save for lepaking at our room and just chillax. The next highlight was the sahur delivery at 4.30am. Oh yes, sahur came to our room in tiffin carriers and the food was pretty good as well!

On Saturday, we raided the world famous Pasar Payang and basically splurged on all sorts of kain and kerepok. It must be noted that the place still looked the same since the last time I was there. Is this good or bad, I'm not sure. But honestly, a bit of sprucing up wouldn't hurt the place one bit.

Very nearby the Pasar Payang though was the Bazaar Warisan, a rather new shopping arcade with basically the same content. Pity that the place was rather deserted and lifeless. Worse still, on closer inspection, the building itself looked like it's crumbling due to very poor workmanship.

And the area around it was pretty dirty with litter everywhere. Why lah people? So difficult to make use of the dustbins provided meh?

Getting a taxi to go back to the hotel was a chore as well. But we did get one after walking a distance, and we were back at the comforts of our lovely chalet after a RM20 ride. Here are more pics of the place for your viewing pleasure...

We decided to buka at the resort that day and I was looking forward to some major nasi dagang and keropok lekor action. But I was sorely disappointed. While the spread was rather generous, there were no local dishes on offer. Not even the keropok lekor. Major bummer lah. And to add to that, Sunday morning's sahur wasn't that great either. (Only Liverpool's 2-0 win over Arsenal earlier in the night gave me something to cheer about).

But we WERE looking forward to some sightseeing after checking out on Sunday morning. I rented a Proton Exora and we went gallivanting around town before making the drive over to the famed Masjid Kristal. And it was a pretty breathtaking sight...

Up next was the Taman Tamaddun Islam.

We were ready to spend hours there admiring the miniature mosques and learning more than just a thing or two. BUT... the place was closed! Yup, it's closed for the entire month of Ramadhan to visitors. So we were left there ternganga and getting only small peeks at the mosques from the outside. Damn kesian, OK?

So we ended up driving around, buying some keropok lekor near Losong and "enjoying" the heat and breeze at Batu Burok beach.

With nothing else to do, we decided to check into one of the beach resorts there for some ZZZsss. But I also had a nifty plan. We went to the bazaar Ramadhan near Batu Burok beach, and I finally got my nasi dagang and keropok lekor for buka!

The nasi turned out to be really good and we also helped ourselves to a full 2litre bottle of A&W rootbeer.

Full and fully-rested, we then drove to the airport where I also returned the car. All things considered, it was a pretty interesting and decent getaway. Although the next time we're in the State, I'm pretty sure we'll be visiting the nearby islands instead...

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