Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cuti-cuti "Half" Peninsular Malaysia - Day 1

31st May 2013 (Driving route: Bukit Mertajam --> Pulau Banting (brief stop) -> Kota Bharu)
Tasik Temenggor
Wei Wei flew back on 30th May 2013 evening so that she can joined this road trip. We planned to start as early as 6:30am, but with a huge group, we ended up departed around 7:30am. We drove 2 cars, the senior citizens in one car, while the younger ones (including me, haha!) were in another.
It was a nice drive, and Banjaran Titiwangsa is as pretty as I could remember. The brief stop at Pulau Banting was very refreshing too.

The traffic was quite smooth, except from time to time you have to crawl behind the lorries / buses. The traffic getting worse when we were approaching Kota Bharu. Too many traffic lights to slow down everything.
Khao Jam (Nasi Kerabu) from U-Lang Corner
By the time we reached Kota Bharu is already almost 1pm. We went to a few shortlisted restaurants but most of them were closed! (Friday!! Kelantan!! What was I thinking!?) We finally found "U-Lang Corner" that's still open but the only thing left was the final set of Khao Jam.
We gave up! We 'da bao' the final set (for tea break at hotel later, and the nasi kerabu from was so good that my mum and aunts were planning to revisit for next day lunch), and we went to McD to settle our first meal in Kota Bharu in the Friday afternoon (lesson learn!)
After lunch, we drove to Pasir Belanda Resort. I had the location set at Waze in both my iPad and iPhone so I was very confident. However, after passing through the Malay graveyards and kampung houses, in the middle of the kampung road, the iPhone screen went 100% grey, and on the Waze's map, that's nothing else but a blue dot at the middle of nowhere. We were panic. Wei Wei started to search for Pasir Belanda on her Google Map and it pointed us to Kota Bharu city center which is a few kilometers away. I decided to trust Waze and continue to drive to the blue dot direction even though there's no more map available on Waze. Apparently Waze is correct. Pasir Belanda Resort is so deep in the kampung that you won't see it on the GPS map! You can imagine how glad we were when we finally found this lovely place.
Pasir Belanda

After check in, we had a good rest. We use my yoga map to set up a nice spot at the middle of the garden for free wifi and book reading spot while our mums and aunts catch up on all the gossips for the past 3 years. :)

For dinner, we went for this famous Thai food restaurant "Chengmai" at Wakaf Baru. First of all, the roads are very confusing. How do you read a map where all the roads from every directions of a roundabout are named "Jalan Wakaf Baharu"? So we had to asked for the directions a few times even with the help of Waze. The trick is: look for Kampung Kulim.

Secondly, again, this restaurant is deep inside a kampung. While we were quite stressed out trying to find the way, I guess the senior citizens were getting worried following us too. So you can guess how relieved we were when we saw this lovely sign of "Chengmai Thai Food Restaurant". 

After we parked our car, my aunt said to me "this better be good". Well, it is beyond good! The food is great!!We ordered a plate of pandan chicken, a set of pork knuckle, a tomyam kung, a plate of siam steam la-la, a plate of belacan kangkung (ok, this one is very disappointing), and our favorite: steam prawns with bamboo shoots and coconut milk. This particular dish is sourly and 'lemak' at the same time, and has a very unique after taste that ensure you want for more. In fact we actually had repeated order. The price is quite reasonable too. 7 of us with the food stated above, 1 bottle of sugar cane juice (1.5l) and 1 bottle of soya bean (1.5l) cost less than RM200.

If you were to visit Kota Bharu, this Thai restaurant at Tumpat is highly recommended. 
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