2nd June 2013:
Driving route: Kota Bharu --> Bachok --> Kuala Terengganu --> Sungai Lembing
Due to my "bad habit" (can't resist to stop at great spots along the coast), I suspected that I could never arrive at Sungai Lembing before sunset. Hence, I have chose the highway instead, to drive from Kuala Lumpur to Sungai Lembing.
Little did I know that the highway is actually still in construction. The first time we reached the junction with a sign board showing "turn left to Kuantan" but there were no way to turn, we were panic! We turned on every gadgets we had in the car, checked our direction, checked the GPS, checked Google Map, checked Waze......We were stressed until we were sure that we were still on the right track.
About less than hour later, we were back to the old federal road. It was under construction, it was raining, it was full of trucks, it was SLOW! I should have continued on the beautiful coastal route!
Anyway, we reached Lembing Riverview Resort around 6pm. We got our keys, chit chat with the resort owner, and ordered the famous roasted pork from the resort owner. Guess what, the roasted pork was delivered to the resort! What a service! :)
The roasted pork smell sooooo good and we were sooooo hungry then, we totally forgot about taking photos. The only thing that I can tell you is that it was crispy outside, juicy inside. My aunt said this is the best Shio Bak she has ever tasted!
After getting our roasted pork, we drove to the town area. There were only 2 restaurants in the town. So we walked in to the shop nearest to our car.
"Did you make any reservation? We are full and do not entertain walk in" the waiter told us. I couldn't believe this! I could never ever link "restaurant reservation" with a town of only 2 streets!
Anyway, I accepted the fact, and we walked to another one, just a few shops away. Full house too! They were kind enough to find a table for us, but the waitress said "You all can sit down first, but we have to serve all these people in the restaurant at this moment, and there are 3 more tables with reservation that will come to the restaurant an hour later, then only we will serve you". I almost fainted! I doubt if this restaurant could handle this capacity, and whether they have enough raw material to serve us 2 hours later (if we were lucky). So we decided to let the senior citizens to stay put, while Wei Wei, Sonia and I explored the town. I sent Wei Wei to the almost-close grocery store to buy some biscuit (just in case), while I surveyed the only still-in-operation-food-stall. I was told that there were only 2 bowls of clear soup noodle (清汤面) and a few bowls of curry noodle left. Without any delay, I quickly secured one table while I sent Sonia back to the restaurant to get the rest to come to this humble little stall. Finally we managed to secure THE FINAL FEW BOWLS of food left in this town! Phew!!
We knew there were a lot of people flocked in from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and many other places during the long weekend (Yee Hau warned us by sending Singapore news to Wei Wei when we were at Kuala Terengganu), but we didn't expect that even getting something to eat could be so difficult. A local guide must have seen how we struggled and came chit chat with me. He said we can consider ourselves lucky. The day before there were more than 30 tour buses in this tiny little town! And for the local guides, each of them guided more than 100 people to the Rainbow Waterfall in one day! Unbelievable!
Tips for those that wish to visit Sungai Lembing:
1. Please go as soon as possible. This place is turning into another Cameron Highland soon, a wonderful place that was ruined after developed into a famous tourism spot.
2. Please avoid long weekends. You will hate the crowd.
3. Please make sure you pre-book your meals!