I Love Kuala Terengganu
UNTUK VERSI BAHASA MELAYU, KLIK SINI.
I haven’t got any idea how to write story about my visit to Seward yet. Maybe because I had millions of beautiful pictures of it. So I opt to tell you about my recent visit to Kuala Terengganu and Redang Island since I have very little picture of it.
You know that I’m back to Malaysia for more than a week now. I feel so touched that I am able to witness Malaysian Ringgit plunged at 4.003, the lowest in its history, in my lifetime, while I’m here, in my beloved home country, Malaysia. I still remember 4.5 and 5.5 was the rate of Malaysian Ringgit against Euro. With God will, with our current indisputable governance, we will be experiencing the same rate again, but this time with USD. Hahaha.
For those who followed me on Facebook/Twitter, you know that I’m in the progress of eating ALL the good food that I missed while I was away. I was sick for the 1st week I was here. I might caught some bad virus in a plane on my way to Malaysia. I never said it was the hot weather because it has been raining everyday here, in Shah Alam since I got here. In fact, the sun in this city isn’t hot enough so I went to Redang Island for the tropical feel. Unfortunately, it rains in Redang Island too.
I didn’t get much sleep the night before I flew to Kuala Terengganu. Because of that, I didn’t explore much on my day one. But I still manage to visit Crystal Mosque while sleepy. It is one beautiful mosque. I did came to Kuala Terengganu 15 years ago, when I joined my friends, Guthrie staff’s treasure hunt from KL to Kuala Terengganu. But we didn’t do much stop since we were in other mission (treasure hunt). But now, I can see that Kuala Terengganu has become into one beautiful city I ever visit around Malaysia. Not just beautiful, but clean, well maintained as well. First you landed in Kuala Terengganu airport, you will be amazed how beautiful the airport is. This town has its own class and it fit for tourism. Kuala Terengganu even nicer compared to Kuala Lumpur. Just take Jalan Sultan Ismail for instance, The view along the street, starting from Hard Rock Cafe towards KLCC is an eyesore. I feel like I am at Guantanamo Prison. Long due construction can be seen almost every 5 meters, I wonder when all this road construction will ever finish. I tried to get used to it but I can’t. Just imagine what’s in tourist’s mind. I can’t wait to return back here with Mike. I know Mike will love it here. I also noticed that, people in Kuala Terengganu is more open minded and accepting things that different than their norm unlike other states that located next to Terengganu. I can’t sense the Taliban vibe in this town. I wore distress, ripped jeans while walking around town and yet, no one bothers. No cat calls or piercing stares.
I got headache due to fatigue and lack of sleep. So I decided to stay in the hotel room. My two sisters continue exploring the city. I think they explored too much, they ended up did the cupping treatment. But they still don’t forget about sick me in the room. They brought back local fruits, deep fried breaded squid and all the local candies. I learned that they went to the famous market in Kuala Terengganu called Pasar Payang. So they brought back the Pasar Payang to me since I was too sick to go. Next morning, we still manage to visit the All White Mosque. The All White Mosque located nearby the hotel that we stayed. I was amazed knowing that people in this town able to maintain this All White Mosque stays white. Talk about building, we all know that, one small white furniture in the house is still hard to maintain. It’s proven that the state government really do their work to keep this town at its best. And oh! We also manage to have breakfast at Pasar Payang! I ordered Laksam, but unfortunately, it wasn’t that good.
We reached Redang Island around 2 pm and the resort we stayed had power problem by the time we checked in. They said it will be fixed in 5 minutes time, but the resort stayed powerless until 9 pm. While other resorts have their own power generator for situation like this, this resort, fully depending on TNB. The three of us and few other residents started to complaint at the resort counter. We almost want to check out from that resort after we get our refund back. However, one of my sister is ex TNB staff. She used her own mobile, made a call to TNB to check the status of power interruption in Redang Island. You know what? Less than a minute, the power back on. Then we came to know that, the cable was fixed like 6 pm tat evening. However, no one from the resort management make a follow up call and waited for a miracle to happen I guess. And as for TNB, they think everything was fine after they fixed the cable connection on site. If we didn’t stay at that resort, I think they will stay powerless until next year or so. That resort is Redang Lagoon Beach Resort. Don’t tell me I didn’t warned you.
Again, I was ill the whole stay in Redang Island. I was able to walk for one lunch and that’s about it. The rest, my two sisters brought up my breakfast and dinner up to the room. I didn’t join the snorkeling trip as well. I started to feel better on the day we checked out from the resort. So I still make time to swim on the beach at 9 am for 1 hour before we left the island.
When we arrived Kuala Terengganu, I picked up all the missing activities on day one. I went to Pasar Payang and buy souvenirs to bring back to Alaska for my in sisters in law. I like fish cracker from Kuala Terengganu. I still remember the one that my sister sent me before Ramadhan, so I told her I wanted to buy it for my mom and sister at home. Later, we ate Durian too.
But the most unforgettable thing is to queue for deep fried breaded squid (sotong celup tepung) Kuala Terengganu. I wonder why I never heard of it from people who visited Kuala Terengganu for my whole life. The restaurants are located along Menggabang Telipot beach, nearby Kuala Terengganu airport. According to my sister, the queue is even more longer during school holidays. There is a chance you might not get it after few hours queue. This is why they don’t bother to commercialized this special food to world wide since the local demand is already more than enough. I definitely will bring Mike here one day.
The squid size is very big. The smallest one is in 20cm. The biggest is 1 foot long. The taste is sweet fresh squid from the sea, dipped in special sauce and it is pretty cheap. The price is RM10 to 15 depending on sizes. If in Alaska I get to experience eating King Crab, here, I get to eat KING SQUID. Terengganu people should be proud that they have something similar to Alaska. They also served deep fried breaded King Prawn. RM5 for 3 big prawns. We didn’t eat rice that day. Just fried squid and prawns.
That’s all for now. Don’t tell me that I never support local tourism.
I really start to fall in love with Kuala Terengganu. If someday, I am rich like Malaysian politician, I will buy a property here and retire in Kuala Terengganu when I am really old.