Wednesday, March 07, 2018
East Coast Road Trip I: Kuantan, Kuala Terengganu, and Keropok
Ended 2017 with a road trip to the East coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The trip was for both business and pleasure. In case you didn't know, SK and I are both from that part of the woods. That's why mum and SK also tagged along to visit relatives and friends. For KH, it's to spend time with me and at the same time try to expand his Nu Skin network there. We started the drive bright and early, arriving at Gambang before 11:00 AM. Made our first stop at Restoran Zaman, Jalan Gambang, a place popular for its nasi lemak and roti canai. Their nasi lemak comes pre-packed in banana leaf, and when a tray comes out from the kitchen, it never has a chance to make its way to the front. In my opinion, the nasi lemak isn't very impressive and it doesn't have much condiments. The sambal is sweet, which is considered authentic, but not to my liking. And if you like your roti canai from scratch, do come here.
From there, it was just a short drive to Kuantan. On the way to KH's first appointment, I spotted Jabatan Ukur dan Pemetaan Pahang, my late father's old office. Stopped there for a quick shot. Unfortunately, the stall (he called it High Chapparal!) where my late dad used to bring me for teh halia nearby had moved. And since we were near Bukit Pelindung, I visited Tadika Assunta, my old kindergarten on a hill. Some years ago, I met my ex-headmistress at SIC during the CNY mass of 2014.
After dropping KH off at Bukit Pelindung for his client follow-up, we went to visit SK's grandmother at an old folk's home in Kubang Buaya. The place was clean, quiet, and airy. SK's grandmother looked alert and her appetite was healthy judging by how fast she ate the roti canai that SK tapau-ed from Zaman earlier. Next up was a visit to my old neighbour from Survey Quarters. Six months ago, her husband passed away after a fainting spell on the staircase. Back in my childhood, her son and I were best buddies.
I also found the time to make a quick stop at Sekolah Menengah Teknik Kuantan, a place where I taught physics for two months. Being a temporary teacher while waiting for my STPM results was quite fun really. But those kids were quite hopeless. Haha.
Feeling quite full from the late breakfast, we drove on to Kuala Terengganu for our next appointment. Arrived in town just before 5:00 PM. It was my first time seeing the capital of Terengganu. Our host was Lynn, an ex-neighbour of SK's at MaisonSK. Few years back, she relocated back to her hometown to start a business specializing in Malay bridal goods. We picked her up at her shop, and she immediately brought us out for food! Yass! When in Kuala Terengganu, eat what the locals eat for tea time-- kerepok lekor! Her recommendation was Kak Yah Keropok Lekor at Kampung Losong Haji Su. Really enjoyed sipping a cup of cold teh c while enjoying a plate of yin-yang keropok lekor-- one deep-fried, the other blanched (the healthier choice).
Lynn felt that we needed to complete the trinity of keropok by trying the keropok bakar at Pantai Batu Buruk. Keropok Bakar is basically skewered fried lekor balls that are subsequently grilled. The beach seems to be a popular place for the locals with its carnival-like atmosphere. Believe it or not, there are horse carriages there, all pimped up like Cinderella's ride to the royal ball. Once can also ride horses and ponies on the beach. And if you're not a horse person, go for the ATVs. If that's too adventurous, you can fly a kit or enjoy the sea breeze on a swing.
Before dinner, we went back to Lynn's shop for a short Nu Skin opportunity and product presentation. Met her hubby and cute daughter as well. Her health condition was pretty uncommon with a health condition where a genetic mutation causes her body to accumulate excess copper. In the end, she gave the health supplements a miss, but loved the Galvanic Spa. After that, we went to dinner at D'Tunggal Seafood. The Tribe were also in town (an amazing coincidence), so we met up for dinner. The popular dishes there are fried quail (love the marinade), stir-fried bitter gourd (a wet eggy type that's so different from the Chinese), tomyum (really thick and creamy), ayam lap (something like a fried chicken cake), and fried fish (can't believe they ran out of sauce for grilled fish).
Halfway through dinner, it rained cats and dogs (monsoon season ma). And we still had another appointment-- Lynn's parents! She brought to her parent's home, and we had a nice talk with them, understanding their health condition and needs. Our day ended at midnight! Phew! Super tired by the time we checked in to ADA Hotel. A clean hotel by THAT kind of place standards. But the walls were a bit thin though, so no moaning out loud!