Sunday, January 01, 2012

Cherating & Kuantan Road Trip: Day 1

My first post for the smacking new year and I thought I should write about something new and fun!!

By the way...

Happy New Year everyone! ^^

How was your Christmas going last year? Did you have a great one?

I did not expect myself to be invited for a 3D2N trip for Xmas last year and needless to say, I was very excited! Excited because I'm going on a trip with the people that I really love :)

We were scheduled to depart at 6am on the 24th and since I had Christmas BBQ party with another group of beloved friends the night before, I ended up catching only 2 hours of sleep before dragging my zombie self on this road trip.

We made a few pit stops along the way up to Cherating and our first stop was Bentong for breakfast. According to our itinerary, we were supposed to eat at Kow Po coffee shop but I don't know what happened and we ended up at a random coffee shop instead.

Sorry to start this entry with an ugly photo of myself because this is the only photo I have for our breakfast at Bentong FML. Yea, candid sucks.

Food wasn't that bad and apparently with 1 look, the locals can tell if we are from Bentong or not wtf.

Road Trip Tip #1: Eat whatever you can find and don't starve yourself because you don't know what lies ahead.

Must post flattering photo of self to make up for the ugly photo above hahahaha

Road Trip Tip #2: Camwhore a lot when you are having fun or while you still have the energy!

The 3 who doesn't have to drive.
L-R: Siok Yim, myself and Shu Yi.

Cannot leave Angie out although she has to drive!

We told her to just smile and don't need to look at the camera LOL!!

We had a lot of fun in the car ;)

Continuing our journey to Kuantan, it rained so we have no choice but to give Gua Charas and Hutan Lipur Sg Pandan waterfall a pass :(((

Yes, I was very disappointed because I'm quite an outdoor person and I was anticipating some outdoor activities like climbing and trekking (Gua Charas famous for its Sleeping Buddha) or dipping my legs and play with water (Sg Pandan waterfall) but I got none of that!

Damn you rainnn!!

The 2 SYs (Siok Yim and Shu Yi) really wanted to visit to this Temple of Emperor Gold Dragon (Lao Zi Temple) so while waiting for the rain to stop, we took a little detour to East Coast Mall (the biggest mall in Kuantan) to buy some chips and beers before returning to Lao Zi Temple.

Here's a little info given by the 2 SYs as they read from the internet - Lao Zi temple is famous for the Golden Dragon - which is the longest man-made structure in the world!

The entrance to Lao Zi temple starts from the Dragon's tail...

...and ends at the Dragon's head.

The walk is about 1km long and it is believed that after walking through, a person will be blessed with good luck and fortune.

Okay, let me be very, very honest here. Sorry if I have readers from Kuantan and I might offend you guys but I was very unhappy after visiting to this place.

Firstly, the structure of this Golden Dragon is SO POORLY MAINTAINED! Besides the tail and the head where they were newly painted, the "body" of the dragon is nothing but pathetic. The cracked cement floor wasn't repaired nor kept clean and the walls are dirty. The moment you start the journey, you are left without a choice but to complete the 1km walk and throughout the journey, all 4 of us felt extremely unsafe and uneasy.

Can't they at least do something to make visitors feel a little safe?

After completing the walk, we were again, disappointed. The place is really rundown, old and dirty! There isn't many things for us to check out either!

You know what make things worse? Before leaving the place, we were ordered/demanded by a lady (whom I believed she runs the place) to donate money before leaving! Seriously, I wasn't a pious person and I sincerely don't mind donating to temples and all but I felt that being shouted at/forced to donate is just so wrong!

(By the way, we've already donated at the box placed in front of the Dragon's head beforehand)

Road Trip Tip #3: Don't let stuff like this spoil your mood.

Road Trip Tip #4: Blog about it to avoid such incident ruining other people's day.

After that visit, it was already pretty late and a few eateries that we wanted to try out were either sold out or closed but we managed to settle at another pretty "popular" place recommended by bloggers - Restaurant New Taj.

Sadly I do not have photos of the food (Siok Yim has the photos in her DSLR!) and despite being really hungry, we don't find the food to be extremely great actually. Yes, they serve pretty good Indian food but the raves over the net about how tasty it is has gone a little overboard. They are similar to what we can get in KL/PJ!

After a hearty lunch, we finally checked in to our hotel in Cherating (which was about 45mins drive away from Kuantan town). The hotel we stayed in was The Legend Resort, Cherating. From their website, they claimed to be a 4-star hotel but I guess you should lower your expectation to avoid any disappointment.

Our "love nest" hahahahaha

Our lovely balcony
(to which we did not utilize because our room wasn't facing the beach *sad*)

All in all, the room's clean but we were unfortunate to get a toilet that has a little problem in flushing so to be on the safe side, we did our "big business" using the toilet at the lobby hahahahaha FTL!!!

A couple of hours later, we drove to Chukai, Kemaman for dinner.

Don't have to drive nor navigate hence plenty of time to camwhore at the backseat XD

I know Siok Yim is pretty but sorry guys, she's taken! :p

If you are in Cherating (Pahang), please drive to Kemaman (Terengganu) for the famous stuffed crab at Restoran Tong Juan and I'm sure you won't regret it :)

Clockwise from top left: Tong Juan Restaurant, stuffed crab, steamed fish, mixed vegetables, kam heong lala and grilled tiger prawns with garlic.

You may be curious - does this restaurant lived up to my expectation? Are those stuffed crabs really that delicious?

Let's just say that you have to try them yourself to judge. I personally like the stuffed crab as the shell is packed with crab meat and it saved me the hassle from eating it with my hands. Not to mention that it's tasty too. Steamed fish is fresh but I was expecting the gravy to be a little stronger in taste as I find it a little too bland. Mixed vegetable is well, just mixed vegetables - ordered to compensate the guilt we felt from the amount of seafood we consumed that night. Kam heong lala is very fragrant and I love the amount of cili padi used to fry them with. Grilled prawns with garlic is 1 of our favorite dish that night! The prawns were huge and the generous amount of fried garlics stuffed at the back of the prawns make this dish a great one. I also noticed that many diners ordered fried rice so I guess you might want to try that out too when you pay Tong Juan a visit :)

Restoran Tong Juan
K117, Jalan Sulaimani, Chukai, Kemaman.
Tel: 09-859 1346
GPS: 4.231314, 103.428383
(Do call for booking if you are going in a big group)

Road Trip Tip #5: Always have a GPS and a smartphone when you are on a road trip. GPS to navigate while smartphone to google info and as a backup GPS.

Road Trip Tip #6: "Check-in" to check out how popular the place is! Or if you have no idea where to eat, look out for the place with the most numbers of "check-ins" and you won't go wrong.

On the way back to Cherating (we have been crossing the Pahang-Terengganu border so many times on our first and second day there, it felt like we traveled so much and far :p) we stopped by at some supermarket to buy Viennetta.

Siok Yim said that in order to have Christmas "feel", we have to cut cake but since we were unable to find any cake shop around, we settled for Viennetta ice-cream cake instead.

Our little party in the room ^^

We actually bought a carton of beer (18 cans) but in order to display our innocent side to the public, we decided to put up 2 cans of beer only as illustration purposes. LOL!

Besides, we also found out that this hotel doesn't provide any teaspoons nor plates like other hotels! On top of that, the mini refrigerator isn't cold enough so our Viennetta began to melt. We were left without a choice but to use Shu Yi's penknife to cut the cake and we ate it with our hand =.=

Road Trip Tip #7: Great to bring penknife as protection because in case of emergency, you can use it for other purposes too.

Please don't tell us what you've cut before with your penknife T_T

Us eating like we're from a 3rd world country wtf.

We went to bed rather early at around 1am as we were all so determined to catch the sunrise at 5am. I was extremely unfortunate to fall sick a few days before (was down with flu and cough) this trip so I did not have a good night sleep. I was coughing for the whole night so I have to walk around and sit up straight :((((

Terribly sorry to the girls for having to endure the noise and I was sooooo afraid that I might infect them since we have to sleep together for 2 nights!

Okay, this is the end of our Day 1! Will blog about our Day 2 soon! ;)


food^we^despise said...

Do drop by ah Wah Thai food right in Kuantan town fpr fish steamed in spicy soup. or swee huan beside shell along gambang

pandan waterfall is the pits.

if adventurous, try sg lembing waterfall.

xoxo said...

I envy tour * __ * really nice pictures:)

Jaclyn [Yian] said...

food^we^despise - Ahhhhh how I wish I put those 2 restaurants into our checklist last week! Btw, what do u mean by "adventurous"? Sg Lembing waterfall has water rafting?? :D

xoxo - Thanks a lot, darling! U can go on a road trip with your girlfriends too ;)

food^we^despise said...

Adventurous as the climb to Lembing waterfall isn't as easy as it looks. An hour by 4 X 4, then abt 45 mins to 1 hour by foot, climbing some slippery boulders by rope, crossing streams all the while looking at the legs for leeches.

Jaclyn [Yian] said...

Oh wow that REALLY does spell adventurous! Sounds like all the jungle trekking that I've been last time but sadly, my friends and I don't have a 4x4 :(((

food^we^despise said...

i don't hv 4x4 either. 4x4 provided by sg lembing operators. abt rm 40 per person. every morning there r many ppl. rainbow waterfall clean, can tapao water fr there back home.

Jaclyn [Yian] said...

U know what, I burst out laughing when I saw your sentence "can tapao water fr there back home" hahahahahaha omg!!!

I guess u have a point too! I heard from my colleague that a waterfall on the way up north (she can't remember if it's Lembing waterfall or not) has 1 of the purest water and a "sifu" advised her to bath there to wash off her bad luck!

If that's true, I need to get a tangki to store all the water back home XD

food^we^despise said...

remember u'd hv to hike another hour going up to waterfall. imagine carrying "tangki" along....

food^we^despise said...

remember another hour hiking up to waterfall, imagine carrying "tangki".....

Jaclyn [Yian] said...

Hahahahaha omg you're so funny! :D