Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Cherating & Kuantan Road Trip: Day 2

On Christmas day, we woke up at 5am to catch the sunrise at 5.30am and just when we were all ready and stepped out of the room, we realized that it was drizzling -____-

And so we went back to catch a couple of winks before breakfast because we were tired. Can't fight the sign of aging.

Breakfast was what we're anticipating since the night before and it was also Shu Yi's favorite place for breakfast - Hai Peng Kopitiam, Kemaman.

Road Trip Tip #8: Share food with your friends so that you get to try a variety.

Hai Peng Kopitiam.

I absolutely love the setting of the place - the old school style. I mean, check out the long stainless steel tables and benches outdoor! How cool is that?? :D

Menu, our different preference for hot drinks, kaya toast & buns.

Nasi dagang.
Just in case you are not Malaysian enough to know that :p

Besides the toast and buns (I love the kaya bun so much! So soft!), all of us love their packet fried meehoon. It was fried with some belacan/chilli paste that makes the meehoon so tasty and different from what you can find elsewhere! Try that when you were there! The nasi lemak is also decent and the belacan is spicy enough too. Oh, the nasi lemak is a tad bit oily ok! Nasi dagang (one of HP's specialty) is something that people will either like it or don't. My other 3 girls ordered half boiled eggs and we were fascinated by the way it was being served. The waitress brought over the eggs in 2 metal cans filled with boiling water and covered them with saucer plates. We were then told to leave it for 7 minutes but my gfs thought it was a little overcooked so next time you guys might want to leave them for 5-6 mins only for it to be perfectly cooked.

(No photos of other food because they're in Siok Yim's camera)

Oh gosh, please try their coffee! It is so "kawww", I'm sure that'll keep you awake for the rest of the day and after all, Hai Peng is famous for their coffee! You can also buy the commercially packed 3 in 1 coffee back as souvenir.

Hai Peng Kopitiam
K-3753, Jalan Sulaimani, Chukai, Kemaman, 24000 Terengganu.
GPS: 4.2351, 103.4225
Tel: 09-859 7810
GPS: 4.2351, 103.4225

Since it drizzled that morning, we can't go to Gua Charas (again!) so we decided to proceed by visiting to the Cherating Turtle Sanctuary.

Entrance fee is now waived but you may donate.

Maklumat Am Penyu (as written on the board).

"We could've been swimming in the wide ocean but now we are confined in this tiny little pool...."

Ninja (sea) turtle kick!!!

Baby turtles.

I was glad that we weren't being charged any entrance fee because there really isn't much to see! There are 3 pools - for baby turtles, medium sized turtles and large turtles respectively. The pools are small and dirty but to their credit, the place isn't smelly as I expected it to be.

Anyhow, please donate to keep the place going. Not sure if the generations after us are still able to see sea turtles or not but really, can people stop eating turtle eggs already?? Chicken and duck eggs not enough to satisfy you??? Kanasai.

(Breathes in.... Breathes out...)

Driving along the road from Kemaman back to Cherating, we made a detour to the fishing village and there we get to see how the locals operate their humble little business selling the collectively same things - lekor rebus, satar/sata, keropok lekor, etc.

Lekor rebus.

In KL or PJ, keropok lekor (long, thick & chewy type) or keropok keping (thin, crunchy type) can be easily found at the road sides or pasar malam.

However, at the East side of Peninsular Malaysia, lekor rebus is the local food so we stopped by to purchase a packet to try. As you can see from the photo above, the lekor was rebus (boiled) instead of deep fried and I must say, I'm not quite used to the taste of it. The texture is a little slimy, chewy and has the strong fishy taste. I'll still stick to the KL/PJ version though =x

We then drove slightly further to buy something that all of us have never tried before - sata/satar.

Plenty of gerai along the road in this fishing village.

Sata or satar.

Satar is a blend of boneless fish marinated in spices, with a little coconut, wrapped in banana leaves and grilled over a charcoal fire. It is both sweet and savory and light tasting (From Massachusetts to Malaysia website - great read to find out more about Malaysian food).

Comparing sata to lekor rebus, give me sata, anytime.

Sata tastes very similar to otak-otak but lighter, sweeter and with stronger coconut milk taste. I actually liked it! :)

Road Trip Tip #9: Always try the local delicacies. That's the whole point of traveling, right?

She sells seashells by the seashore...

The day before, we were unable to savor the famous S Katong curry laksa because we were late and they were already sold out!! Feeling dissatisfied, we made a trip back to Kuantan again just to eat that! We are that devoted to food or what?? LOL!

S Katong Curry Laksa.

So, what's all the hype about? What's all the raves about that made us going back there again and again just to freaking eat this bowl of laksa? Shu Yi's colleague, who is a Kuantanese, highly recommended this place for curry laksa as he thinks it's probably the best laksa in town. Even better than the curry laksa at Hoi Yin!

It's really tasty. The curry soup is flavorful with lots of santan (coconut milk) but nothing screams "WOW" in our opinion. I find that this bowl of goodness above is comparable to my all-time favorite laksa at ss2 food court.

But if you are in Kuantan, you might want to try this laksa out because I wouldn't mind if I'm there again ;)

Pumpkin Sago.

In the same coffee shop, I ordered their dessert of the day - the Pumpkin Sago and it's actually pretty decent.

After the curry laksa above, we still have plenty of time to kill before high-tea and dinner so we drove to the Kuantan river for a stroll.

And Kuantan river.

Omg the Kuantan river.

Like the river of teh ais wtf.

Not only the water is dirty, the "KUANTAN" signage was spelled as "KUA_TAN" with the missing "N" and I have to photoshop the letter in because it's such a eyesore for my readers to see.

Kuantan river is a popular fishing place for the locals and since we have nothing to do there, we decided to head straight to one of the popular beach in Kuantan as well as a "must-visit" place for the tourists - Telok Chempedak.

I love beach so my resolution every year is to visit to at least 2 beaches for whether I've been there before or not.

The only McD in Kuantan.

Telok Chempedak has the nicest McD I've ever seen in Malaysia! It has this very resort-like design that is overlooking the beach and most of all, the place is clean and well taken care of!

Telok Chempedak.

The weather was perfect - cloudy and super windy.

Oh! Need me to prove how windy the place is?

So windy that my bangs became side parting hahahaha

Us with our colorful tops on Christmas day!

The beach.

To their defense, I've googled over the net and found out that the water isn't that dirty actually. Due to the fact that it was a monsoon period when I was there, the tide is high and the water is dirtier than usual.

You may ask - since it's monsoon and we can't swim nor surf, what can we do there? Well, let's say that we decided to make full use of the strong wind on that day ;)

We bought an Angry Bird kite! Colourful right? :D

That's the last time you get to see Shu Yi with a smile on her face because the Angry Bird kite got her pretty angry thereafter hahahahaha

Honestly, we have never flown a kite before and we have no idea how to even start! Putting all of our common senses and possible reasonings on how to fly a kite by observing the wind, etc, we still fail FTS.

After hours of trying and admiring how others were able to have their kites flying mightily in the sky, we decided to give up and put the blames on the damn kite. MUST BE THE KITE'S PROBLEM!!!

Super windyyyyy~

Photo above was taken before I got sunburned. Can you believe that?? With such cloudy and windy weather, I thought it was okay not to apply any sunblock on and I ended up sunburned!! How is that possible??? T_T

After hours of running around trying to lift that damn Angry Bird, we were eventually hungry so we drove to the row of old gerai nearby East Coast Mall for the relatively popular mee itik (duck noodle) and ais kacang :)

Ais Kacang.

Popular in Kuantan but not that great in our opinion.

Tong Koon Mee Itik.

So crowded and popular but honestly, nothing shouts "Awesome" that will bring us back there again and again.

Am I the person who's picky about food or rather all the "popular" food in Kuantan is overhyped? :( I find them good, but lacking the "WOW" factor. Or maybe I expected more to begin with.

After the duck noodle, we wanted to try the local otak-otak too so we randomly picked a stall that sells them and settled down.

Gerai Pak Soh that sells Sata and Otak-Otak.

Eh, got people check-in 1 okay don't play play.

The price and the dude who grilled our otak-otak (pun intended).

Kuantan's Otak-Otak.

You know how different is Kuantan's otak-otak compared to Muar's? Not only it's sweeter, the fish paste is also being wrapped together with....

...grated coconut!! Special, no?

Again, it's either you liked it or you don't. I actually liked it ;)

Article write-up about Sata and Otak-Otak was hung at the basin area.

Not long after, even before our otak-otak could digest, my friends already suggested to have dinner before the day gets too late. Omaigod.

Looking for cheap and tasty seafood ala Malay style in Kuantan? Look no further than Ana Ikan Bakar Petai!

Ana Ikan Bakar Petai, Kuantan.

The thing about being a popular eatery is that many others would want to open a similar restaurant with similar name in hope to confuse the people. The real Ana Ikan Bakar Petai is apparently the one facing the sea.

Like the one we went to.

Before this, we almost went to another Ana Ikan Bakar Petai (not sure if that's the branch or not) which was situated along the highway but after asking 2 locals about it, they directed us to this one instead.

Road Trip Tip #10: Never be shy to ask the locals for directions or recommendations. Just remember to be polite and courteous!

Dead stingrays and fishes.

Dead squids, prawns and clams (lala).

The rule at Ana Ikan Bakar Petai is... 1) Grab a seat/table first 2) Pick your seafood 3) Decide on the style to cook your choice of seafood 4) Provide your table number 5) Go back to your seat and wait.

That night, we picked a stingray, squid, a packet of clams and 6 pieces of prawns - all cooked ala the Malay style.

Spicy clams, deep fried squid, grilled stingray with petai, sweet and sour prawns.

p/s - By the way, petai is called the sator beans (parkia speciosa) while some call it stinky bean too. There! English class in my blog!

I'm a very Malaysian girl. I grew up eating a variety of food and I personally love Malay and Indian food very much because they are spicy. However, the clams were salty, the batter of the deep fried squid wasn't crunchy, belacan for the stingray wasn't the best I've had and the prawns weren't fresh.

I was very disappointed. And this is coming from a Chinese girl who loves Malay food :(((

Medan Ikan Bakar Umbai Pernu in Malacca wins hands down. Similar concept but greater in taste.

On a positive side, can you freaking guess how much our dinner above cost???

RM65!!! WTF and they were all seafood (including drinks too!)!! So cheap!!!

My piece of advise to you if you are visiting to this place - PLEASE BE THERE EARLY!

I'm not kidding. The place is huge with double story but by 7+, the place is packed to the brim! And food seems to take forever to arrive! At the moment, I was glad that we were there early at about 6pm.

Finally, after a long day out, we were finally back to our hotel to shower. The weather was being very kind to us for knowing that we really wanted to chill by the beach listening to the sound of the waves with beers and chips in our hands, the rain stopped. And our last night in Cherating was complete.

It was really windy and cold that night. Isn't that awesome??

My favorite moment of the entire trip was that night where we sat there chatting and listening to the sound of the waves crashing.

I may have the city girl look but I'm actually a country girl at heart :p I love the nature. Do I sound convincing to you??

Oh! Look at how high the waves were behind! It's freaking scary I'm not kidding you but I was being really stubborn that I still want to sit as close as possible to the beach so others were left without a choice but to follow suit :p

Road Trip Tip #11: If you are going to the country side, be as close as possible to the nature. You don't get that in the city.

Before I end this, let's be frank with yourself. In most trips, you or your friends are bound to have arguments with each other and at the end of the day, this tip is important:

Road Trip Tip #12: Persevere and do not start a fight. If it really happens, never be afraid to patch things up.

Yes, it takes courage to start a fight with your friend but it takes even greater courage to apologize and patch things up. Think about it yourself after reading this.

I've been to countless trips with friends (since I love to travel) and I dare to say that I've learned a lot from this trip through my friends because they showed me the true meaning of friendship and how other petty things do not matter anymore because friendship is so important to all of us.

Gosh, I love them so much! :)


siokyim said...

me loving u too yian <3 <3 cherish is the word :)

Jaclyn [Yian] said...

Wahhhh and now u call me yian! I have too many names! XD

Yes, "cherish" is the right word! Love uuuu~!

Marina said...

Hi,I stumbled into your blog while researching for my next trip to Kuantan. I grew up there but now living abroad. I like your perspective and attitude, your blog is fresh and diverse, very interesting. I love your pictures too. Brings me back to great memories of eating at those roadside stalls and hanging out by the beaches. Keep on blogging, take care!

Jaclyn [Yian] said...

Hi Marina! Thank you so much for dropping by and I'm glad that my humble writing brought back some great memories to you :) Although Kuantan isn't as developed as KL or PJ, I still love that place!

Do come back to Malaysia for a visit if you're able to ;) Experience those "great memories" yourself again :)

Take care too!

TM Lee said...

Interesting blog post about Kuantan, that's where my home is at =)
I remember i used to have Hai Peng for breakfast before going to school... roti bakar for 20 cents.. those were the days, the wonder of inflation ahaha..
Am i proud that Kuantan has so much to offer =D

Jaclyn [Yian] said...

Hi TM Lee! U sound like u don't live in Kuantan anymore?

Although my time was short there but I have to admit that Kuantan is an attractive place and I actually enjoyed my last visit there very much! :D

And yes, be proud! Be VERY proud! XD

TM Lee said...

Ahaha I still go home regularly now.

We are not perfect but glad that you enjoyed most of your time there =)

Jaclyn [Yian] said...

Where do u live now? And oh yes, I'd like to pay Kuantan a visit again in future because I did enjoyed myself very much from my last visit ^^ The locals are very friendly to us too!

TM Lee said...

Going to be around KL i am guessing.
Yeah, actually there's quite a lil bit more to explore.. locals are friendly u say, i hope i make up part of that population =D
so yeah do come back! we don't have too much to offer, but i would say Kuantan is a decent place to relax (not too commercialized, not too secluded)

Jaclyn [Yian] said...

U definitely are part of that population! :D Honestly, whenever I go on holiday, I prefer quiet and relaxing places hence I'm always seen at beaches or countryside :p

Will definitely go back to Kuantan again and hopefully I'll have a version 2.0 of Kuantan post :)