Aug 21, 2009
| I decided the best way to get this trip on the go was to go on the road. We had been planning and being totally indecisive which started to get on my nerves. Due to last minute plans airplane tickets were too expensive and no bus or train tickets available at the time because they were all taken up. Stress, stress.
Today Mom went to so many ticketing places to get bus tickets but no luck so i got this crazy idea that somehow if we were going to reach there, we would have to do ourselves. I was very reluctant when it came to driving long trips to places I've never been so I came up with this genius plan to hire a taxi to drive us there. Truth is, it wasn't that bad. The taxi was a 5 seat-er Nissan sedan and we were traveling light too, 3 bags in total. Mom had a bit of a fit knowing we had to pay RM500 for one way ride but i told her it's either RM1600 for airplane tickets for one way or not going at all because it was too late in the morning to buy any late night or next day's bus ticket. Reluctantly, she got into the taxi anyway, mumbling and grumbling. If it weren't for me, we would have never made a move, we would have been bickering at home on whose faults it was that we couldn't get a ride or plane tickets to go to Kuala Terengganu.
Alright, so what was all the fuss about? Kuala Terengganu. A state on the Malaysian east coast which I had never been to and had no idea what it could offer as there were very little things written about it online. From a bias perception to me from a distance it looked like a conservative town with no night entertainment or alcohol allowed into the state. I was prepared to really have a none eventful holiday.
The road trip wasn't exciting, I was sitting in the middle of the car and had to sit up straight the whole time no slouching which was real tiring. The road trip was 7 hours and all along it was only palm oil trees for views, the occasional villages we passed on a 2 way long street. For taking over one car one has to go the opposite road trying to cut off other vehicles, real dangerous especially it was all winding roads.
Pit stop at a roadside eatery in Terengganu area after Kemaman village, the oxtail soup was real good i guess it was a specialty.
We arrived at 7pm in Kuala Terengganu and checked into Seri Malaysia Hotel which was a 3 star hotel reasonably priced, RM120 per room/day. Located at the heart of Chinatown, we were very lucky because snacks, food, beverage and other amenities were walking distance away. The hotel's towels were filthy, bed sheet scratchy and water heater mounted next to a water source which could have some serious danger but i was too happy there was no old carpet smell. According to me it wasn't comfortable but tolerable, I'm sorry my favorite hotels are the Starwood and Marriott groups.
At about 9pm we went out for supper just to the local chinese restaurant, the waitresses totally ignored us as if to indicate unwelcome patronage which was totally weird. Anyways, we headed back at 10pm for tomorrow's boat trip.
Tiredness which eventually will cause crankiness in me, I went back to my room and put a fresh shirt on the pillow so that I could sleep.
So travelers planning to visit Malaysia's other states please;
1. Check out these Airlines websites: MAS, Air Asia, Firefly, Mas Wings, Berjaya Air. If booked a week early, plane tickets wouldn't cost more than RM200 return which is a real bargain considering first class traveling option compared to a road trip.
2. If you still want to have a road trip stubbornly enough, please check out Putra bus stops in KL, key location PWTC, ask the cab driver he'll take you there. Over here you can buy bus tickets for early morning or night bus trips.
3. Small town hotels are not that great honestly, their 4 stars are actually just 1 to 1 1/2 stars back in downtown so don't bother spending too much money on hotels because it's not a bargain and it's not comfort what you are looking for.
4. Tips about locals? Well, I would say they were a weird bunch of people from the chinese local restaurant. Downtown restaurants practically suck up to you but these local restaurants in the small states, well i don't really know. Im a Malaysia, i speak their language but i get treated like an alien, may be you get better luck than me :)