Johor – Kahang Organic Rice Eco Farm (Koref) 2014

December 18, 2014 at 4:52 pm

Zaria and her gymnastic club went to Singapore early December for a competition and because she’s still so young, we kind of ‘accompanied’ her on this trip although we only saw her on competition day (oh well, we did sneak into her Hostel to check on her the 2nd day she was gone to make sure she was ok).

After the competition, we went to Kluang, as we were not willing to spend more in Singapore since the exchange rate is so high. Prior to making this trip, a couple of friends has already recommended some places to visit in Johor, the girls shortlisted Kahang Organic Rice Eco Farm 加亨有机稻米生态农场 (Koref).

Koref is about an hours drive from Kluang. Upon arriving, we had to decide what we plan to do to pay for the relevant fee.

RM10 for a day spent there, with light refreshment provided.
RM35 for a day spent there + lunch.
RM50 for a day spent there + lunch and tea snack.
RM60 for full day spent there with lunch, tea snack and dinner provided.
(Prices of farm entry can be found here)

We decided we’ll go for the 2nd option.

The day we were there, there was only another family on a day visit and another group who’s about to check out, it wasn’t very busy, which was good for us.

Soon after we’d paid, the girls started trying their hands on rafting under the hot scorching sun!

The water is actually very shallow, the deepest end is probably just waist deep, and since the girls know how to swim, I left them rafting on their own while I stayed in the shade and walked about the farm.

Koref has farm stay too, the most luxurious ones are water chalets are built around the shallow pond with colourful wooden walking linking them.

Rooms are pretty basic, but I love the colourful deco and mural drawn on the walls of the chalets.

There are some dorms or bigger rooms for sharing as well, they are all colourfully painted.

Besides rafting, there is an obstacle course built on the pond. The girls had a go at it. Did they get wet? They did get a little wet, but didn’t fall into the pond.

However, Zaria dropped her slippers into the water crossing a path, and had to go into the water to retrieve the slipper even though she could have asked for help from the guides there. Oh well, she’s the sort who doesn’t mind getting dirty, so it was fun for her.

Lunch was served at the time we specified during registration. It was a meal of organic rice (grown in Koref itself), organic vegetable, organic eggs etc.
Besides the dishes shown here, we also have a steam Tilapia fish from their pond. Not bad actually for the price we paid.

After lunch, we had the girls walk with us to explore the farm together. Besides water activities, there are little animals around the farm roaming about freely.

The girls chased rabbits around, carried them, fed them kangkung they harvested themselves.

They found eggs in dirt pens and saw protective hens hatching eggs.
I think this hen has been conned into hatching normal eggs as the eggs we found on the dirt pens around were all white in colour, but this particular hen was hatching brown (supermarket?) eggs.

Further away, we found 2 goats in their pens. We could pat them, feed them and got really close to them.

We got so closed to the goats, we noticed the goats’ pupils were rectangle in shape instead of circle (does this apply to all goats or only the goats found here?)

Walking further away, we saw the padi fields, the tilapia pond, where the fish for our lunch came from.

The farm is not just a visitor farm, it’s actually a working farms, farmers or workers were toiling in the fields.

Egrets were found around the padi fields, some even taking a plunge at the tilapia pool grabbing a fish for lunch.

Of all that’s to be done and see at the farm, the girls still like the rafting the most.

By evening time, they were already experts. Even the young guides (students working during the long holidays) said they were getting really good.

I think we got our money’s worth spending such a long day there.

Taiping 2014 – The Food

December 10, 2014 at 9:43 pm

Continues from here.

Taiping has some really good food, this trip, we went out hunting for food so often Zaria actually asked if that was an Eating Trip or a Holiday.

♥Larut Matang Food Court/Medan Makan Larut Matang♥ (Jalan Panggung Wayang)
Although the food court has lots to offer, we really only like the deep fried radish cake and the tong shui (dessert) there.

The deep fried radish cake or lo bak kou is very different from the ones in KL. This one is plain white and deep fried. Yums.

No 40 dessert stall at the Larut Matang Food Court should not be missed.

Our favourite, the red bean soup and the peanut soup.

♥Restoran Kakak 家家茶室♥ (111, Jalan Pasar, Taiping)
The place is famous for its noodle, where you can pick your own topping like pork ball, fish ball, fish cake, stuffed tofu etc.

But what we came here for was really the Kakak Ping 家家冰; which is a drink made with Nescafe added into barley water. A smooth and creamy drink. They sold off the 1st day we arrived at 10am, so we went back the 2nd day.

♥Restoran Kong Xing 港星粤膳楼♥ (150, Jalan Satu, Pokok Assam 34000 Taiping)

Our friend’s husband brought us there for dinner the 1st night we arrived. It’s a proper Cantonese style air-conditioned restaurant which serves pretty refined dishes. No photos taken during dinner, but the food was really good, especially the steamed whole chicken! Zaria and I had so many pieces of chicken that night!

♥Mee Udang Mak Jah♥ (Kampung Menteri, Kuala Sepetang)

The outdoor restaurant was packed when we arrived. But seriously, I don’t know what’s the hype about. For RM11 per bowl, the noodle came with a generous amount of big prawns; to me, that’s all. Don’t like the alkaline taste of the noodle, and the starchy sauce.

♥Kuala Sepetang Curry Mee♥ (Jalan Taiping, Kuala Sepetang)

The stall is infont of the curve as you go into the town and is opened only after 3pm.

I’m a fan of curry mee, and boy, this one is goood! The soup has not much santan in it, but has a very rich prawn flavour. The prawn topping was so flavourful!

Curry Mee over the Mee Udang anytime!

♥Light House Seafood Restaurant♥ (10, Jalan Cina, 34750 Matang, Taiping)

Again no photos as we were chomping up the food so quickly. The popular dish here is the seafood porridge, and deep fried fish (Cai Yu Zhai), which were so well fried, even the bones can be eaten.

♥Simpang Fried Kuey Teow 新板华顺烟花炒粿条♥ (13, Medan Pasar, Jalan Taiping-Kuala Sepetang, 34700 Simpang. Opposite Simpang Mc Donald’s)

The Chinese name of the stall 新板华顺烟花炒粿条 is translated to Simpang Fireworks Fried Kuey Teow. The uncle who fried the kuey teow is like a performer, with each plate of kuey teow he fried, he was sending sparks flying.

See the sparks flying?

We waited for about 30mins for the first place to arrive; being with friends, we didn’t even feel it. The kuey teow was served on a heart shape leave, how pleasing.

It was wetter than the Penang ones but taste wise it was different too, but equally good.

♥Taiping Aulong Kaya Puff/Kaya Kok♥ (1106D Jalan Permaisuri/Lorong 4 Aulong, 34000 Taiping. Tel :05-8074136/0125635919)
No shop, just operating from their house, this Kaya Puff or Kaya Kok can be so popular in Taiping. We had our friend ordered them for us earlier (in case they ran out), and then we went to collect in the afternoon.

It was not easy to find. It’s actually a single story house, with the front gate closed and latched. We only realised later that the back door opens out to a lane, where regular usually picks their kaya puff from.

The Kaya Kok/Kaya Puff were nicely (and uniquely) packed, wrapped in paper glued with starch.

We find them quite nice, especially when freshly out of the oven; it doesn’t have the lard taste that we find in some kaya puffs, and the kaya is rich and fragrant.

Taiping 2014 – The Sights

December 10, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Continues from here.

After our Penang trip, we were off to Taiping for 2 nights (Sept 17th and 18th). 3 other families from KL were to meet us at the hotel, Sentosa Villa, so that we could enjoy the city together.

As usual, we find Taiping and its surrounding having so much to offer. Besides eating non-stop, we spent time at Taiping Town, Taiping Lake Gardens, Kuala Sepetang, and the girls love just being in Sentosa Villa as there were so much to do.

♥Sentosa Villa♥

There’s a stream running through the compound of the hotel, with thick vegetation at the river banks, there were lots of tiny fishes and shrimps found in the stream. We bought colanders and used them as ‘nets’, the children spent loads of time ‘netting’ fishes and shrimps in the stream. Zaria was especially happy when she became an expert shrimp catcher.

The children had water fights at the shallow natural pools at the hotel too. Luckily the loud happy sounds they made were muffled by the sound of the running stream.

♥Taiping Town♥
As we went to town for breakfast, we usually spent sometime walking about town, looking at the pre-war shop houses/buildings.

Showing the girls some of the innovative ways shop owners keep their cash for the day, which is just a retractable pail.

♥Taiping Lake Gardens♥
A trip to Taiping is incomplete without taking a stroll in the Taiping Lake Gardens.

♥Kuala Sepetang♥
And for us, Kuala Sepetang is also a must go when we go to Taiping, as we want to stock up on our charcoal for the year.
Instead of going to the more famous Mr Chuah’s Charcoal Factory, we went to Charcoal Collection instead.

The entrance to Charcoal Collection can be easily missed. It’s on the right side before you come to Mr Chuah’s big wide entrance. However, once you pass through the entrance, the inside is wide and spacious, with many kilns. One of the main reason people visit Charcoal Collection is to get big charcoal decoration pieces for the home (supposed to keep air fresh).

There were different kilns in different stages of baking the charcoal.

This one is in the process of baking.

This one is in the process of cooling.

And this kiln is in the midst of being set up.

Surrounding the factory, mangrove logs were skinned to await being baked into charcoal.

Besides the charcoal factory in Kuala Sepetang, the fishing village is also a lovely place to visit for seafood meal and also stocking up on dried seafood.

♥An Tong Coffee Factory♥
This trip, we visited An Tong Coffee Factory as well, the oldest coffee mill in Malaysia (located at : 8A, Jalan Syed Burhan Taiping Perak, 34000 Taiping)

A tour of the place is free, where they showed us how coffee is roasted using firewood, then skinned.

For our local type of coffee will have a few extra steps. The coffee beans are fried with sugar and other ingredients and then grindded into powder. Caramel is prepared before the roasted coffee beans are mixed in for frying.

Aaah, and here is another one nice one for the album. We saw this elderly man bringing his dog out in his bike, and he was so cooperative he asked his dog to pose for us.

Penang 2014 – Part 3 Around Georgetown

November 27, 2014 at 11:19 pm

OMG! Year end holiday has already started and I’m still not done talking about September holiday..

Continues from here.

♥Sept 16th Tuesday♥

Here is how a Executive Suite looks like in Traders Hotel (oh, now it’s called Hotel Jen). It’s 2 rooms attached, 1 being the bedroom, the other being the living room where they have placed an extra mattress for us.

Started the day at Lebuh Armenia (Armenian Street), rented bicycles again from Chin Seng Leong Bike Shop and wanted to ride around Georgetown, but it was such a hot day we returned the bike after less than 15mins (without any refund, sigh).

We walked instead. Enjoying the sights and trying to hunt down more street art/murals.

On a hot day like this, it’s nice to spot an Ice ball seller.

And the girls have a chance to taste our childhood dessert.

We visited the Peranakan Mansion just to show the girls how the Babas and the Nyonyas live.

Such a grand mansion, which is a favourite spot for wedding photos.

After that, we had a simple lunch and then spent the rest of the evening at Golden Sands Resort at Batu Feringgi. (This is the thing about staying in Traders Hotel, you get to make use of the facilities at Golden Sands Resort; with the hotel now rebranded to Hotel Jen, not sure if the same still applies).

That night’s dinner, we went to Nyonya Breeze Desire at Straits Quay. We’d been going to Nonya Breeze every year during our (11 years) annual visit to Penang, not one year we missed it. However, after this visit, we’re no longer compel to go there as the menu here is limited, and taste wise it wasn’t as good as how it was like in the Lorong Abu Siti outlet.

♥Sept 17th Wednesday♥

After breakfast, we checked out and did more exploring at Georgetown. First stop was Toh Soon Cafe (again) for a nice refreshing cup of coffee.

Zaria insisted on a visit to La Vanille (located at : 122 A Hutton Lane, Pulau Penang) for macarons. Ah… again, this round, we didn’t think it was that nice.

Then we went to the famous Lorong Selamat Char Kway Teow (located at : Kafe Heng Huat, 108 Lorong Selamat, Penang, Malaysia).

Auntie Shower Cap now has an apprentice who fry along side her (the apprentice used to be an order taker). That stove the apprentice was using was not a charcoal stove, but a gas stove.

Hubs and the girls got a plate from Auntie Shower Cap herself (this photo); I got a plate from the apprentice which was drenched in oil (I tilted the plate, and oil was dripping down!), and there’s not enough wok-hei. Just horrible!

Luckily the Heh Jian (fried prawns) from the neighbouring coffee shop (yes, you can order over) was good, so it was my lunch instead of the Char Kway Teow.

Unplanned, we passed the Made In Penang Interactive Museum and the girls seeing a crowd outside, wanted to visit it as well.

It’s basically a trick eye museum.

With a few interactive screens.

And some small models depicting life in Penang decades ago.

One visit is enough.

When we left, Zaria wanted to have a caricature draw her, but because there were 3 people ahead of her (a long wait), we decided against it.

It was time to leave Penang, and we took the ferry across.

Penang 2014 – Part 2 Georgetown, Penang Twa Pek Kong Festival

October 17, 2014 at 2:34 pm

Continues from here.

♥Sep 15th Monday♥

When we’re in Penang, we never failed to visit the market at Jalan Kuala Kangsar. One of my favourite shop Fook Weng Grocery has moved out from Jalan Kuala Kangsar, so we spent most of our time at my other favourite shop, Pots Kitchenware.

And when it got really hot, we went over to Toh Soon Cafe (located at a lane along Lebuh Campbell, Pulau Pinang) for a drink. The place was jam packed; so we packed the drinks and drank at the walk way. Their ice milk coffee (kopi ping) is sooooo awesome, especially on a hot day.

When it was lunch time, we were near Joo Hooi Cafe (located at 475, Jalan Penang, George Town, Penang), where the famous Penang Road Teow Chew Chendul stall was, and tried to get a table, but it was another crowded place. So we packed fried kuey teow from Joo Hooi (which was alright) and some muah chee outside of the cafe, and brought back to the hotel room to eat.

CROWDED!

Muah Chee is so yummy!

Back the hotel after our in room dining (of packed food), and a rest, we checked the weather outside to ensure it’s no longer so hot, before going out again.

We decided to cycle around Armenian Street area, so we went back to Chin Seng Leong Bike Shop (84, Armenian Street, 10200 Penang. Tel : 0125533553), which we used last year. Since it wasn’t a car free day that day, we thought it’s best the daredevil Zaria rode with hubs, instead of cycling on her own; we rented 3 bicycles, with one having a child seat, and off we went.

Armenian Street area has changed so much over the span of one year, it’s becoming a tourist trap now, more bicycle rental shops, along the streets lots of street vendors selling drinks, ice cream, muah chee etc; hope it won’t turn into another market street like Jonker’s street.

But Georgetown still have a lot of charm. We came across a youngster intricately decorating the wall at the entrance of Sekeping Victoria just with a permanent marker.

And we took a glimpse inside the quaint retreat, which was really nice.

We tried hunting down some of the street arts, but spent quite a fair bit of time hanging around at the Clan Jetties.

I like Tan Jetty the most.

The long walk bridge that stretches out to the sea is a nice place to sit and enjoy the sea breeze.

After sunset, we braved the traffic in our bicycles and headed towards Lorong Abu Siti Lane, planning to dine at Nonya Breeze, our favourite restaurant in Penang. The hubs was so stressed worrying about all our safety riding in the dark. We arrived safely, but alas, Nonya Breeze at Lorong Abu Sit Lane is closed permanently!

We rode all the way back to Armenian Street again, returned our bicycles, and then just picked DownTown Art Heritage Cafe for dinner, where food wasn’t that good and pretty expensive.

For the Twa Pek Kong Festival, some temples around Armenian Street were having night shows, and we managed to catch 2.

A Teochew Opera.

Which seemed to have only one really interested audience.

And a few streets away from the 1st opera, a Teowchew Puppet Opera.

The girls handling the puppets seemed to be having a good time.

By then the streets were rid of the hordes of tourists, the famous street arts by Zacka were all ours.

Penang 2014 – Part 1 Gopeng, St Anne’s, Penang Twa Pek Kong Festival

October 7, 2014 at 10:16 pm

We made our annual trip to Penang during the September holiday, a tradition which we’d maintained for the 11th year now.

♥Sep 14th Sunday♥
As usual, some unplanned stop has to occur even though we left the house very late. This is how holidays should be, according to the hubs. *roll eyes* Just before we hit Gopeng, he said we should turn in as there’s some interesting sights to see.

It was 2pm on Sunday, and Gopeng was almost dead. We wanted to have lunch at a coffee shop, but there was none opened. It seems, this is how it is on a Sundays. Not knowing what to expect, we just drove around town and chanced upon Gopeng Heritage House, a prewar shop house turned museum to show the way of life in the early 20th century.

The museum is free, and the girls have fun exploring the house, and they especially liked the peep hole on the 1st floor which was used to peep at arriving guests.

Before leaving, we picked up a Gopeng map and realised there’s a soy sauce maker near by, so we drove around to find it. Hup Teck Soy Sauce (合德酱油)is located opposite the Gopeng police station, it’s more like a house with a compound where the soy sauce urns are placed. We were told soy sauce urn has to be opened with its content sunned for a few months as part of the brewing process before it’s ready for bottling, and the day we were there, it was drizzling on off, so the urns were all covered up.

The owner opened up one of the urns for us to see. We caught a strong but nice sweetish fragrant from the soy bean fermentation.

I was given some soy sauce to try in the house (which is also the shop), and like the sweetish ‘sweet pickled lettuce’ (甜菜心)taste, so I bought 5 bottles of premium soy sauce from them. I actually think that Hup Teck Soy Sauce is nicer than Kwong Heng Loong Soy Sauce (廣興隆醬園醬油 from Pulau Tikus which we’d been consuming.

After this we left Gopeng and moved on to Bukit Mertajam, to visit St Anne’s Church for thanks giving, the main reason for the trip. This year, the girls visited the church as baptised Catholics, they have learned up their prayers from Sunday school, and Zara even asked us to recite the prayers together after we have each prayed in silence.

Before we headed to Penang island, we went to Yoong Kee Eating House, a very old restaurant near the Bukit Mertajam market for a simple dinner.

The girls couldn’t wait to get to Penang Island, so they could start enjoying the hotel. Alas, upon entering Georgetown, there as a massive traffic jam. Cars were barely moving. We saw lots of people walking on the street as well with big cameras, so we assumed some event must be going on. We parked our car and asked some people in the shops and found out that there’s actually a Twa Pek Kong Festival going on in Penang which would run for 3 days; the day we arrived was the first day, and a Twa Pek Kong Procession was going on, where around 50 floats from different temples would be passing through Georgetown.

The hubs of course wanted to take the opportunity to take photographs of the procession. Since we were stuck anyway, and couldn’t drive to the hotel, we obliged. We stood with crowd of spectators near Gat Jalan Magazine and caught the procession.

It was a long and hot day, and we probably saw about 30+ floats, and it was still going on and on. After a while, they no longer attracted us any more, the girls whined and wanted to check in to the hotel; so it was the hubs’ turn to oblige. By then, the traffic congestion has eased.

At the front desk of Traders Hotel Penang, we were so eager to get our keys to our room, only to find out there was a mix up in our booking. I requested for a room with an extra bed for us, but my reservation showed I was the only guest staying so we were given a small room without an extra bed. I wasn’t happy. After so many years of staying at Traders without any hic-up, one finally hit us. However, as the hotel was fully booked for that day, we were told they would bring us a mattress for the night without bed frame, but will rectify the mix up the following day. When we got into the room, we realised it was one smaller than what we used to get, it wasn’t going to be tough adding a mattress. But what could we do?

While the girls were showering, the manager on duty called us to apologise for the mix up, and offered a Junior Suite for their mistakes. What a way to recover! We were all so happy to move in to our new room, which is a Deluxe room attached to another room which has turned into a living room where the extra bed has been placed!

DIY Chinese Traditional Lanterns 制作中秋节传统灯笼

September 7, 2014 at 11:11 pm

The girls’ school has a lantern making competition, and being the sporting parents that we are, we decided to join in by making traditional lanterns.

After googling, checking out a friend’s father’s DIY lanterns photos on FB, buying the materials (i.e. cellophane paper, craft wire), our dining area was turned into a work shop. The hubs and I did the wire shaping, the girls drew and cut out the designs they wanted to stick on the lanterns, and I glued on the cellophane paper. The whole of last weekend was spent on this.

Zara wanted a rabbit shaped lantern, while Zaria who didn’t really care had a cuboctahedron shaped lantern just because we had a frame from an old lantern to follow.

I wasn’t good at smoothing out the cellophane paper. Sunning it didn’t work, and I was told I should blow it with a hot hair dryer after gluing on to smoothen it. Maybe next year.

But at least it’s functional!

After all the gluing was done I hung it to dry, the evening sun actually casted a beautiful shadow of the lantern on the ground.

In the night we tried lighting them up, and the girls were pretty happy with the results.

Did we win? The results will be out coming Friday, but it’s unlikely that we will as I’d seen the ones submitted by the others, and they were way more creative, or beautifully done than ours. Oh well, at least we did try.

Happy Mid Autumn Festival Everyone!

East Coast Part 5 – Sungai Lembing

August 28, 2014 at 11:04 am

Continue from here.

♥Jun 8th Sunday♥

Although I was born in Kuantan, and lived there for the first 6 years of my live, I no longer go back for visits since my God parent’s passing. I don’t know which restaurant is good, which is a good place to visit. After lunch, instead of going to another beach, we decided to head to Sungai Lembing, an old mining town 40+km from Kuantan.

On our way to Sungai Lembing, we saw this monolith off the main road (something you won’t miss when driving from Kuantan to Sungai Lembing). Not sure where that was, we detoured and headed towards it, driving on small plantation roads.

We saw quite some cars parked at the foot of the hill, and found out this was Gua Cheras, which housed a statue of a reclining Buddha. Paying a small fee, we climbed some stairs to explore it.

Inside Gua Cheras, it was pretty mystical, as the whole place was shrouded by a thin layer of smoke from incense burning.

And then we saw the reclining Buddha.

It was very cooling inside, probably five degrees lower than the outside heat, the smell from the incense smoke was unpleasant though, so we didn’t stay there for long.

Reaching Sungai Lembing, we realised we’d missed all the morning crowd. It was quite quiet with only a few shops still opened. We stopped at Kedai Tea Lembing or 林明茶室 (No.6 jalan besar sg. lembing, Sungai Lembing, Pahang, Malaysia) which serves big bowl tea that was common for miners, and famous for their handmade duck egg noodle.

The rich soup for the noodle is charcoal boiled for many hours, but to us, it was too strong in pork taste. The Egg Noodle was very chewy and springy though.

The girls wanted some ‘adventure’ so we visited The Sungai Lembing Mines, an old underground tin mine, now a museum, preserved in it most natural and original settings.

It was quite eerie being under ground walking in these tunnels, the miners could not be claustrophobic to be in this profession.

I was quite glad to end the tour, and went back out to the surface. The girls have a great time navigating the handcar at the museum ground, experiencing what coordination was required to properly move the car front and back.

Back to the town in the evening, the place is almost dead.

But this is probably the best time for wedding shots as the tourists have almost all left.

After this, it was the long drive back to KL. Long because of the bumper to bumper jam on Karak Highway. What a stressful way to end a holiday.

East Coast Part 4 – Tumpat, Pantai Seri Tujoh, Kota Bharu

August 6, 2014 at 6:17 pm

Continues from here.

♥Jun 6th Friday♥

Early in the morning, the hubs drove to Kampung Kuala Besar, a fishing village near Kota Bharu.

The fishermen there seem to love to keep the Jambul or Red Whiskered Bulbul, a bird which they will use in bird singing competition.

Back at the hotel, we had another scrumptious buffet breakfast; after that the girls wanted to go back to Siti Khatijah Central Market to get more fake legos (yes, they sell them there at a very good price).

We stopped by at Loo Coffee for a drink and ended up chatting to the owner, Alice, for almost an hour about Kota Bharu and the Chinese community. Most of the Chinese there seem happy with the ruling party, PAS. When pork is sold at a little hidden corner with high walls in Klang Valley, they are sold openly in Kota Bharu. The market near by Loo Coffee had pork sold right at its entrance, a scene not available in Klang Valley. Unfortunately, when the hubs walked over there later, the market was already closed. Alice suggested that we go to the Thai border to see the impressive and huge temples built there.

We could have gone on chatting with Alice, but the girls were restless and nagging us to move on.

We drove out of Kota Bharu, and headed to Tumpat, which is a district at the Thai border (the other bigger Thai Border town Rantau Panjang is inland and further away from Kota Bharu); but to cross to Thailand (Tak Bai Checkpoint) from this side of the border, a ferry/boat ride across the Golok River is required.

The closer we got to Tumpat, the more Thais we saw. We actually broke for lunch at a small road side shed serving simple Thai food. Every one spoke Thai there, a guy had to take our orders in Bahasa Malaysia, and translate to Thai for the cook. Zaria was happy to have some pork to eat after so many days at the East Coast.

We stopped at the KTM station there, which is the eastern terminus of KTM’s East Coast Line.

As the station was pretty quiet, we went to the track and took some yoga shots. Eventually, the station master spotted us and shooed us away.

The girls, not toying with danger, stayed in a nearby shed, fooling around while waiting for us.

While driving to Pengkalan Kubor, the hubs decided to make a stop at Pantai Seri Tujuh. It seemed like a pretty popular beach for a picnic looking at how much rubbish had been littered and accumulated! I’d never seen a dirtier beach!

I’m disgusted at how we ‘take care’ of our beaches!

Luckily it wasn’t a wasted trip as besides being a popular picnic spot, it’s also a local favourite for kite flying. We saw some huge Wau Bulan or moon kites, being flown.

We even got to go on a horse carriage ride around the village nearby, as requested by the girls.

By the time we’re done at Pantai Seri Tujoh, and rushed to Pengkalan Kubur the Malaysian checkpoint at the Thai Border, the chekcpoint was already closed for the day (up till 6pm each day), so no crossing over to Thailand.

We drove back towards Kota Bharu, and searched for Restaurant Kampung Kulim (GPS coordinates) at Wakaf Baru as it’s a highly recommended restaurant.

It wasn’t an easy restaurant to find, as it’s hidden in some residential area. We has to ask around for direction before we managed to find it but only to know it’s closed for the week! (So that the workers can rest it seemed!) Anyway, if we were to be in Kelantan the next time, we’ll definitely want to try this place. We ended up eating at Cheng Mai Restoran, a Thai restaurant nearby Restaurant Kampung Kulim, but it wasn’t good that good.

♥Jun 7th Saturday♥

We checked out Hotel Perdana after our morning breakfast. It’s been a great stay there, love the clean gymn, the nice pool, and with super buffet spread we got every morning, and the service we got from the reception to the concierge was 5 star!

After another visit to Siti Khatijah Central Market for last round of shopping, we went hunting for Kopitiam Kita ( 4357-A, Jalan Pengkalan Chepa, Taman Desa Jaya, Kelantan, Kota Bharu), another place highly recommended.

Crowded kopitiam, the place is famous for packed rice from different district of Kelantan.

However, most of the rice were gone when we got there. Only managed to grab 2 packs of Nasi Ayam Goreng Kak Wok.

The girls have some kaya toasts, and then some customers next to our table recommended us roti titab, famous in this kopitiam. It’s just a pan fried butter toast, top with soft boiled egg, with 4 dollops of kaya dotting the corners of the toast.

Something different.

This was considered our early lunch, before we took the long drive down to Kuantan. Our next destination.

Somewhere on the journey, we stopped at the road side for some kueh baked using brass pan over a fire fueled by coconut husks.

The brass pan was placed on top of the fire, and top with more burning husks to bake the kueh.

It was a very fragrant and tasty kueh.

Driving inland between palm oil plantations, we spotted some wild hornbills flying about kind of like playing, the hubs decided to chase after them.
.

All these stops made us finally arriving at Kuantan past 10pm. We felt so happy/relief to get into our cozy room at Riverview Boutique Guesthouse
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East Coast Part 3 – Kota Bharu, Siti Khadijah Central Market

July 16, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Continues from here.

♥Jun 5th Thursday♥

After having breakfast at the hotel (which was scrumptious and part of the room rate), we headed to Siti Khadijah Central Market. Named after Prophet Muhammad’s entrepreneurial wife, it’s a name fit for this market which is mostly run by women.

This has to be the highlight of anybody’s trip to Kota Bharu. We like the place so much, we went there every day for the 3 days duration we were there!

This huge market has a tremendous variety of things being sold, from the regular produce you get from any wet market, vegetables, poultry, fish and fruits, to souvenirs for tourists, i.e. batik, keropok, serunding, copper ware etc.

First glance, it looked like any other wet market in Malaysia.

Until we moved to the centre of the market. The octagonal central hall of the market is probably the most visually attractive part of the market, it has vendors sitting on raised platforms surrounded with their enticing goods, i.e. colourful vegetables, pickled, sauces etc.

We were actually quite shock to see turtle eggs being sold by 2 or 3 vendors openly. I thought these were banned?

There are not that expensive considering these are from endangered sea turtles. The only consolation is during the 3 days we were there, we didn’t see anybody actually buying these eggs.

The central hall is best view from floors above, the glass roof ensures the whole place is bathed in enough light to show off the beautiful colours of the produce sold.

On the second floor, we found mainly dry grocers selling a variety of things. What attracted us was the wide array of salted fish available.

We went to one of the bigger stalls and asked for the best salted fish. The owner warned me it was very expensive, and asked me how many I would like to have. I gingerly (worried about the price) asked for 3 (they looked like these on the photo but lighter in colour), and waited for him to weigh and inform me of the price. Phew, they were only RM6 for 3!
(And by the way, they were delicious I regret not buying more!)

I love to see how spices and curry powder were sold in big bags by the weight, not pre-packed like how we get them in KL.

Serunding (dried meat floss) and keropok are being sold by a lot of the stalls here. I bought some back as well, not really that fantastic although they are cheaper than KL.

The 2nd flour is where all the batik sellers are. Lots of clothing, shoes, accessories can be found too on that floor. Zara got herself a fake Hello Kitty bag which was quite good quality.

Back to the ground floor, a section of the market is given over to ready to eat food. There’s wrapped tapai being sold.

Different kind of kueh-mueh (Malaysian cakes), some not seen before in KL. Most of them were not covered, and we didn’t dare to try them. However, we did buy a pack of Kuih Gomok (a round cake made with coconut and glutinous rice flour) and Kuih Ladu (pepper cake) each to try. Kuih Gomok is nice, but I can’t say the same for Kuih Ladu.

Not sure what this seed is, and a few stalls were selling this. We tried some and they tasted like lotus seeds.

Outside of the market, we saw this fish satay being sold. It’s 20sen per stick! We tried some. It’s not really fish pieces, but more like some fish flavored dough pieces. Still, it’s a cheap snack to munch on.

Not far from Siti Khadijah Central Market is China Town.

Most of the shops here have jawi written on their sign boards.

For lunch we went to Restaurant Nasi Ulam Cikgu at the Kampung Kraf Tangan. Food display wasn’t the most appetising looking (hence no photo), but taste wise it’s ok, lots of greens, ulam to choose from.

The rest of the day, we spent lazing in the hotel. Girls watched TV, while I went for a massage.

In the night, we went to try out Yati Ayam Percik (847, Jln Long Yunus, 15200 Kota Bharu). A big big disappointment.

We should have known when we stepped into the restaurant, with greasy floor and flies buzzing around. When the chicken (ayam percik) pieces were served, the girls asked if it was chicken covered in vomit, so unappetizing looking, and the chicken which was supposed to be barbecued was cold, cooked, probably many hours earlier. Even my neighbourhood Malay restaurants make better ayam percik than Yati. The vegetable that came in a clump with the rice was horrible as well.

We rarely walk out on a restaurant but this time we did, with our food barely touched. We thought we’ll only do justice to ourselves if we went to another place for dinner since we only have 3 nights in Kelantan.

Off we went to Kedai Kopi White House (1329-L, Jalan Sultanah Zainab, 15000 Kota Bharu.). Chinese owned, we understand that the owner’s grandfather used to be the Sultan’s chef, therefore their shop is so strategically located between the Muhammadi State Mosque and the Kelantan Sultan’s palace

This small place is constantly full, we waited a while before we got a table. Coffee, tea, toasts were great, and even the packed nasi tumpang was quite nice.

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