Thursday, June 02, 2011

A Kelantan Delights...

We are back in KL after a week of traveling to meet friends and relatives on the east coast. There are so much to write and I would just write as I go along. This year I thought that it is time that we made a visit to our blogger and Facebook friends, some of whom I had only known in cyberspace. With that I set in motion of getting ready for that trip which would takes us to Gua Musang in Kelantan, a town in the hinterland of the forest of the Peninsular Malaysia. This would be our first visit to Gua Musang [I would do a special posting on Gua Musang later]. After getting words to my blogger and Facebook friends of my planned visit, I sought the help of Blogger Pak Zawi to book our accommodation in Gua Musang and in Kota Bharu. For Kuala Terengganu and Kuantan, after getting the information on the Internet I did the booking myself.

At 8:30Am on Tuesday May 24 we left KL with me driving the Honda Accord part of the way. My nephew took the wheel for the rest of the journey to Gua Musang where we stayed a night there. The next day we continue to KB after breakfast and arrived at KB at just past one in the afternoon. Pak Zawi and his spouse were already waiting for us at the Habib Hotel and after checking in they took us for a lavish lunch at a restaurant call Cikgu Nasi Ulam.

On entering we found the place was packed like sardine with folks enjoying their lunch. We did not have to wait long since the owner a friend of Pak Zawi soon lead us to a just emptied table inside a separate dining area. I was told later that at time the Sultan or his friend would have lunch here. We sat down as they cleared the table and before I could even thought of what to eat the table was loaded with spread of foods including a big plate of Budu, a specialties of folks on the east coast. Among the many dishes are Ikan Patin which I later found out is the favorite of Pak Zawi and Ikan Keli, a favorite of mine. Without much-ado we set to enjoy the food with me concentrating on the Ikan Keli [Catfish] and of course the Budu. Later the owner of the restaurant Cikgu came and sat at our table and joins to chat. He was such a joyous guy with his kind of local joke, thus add colors to the dining atmosphere.

The food was so good that for a moment I forgot what was happening around the table and kept digging on the two crisp fried Ikan Keli. Then I realized the others had all finished eating and I am the only one still enjoying the last bit of the crisp fried fish. It was such a delicious spread of foods that I can honestly say that it was one of the best lunch I had ever had of a typical local Malay dishes, simple yet tasty. Indeed a lunch to remember and if ever I am here again I am sure to head to this restaurant to enjoy the food again. I am selective about eating at restaurant and this one is so good that I would recommend to anyone to try and believe me you would love it till the last piece of rice on your plate. With that we went back to our hotel and had a good rest for the day.

The next day we decided to play tourists and did our share of shopping at the famous market in the middle of KB. [I would do a special posting of the Market] The visit to the Craft Center and a museum was educational. At one of the craft shop I had the opportunity to see the artisan working patiently on each creation of fine silver craft. Mesmerizing indeed; seeing a work of art created in front of my eyes. I met a lone painter taking his time to paint and had a good chat with him. As it was lunch time and we had a lunch date with an old friend, we headed back to our hotel for a rest before attending to the lunch. Then while waiting for our friend to arrived for the lunch date we did more shopping at the nearby shops.

A cellphone call took us to the Hover Restaurant nearby where we met my old office-mate MatBra and his spouse. This time the whole table was laid with every dish available including its specialty the fried Ayam Kampong. As usual with me I concentrate on one or two dishes which include that Special fried chicken. We chat as we enjoy that lunch. It was great to get to meet MatBra and his spouse Tham again after such a longtime. Since we had another invitation from Pak Zawi for dinner at his place in Pasir Mas we decided to just end the day after the lunch and had a short break before leaving for Pasir Mas.

Just around six in the evening guided by the GPS we drove to Pak Zawi place in Pasir Mas. While in the car I got an SMS message from Pakmat another blogger who live in Bacok inviting us for a dinner too. I replied to thanks him and told him that I am on the way to Pak Zawi's house for dinner and would have to take a rain check. After getting lost twice we decided to get the help from a group of police personnel who happens to be on one side of the road. On asking they willingly help to guide us to the right location of Pak Zawi place. I then call Pak Zawi on the cellphone and he told me that he would wait at the junction to his house and lead us there. To digress a little; if bungalow is an indicator of prosperity then folks all long the roads from the city center to Pasir Mas are a prosperous lots. True to its name Pasir Mas [Golden Sand] these folks are indeed enjoying their life in a dazzling way. With that we managed to arrive in time to his bungalow home and had a great dinner and chat on many subjects that pop up from time to time. It was indeed nice to sit and talks on things of mutual interest after a hearty dinner. Since it was late we left for our hotel in Kota Bharu and end the day dead tired.

The next day we check out after breakfast. Since it was a Friday and in Kelantan it is a public holiday we were not able to do anymore shopping. We then head for Kuala Terengganu our next destination using the coastal road.

Our trip to Kelantan this time was such a fun filled holiday, meeting Blogger and Facebook friends, having dinner and lunch and shopping that we were lost for time. Thanks to Pak Zawi and his spouse as well my friend MatBra and his spouse and the many strangers that we met on the streets for making our trip so colorful. Asmah and I did enjoy all those moments. How we wished we had more time but as usual time move fast-forward when one are having fun.

Thanks folks for giving us Kelantan in color during our short holiday there. We were overwhelmed by the hospitality. Have a nice day.


~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

What an enjoyable, fascinating and memorable trip to Kelantan, Pak Idrus, made all the better because you got to spend time with Pak Zawi and Makcik Fatthiyah. Life in the East Coast does seem slower-paced and more relaxed somehow.

Pak Zawi said...

Thank you for visiting and promoting Kelantan. Kelantan needs all the help to get more and more people to visit it especially off the school holiday season. For the school holidays such as now, visiting Kelantan will be a dread as congestion is everywhere even in small town Pasir Mas. Hotel accommodation will be a problem. Fortunately a mushrooming of guesthouses in the guise of homestays are easing the problem. You can rent a fully furnished home for as little as RM150. Such a house can easily accommodate a large family. Some of this guesthouses are comparable to a hotel.
The school holiday is a time for kenduris as weddings are daily occurrence now. On certain days one can be invited to several kenduris.

Howard said...

Pak Idrus,

I'm glad you had a great time in Kelantan! The food there is fantastic indeed! When I left Kelantan after three years as a Peace Corps engineer at the Jabatan Parit dan Taliair (as it was called then), I was FIFTEEN POUNDS heavier than when I first arrived! The food was especially good in Pasir Mas, where you could get great food and watch all the Pasir Mas beauties walk by! Ah, to be young again!

hamidah said...

I love Kelantan and the food is superb and cheap.....will be back there one day....

Pak Idrus said...

~Covert_Operations'78~, Ee Lynn thanks for the visit and the good words on our holidaying in Kelantan.

Indeed we had a truly enjoyable time there with Pak Zawi and his spouse.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

Pak Zawi, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting. I do hope that it would give others more information on Kelantan as seen from an outsider.

Thanks to you and your spouse, Asmah and I did had a great time while holidaying in your motherland Kelantan. It was indeed a short and sweet holiday with a difference; makan, makan, makan.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

Howard, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on your youth in Pasir Mas. I am now wondering why you had not been hooked by the beauty of the Pasir Mas Mek while there!!.

True the food is simply delicious and one could continue eating and eating and it is relatively cheap too.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

hamidah, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting. Yes Kelantan is a unique state and a great place to visit from time to time.

Have a nice day.

Howard said...

Pak Idrus...

Well, I certainly DID marry a woman I met in Kelantan! It's just that she wasn't Malaysian! :)

Pak Idrus said...

Howard, thanks for the return visit. Well all along I thought that your spouse is a Malaysian! Well life is like that so enjoy it.

Take care.