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Monday, December 11, 2006

Roti Tempayan



If you are on the way to or back from Desaru, one of beautiful beaches in Johor, I'd like to recommend you a place to have your meal. Located at Felda Air Tawar 5, there is a restaurant serving Roti Tempayan or a bread baked in a large clay-made barrel. It's quite easy to locate this place as it's just beside a Shell petrol station, facing the main road.

You can eat Roti Tempayan with chicken curry or mutton curry. However, please be mindful when you're ordering Roti Tempayan as the size is considerably big - a pizza medium size. If you really want to enjoy this, you may just want to order a drink as a supliment.


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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Kemasik, Terengganu



As one of the beautiful beaches in Terengganu, one never misses to notice a beach with a big rock called Kemasik Beach. Located very near to Awana Kijal, many passers by stop here. Though it's not safe to swim here due to its rocky nature, many people still come here to enjoy the beautiful scene or to picnic.

There are few stalls there selling local seafood snack and I would recommend you to try Ikan Celup Tepung or Fish Fritter. The fish is so fresh coming from nearby fishermen jetty. You can also try Sotong Goreng Tepung or Calamary. You can still feel the elastic texture of the squid.


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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Stuffed Crab


If you are looking for a good food while you are in Kemaman or are stopping while on the way to any other places in Terengganu, you should go to a restaurant called Restoran Tong Juan and try its specialty, Stuffed Crab.

Stuffed Crab is made of chunks of crab meat, onions and parsley which are packed into large crab shell and is fried. It is served with chilly sauce. Don't worry as this sauce is not really hot but a little bit sour.

The direction to this restaurant is quite easy. If you are from Kuantan or from East Coast Highway, once you reach a traffic light downtown Chukai, turn to the right. About a kilometer, you will find the restaurant on your right hand side, facing Kemaman River which is on your left hand side. This restaurant is open for lunch and dinner.

You may visit the restaurant's website here.

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Chatuchak Market, Bangkok


This place is a must if you visit Bangkok. Probably the biggest market in this region, you can find almost everything at Chatuhchak Market, from clothes, handicraft to pets. I bet if you are a true shopper, one day is not enough to get around the whole market. Furthermore, prices are considerably cheap.

This market is open during weekend only (Saturday and Sunday) but by Friday afternoon, the stalls are already open. Transportation to this place is not a big problem at all as BTS Skytrain service ends here. Besides, you can also take taxi or take the most efficient Tuk-tuk if you stay near to Chatuchak Market.

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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Merdeka



Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!

Malaysia celebrated its 49th nationhood last Wednesday, 31st August. It happened that I was in KL on that day, after finishing a training and thus, I planned to watch a concert which was held at Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) on the eve of Merdeka day and later to join countdown to midnight as well as to enjoy fireworks show.

While I was inside a lift in a hotel I stayed, namely Traders Hotel, a hotel staff asked me where I would be going on that night to celebrate Merdeka. I replied that I would be going down to watch the concert and later to witness a beautiful fireworks show. He smiled and instead recommended me to go to 33rd Floor of the hotel to see the fireworks. There I should have a clearer view. Wow, that’s a good idea! Furthermore, I could hardly walk at downstairs as the area was jam-packed with thousands of spectators.

Then, I just stayed inside my room while waiting for the midnight to come. I watched TV and read newspapers. My friend who came over surfed complimentary Internet access provided by the hotel.

About five minutes before the midnight, we went over to 33rd Floor, where a swimming pool was located. Upon arriving, I saw a lot of other hotel guests had assembled here and they had booked strategic location to witness the show. We, however, managed to find an unoccupied space. It headed towards majestic, the world’s tallest twin tower, PETRONAS Twin Tower. Besides the KL iconic building, we also saw other towers which did not miss to celebrate this festival, also in conjunction with a special promotion by the national power company, TNB, by lighting up their colourful neon.

About one minute to go to the midnight, we heard huge roars from the ground as thousands of people were counting to the special moment. However, this had continued pass the midnight and no fireworks had been launched. What happened? Any technical glitches? Only few kilometers away, at Bukit Bintang, I heard few fireworks had been shot to the sky. Some hotel guests moved to the other side of the floor to see the fireworks but we just stayed here so that others wouldn’t take our place.

It had passed five minutes. Huge roars were still heard from the ground as people were anxious for the moment. Suddenly a loud sound was coming up from the ground to the floor we stayed. Yes, the show had started! The sound was so loud as the fireworks rose to the sky.

Very beautiful and cool! The fireworks exploded right in front of our eyes! I could hardly open my eyes as the explosion was very near to us. The fireworks were launched from the ground and they exploded at a level which was equal to the floor we stood up. Nevertheless, it was such an experience! Colourful and various firework shapes changed in seconds.

I also managed to capture few shots but forgive me as the pictures are quite blurry as I couldn’t stand the explosion of the fireworks right before my eyes. Also featured is a video captured during that precious moment. Cheers!



View complete pictures here



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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Pulau Duyong, Terengganu

Pulau Duyong is an island located near the mouth of Terengganu River in Kuala Terengganu, East Coast Peninsular Malaysia. This island is well-known as a boat fabrication centre and its clients come from all over the world including Europe and America.

Literally translated from Malay, Pulau Duyong means Mermaid Island. It is believed that long time ago, mermaids laid here and that was how the island got its name.

Recently, as part of the government effort to boost tourism in Terengganu, a sailing event, Monsoon Cup, has been held and Pulau Duyong has been chosen because of its strategic location. Wide Terengganu River mouth as well strong winds during Northeast Monsoon from South China Sea offer a challenging venue for this event.

A resort cum tourist centre called Terengganu Heritage Centre has also been completed for tourists to enjoy beautiful scene here. The resort faces Kuala Terengganu town on the South bank while on the North bank, it faces colourful fishermen village. Direct to the East, tourists can see beautiful South China Sea especially during sunrise in the morning.

There is also a boat service connecting Pulau Duyong to Kuala Terengganu town. Tourists can use the service to go to Payang Market which is located at the jetty on Kuala Terengganu town side. There are a lot of local made products like silk, batik, brassware, jewelries and local dishes such as Keropok and Nasi Dagang.


Heritage Village is under construction.


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Monday, August 07, 2006

Malacca, Malaysia



Considered as the base for modern Malaysia today, Malacca or called Melaka in Malay, has enjoy great success in its hundred years of history.

Malacca was founded by a prince from Palembang, Sumatra named Parameswara, who fled from attacks of Java and Siam. During his rest under a tree, he was startled to see his hunting dog was kicked by a white deer. Believing this incident would bring a prosperous years ahead, he decided to settle at the place and named it Melaka, taken after the tree's name.

Malacca was under its greatest success during the reigns of Sultan Mansur Shah and Sultan Muzaffar Shah, with his genious Prime Minister, Tun Perak and his valiant admiral, Laksamana Hang Tuah. Located strategically inside the Malacca Straits, Malacca was one of the important ports connecting Arabs and India in the West and China on the East. One the legacy left by the merchants who plied their trade in Malacca until today is intermarriage between local Malays and Chinese called Baba and Nyonya and intermarriage between Malays and Indian called Chitti Melaka.

However, Western powers were interested to take over Malacca due to lucrative spice trade as well as its strategic location to control ship movements in the strait. In 1511, Portuguese attacked Malacca under Alfonso d' Albuquerque. Dutch then took over Malacca in 1641.

In 1824 under Anglo-Dutch treaty, Dutch handed over Malacca to English and on the other hand, English handed over Bencoolen (locals call Bangkahulu or Bengkulu) to Dutch. This marked the modern maps of Malaysia and Indonesia today.

Today, Malacca remains as one of top tourist destinations in Malaysia. At Banda Hilir, there located A Formosa, a fort left by Portuguese as well as a building built by Dutch called Studhuys. There are also replicas of traditional Malacca Sultanate palace and Flor De La Mar ship.

Visit Melaka Tourism
View complete pictures here.



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Friday, August 04, 2006

Putrajaya, Malaysia



Putrajaya is the new administration capital of Malaysia. Located in Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) area, Putrajaya has close proximities to Cyberjaya and KL International Airport. A dedicated highway connecting Putrajaya and KL is also being built for better connectivity between both cities.

Apart from majestic architecture of government buildings, there are also many other attractions here such as Putra Mosque, Dataran Gemilang, Botanical Garden, Perdana Putra Park and Taman Rimba Alam. You can also take a ride with cruise boat along the main lake here and enjoy spectacular view of Putrajaya.

View complete pictures here.



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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Journey to Bali: Uluwatu



Uluwatu is another interesting place to visit in Bali. Uluwatu is located on top of a deep cliff facing the sea. Just like Tanah Lot, this place is very beautiful during sunset. Down under, series of waves are splashing rocks at the cliff leg. You can also fancy going for surfing here (for experienced surfers only!).

There is also a pura called Pura Luhur Uluwatu. Those who come here will be equipped with a yellow cloth in order to hinder off back luck. However, beware of monkeys here although they look calm. They can be agressive if being fed.

After enjoying the breathtaking sunset view on top of the cliff, you can also watch a Balinese traditional dance called Tarian Kecak which starts right after the sunset. The dance depicts the story of Ramayan epic. Instead of normal gamelan, the dance is backed by 150 men chanting the chorus.

View complete pictures here.



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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Journey to Bali: Tanah Lot



It's a must to visit this place if a person comes to Bali. Called Tanah Lot, this is where is a small hill located very close to the shore. It will become an island during tide as the sea water will separate the hill from the mainland. On top of the hill, there is a temple for predominantly local Hindu which is known as pura. There are also very tame Holy Snakes here which you can touch, believed to bring good fortune.

The scene here becomes spectacular during sunset. Gloomy and red sky turn the surrounding into majestic and serene background with the pura as the silhouette.

Tourists can come here by tourist package or for those adventurous ones, may come by your own by hiring motorcycles.

View complete pictures here.



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Monday, July 31, 2006

Travel to Tok Bali and Kuala Besut



When I was about to go back to Kuala Terengganu (KT) from Kota Bharu (KB), my friend suggested to me to use coastal route, instead of using normal inland route. The road is less congested and there are not many speed traps along the way. I bought the idea as I wanted to do something different and I wanted to explore the area.

I remembered quite some times ago, I did pass the area when I was riding an illegal taxi (due to last minute plan) back from KB to KT. I remembered I saw a lot of coconut trees and the road was straight.

From KB Mall where I met my friend, I took main road all the way straight to Bachok. If using normal route, I must turn right somewhere in Kubang Kerian and head to Pasir Puteh but this time I should go straight until just 5 km before Bachok town, according to my friend, I should turn to the right for a short cut. However, I didn’t take the short cut as I wanted to get around Bachok town. Never in my life, I reached Bachok.

To my surprise, Bachok is only a very small town and surrounded by fishing villages. I thought Bachok, as one of district capitals in Kelantan state, should be bigger as its role speaks. Nevermind, it’s ok cause I also don’t want to be caught in traffic jam nor to wait long at traffic lights. I stopped for a while to withdraw some money from a bank so that later I didn’t have to go to KT town again.

My journey continued with breathtaking and serene surrounding. There were lots of coconut trees along the road with white sands covered their roots. The road was straight, as still freshly depicted in my mind. Sometimes I saw houses which were built scatterly but still near to the road. There were also shops especially ones that sold sea-based products. They sold keropok, which is made from sago and fish flesh. Some even used the famous Keropok Losong which is originated from Losong, Kuala Terengganu to attract customers. Not sure whether it was really authentic or not.

After about 20 minutes, I reached Tok Bali. This place is famous as a fishing jetty and also with its brand new bridge. I saw few advertisements by the roadside showing few resorts were being erected here and were already put up for sale. How fast the development here. The bridge there was quite high from the ground when reaching its centre. While driving, I was being slowly shown the beautiful scene of the river mouth on my left while colourful fishing boats and villages seen on my right. When heading down the bridge, I saw a fish market located beside the jetty.

The road was straight again after that until before I reached Bisikan Bayu Beach. When approaching the area, there were few stalls selling catches from sea like kerang, kepah etc. Then, I saw a chalet called Kisana Beach Resort. This resort headed towards sea with lots of Ru trees inside. This place also hosted the Malaysia National Service Program where after school kids gather and learn about nationalism.

The journey continued. About 20 minutes again. I reached Kuala Besut which is famous as its jetty, a point to get to snorkelling heaven, Perhentian Islands. Though Kuala Besut is located in Terengganu state, there was no signboard indicating that I passed the border.

There were few shops comprising tourist agencies, sundry shops and fishing related shops. A lot of tourists were seen waiting to get off Perhentian Islands or might have just arrived from the islands. Along a river, called Besut River, there were lots of fishing boats resting or perhaps preparing off to the sea.

When I get out from the jetty area, there was a bridge across Besut River and from here, all activities around the area can be seen. Further up, there were also few resorts and guest houses offering stays for tourists while on the way to Perhentian Islands.

After that, not much excitement can be seen except alternating fishing villages and small jungles. However, this was quite an experience. While many head towards beautiful islands in Terengganu, it is still worthwhile to get along the coastal road around here. There are lots of interesting sea-related activities can be found. Not to forget foods such as keropok or dried fish. There are few resorts and guest houses here for you to stay. For those who plan to stay longer, don’t worry, there are also lots of shops offering laundry services here.

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