Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Perhentian Report - Day 1

It has been almost 2 weeks since our return from Perhentian. It was a good trip, worth the RM1,000 that we spent. We returned to Sibu on the night of the 7th of May. The original flight from KL was at 6:15 pm, but this was delayed to 7:50 p.m. The plane took off only at about 9:00 p.m. I reached home at only about 11:00 p.m. and did not go to bed until about 2:30 a.m. the next day.

The following is a detailed report of our trip.

Day 1 (2nd May 2009) - Kota Bharu, Kelantan

We arrived at Sultan Ismail Petra Airport, Pangkalan Chepa, Kota Bharu at about 4:30 p.m.

After about 10 minutes' wait, my friend arrived with his youngest daughter. He was delayed by the Kota Bharu traffic jam. It was very nice meeting them again after a year. The school bus which he arranged to pick up our group arrived earlier. After our group boarded the bus and I joined my friend and his daughter, Nita, we proceeded to Pelangi Mall Apartment. We arrived shortly after. We have two units booked for the night.

After a few calls, the owners came with the keys and we proceeded to our units at levels 15 and 17. Our makan trip was delayed because of the small talk we had with the owners, such as how to return the keys the next day, how to find our way to the supermarket, etc. We finally left for our dinner, with my friend and Nita leading the way. Not all of them joined us. We went to Pantai Timur Supermarket and to Medan Selera when we were caught in a sudden downpour and were trapped at a hawker's stall.

After the rain stopped, we moved on to Chinatown to Kow Lun Restoran for our dinner. There were very few Chinese eating establishments here in Kota Bharu.

As I wanted to try authentic Kelantanese food, I asked my friend what I should try at Kow Lun Restoran. He said that there was none. In the end, I tried a bowl of "lo tu ka" (stewed pork leg) with rice. It was something new to me. It has a mixed of pork and chicken feet. Not bad. I would give it a 7/10.

Just in front of Kow Lun Restoran was a Malay hawker stall, selling different varieties of saliva-inducing spicy food. There were a lot of customers waiting, but nobody was queuing up. So whose turn would come first? Impatient for a long wait, I decided to let go of the opportunity.

Our group later broke up. After shopping, my friend invited me to his house. His home was at Wakaf Bharu, just across the bridge. At home were his wife, Lily, and their other three children who were busy completing their homework. We stayed for a while only because a daughter of my colleague was falling asleep. On the way back to Pelangi Mall, my gracious host treated us to some tapai (fermented balls of sweet rice) and bought some nasi briyani for our supper.

How can I return him his favour. A true friend indeed. We hoped we took the right step in giving him a nice present of Sarawak's bird nest. Orang berbudi, kita berbahasa.

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