Thursday, 6 February 2014

My Chinese New Year in Kuala Terengganu

It was my last day in Kuala Terengganu. And please excuse me as this is a rather self-indulgent post. You might find it boring so it's OK with me if you skip this one :)

My brother and I decided to go down memory lane by taking a drive downtown. I wanted to see the old haunted house we once lived in, our old kindergarten, primary and secondary school and Kampung Cina. I also wanted to go to Pantai Batu Burok as I have not been there for a long time.

I sat in the car and took a shot of the side view of the house.

Our first stop was the government quarters at Batu Burok. The area has changed quite a bit. Looks cleaner and more modern. I had to have a look at that old house.

Front of the house.

The trees and shrubs have been trimmed and it looks a lot brighter. More sunlight all around and I suppose the "ular-ular" have been exorcised. Gulpss...

I felt like a stalker taking clandestine shots at the house. Or a papparazzi stalking a celebrity.

As we were driving out (first round stalking the house) we realized that the house is so near the beach. We decided to stop and take a short walk. 

Saw some people taking a dip. From their car registration plate, looks like they are from the west coast. 

It is a pity that the beach was littered with all sorts of rubbish. If only all of us would clean up after ourselves, our environment would be cleaner.

Colourful kites for sale. If I were 8 years old, I would have insisted on one.

Next stop was the Pantai Batu Burok. I am not much of a photo journalist. Forgot to take photo of the signboard that said "Taman Awam Pantai Batu Burok". 

Inflatable toys for sale. Luckily my nephew and niece were not around hee..hee...

We parked and walked to the beach. And we stared at the sea.

It was hypnotic watching the waves come to shore and hearing the sound of the breaking waves. "Don't stand too close, ah...", I warned my brother.

My brother attracted to the waves. Now you can roughly guess my size.

He was clearly enjoying the sights. "I want to get closer", he told me. "OK. But not too close". Like I mentioned before, I am a scaredy cat. Waves also scared. 

The waves were picking up momentum and I guess the tide was rising. I could see the waves getting taller and the water was inching closer.

There is still a 6 year old inside me and I had visions of jaws sharks jumping out of the water. Or the "raksaksa" from the old Ultraman series or Godzilla rising from the waters. It was a beautiful but frightening sight (for me lah. Other people not scared of the sea). This was the distance between me and the water at slightly past 10:00am.

This was where we stood. Not too close to the edge.
The water coming closer.

Getting stronger and stronger.

I was getting ready to run.

About 40 minutes later it was this close. Cabut!!!

Never underestimate the power of the waves. They are very strong and can pull you under.

It has been awhile since I walked on sand. I saw some seashells.

And in spite of this sign.....

Together let's keep the cleanliness and beauty of our town.

......the beach was full of litter.

The MBKT (Kuala Terengganu Municipal Council) and the people of Kuala Terengganu (and visitors, please) must make an effort to keep our beautiful beaches clean. This is painful to look at.

We had enough of the waves and crossed over to the playground. As we walked, I spotted the pony rides.

Aren't they cute?

Yeehaw! Gallop...gallop...galllop....

A very young footman.

The carriages were decorated with artificial flowers and ribbons and were very colourful. I saw a few families enjoying the ride.

It looked like fun but me and my brother combined, the pony carriage would have tilted backwards and the poor pony would have had a fright. And so would we. Better not lah.

I used to come to the playground with my cousins when I was small. It has definitely been upgraded with new and colourful stuff.

The old colourful tyres that used to line the periphery of the playground is gone. We kids used to walk on those tyres and see who could maintain their balance longest.

I sat on one of the slides and almost got stuck. And the swing could barely accommodate my girth. I was also afraid that the chain would snap. That would have been embarrassing! 

We then proceeded to my first school - St Theresa's Kindergarten. Imagine that! I was a little kid once. I am now an old relic of an alumni.

The kindie is still there and now the whole place is fenced up for security unlike in days past when the world was a lot safer.

Next was my primary school. Memories.....

The school is a lot more beautiful than it was in the old days.

Yes, I was one of the smart alecks who studied here.

Next destination - Kampung Cina (Chinatown), where the Chinese New Year atmosphere was in the air though it was fairly quiet.

I spotted these beautiful shopfronts.

And there were many pretty lanterns hanging in the air.

The Chinese Temple in Kampung Cina.

Some of the old buildings have been converted into bird hotels and you can distinctly hear the boids birds when you walk past.

I must really check out these restaurants next time.

This is a very old restaurant. I have been here when I was a little girl.

And being a plant lover, I couldn't help taking a snap at the foliage.

This was taken at the beach.

Our last stop was to "tapau" lunch. Our favourite Malay food stall is Binjai. Just say Binjai and our stomachs will growl.

The selection of dishes is rather good. I want to taste everything but I only have one stomach.

Fish head curry. We are earmarking this for our next trip. But don't know when.

Don't know what is this. Looks like satay but it is not.

Gulai daging. This beef curry was delicious but the meat was tough that day. Could use another 30-45 minutes of stewing.

Kari ikan merah. Very tempting.

Grilled fish.

Raw wing beans for ulam.

The sayur lemak. Very good.

Ayam masak merah. A bit different from the west coast style but it was delicious.

Chicken curry.
Fried chicken.
Fried fish. Looks good doesn't it?

And after paying for the food, we had to make our way home. Along the way, I snapped more pictures. I don't know the name of this place but it is behind the Kedai Payang.

Pity that there is rubbish everywhere.

Nice bridge.

And I realized that wherever you go, you can't escape from these people :

The Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia, Terengganu branch.

Yes, yes. We know where you are.

And that concludes my sightseeing in town. There are lots more to see but that would have to wait for another time.


  1. I love looking at all those photos, especially those shops, temples.. Make me think of old days too..

    Wait, inflatable toys? Sorry ahh, I always say float, kekeke.. The floats all look damn tempting. Even if the kids were not there, I knew I would have to buy a few home. So cute, hard to resist, tee hee..

    I think the "satay" which you mentioned looks like kebab.. Yes? Lamb kebab, my guess.

    1. Louiz, hee..hee...I couldn't find a word to describe those toys hah...hah...So, they are floats, yah lah for swimming in the sea. I'm not sure what those are, I thought kebabs are fatter. Must ask next time.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. psst tp PH kan, perasaan akak berubah lepas pi Pantai Chenang kat Langkawi, air laut dia mak aiiiii.....menawan kalbu la! pastu pasir dia halus memutih lembut kat tapak kaki, tu yg berani nak dipping2 tu hahahaha

      tp bebaru ni ada dgr kes pantai jerlus gak kat Langkawi tu macam kat Ganu juga, makan korban jugak la...bahaya ek? kalau dah penakut tu penakut jugak LOL!

    2. PH mintak maaf ya, akak terpaksa delete la sebab malu ...
      apa pun akak suka sgt ngan entri ni.........
      suka semua gambar2nya...suka baca cerita2 camni...
      kalau boleh nak selalu baca entri camni hihi hihi

    3. Ala....Kak Q! Kenapa pulak delete! PH ketawa sampai nak rolling-rolling kat bawah meja ofis! Masa tu PH tengah makan tau! Nasib baik tak makan sosej hee..hee....kesian Kak Q. Ada ke patut orang buat "bisnes" dalam kolam? Biadap betul!

      Glad that you like this entry! Kalau ada peluang, PH akan buat entri macam ni di masa hapadan. Itu pun, kalau ada masa pergi jalan-jalan.

    4. Kak Q, mohon izin, boleh tak PH "restore" komen asal? Kelakar lah.....biar orang lain terhibur jugak :D

    5. komen tu okay ker PH? akak rasa macam keterlaluan pulak, pasal kat sini gamabr makanan sedap2 belaka, aleh2 kita tulis pasal orang be""k pulak...tu yg akak malu sendiri tu...macam spoil jer heheh

      terserah la pada PH..ini blog PH kan...hehe tp you ada simpan lagi ker komen pisang goreng kembang yg timbul tu? ieeekkkk....ampun sis....

    6. Okie dokie hee..hee...This is Queenie's original comment which she deleted :

      PH my dearest sista, I LOOOOOVE this post!
      camni la baru best! (yg biasa tu pun best jugak tau!) hehehe
      akak suka semua gambar2 dan cerita kat sini, terang, jelas dan cantik2 belaka! rasa macam PH bawak akak jalan2 kat situ sekali, mmg teringin nak ke Ganu dan Pantai Batu Buruk, taktau bila dpt ke sana...

      akak dari kecik mmg tak suka laut, penakot hahaha lagipun malas nak beratur ramai2 depan bilik air awam nak bilas badan - geli pun ada sebab faham2 jer la keadaannya bila dah penuh ngan manusia pelbagai ragam, kotor ek?

      Pantai PD pun baru sekali akak jejak selepas 37 tahun! hahaha ada tragedy kat situ. Masa tu umur akak 15 tahun, pi ikut rombongan org kampung (dari Muar). Masa nak bilas badan tu, bila turn akak (masuk ngan akak punya akak sekali), akak tengok air dalam kolah tu keruh semacam. Pastu pad bersusun balik pintu sampai berbau, naik nak termuntah...peliknya takder kepala paip? cuma harapkan air dlm kolah? dah la suram takder lampu...grrrr...nak taknak lepas kena marah ngan kakak akak sebab cerewet sangat, akak pun cedok la air kolah tu siram kat betis yg berpasir tu dulu, sekali tu masa nak cedok kali kedua, aku perhatikan ada benda terapung, bila tengok betul2 CHISS BEDEBAH!!! rupanya pisang goreng kembang! siapa punya orang kurang ajar dah berak dalam kolah tu! akak pun soprano histeria keluar dari bilik air tu menyumpah2!!!
      mmg tak lupa dan fobia gila! nasib baik siram kaki dulu, kalau terus siram kepala? bedebah betul org tu, akak sumpah bontot sibedebah tu gatal berkurap sampai dia tua! brengsek betul;!

      lepas 37 tahun baru akak berani singgah pantai PD lagi, tu pun kebetulan lalu dan anak2 teringin nak suasana dia dah berubah la, bilik air pun dah modern, tp akak rela jadi penunggu pantai jer...penakut macam PH, HIGH 5! LOL

      nak komen makanan tu semua sedap2 tp mcm tak syok nak join sekali dlm komen org berak ni keh3
      nanti la akak masuk lagi ya...

    7. Hah! Hah! Hah! Hah! Empat kali baca, empat kali ketawa giler! Hai Kak Q only you lah ada cerita funny funny macam ni. Lucu tapi ngeri hah! hah! hah!

    8. Lorr...garok kepala ni...
      tengah fikir, kalau dah delete pun masih boleh simpan lagi eh?
      ya la..pengalaman yg sungguh menjijikkan. Kalau orang tu hidup lagi, sure sekarang dia tengah tergarok2 bontot dia yang berkurap tu chiss!!! orang cakap doa orang yang teraniaya tu takder hijabnya, dan akak mmg betul2 rasa teraniaya masa menyumpah tu!
      padan muka dia!! ke padan muka aku? euwwwww............

  3. Loved your post...Undoubtedly this must be your nostalgic trip..Awesome clicks and loved the decorated carriages.... Food clicks are yum yum....

    1. Thanks, Priya! It was a lovely walk down memory lane :)

  4. Hi PH
    I have enjoyed touring this post. Thanks for taking us to Kuala Terengganu.

    1. Hi Mel! One day when you get the chance, go to Terengganu. There are many nice resorts there.

  5. Hi Phong Hong,

    You said that your post is boring... Nay! I'm always the person who appreciate walking through memory lanes and I see the beauty of Terengganu like how you did. Love the beautiful beach, kites, colourful toys but not the trash!!! - Sad that there are litter bugs destroying beauty!


    1. Hi Zoe! I am glad that you like this post! I love my hometown and my Singapore relatives used to come quite often back in those days. It is a pity that the beach is full of rubbish. I hope the KT government does something about it soon.

  6. PH dear...masuk sini lagi...pandai betul PH snap semua pics tu esp yg makan2 tu, betul2 buat akak nak pi tempat tu sekarang juga! sesekali jumpa takper la poket berlubang hehehe...

    akak percaya semua pembaca akan setuju ngan akak, betul2 menggoda!
    hmm...sabar jer sebab arini akak puasa...

    1. Hi Kak Q! Masakan kat kedai Binjai tu memang best! Kalau boleh PH nak rasa semua tapi perut satu saja hee..hee...Dia punya gulai daging, fuiyoh! Begitu juga dengan gulai ikan dan ayam masak merah. Kalau ada masa, PH nak eksperimen lah masak stail Binjai. Kalau jadi tu boleh lah share kat sini hee..hee...

    2. dah cukup! cukup! cukup beri iklan pada makanan2 tu!
      tak tahan akak telan air liur ni....dah naik nak banjir kibod ni!
      aduiii........Binjaiiii..tiss! tiss! tisss!!!!

    3. Kak Q, kalau ada peluang pergi lah melancong kat KT. Ada banyak resort yang cantik-cantik kat sana. Dan jangan lupa ke Binjai...hee....hee....hee....

  7. Phong Hong the second picture which you took whose house is it .Is it taken from the front road or back lane.My ! My! you devil you make me so hungry by looking at the food from Binjai that is my favourite when
    l go back your mum will bring me to buy the food and she will ask for a lot of sambal belachan and tells the lady that I don't use it to cholek pasai adik saya suka minuman and the lady can't stop laughing l love to eat her ikan singgan very sedap..Oh how l miss the Binjai food.Ah yooi if your brother were to sit on the carriage the donkey will just drop down flat It's dinner time now instead of having to eat my food l only wish l can eat the ones from Bingai the picture of the beach brings back memories of when we wereall small we live near to the beach after kong kong will ask mah mah to prepare food we will walk to the beach and play and collect gepoh.Good old memories ko pa will swim with the dog it was so much fun then l am very happy to know you really enjoy your trip try and cook some of Binjai's food then you can cook for me when l go back

    1. EE, I don't know who is staying there now. The picture was taken from the front road.

  8. Hi Phong Hong, this post isn't boring at all. I'll ask my hubby to see this post cos' the last time he went to KT, he said "D place changed, nothing much to see". I love to see these photos than the high rise buildings elsewhere. Agree with you, dirty beaches and public places, why people must leave more than their footprints wherever they gone. East coast beaches are more rough than those along the west coast but I love listening to the waves the evening.

    1. Kimmy, KT has changed a lot over the years. There are some areas which I don't recognise at all! The only place familiar to me is Kg Cina. Other than that I am like a stranger in my hometown.

  9. Hi PH,
    Gong Xi Fa Cai !
    Thanks for sharing such an interesting post about Kuala Terengganu. After reading, I feel that may be i can arrange my family trip to KT one day, especially want to go for the food. Even fom picture it make me drooling !! he........

    1. Hi Aunty Young! Gong Xi Fa Cai! Yes, you should take your family to Terengganu. There are many beautiful resorts there. If you go to the right places, food is good and cheap.

  10. It was really interesting to see the place of your childhood, esp. that I will probably never be in this part of the World...
    The beach is rather dirty, but it happens all over the world, pity, isn't it? I saw many people who simply throw away they cigatetts, plastic bags etc just right to the sand. It's afwful to swim in such a sea:(
    the food looked delicious, I would like to try everything:)

    1. Ola, if you get a chance to come to this part of the world, come to Terengganu! I wonder if I could ever visit Poland :)

  11. I stay in KT before. I love the place, simply so peaceful! I miss the small butter sugar bun in a very old shop in the China Town.

    1. Hi Jozelyn! It is nice to know you have lived there before and loved it! I think you are referring "roti paung" but these days they are not as good anymore.

  12. Hai PH, I'm your silent reader. Seronok baca your entry. Sekolah SS1 juga my school. I dah 50. Dulu tak ada sek prestasi tinggi. Kita masuk eskpress class. For me dulu sek SS1 lagi cantik. Very proud pergi sek tu. Bangunan sekolah dulu tak crowded. Kalau balik bukan pada masa public holiday tak banyak sampah. 10 years ago dah ada orang jual wau kat situ. I bawa anak pergi jalan tepi pantai dan main wau. I pun main sama. Seronok macam budak kembali. Cuba lah. Zaman dulu mana ada wau macam tu. Anyway kedai Binjai tu kat mana? Tak pernah makan kat situ. Dulu nasi dagang yang sedap kat simpang chabang tiga. Tahun 70an. Kat belakang kedai payang pada waktu malam lagi cantik. Lampu warna warni. Sorry panjang comment ni. Excited baca entry you. Zaman I kecil tak ada lagi pintu gerbang. Tapi di situ lah pusat kita membeli segala barang. Itu lah Kampong Cina.

    1. Hi fzad! Sorry lambat reply. Terima kasih kerana sudi komen. PH seronok sangat balik KT. Dah banyak perubahan. Ada banyak tempat yang PH tak kenal. Sekolah SS memang the best! OK, pasal Kedai Binjai. Ingat tak dulu ada panggung wayang (lupa Cathay atau Rex) tapi sekarang dah jadi supermarket (same row lah dengan Menara Permint tapi dia belah kiri kalau kita menghadap). Kedai Binjai sebaris dengan panggung wayang lama tapi hujung sikit bersebelahan dengan kedai Yik Thye (Jalan besar tu kalau kita right turn, kita masuk Kg Cina. Confusing tak? Hee..hee..sorry kalau susah nak faham. Patutnya PH ambik gambar lokasi.

    2. Lagi petanda. Dari Kedai Binjai, kalau kita jalan sikit dan corner, kita akan sampai pintu gerbang Kg Cina. Very near!

    3. Dah faham. Next time balik nak pergi. Semua mesti kenal kedai Yik Thye. Satu lagi kedai gambar Tokyo dekat masjid

  13. Thanks for taking us on a "trip" in your hometown :) The beach looks pretty nice, despite the litter. I wouldn't mind living closeby and going there on the weekends.

    1. Yen, when we were kids we could have taken a walk to the beach but heh...heh...our mum was very strict and we stayed indoors most of the time. I wasn't very adventurous anyway :)

  14. Hi PH! Wishing you and your loved ones a very prosperous year of the Horse! Gong Xi Fa Cai!!!

  15. Reminds me of my trips to Rayong, in Thailand - just know... cleaner. I'm digging all the food you got to try and can't wait til you make your own versions!

    1. Hi Toby! Yes, we are pretty similar to Thailand. Stay tuned, I'll get down to experimenting but it won't be so soon :)

  16. Gong Xi Fa Cai Phong Hong
    thanks for the memory lane down your hometown. I love looking east coast beaches, I can sit there listening to the waves for hours. most probably i'll go fly a kite too, like a kid once more :)

    1. Hi Shannon! Gong Xi Fa Cai! You should make KT your next local holiday destination :)

  17. Your brother looks like someone I know...or are all KT guys built that way? LOL!!! :D

    1. Now you know the clan are all big hefty people! Hee..hee...

  18. Not a self-indulgent post at all! I really enjoyed reading about Kuala Terengganu, and loved seeing pictures of the place- very raw and very honest photos :) Hope you had a good trip! x

    1. Thanks, Shu Han! I had a great trip and I should go home more often :)

  19. Tahun awal 90an..tapak hotel seri malaysia merupakan kawasan gerai makan nasi lauk budu... Tapi byk lalat lolll....

    1. Oh, ye ke? Masa tu saya dah menetap kat KL :)


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