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Monday, October 16, 2017

Blue Ocean and Cold Mountain







My last road trip had been quite a while now for some years, and I had been badly in need of a getaway from work and the hum drum of daily life. So when KT asked if I was available to do a road trip on the week 9-13th Oct, it was just timely. ZL would be away on another trip to exotic turkey to learn Belly dancing, and KT had a compulsory school break and he would be alone. In view that the girls were schooling, I would only be bringing wifey and son only. It would be R first long trip away from home. The last we did was when we travelled to Malacca over the turn of the new year 2017. But he was growing up fast and his mind was opening up and getting aware about things around him. He also started speaking rather well, and we are starting to hear the darnest things from him. (like "green go, red stop, yellow, watch out!")

We pondered on where to go, and few places came to mind. KT would have the family car for the week, and we could drive anywhere on the Malaysia map, it seemed. We even thought of crossing the border to Thailand. Eventually, we settled on going to Redang, a place that had eluded me for a while due to the long distance to get there. KT said he would then packed his diving gear and do some dives there. He had been there some 5-6 years ago, and it helped that he was familiar on how to book the accommodation and the ferry there.  


Info about Redang:

"Pulau Redang is the largest island off Terengganu's east coast in Peninsular Malaysia, a popular tourist destination famed for its crystal blue waters, warm sandy beaches and rich coral reefs. A distant neighbour south of Perhentian Islands, Redang may be accessed by ferries and speedboat from Kuala Terengganu and Merang, with an option for a direct flight from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. A limited range of large family resorts provide midrange and luxury accommodation on the island, most of which are situated at Pasir Panjang (largest beach at east coast). Together with nine smaller surrounding islands, Pulau Redang forms a protected marine park for eco-tourism."

"Redang Island is best visited from March till October, with December to February being a strong monsoon period where some resorts shut down. From the main jetty at Teluk Siang, a paved road splits across the island's center to Teluk Dalam, passing through the main village and ending at Taaras Resort. From this point, a moderate jungle trail (30-45 minutes) leads across the hilly cape to Pasir Panjang at east coast, where most of the island's hotels are concentrated (but receive their guests via pontoon transfer from the main jetty), with a few more at neighbouring Teluk Kalong.



With beautiful coral reefs and rich marine life, snorkeling is the main tourist activity at Redang, with some diving in between. Resorts will organise boat trips for guests to snorkel the waters off neighbouring islands and remote beaches, including the marine park center. Hence, watch out for jellyfish when swimming in the waters. Facilities such as restaurants and sundry shops are mostly limited to those within resorts, making each hotel an all-in-one holiday venue."

http://www.redang.info/



Day 1

Setting off early in the morning at 6.30am, we crossed the border without much of a problem. Traffic then was smooth being a Monday morning. First order of things was to get breakfast before the long drive ahead. We randomly picked a wanton stall near Sentosa. Eating halfway, we were quite amused to see a giant rat scuttling across the floor. KT said that his brother's wife had a pet rat that size or bigger. O_O.
On the way..

Soon we were en-route to Kuantan. Along the way, we passed by our favorite exit to Sibu Kelong. But alas, that was no more. KT initial plan was to stay at Kuantan for the night, before heading up to Shah Bandar Jetty. But seeing that he actually drove rather "fast and furious", we were already at Kuantan by noon. We settled for lunch at East Coast Mall, at the Banana Boat place at my recommendation, East Coast Mall was rather huge and probably the hippest joint in Kuantan. We did some shopping. KT for his contact lens, and me just general misc. We discussed and decided that since we have time, we would head up towards Kota Bahru and find a hotel for the night there. It would also be conveniently be much nearer to the Jetty. The drive was another 3 hours or so.

Lunch at Banana Boat, ECM (East Coast Mall)
I remote control his monster truck...he thot he driving...don't say..
L's favorite character
Along the way, while toying with my Garmin on my phone, I chanced upon a turtle sanctuary. Look rather interesting and to break the monotony of the drive, we stopped to check it out. We found ourselves outside the gate of Club Med, with a nice expanse of beach in front of us. Unfortunately, the turtle sanctuary seemed to have closed. (maybe there was no more turtles anymore coming to the beach). So after some pictures (sans turtle), it was back to the car, and onwards to Kota Bahru.
At the Club Med's Beach...see my yacht behind?
Turtle Sanctuary...alas, closed

The big turn to Clud Med
Panoramic View of the nice beach
I think we arrived there somewhat about 5.30pm. The next step was to find suitable (and affordable) accommodation. KT was quite open to very cheap accommodation being a seasoned backpacker type of person. However, from my past experience in MY, cheap often could be seedy and dirty. I don't really want to see cockroaches running all over in the room as with the one time at KL. After checking out a few, we settled for a room at RM170 for a suite to accommodate 3 adults and 1 child. To me, it was reasonable enough. After settling our luggage in the hotel, we set out to the local mall for dinner.
The J Suite hotel at Kota Bahru
Comfortable room
Time for dinner at the food court
R's favorite...Pok Pok
The MyDIN Mall at Kota Bahru
Here the mall was more of a "Giant" type of mall, catering for more local produce. The mall was called MyDin mall. We went to an open food court area to get our dinner. Dinner was a simple affair of Prata, and economic Malay dishes with Teh Tarik. Rather cheap too. After that, we did some shopping. At one point, A was carrying her baby carrier (a long piece of cloth) and R was walking on his own. A lady staff approached her and asked why she was not donning her "tudung"! That kind of showed how conservative this place was. In Kota Bahru (Trengganu), all ladies have to don the tudung, else the religious police would get you.
Day 2

Early next morning, we checked out of the hotel and headed to the Jetty. It was only about 1 Km away from the town. KT had to pay for parking, and that would cost RM15 per day. The parking man, with ultraman looking hairstyle, was rather chatty and came to do his PR on us. So for 3 days, it would be RM45. Then it was to the ferry terminal. Tickets were RM55 per person, one way. Thankfully, they didn't think R had to pay. So it was RM55 x 2 x 3, total RM330. Quite a hefty sum. KT wrongly thought it was small bumboats, confusing it for the ferry he took to Perhentian. The ferry was actually the type that you would take to Batam, rather big kind. And the ride was slightly more than an hour. Not near.
Breakfast just outside of the hotel

Doing the "forklift" while waiting for the ferry
Going on the boat
On the upper deck
Group photo on the ferry

Arriving at Redang, we all had to change to another landing craft/RPL type of boat to get nearer to the shore. But good thing was that the whole process was rather dry and there wasn't a need to touch the seawater. From there, Trains pulled by Tractors would bring us all to our resort respectively. All very organized. R was elated at riding on a tractor driven train, Blippi style. In a mere 5 minutes, we were at the entrance of Redang Paradise. The resort looked clean and nice. Not a bad choice by KT to book us here. The room itself was rather special. It was actually a double decked room, with another 2 beds on top accessible by ladder. KT took the upper half while my family took the lower half. R however could not resist going up to the upper half to visit his Kor Kor "fox-cee" (Forklift)


After "landing" from this landing craft
Sitting on the Tractor...




Yay! We are finally here!
Checking in. My luggage choop the floor oredi

Scene from Ju'on

Monkey jumping on the bed


My "fox-cee" kor kor

Wild animal at Redang
By then, it was almost lunch. So, we recced around the bay to find a place for lunch. We lunched at one of the many resorts along the bay. Our plan was to eat at different place for every meal. There certainly was enough food places for us to try. At our bay, there were probably about 7-8 resorts. Once you made a turn, there would be another 5-6 resorts along the other bay. There were other bays in Redang, but not all are accessible to each other. We were situated on the eastern side of Redang. From the map, there were other bays and other resorts dotted around. There was even an airport at the center of Redang, and "city" area. However, they were inaccessible to us.


Our first lunch here, not bad
Overview of the island. We are on the centre right of the island

After lunch, KT went around the dive centers to book his diving for the next day. I was told that it was about RM80 per dive, and he would be doing 3. That day was rather hot, and I wasn't up to doing anything that would burn me up during the afternoon. However, KT was all suited up, "terrorist" style. After lunch, KT and I did a short recce of the place and around the bend, and then it lead to another bend where it was the place that I originally booked, "Delima Resort". Thankfully we changed to Redang Paradise. This place looked run down and the beach in front had seen better days. Walking further down, it was another resort that KT originally stayed some 5 years ago. The entire place was in a shambles, and looked out of operation now. Perhaps the beach was much nicer than. Clearly, it had not been maintained here. There were many rubbish, plastic bottles etc. And the sand was littered with broken corals and stones, not like the powdery sand in front of our resort. Thinking that it could lead further down to the central area, we walked till we were blocked by a rocky cliff and we could go no further. KT did try to wade over the rocks with his long stilty legs but it was unpassable, unless if you are swimming over. Interestingly, someone left a long rope up to the cliff. I wonder for what.
I driving a Tractor!
Kena Kidnapped by fearsome Terrorist

Messy jetty to the far hidden right of our resort
Oh...the Delima Resort
Unsightly place
KT previous resort where he stayed
Only long legged creature should attempt this
Wahsay, mountain climber was here
Along the way, there was the interesting "mo-mo tea inn", which was a famous Hong Kong movie taken here many decades ago. I believed that that was the movie that made Redang famous then, and many would flocked to Redang to take pictures in front of this place. I also could not resist having my photo taken here too.  
Can I be the lead for Mo Mo Cha 2?

Scene from the movie. No one remembers it now
That afternoon, KT went out to the sea to do some recceing, to test water so to speak. Due to the hot sun, we kind of chill in the room, and catching up on our sleep. Thanks to modern technology, the room was even air conditioned and the sleep was a restful one. (Oh, did I mention that we have WIFI too!?) About an hour later, KT came back and reported that the water were full of fishes and said that we could snorkel in that area. My last experience with snorkeling (in Tioman) was paying for some boat to bring us to fishy waters, and jumping out from the boat with a life vest. So this was a bit new to me, this free form of snorkeling. Anyhow, I was game to give it a try. Dressed in my bermudas, I wade into the water, and followed KT to the area with the big rock at the end of the bay. True enough, there were plenty of inquisitive fishes. It seemed that the fishes were not afraid of humans, and even look at us as a sign of food. People must have been bringing bits of sausages and biscuits to feed them. 
No wonder Nasi Lemak is so popular
Is that a Barracuda?
Hello, did you see Nemo?
What's that thing on my face!?

How come my jacket is PINK?

KT took some interesting pictures of me underwater. KT had this underwater camera that could be brought into the water without any waterproof casing. It was actually pretty cool. For the first time in my life, I actually have a picture of myself in the water teeming with fishes. KT spied a Todak and quickly grabbed my hands to orientate me towards it. This strange fish look pretty in the sea, a new perspective from looking at it from the top of a Kelong. Nearing the other side of the rocky outcrop, KT also turned my attention to 2 juvenile sharks. Funny how they looked so harmless for the reputed killers of the sea. At this end of the beach, the bottom was full of rocks and corals, and I had to be careful not to step on it. There were plenty of folks also at this end snorkeling around and feeding the fishes as well.
The fishes demanded; Give me food!

Optical illusion
A and R were playing with sand by the beach. R loved the sand and he could sit there whole day long building his sand castle. Good thing was that we brought along some beach toys to keep him occupied. After my round the rocky outcrop swim with KT, A and R were at the other side of the beach to welcome us back. We then wanted to try R with snorkeling and carried him into the shallow waters. But he was terrified of the fishes, and wasn't too comfy with the mask on him. But at least he made some progress. Back home, he wouldn't even want to go into the swimming pool water.

This sand is so fun! Better than my playground one..
Don't disturb, I sun tanning

Don't...I DO myself...
For dinner that night, we dined at another place, trying out different food. As I remembered, it was decent. I also realized that the food here is very reasonable, at Malayisa standard of living. Given the same type of resort and food in Batam, it would have cost an arm a leg. Thereafter when it got dark, there wasn't much to do but to laze around. R wanted us to turn on Youtube, but alas the TV here was not capable of doing that. We slept early that night, since we woke up rather early that morning to catch the 9am ferry.

The 3 beach hunks

I so happy! I found my NA! (Ribena)
Chilling at the Resort dining area, eating peanuts
Day 3
Next morning, we had breakfast at our resort. It was provided as part of the stay. Breakfast was American breakfast style with beans and eggs and sausages. KT kept some uneaten sausages and bacon to bring along for his dive later. Shortly then, he went off for his first dive of the day. We didn't have much to do except to walk around the island. Since I had recced with KT yesterday towards the southern side of the island, we walked to the northern side this time round. Upon reaching the end, I spied a road leading towards the back of the resorts. We continued walking to see what was on the other side. R wasn't cooperative and refused to walk, being scared of the dark road. So A had to carry him all the way. I try to take over but he refused and only wanted mommy. I realized that he was very much a mommy boy, and was sticky to her the whole trip. He would only come to me when he wanted TOYS.

Breakfast!
The road was clearly a service road, for the workers to work behind the scene. It kind of run parallel to the row of resorts in front of the beach. From here, I can see all the disarray of rubbish and unkempt housings for the workers. It even smelt bad at some stretch. So, it was pretty much a show on the front, with the white sands and pristine beach. But all the dirty secrets were kept backyard. We chanced upon some monkeys and A&R were terrified and insisted that I get a stick to scare them off. Halfway round, seeing that A was struggling with R, we turned out and found ourselves at the resort near the rocky outcrop. I left A&R playing the sand there and continued on the service road till it reached the end. The road finished near the Delima resort place and could not go further. From my Garmin, I could see that I have covered the entire round of the bay area this side. Interestingly, along the way, we saw a signage pointing to a jungle track. Later I found a Youtube of some past islanders making the trek across the jungle. From the map, it looked like they could reach the center part of the island. The video confirmed it, showing them reaching the other side exiting at the beach area. However, it looked like a fair distance, probably about 7-8km. That was too far for me to venture on my own, and also worrying about the way back.
Hidden service road behind

Aha! A trekking trail, to the OTHERS on the other side
OMG..it stink. Worker's quarters
No cleaner than places at Marsiling
The monkey beating stick that I picked up

GPS track round the resort area. I did the whole loop..only started tracking halfway
KT came back from his dive and showed us some nice underwater pictures from his camera. That afternoon, he would 2 more dives. We went for lunch, but he wasn't in an eating mood, seeing that he had to dive later. Full stomach on a dive would make divers uncomfortable in the water. That afternoon, R played more sand. We realized that the beach was full of sand flies. Appropriately, there was even a cafe in front of the beach called sand fly cafe. We tried to rub ointment on R to keep the sand flies away. But good thing was that the sand flies don't really bite so aggressively. Maybe they are quite full with all the beach goers here. I gotten a few bites and R also got about 2 bites, I think.
R got no footprints in the sand...haha
Sandfly....ouch!
After KT was back from his dives, I asked him to take A around the outcrop like what I did yesterday. So R was left with me on the sand, when A followed KT to the attempt the swim around. However A wasn't comfortable once the water got too deep and only ended up snorkeling around the shallow area. Personally for me, the cool part was when the water got deep and the feeling was that the world (and all its cares and worries) melted away. It was a nice feeling to put my head into the water and hear only the peaceful sound of the sea. Although there was less fishes, it was wonderful to see all the living creatures and corals in the ocean that the world is fast depleting of. The current was rather strong but I still could manage to paddle my hands to move myself forward.
Feeding the fishes with OREA (good life, the fishes)
That evening, we had dinner again. Seeing that KT had not eaten well, we headed for a better dinner place. This time, it was a nice looking restaurant with low lighting and posh candle light setting. Food was spicy and delicious rice and A and KT liked it very much. KT paid for this round of the dinner.
Atas restaurant in Rendang...but affordable for us 
Day 4
We decided to head back on the 7am ferry seeing that we had already accomplished all we came here to do. So after a night rest, we all woke up early in the morning to pack. This time round, I tried to catch the sun rising. We were located towards the east, exactly perfect to see the sun rise. There wasn't time to eat at the table for our breakfast and the resort had it packed for us to eat on the ferry. The tractor came again and we loaded up to be taken to the landing boat, and then transfer to the ferry proper. From there, another hour or so to reach the mainland at Kota Bahru. Reaching the carpark, car was still intact. The PR parking man came and did some small talk with us, and soon we were on the way.






Beautiful sunrise on Rendang bidding us goodbye

At the resort, we had discussed the next destination. Initially, we were thinking Tasik Kenyir, when was just further south of Kota Bahru. However from my research with the resort WIFI, it seemed that there needed much preparations. And the only decent hotel seemed to be closed (for maintenance and upgrade?). Other options were to take a boat house, but that would require 10 or more people. And to rough it out, you could rent tents. But with a baby in tow, that didn't look like a good option. So I looked further, and an appropriate halfway mark back to Singapore would be KL. KT was ready to go Genting even. However, I thought of Fraser Hill, a place that I never had been. KT thought it was a good idea, as he only had been there in 1996, when he was a boy. So he couldn't remember anything from the place. From what I know, Fraser Hill was modelled to be a little England in Malaysia with quaint colonial housing. And also, it was 1500ft above sea level (Genting is 1700ft), with a temperature of around 17-25C all year round. Activities here were to be hiking and birdwatching. (due to the bio diversity here). Beyond that, nothing really much to do. But a one day stay here would be perfect.

Info about Fraser Hill from another website.
"Fraser’s Hill is a highland resort destination nestled among the mountains of Pahang, located about two hours away from Kuala Lumpur. Locally known as Bukit Fraser, this cooling holiday retreat is popular for its nature activities and cooling climate, attracting not just locals escaping the city heat, but visitors from Singapore and other international locations. It is also one of the last hill stations of Malaysia, an imprint left behind by former British colonial masters. Fraser’s Hill has its roots in the 1890s, when Scottish prospector Louis James Fraser opened up a tin mine but mysteriously vanished in 1915. In 1917, the bishop of Singapore rediscovered Fraser's Hill while on a hunt for the man, providing suggestions for the area to be developed into a hill station which was brought to fruition by authorities."

"Fraser's Hill can be found in the central region of Peninsular Malaysia in the state of Pahang. It lies about two hours north of Kuala Lumpur and 400km away from Singapore in the south. Bukit Fraser has an average altitude of 1,200 meters high but its highest point rises at 1,500 meters at the Telekoms loop. Meanwhile, the base of the Gap road is about 800 meters in height. Generally, the months with the least rainfall fall between April till September, during the lapse in the monsoon season. This would be the best time to travel if you dislike wet surroundings, but the weather can still be unpredictable. It is also recommended to go during off peak seasons, which are months that have no major public or school holidays, in order to enjoy cheap accommodation in hotels and smaller crowds. Temperatures usually range between 22 - 28°C during the day and 16°C to 20°C at night."

http://www.fraserhill.info

Soon, we were enroute from Kota Bahru towards KL. Going by the expressway, it was rather fast. We had to hit all the way back to Kuantan and then route towards Karak highway and to KL area. Fraser Hill was a little north of KL and the roads were fairly devoid of traffic, and we reached there around 2.30pm, in time for lunch. Originally from the GPS, the expected arrival time was 2pm. However from the foot of the hill, the way up was full of twisty bends and turns, and narrow roads. So, not an easy drive up. That took about 1 hour before we reached the town center, marked by the iconic town clock. Feeling hungry, we looked for a place to eat first, before looking for accommodation. Spotting a nice looking "teahouse" with ample parking, we stopped there to refuel our stomachs. To our surprise, food was really good, and the setting was perfect. R was enjoying his fish fingers, and wanted to try out the binoculars that they had there. (In retrospect, I think now that the binoculars was for bird watchers).
Passed by Bentong on the way
Can you see Genting Highlands!
Very winding and narrow roads up
This is like the halfway mark, I think

Nice lunch at the "teahouse"

Picture at the teahouse

Hey, they are ready for Halloween
Hoo~~ I am a scary GaberShark Arg Arg Arg...(R's description of things scary)
One of the bungalow, for public to rent
Lady caretaker came out and asked what I want...
Next was to find suitable accommodation. I had read about the "ole smokehouse" and we drove there to check out the prices. It came out to about RM510 for the lot of us. I thought it was fairly cheap, but KT was astounded by the cost. So, we headed to the Punchak hotel that we spotted along the way. This place was cheap, and it only cost RM200 for a suite for a family room. So we grabbed it and settled down in our new lodging for the night. The place was huge and even had another "living" area that KT could sleep. We soon realized that for that day, we were the only people staying there on the floor. This lodging seemed to be preferred by the locals as we could see groups of them at the lobby, smoking and using their phones and laptops. WIFI here was only available at the lobby.
We settled for this Punchak hotel (strange name..I thot Punchik tyre..)
Recept looked good
Arg...how come got this random "tiger" on the roof?
Come R, let's run to the top!
Help...Kor Kor FoxCee gone crazy...
Hoo~~~
I so high!
Can see me?
For the afternoon, we went driving around the place to check it out. We headed to the Allan's water place, thinking to try the paddle boats. However, R was below the allowed height, and could only get a package of fish food to feed the fishers. Nevertheless, we had fun. Once a while, the clouds would engulf us and the whole place would turn foggy. After that, we went driving around to look further. There were plenty of bungalows that public could rent to stay. We went into one and out came a caretaker and asking what we needed. She was rather friendly and let us walk around to see the place. Many of the places looked rather rundown, and in lack of maintenance. Some even looked spooky and haunted. That night, we headed back to the ole smokehouse for dinner. I wanted to try it out, given the reputation of this place. The setting was indeed very quaint, and we were ushered to a fireplace to look through our menu before leading us to the dining room for our food. R saw that there were 3 candles being lighted on the table and said it was his birthday. (just nice, 3 candles). Dinner was traditional western style meal of pasta and steaks and chops. After dinner, he insisted to blow out "his candles". :). Although the food here is upmarket, a single set here was about RM30, which was just $10 to us. So, really affordable. For this meal, it totaled RM150, which KT insisted on paying.

Having Teh Tarik at the food court




Feeding the fishes at Allan's water
Can you see KT in the fog?
Let me tell you a story..
It's MY birthday..see 3 candles?
I want to stay this house..
Day 5
After dinner, back to the hotel and we rested for the night. The next morning, I suggested to try out the waterfall sign that I had saw earlier. I was half worried that the waterfall would be a tiny stream of water not worth the effort. However upon reaching the place, it looked good. But unfortunately, R refused to walk the rather muddy track and had to be carried. He also didn't want me to carry him, but only his mommy. Poor A had to carry this 15kg load all the way up and down the track and steps. At the early section of the track, I thought that was it for the waterfall. Thankfully, KT run ahead to check it out deeper and indeed found the proper location of the waterfall. But that included some many steps down (I think about 10 storeys). A had to walk slowly to reach the place. The waterfall was indeed fun, and the air around it was charged with positive ions and refreshed all of us. We took some pics and attempted to touch the waterfall. R at that time also accidentally wet himself (due to the cold air), and had to take off his pants to don his diapers. He was quite terrified of the rushing waters, but gamely took some pictures with us. The way back up was tedious, and I had to cajole him to let me carry him up the steps at the promise of more toys. That took quite a bit of effort from me, but luckily, we managed to carry him all the way up before the slope lead uphill with a gentler slope. From there, A took over to carry him.


Come here for my morning swim
Photo looked nice


Quick a walk in, with a 15kg load..
We are here!
Don't tell anyone I wee wee here ok?
So cold!
Swanlake...
My version..
Next activity for us was to head towards the Paddock place, where I read that they had horse riding. From the outside, it looked close. Fortunately when we went in to check, it was open, although just barely. The staff readied up the horse for the ride when we waited at the embarking point. I read that the horses here were retired race horses. When we asked, we were told that the horse that R rode on was 10 years old. After A sat on the horse, R funnily got scared and wanted to run away. KT then carried him and passed him to A on the horse. But once on the horse, he was giggling and enjoying his ride, being the first time riding on a horse. After the ride, he wanted to pat the horse, but for some reasons, the horse that day was rather grouchy and kind of gesture/shook his head to him, warning him not to touch him. But nevertheless, it was an enjoyable ride, and only for RM11. Yet again, we were the only ones here, and had the place all to ourselves. The morning was cold and foggy, something that we don't get in Singapore. Within the enclosure, there was an archery place, but we were not so interested in it.


Don't know if the horse wake up oredi or not?
Hi Mr Horse..

Hee hee...so fun..
Thereafter, we looked for a lunch place for our last meal here before checking out and heading back to Singapore. R had to get his toy that I promised and we shopped at some hotel convenience shops for yet another bulldozer/tractor toy. But it was cheap. For food, I had wanted to try this Green Roses place at the food court. I had read somewhere that it served this famous Nasi Lemak with newspaper cuttings and all. Sadly when we arrived, although the place was opened, the Nasi Lemak was all sold out, even at 10.30am. We then settled on this Shazan place, a posh looking hotel with their own restaurant. R had his pizza and I had oxtail soup with rice. (can't remember what the rest ate). Food was nice amidst the nice setting. After that, we had to rush back to the hotel and check out. Official checkout was 12pm, but we did it like 12.30pm.


Aiyah...5 chopsticks...but sold out!
More posh hotel here


I got my PIZZA!



We were here 2017
So it was all the back "fast and furious" back to JB, via the north south expressway. The route lead us through KL, which was rather congested, even on a friday's afternoon. Clearing the KL section took some time before we get onto E2, which traffic was much smoother all the way 300km back to KL. Along the way, the car in front got snapped for speeding, and KT was quick to slow down. So, he was rather alert to cameras located on the expressway. We also passed a bad accident on the other side of the expressway where an oil tanker toppled over. R cutely asked, "Is anyone injured?” We reached JB around 7.30pm, and we thought of heading towards the Kilang Bateri place that I had read about. It is basically a night market made up of containers. Alas, we didn't have internet and I couldn't quite located the GPS location. Luckily, KT had some roaming plan and was able to text the guys on our whatsapp group. AN revert with the address shortly. But strangely, the GPS could not direct us there but lead to some shop houses instead. KT had to pump petrol and I asked for directions there. We were told to go further down 4 traffic lights, and we couldn't miss it. Yet, 4 traffic lights later, we turned into another row of shop houses, which was clearly not the place. I asked another person and was directed further down. Still, further down did not yield any "night eatery" place. I was about to give up when KT said to go even further down as we all spied a place with big neon arrows. We were then elated to find that it was indeed that place and we had found it. Quickly parking, we went inside finally to Kilang Bateri.
The back part of the oil tanker is hidden in the photo...
Kilang Bateri was definitely a hip place, with many varied shops and eating choices. This place was so called as it was made up of containers to form night shopping eating place. It was an upmarket version of Pandan City so you don't get the very cheap (and low quality) stuff here. There was pubbing, shopping, eating, gaming and even a gocart arena place. We had a simple dinner actually at the indoor food court, with KT and I doing some Nan Kebab style of food. R had his waffles while A had her Bakso. But actually, the food places outside the indoor area was more happening which we later found out. Seeing the lack of time, we left the place shortly and then headed to get KT's car washed and then it would be back to Singapore. KT for just RM10, had his car shampooed (snow washed) and interior all cleaned up like new. Going back, checkpoint was very smooth and should he dropped us at our block, completing our week-long road trip. For him, another 30km or so before he would reach home.


We are here at Bateri....actually it means Battery
So many TOYS!

The outer area with the hippier eatery
Wash car