Travel & Trip

Concentrated Coffee meets Stuffed Crab @ Kemaman

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The memories of my previous “Ultimate Trip” back to Terengganu still linger up my head. Sight of the weird-looking-but-overrated crab stuffed with crab meat & spices visualizes over my already congested head. And not forgetting the ridiculously concentrated, “coffee-gao-gao” (“gao” in Cantonese means concentrated) from this place.

Concentrated Coffee meets Stuffed Crab @ Kemaman, Terengganu

July 2009

When these two objects are mentioned, one can’t help to start thinking about the small town of Chukai, or more commonly known as Kemaman, Terengganu.

For the information of people who are not really that familiar with Malaysia’s tourism & point of interest, Chukai is a small, tiny administrative town in the south of Terengganu state. The name of this town, Chukai, comes from an old Malay word for tax, as during the old days, taxes are collected along the waterway of Kemaman River.

Besides the few government offices’ branches which are situated in this town, it serves as also a resting place for most travelers who often travel to the east coast, be it for leisure or work. And….this is where some “good” food is located.

You ask, why the inverted commas’ in the word “good” food? Because I would say, there are some foods which are really good, some which are merely mediocre level. Well, we have to understand that sometimes, some over-marketed foods are not up to the standard.

Stories aside, pictures do the talking.

This ordinary looking restaurant is where you get your stuffed crab a.k.a “over-rated-crab-of-the-East-Coast”. Period.

Menu of the restaurant. Yes, they do have a variety of food here besides the popular stuffed crab, most of them are seafood. Notices there are no prices stated over here? Wait till you see the bill….later.

As I was there quite early that day, there are not much people here. Notice there are Muslim diners over here; this place is a halal restaurant!

I have to admit the service here are fast (maybe there is no customer at that time?), just after a while of ordering food, here comes my “over-rated” stuffed crabs!  RM7.50 each piece; well, worth the deal, & these 4 guys cost me RM30.00! LOL.

The inside filling of the stuffed crab. Notice the amount of crab meat & spices in the crab; this, I have to give credit to them. The taste, however….well, ordinary, not as “perfect” as expected.

These…these 2 garlic butter prawns cost RM10.00 per 100grams. Each prawn weights 100grams, minimum order 200 grams, which means these 2 guys cost me RM20.00! OK, I guess THIS is the icing of the cake, the one who tops up my bill later on. And their taste isn’t so outstanding at all!

An ordinary looking lemon chicken dish. Nothing fancy about this, really. I just ordered this randomly. RM10.00 a dish.

Overall view of what I’ve ordered for that day. And the best part is….I get to eat all these by myself, no sharing, & I can take my own, sweet time to slowly chump on the food! I love my solitude…..seriously.

Stomach’s full, appetite fulfilled, time to pay the bill. Oh wait a minute, did I just remembered I ate alone just now? And I didn’t order that much items? How come my bill comes up to a freaking RM63.40? Freaking outrageous, this place is your “wallet killer”!!

After much convincing myself that the over-charged bill was totally slaughter, I’m hit by another “bill”; a summon from our friendly town council friends, who happen to work on.a.freaking.Saturday.

That’s not the best part; the best part is the parking machine is faulty, I can’t really think of a way to pay my parking, I didn’t see anyone else who paid their parking over there, & their office to pay off the summon isn’t open on that day. WTH! Ok, I’m sending this bill off to the bin.

During the noon, while I was restlessly wandering around Chukai town, I came by this coffee shop. Wait a minute, this is no ordinary coffee shop; it’s the popular Hai Peng coffee shop which serves authentic Hainan “coffee-gao-gao”!

Without much thinking, I went straight in to get my dose of caffeine. Hmmm…they have a decent menu over here. And since I like the look of their Hainanese coffee, I’m getting that one.

For those of you who don’t really fancy hot coffee, you can also opt for cold coffee such as this fancy looking “Ice-Blended Cocoa Lava”. Oh yes, this IS good. I bought one back before leaving Chukai town & the energy that the coffee provides was unbelievable!

Despite the large number of people here, services are fast too. Within minutes, I got my order of a hot Hainanese coffee. Ohhhh, so they do look weird like this. & what is that metal thing doing up my cup of caffeine?

So they just grind those coffee beans up the metal thing & leave the extracts to flow down my coffee? Nice! I have to admit, this is the 1st time ever I drank this kind of coffee & it’s a great way to present your coffee too!

After playing around with spinning, grinding, or whatever you name it, it’s time to move the metal thing away & take a peek at my coffee below…and…..

I felt a huge wave of strong caffeine aroma striking my nose the moment I remove off the metal thing. It was unbelievable! Yes, although I have to admit it do looks like Milo mixed with coffee in this image, but wait till you really test the coffee!

Besides serving coffee, they do serve toasts like this popular “Kaya Toast”. They have it in both round bread or the ordinary Hainan soft bread. Take your pick, both taste good!

Notice the amount of people patronizing this coffeeshop; this is another halal coffee shop!

The interior deco of this shop really brings up the old school feeling; it’s as if you’ve just returned to your grandparents’ house!

They even have old plates hanging around the shop & a freaking old grandfather clock!

To keep a long story short, I’d stayed in Chukai, Kemaman for a day before leaving off to Marang to board the boat to Kapas Island (please refer to my previous post on that), & what I can say about this small town is….

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Go eat the stuffed crabs, but avoid other seafood.

Go drink the coffee, & take away one if possible.

Go park your car far enough from the sight of unfriendly town council folks.

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I’m off.

Will be posting another one in the near future.

FRIM – Yet another outing

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Outing to jungle is very rare nowadays especially on FRIM. Yet another outing during the weekend. I’m still remember it was organized due to request for photography. Although it has become my routine to keep my stamina on-going, FRIM wasn’t my first choice.

Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM)

February 2009

I’ve visited FRIM for countless time, but still visiting nowadays for light training. Hence, when I was bringing them here again, that’s why called Yet Another Outing. I parked inside car park which cost me RM5 and RM1 for each passengers that I brought in. Normally I rather walked in and save the car park fees.

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The Pulai, Desaru Beach

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Trip after trip and this was another trip right after Desaru Fruit Farm. Traveling from KL to Johor and back to KL on the same day is totally tiring. And that’s why our agent offered us an accommodation package @ The Pulai, Desaru Beach.

The Pulai, Desaru Beach

5 July 2009

The Pulai Resort is located in one of the most beautiful untouched beaches in the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, right in the heart of Desaru. I drove all along from KL to Johor in 4 hours and check-in to the resort at 1.30pm. The road stretch to the destination is clear and peaceful.

The entrance of The Pulai itself promotes tranquility to the visitors.

It’s unbelievable that I reached their resort finally by following their signboard for first time. That was a long time ago since I’m so wanted to visit Desaru but got no chances at all.

It’s totally different now since I got the freedom to go anywhere I wanted. Hehe.

Upon checking-in, I found that the room is quite spacious and very suitable for long holiday mood. I felt good. Umm..hope to stay longer.

When I went out to balcony, our room is facing garden view with slightly of sea view…which was considerably good.

Our room entrance is facing a small garden landscape. A good place for photography, I wished. Hope I got DSLR to realize my wish.

I chose evening time for beach scenery as it wasn’t too hot. We walked straight to the beach and having a good FAMILY TIME!!

Splash…splash…haha. Stay tune for the rest of pictures below.

Strong waves hitting the beach the moment we walked down. Not to forget about the strong wind.

As the current weather was very suitable for photo-shooting, they requested me to shoot their poses. Since this is my first beach shooting angles, I try to get some ‘feel’, but wasn’t quite satisfied. Arggghh.

The guy wasn’t ready!

But the girls were ready.

Not to forgotten our ‘hippo’ that following us everywhere we go, landed on the sand for the first time for the photo-shooting as well.

Please wash your feet before walk back to the resort…in fact, we do not wish to bring in those sands back to our room. Haha.

Family time! Family pose! We were having a good time at the pool, a definitely a long time since 13 years ago for our family.

Bro and sis pose!

To make a good use of my camera, I tried a few underwater shoots.

Here are 2 good shots, which were considerably looks natural.

When it’s comes for dinner, we drove to the nearest town.

We had it at Restoran Yoou Kee. It was a bad experience having our dinner here. Tell you what, when we asked for food listing, the owner seems lazy to explain more, instead forcing us to decide fast.

From the facts that I read for this eatery, it’s used to serve Singaporean customer and having a good relationship with agency to refer their customer to them. Because of that, they don’t serve well Malaysian customer due to not much business can be brought to them.

Yes, my parent are vegetarian, definitely seafood is not our choice. So what? We were not interested to you seafood packages.

So, as to return their favor, if you come across this restaurant called Yoou Kee @ Sungai Rengit, Johor, please avoid to eat there. The food was not quite tasty. It was disappointing for many meals especially CHICKEN dish! No meat on the skinny chicken they cooked.

As I don’t expecting any good food based on their customer service, my prediction was pretty correct.

The fish was over cooked.

The hot plate oyster egg has a rather strong smell of the sea.

The vegetables was oily and too much chillies. Overall, its taste hot, no point right?

For bill of RM180, it was not enjoyable at all.

After dinner, we went back to resort.

As time still early, we went to side beach for chatting. Probably it was the best time ever for my entire family outing. We formed out 3 pairs for ‘dating’ along the beach at night. Furthermore, it’s good to add oil on the relationship. LOL.

At 11pm, we all went back to our room for nap. Good night.

On the next day, we all have to wake up at 7am for breakfast. I reserved a big table of six for my family.

A very typical breakfast from the resort.

When I walked around the resort, I spotted this arrow sign. It was nice and I was curious about the mini zoo (40m) area. I was wondering.

Ohh…a mini zoo consists of rabbit, chicken and few birds in the cage. How come it’s located in the resort area and not elsewhere? Is it a norm for Johor tourist place where mini zoo is a must?

I tried to cam-whoring and its turn out to be fine. If you see properly, our hippo was joining as well.

And time for hippo…don’t nervous ok. HEHE.

Another good and peaceful morning walk-around the resort and beach…practically, we repeated what we did on previous day but different energy form. I was a bit hyper and climb up to their beach watching tower and shoot entire scenery. I sat down the beach and shoot chicks around (but not posted here..hehe).

I was bringing hippo everywhere from pool-beach-tower-tree for photo-shooting (not posted here due to excessive hippo presence doesn’t look good here).

Anyway, we check-out on time and back to KL straight away. Around 5pm, we reached our home safely. Bye-bye Desaru.

Well, the entire trip was giving me something that I least expected. Desaru is not just about The Pulai, but more than that. It’s yet to explore other places around, just alone the beach.

Do you think its worth for returning this place? Yes, if transportation cost and time is not your concern.

An Unfortunate Mishap @ Island of the Wool – Pulau Kapas

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DISCLAIMER: THIS IS A TRAVEL POST FROM AN AMATEUR TRAVELER WHO NEVER POSTS ANY OF HIS TRIPS ONLINE BEFORE. AS SUCH, KINDLY FORGIVE ANY ACTS OF INACCURACY OR MISTAKES ALONG THIS POST. THANKS A LOT FOR READING & SUPPORTING THIS BLOG ! CREDITS TO DEXXY FOR POSTING THIS ON HIS SITEDARK ONE

It took me 5 long months to plan this trip to Kapas Island in Terengganu, Malaysia. Yes, I may sound dramatic with the lengthy period & all, but initially this trip was part of my “master” plan, also known as “The Ultimate Trip” back to Terengganu, the state by the east coast where I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering, 2 years back. And that’s not the best part.

Kapas Island Resort @ Kapas Island (Pulau Kapas)

July 2009


The best part is….I went for this whole “Ultimate Trip” alone. And I really, really enjoyed the solitude. Long winded stories & deviations aside, back to the topic.

I drove all the way from my home at PJ to Marang in Terengganu, where the jetty to Kapas Island is. Marang is a small town with not many inhabitants living in it.

Most of the people there live by the sea, working as fishermen & travel agents for Kapas Island. Unlike the highly marketed & “latest hype” Redang Island that almost every single KL folk have been to before, Kapas Island is a small island located closest to the mainland.

Believe it or not, there’s an annual swimming event hosted by the local council, involving swimming all the way from the Marang beach to Kapas Island! And this whole process takes around 6 kilometers at most ! Yes, it is THAT near.

The Marang jetty to board to Kapas Island. Now start visualizing the Redang Island jetty at Merang (not to be confused with Marang) & cry.

Check out this jetty at Bali !! Ohhh…I mean, jetty at Kapas Island. Notice the significant difference between both the jetties ? Gosh!

Previously I’ve booked this package at Kapas Island Resort during the ever so popular MATTA Fair. Well, looking at the name of the resort, I’m sure most people will get cheated & say “Hey, that’s a resort which has the same name as the island ! I’m sure it’s going to be really good & nice !”

Think again.

Well, let’s just let the following pictures tell you the story & I’ll just leave the rating of this resort in your own hands. Like what people always say, a picture paints a thousand words.

The signboard you’ll stumble upon before entering the “resort lobby”. Ohh, nice signboard….wait till you see the lobby.

The “resort lobby”. From my opinion, it looks more like a staff quarters’ than a decent place to welcome your guests. Bad first impression, really.

The overall site map for the resort. Looks big, ehh ? Wait till you see their “chalets”.

I guess this is the only advantage this resort has. Wireless internet connection, or Wi-fi in short. They have W-I-F-I in a freaking tiny island off the east coast. Awesome!

Ohhh wait, who is this ? As expected….it’s me. Pardon me as I’m camera shy & my face is simply too ugly to be shown to public. My bad.

The beach off the resort. Although I can say the beach here looks quite decent, but I still prefer Perhentian Island’s (another island at Terengganu) beach.

THIS is Perhentian Island’s beach taken by myself 2 years back. Spot the difference & tell me you love this one more.

Oh gosh, the sea water here isn’t so clear after all. And the sand’s dark & rough. Hmm

Mysterious girl…I wish I can get to know her.

If these people just didn’t put the “Dive Centre” signboard there, I will really wonder why in the world are they placing their storeroom just beside the beach?

The bridge that leads to the “chalets”. Don’t really fancy the scene? Let’s move on…

Small swimming pool.

Ahhh, we’re finally at the “chalet”. Huh, what’s Perhentian Island doing over here? LOL.

The view of the double bed in the “chalet”. Yes, I have to admit it really do looks nice & cozy, but the mattress, comforter & towel are all not really clean & it’s kind of sticky too ! Wah seh….lucky I brought my own towel.

Here’s where you put your luggage & stuffs. But wait, what’s those brochures doing over there? That’s not mine…it should be those left by the previous guests. If so…..what in the world are those housekeeping people doing over here ? This should be cleared!

Ohhh, they have a mini fridge & a hot water kettle over here. Just for your information, the mini fridge are faulty & the kettle has some white powder substance in it which is un-washable. Now, tell me, do you want a cup of tea ?

This is the toilet. Looks ordinary, right? Nothing fancy, nothing special. That’s not all. They have no water heater/shower. SAD

What is this dark, gloomy picture? It’s the restaurant of the resort, where you have your meals. Meals are served buffet style over here.

This was my LUNCH for 2 days. Ordinary, plain, worse than what I can get at Kuala Terengganu’s town. Failure.

Maybe it’s just me, or is it that people here do fancy BREAKFAST more than anything else? At least the breakfast looks more hearty & decent. Thank God…

Hey, just now you were saying the food here are lousy & now you’re showing me a decent looking Chicken Chop dish? For your information, the one & only way to get such a decent looking dish is by ordering via ala-carte. Which means you have to PAY separately. Period.

This bed of flowers here are what you see right after exiting the restaurant. This, I have to admit, are really nice.

Ermmm, what happened? Did my camera fell into the sea while snapping some shots? No, this is just a picture taken while snorkeling off the resort. Thanks DeXXy for lending me his trusted water-proof camera!

Nemo….opps, I mean, Clown Fish spotted within the reefs. Notice how heavy are the density of the water as compared to the crystal clear waters of Perhentian & Lang Tengah islands.

DARKNESS invade the sea with ridiculously bright colors’ snorkeling gear. Now bite me.

Some random fish swam to me & whispered that I got cheated into this lousy & below par resort, & I should have opt for Perhentian or Lang Tengah Island instead. Ohh gosh, if only I have met you earlier, Mr Fish.

I guess this is the one & only underwater shot that is clearly lighted & decent. The rest are either too dark, highly dense, or blurred.

What in the world does a milk bottle has to do with surfing & snorkeling gears for rent? Nothing. Spotted on a camp site situated next to the resort.

Ohhh, did I just snorkeled all the way to Sipadan or something ? No, this is still Kapas Island. It’s just the view, that’s all. Notice the strong waves; it has been like that since the day I got into the island.

Fresh coconut water, straight from the coconut’s tree. Got it as a complimentary from a resort worker who so happen to be plucking coconuts like some monkey….I mean, some professional. Thanks, man.

With all the silence & tranquility surrounding the place, I managed to read 1 ½ books out of the 2 books I’ve brought over here. And the feeling is really…..priceless.

Ermmm…what’s this bunch of people doing over here at this secluded island ? Ohhh, they are teachers who came here for some team-building event. And this happened right on my last day of stay. Thanks for ruining the atmosphere, people.

Well, after looking at all the pictures I’ve posted above, do you think I’ll be returning to this place again ? Of course NOT. Once is more than enough, & I really, really discourage anyone from spending your precious vacation over here.

Go with the flow & opt for the over-crowded Redang Island instead of this island, or if you prefer silence & solitude like I do, opt for Lang Tengah. Perhentian stands in between the rating for Redang & Lang Tengah, but this island, especially this resort, is totally out of the race.

Nevertheless, all these are still my personal opinion. If you happen to stay before at Kapas Island & had a wonderful experience at other resorts or maybe even this same resort, please do share with us here. Sharing is caring, remember?

Till then……it’s time for the Dark One to reside within the shadows….again.

Eco-Challenge X @ Casa Racardho Port Dickson

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Eco-Challenge is best known as energy depletion activity with competent mindset. It’s a team event that requires fitness within the team and a high degree of understanding and commitment.

This year event is not easier but more interesting. It tested your endurance and ability to survive through the unexpected. Thanks to my previous experience of Eco-Challenge IX last year.

AmBank Challenge X

25 July 2009

A 12km endurance activity with non-stop challenges that you can never imagine. The race is covered different terrains such as road running, trail running, survival, mystery test and beach crawling. At least 10 obstacles involved which we have to overcome it before reaching our finishing point.

Total time taken is 5 hours!

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