Thursday, 28 July 2016

Hutan Rekreasi Tanjung Tuan, Melaka

Hutan Rekreasi Tanjung Tuan
I swear I didn't do that to the gate

Tanjung Tuan Recreational Forest
Jalan Pantai Tanjung Tuan
Port Dickson, Melaka

Entrance Fee: RM1 per person

Eh, Port Dickson in Malacca? 
Nope, I didn't fail my Geography but really. To find Tanjung Tuan (used to be known as Cape Rachado), you gotta get yourself to Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan but Malacca governs the place. The entrance is next to PNB Ilham Resort.

What's up there?
There's a lighthouse. Supposedly the oldest lighthouse in the country, the unverified sources claimed it was there since the Portuguese era. In 1606, Battle of Cape Rachado between Portuguese fleet and Dutch happened here. 

  Aside from exercise/trekking, visitors come here for bird watching. Then there are those who visit to see the "datuk", a shrine or the old tomb, to see Hang Tuah's footprint or just to see if they can confirm that Parameswara was buried here under the lighthouse.

Hutan Rekreasi Tanjung Tuan

Our initial plan was just to see the lighthouse. I didn't bring proper shoes so I wore my Fipper flip-flop and brought a bottle of water in my favourite #NikoNiko #perfectbucketbag SO inappropriate but I survived so we can safely conclude that the trek wasn't too hard.

  There was a storm the night before and along the tarred road, we found broken twigs and branches. The 'chaos' lent a magical charm to the forest. Complete with dunno-come-from-where mist I tell you.

Hutan Rekreasi Tanjung Tuan

Hutan Rekreasi Tanjung Tuan
Migration route. For birds.

Hutan Rekreasi Tanjung Tuan
Path I was attracted to is next to this signboard, just before the lighthouse carpark

I love how you can see gorgeous spots without leaving the main (tarred) road. It wasn't even a long road. Just about 800 meters slope walk shaded by the trees.

Hutan Rekreasi Tanjung Tuan

Hutan Rekreasi Tanjung Tuan
See. Told you got mist!
If you keep to the main road, you cannot miss the lighthouse. There are a few paths into the forest but please don't venture in without preparation like water, food and decent footwear. Oh and good sense of direction because this place seriously need more signboards. 

Hutan Rekreasi Tanjung Tuan
Stairs to the lighthouse

Hutan Rekreasi Tanjung Tuan
No entry

Hutan Rekreasi Tanjung Tuan
View behind the lighthouse

Hutan Rekreasi Tanjung Tuan
One of the paths to dunno where

Bored, two of us ventured into the forest using a small path (label: rintis) marked as towards Pulau (island) Intan on the left of lighthouse when you're facing the sea. To the right is Monkey Bay but I have no idea which path you gotta take to get there.

  Like I mentioned earlier, there was not enough signboard here so it might be a good idea to ask the staff at entrance and snap picture of the map before you use the paths. 

  On Rentis Rumah Api a.k.a rintis ke Pulau Intan, we didn't go all the way down because I got lazy halfway. Plus, there's another path off the main road (on left side if you're heading to the lighthouse) just before the lighthouse carpark that I wanted to try. I believe it's marked as bird watching path.

  I didn't know that the path led to a secluded beach and if we go the other way, we'll come out at the path before carpark! It was a big loop you see. I'll try to explain properly later.

  So, back on the increasingly steep path towards Intan Island, we turned back and met two local ladies at the Wakaf (gazebo) Perhilitan going down the path. Later, we'll meet them again on the beach we reached by taking the bird watching path before lighthouse carpark, proving it's just a big loop! This path had concrete steps so I was feeling more confident. But at the bottom, it was just earth before you find this poorly maintained wooden walkway.

Hutan Rekreasi Tanjung Tuan
Careful here

Hutan Rekreasi Tanjung Tuan
A well supposedly dug by the Dutch (or one of the angmohs I'm not sure which)

Hutan Rekreasi Tanjung Tuan
Camping area by the beach

We met the ladies (again) near the camping gazebo and one of them told us to take path on the right if we want to get to the light house (we didn't). She also told us that the "datuk" and Hang Tuah footprint are nearby, just down the beach.

Hutan Rekreasi Tanjung Tuan
I think that is Pulau Masjid with the invisible jamaah

Hutan Rekreasi Tanjung Tuan
"Datuk" aka keramat aka shrine

The Hang Tuah well is on the left of the shrine. The paths are just behind the well. Left to Pulau Intan and right to lighthouse. 

Hutan Rekreasi Tanjung Tuan
Another well- allegedly dug by Hang Tuah. Clean water.

There's an old grave that I wanted to visit but something happened and I changed my mind. Also, I didn't know which path leads to the old grave and apparently there's another old grave on Pulau Intan. A lot to see, which means I gotta return with a more sensible footwear (and bag), food and drinks!

Thursday, 21 July 2016

PNB Ilham Resort Port Dickson

PNB Ilham Resort Port Dickson

PNB Ilham Resort
Batu 10 Tanjung Biru
71050 Port Dickson
Negeri Sembilan

(+606) 662 6800

On the second day of Syawal, my family and I went to Port Dickson to unwind. Mom booked two 3-bedroom apartments for us and my uncles, aunts and cousins.

PNB Ilham Resort is a popular choice for family and companies. Pretty sure lots of you have been here for some programs or another. So expect crowds especially during check-in/check-out and breakfast.

I love our huge apartment! At less than RM100/person per night, it is a good deal when you are on vacation with family or group of friends. The apartments have up to 4 bedrooms. Room decor and furniture are a bit dated and worn but the units are well equipped with iron, kettle and mini bars. No cooking allowed though.

PNB Ilham Resort Port Dickson
View from our unit

PNB Ilham Resort Port Dickson

PNB Ilham Resort Port Dickson
Old-style keys, pool towel card & breakfast tokens

PNB Ilham Resort Port Dickson
Dining table

PNB Ilham Resort Port Dickson

PNB Ilham Resort Port Dickson

PNB Ilham Resort Port Dickson

PNB Ilham Resort Port Dickson
Spacious master bedroom
All rooms in the unit we got come with ensuite bathroom.

PNB Ilham Resort Port Dickson

Booking - Easy. Cheaper via websites like Agoda than directly from hotel website.

Rate - Good value. Less than RM500 per night for 3-bedroom apartment

Location - It's better for tourists to have own transportation. Beach is just outside the hotel property but restaurants and other attractions are quite far. 

Dining - Average taste. They can handle big crowd and they offer variety of cuisines - local and basic western (egg station, toast, cereal, etc). There was no shortage of food. Good enough.

Service - Average

Overall 3 ½ <3<3<3< of 5 

PNB Ilham Resort Port Dickson

PNB Ilham Resort Port Dickson
Breakfast selection

Friday, 15 July 2016

Kelate Roadtrip Overview

Gang Penang Ke Kelate
Date: 3rd - 5th June 2016 (Friday to Sunday)
3 pax

A few days before fasting month, we visited the Land of Good Food a.k.a Kota Bharu, Kelantan. I didn't get to have the delicious laksam special during my visit on Labour Day so I was hoping that I'll get it before fasting.

  We left Penang in the morning and used the scenic East-West Highway a.k.a Gerik-Jeli Highway. Everyone should see this highway at least once. Drive safely though because the road can be quite dangerous especially at night. It is nothing like the more modern PLUS Highway.

East West Highway
East-West Highway

There are many gorgeous spots along the way as you'll be passing mountains and lakes and forests. Take your time to stop and take photos but be sure to choose safe areas to stop. Hentian Titiwangsa and Belum Rainforest Resort parking are among the popular stops. There is also a monument near Sri Banding Army Camp to commemorate those who died during the highway construction.

Hentian Titiwangsa
Hentian Titiwangsa (rest stop)

By noon, we arrived in Rantau Panjang, Kelantan. It was too early for Friday prayer so we just took photos and drove to Krung Thip Restaurant for lunch. It was closed :(

Masjid Beijing Rantau Panjang
Beijing Mosque Rantau Panjang

We also went to Mok Su Nasi Sup Daging Bakar but it was also closed :( 

  So we went directly to Adni Studio homestay and checked-in.

Adni Studio KB City Point
Adni Studio KB City Point

In the evening, we went to AEON Mall Kota Bharu to buy some supply before heading to Tambatan Diraja to catch sunset. Once dark, we walked a block away to see the Muhibbah wall murals. 

AEON Kota Bharu

Tambatan Diraja Sungai Kelantan
Kelantan River

Lukisan Dinding Muhibah
Lukisan Dinding Muhibah

If you're a fan of mango sticky rice or pulut mangga, remember to have some at Restoran Selera Kampung Padang Bank just a few steps from the wall murals.

Pulut Mangga

Next, we went to get my laksam fix. Remember, the restaurant closes every Saturday and opens late in the evening (go after 4 pm to be safe).

Laksam Special By-T
By-T Laksam Special

Second day, we woke up early to hunt for sunrise.

Sungai Raja Gali
Raja Gali River at sunrise

Pantai Kundur
Kundur Beach

Then breakfast at our favourite Kedai Kopi Din Tokyo before walking to see Palestine street art near our homestay.

Kedai Kopi Din Tokyo
Air halia telur puyuh

Mural Palestin
Mural Palestin at Medan Ilmu Kota Bharu

Before going back to the homestay to rest, we had brunch at Nasi Kak Wook.

Nasi Kak Wook
Nasi Kak Wook Jalan Telipot

I can't remember why but we were late going out for sunset. It was kinda dark when we reached Senok Beach so we didn't get to take pics among the trees. Tak dapat feeling-feeling Nami Island.

Lighthouse on Senok Beach
Senok Beach Lighthouse

Light dinner was at Pantai Cahaya Bulan. Luckily the shop we chose served nice fried thingy. I even tarpaoed some for midnight snack. Remember to choose Wan Zainab Seafood!

Pantai Cahaya Bulan

The next morning, we went to Pasar Siti Khadijah for last minute shopping. I bought some flowers for bathing and the boys bought lunch from the food court. And yeah we bought fish crackers and serunding as well.

Flowers for flower bath

Rantau Panjang Free Trade Zone
Rantau Panjang Free Trade Zone

Before noon, we checked-out and left for Rantau Panjang before heading to Penang.

East West Highway