Friday, 30 September 2016

Air Buah Gelas Besar Terengganu

Air Buah Gelas Besar Pak San

Air Buah Gelas Besar Terengganu
(Air Buah Pak San)

Jalan Tengku Ampuan Bariah 
Taman Samudera
Kuala Terengganu

(+6016) 921 7070 (Lisa)
(+6013) 991 7571 (Pok San)


Operating Hours
1700 to midnight daily


Air Buah Gelas Besar Terengganu

"Kalu Sedap Kabo Ke Saing-saing,
Kalu Dok Sedap Kabo Ke Kami" 
- restaurant's motto

The restaurant's specialty is fruit juice in huge containers. We soberly ordered normal-sized glasses and one big (besar) glass. It was too much.

Other sizes you can choose from: 
Kecil (small)
Sedang (average)
Besar (big)
Bapok (big daddy!)
King (bigger than big daddy)
Kasut (shoe-shaped glass)
Jag (literally a jug)
Bakul (basket-size)
Ikan (not sure if they meant fish bowl or fish-shaped container)

and jars of several sizes.

Huge-ass drinks are no longer a novelty but it's fun to indulge once in a while. Tell them to add milk if you're bored with plain old juice.

Taste - Good but nothing special
Price - Good value. RM19.60 for 3 pax
Ambiance - Typical roadside restaurant

Air Buah Pak San
Mango | Honeydew | Pineapple

Air Buah Pak San

Air Buah Pak San
Nasi Minyak (RM4.00)

Air Buah Gelas Besar Terengganu
Chicken for the nasi minyak

Air Buah Pak San
Laksam (RM3.00)

I didn't try the keropok lekor (RM1 for 5 pieces) but many reviewers mentioned it. A decent place for dinner or snack. 

Try this place and if it's to your liking, tell your friends! (Like the restaurant's motto suggested)

Overall 3 and 1/2 <3<3<3< of 5



Thursday, 29 September 2016

Hotel Seri Malaysia, Kuala Terengganu

Hotel Seri Malaysia Kuala Terengganu

Hotel Seri Malaysia
1640 Jalan Hiliran (Balik Bukit)
20100 Kuala Terengganu
Terengganu Darul Iman

(+609) 623 6454

I arrived at the hotel in the evening. It was past 5 p.m. and I was tired from the long journey. Thankfully, check-in was a breeze. I gave the polite lady at reception my name and identification and after a few minutes, I was handed a key (old fashion kind with keychain to place into a wall socket for electricity) and breakfast coupon for 3 pax. Refundable deposit RM100, or was it RM50 but definitely less than RM200. 

Note: Breakfast coupon only for next day even though I was staying for 2 nights. The lady told me they issue breakfast coupons by day and guests are expected to collect the coupon from reception daily. Inconvenient but it's their system.

The elevators was out of service and our room was on the first floor. No big deal for us but if you can't climb up stairs, better give them a call and let them know so they can give you a room on the ground floor.

For unknown reason, the hallway in our floor reeked with cigarette smell on the first day. We had to minimise opening the door so the smell doesn't pollute the room. Thankfully, not a whiff of cigarette on the second and third day.

***

Booking - Easy via various online and offline methods. I booked and paid using Agoda

Rate - Good value. 3D2N stay for 3 pax in Family room with breakfast only RM354.10

Location - Good. Near Chinatown and Waterfront, walking distance to Pasar Payang and other attractions. Easy to find using Waze/Google Map

Dining - Delicious breakfast

Service - Average


Hotel Seri Malaysia Kuala Terengganu

Hotel Seri Malaysia Kuala Terengganu

Hotel Seri Malaysia Kuala Terengganu

The room was well-equipped with prayer mat, iron and ironing board, drinking water, kettle and (empty) mini bar. Enough power sockets for all 3 of us to recharge our phones and gadgets. Washroom was either well-used or wasn't too clean. A bit icky to be honest. But they provided basic shampoo and soap.

Hotel Seri Malaysia Kuala Terengganu

Hotel Seri Malaysia Kuala Terengganu
View from the room

I have such a mixed feelings about this hotel! But I'll get to that later.

Hotel Seri Malaysia Kuala Terengganu
Sekayu Terrace overlooking Terengganu River

Air-conditioned dining area available. 

Breakfast selection at the Cafe Sekayu Coffee House was limited but tasty. Main highlight for Thursday morning was nasi dagang; on Friday was nasi lemak. They might change it during your stay. Also, I noticed that there was a lot more people at breakfast on Friday.

Hotel Seri Malaysia Kuala Terengganu
Nasi dagang, fried noodle and fruit juice

Hotel Seri Malaysia Kuala Terengganu

Hotel Seri Malaysia Kuala Terengganu
Evening view from Cafe Sekayu Coffee House

Hotel Seri Malaysia Kuala Terengganu
Fish right by the terrace

Hotel Seri Malaysia Kuala Terengganu
Breakfast view

Limited parking available within the hotel compound. Payable parking just outside the gate and there's another parking area for hotel guests across the road, next to the Royal Mausoleum. 

Like I said, I have mixed feelings about this hotel.

Pros
  • Good location (really, very good if you want to explore KT) +2 points
  • Affordable rate +1 point
  • Free, delicious breakfast +1 point
  • Gorgeous view of Terengganu River +1 point
  • Good place to catch Pok√©mon +1/2 point


Cons
  • Scary bathroom (HUGE ick! I really, really, really hate icky bathrooms) -3 points
  • Poorly-maintained room and amenities (elevator) -1 point
  • Limited (convenient) parking -1/2 point
  • Weird breakfast coupon system -1/2 point


How?
To be fair, once you're aware of all the hotel's shortcomings and manage your expectation accordingly, you'd probably be fine. Especially if you're not staying for long or just need a place to sleep after a whole day exploring Terengganu.

So I guess... overall solid 3 <3<3<3 of 5

That's average. After expectations managed accordingly.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Green View Garden, Tanah Rata


Green View Garden Tanah Rata



Green View Garden

11, Taman Matahari Cerah
Kampung Raja 
39010 Tanah Rata
Pahang Darul Makmur

Operating Hours
0900 - 1830 daily

Green View Garden Tanah Rata
Lavender Ice Cream

After exiting at Simpang Pulai and going towards Cameron Highland, you will eventually find Green View Garden on your left just before the junction to Cameron Highland. I've passed it a few times but only stopped during my last roadtrip to the East Coast.

I thought it was just another lame flower nursery cum strawberry farm with overpriced cafe. In short, a tourist trap. I was somewhat wrong.

Similar to many of the strawberry farms further up the hill, the entrance is free. Visitors enter through a shop/cafe or from the chocolate store next door. There is an ice cream stall right by the entrance if you're stopping only for snack. But if you have the time, check out the shop. They sold the usual souvenirs of Cameron Highland. You can also order food and drinks from a counter in this area. 

Green View Garden Tanah Rata
Pretty and interesting-flavoured cakes. Fair price too!

On the left of the counter, you'll find the dining area. At one end, the stairs to chocolate store and on the other side, the many attractions of this garden. The washroom (can't remember the charge- 30 sen maybe) is next to the dining area.

Green View Garden Tanah Rata

Kids will love the rabbit, duck, tortoise and fish. For a price, you can feed the bunnies and ducks or play mini paddle boats.

Being a garden, there are also plenty of pretty photo spots.

There is another souvenir shop with purple-theme selling lavender stuff. Since I love lavender ice cream so much, I thought I'd try a small bottle of lavender "juice". It wasn't a disappointment! Although it is more of cordial or syrup than juice, it tasted good.

The lavender syrup added a sweet, fresh scent when drizzled onto vanilla ice cream, giving a pleasant twist to the ice cream. I also like having it as cold drink by diluting the syrup with some water and ice.

Expect to spend about half an hour here even if just to take pictures.


Thursday, 22 September 2016

Merdeka 2016 Roadtrip

Merdeka 2016  Roadtrip

Merdeka 2016 Roadtrip

31 Aug - 3 Sept 2016 (Wednesday to Saturday)
4D3N
3 pax

Green View Garden Tanah Rata
Green View Garden, Tanah Rata

Lavender Ice Cream at Green View Tanah Rata

31 August 2016 (Wed)

0700 - 1200 : Penang to Gua Musang
1200 - 1300 : Lunch in Gua Musang
1510 - 1545 : Reach Tasik Kenyir. Take pics
1700 - 1730 : Check-in @ Seri Malaysia Hotel Kuala Terengganu
1900 - 2000 : Dinner @ Air Buah Pak San

Lake Kenyir
Lake Kenyir

Sungai Terengganu
Evening in Kuala Terengganu

Kuala Terengganu Waterfront

Air Buah Pak San
Air Buah Pak San

1 Sept 2016 (Thu)

Subuh & Sunrise
Breakfast
Taman Tamadun Islam (didn't do)
Muzium Negeri Terengganu
Lunch at B'Beteng
Masjid Kristal
Kota Lama Duyung (didn't do)
Ikan Celup Tepung
Sunset


Morning View Seri Malaysia Kuala Terengganu
Kuala Terengganu

Terengganu State Museum
Terengganu State Museum

Crystal Mosque
Crystal Mosque

Chinatown Kuala Terengganu
Chinatown Kuala Terengganu


2 Sept 2016 (Fri)

Subuh & sunrise
Breakfast
Chinatown
Pasar Payang
Check-out from Seri Malaysia Hotel
Check-in at Holiday Villa Beach Resort & Spa Cherating
Dinner

Pasar Payang
Pasar Payang

Chinatown Wall Mural

Masjid Tengku Tengah Zaharah
Tengku Tengah Zaharah Mosque

Teluk Bidara Beach
Teluk Bidara Beach
Holiday Villa Beach Resort & Spa Cherating

3 Sept 2016 (Sat)

Subuh & sunrise
0800 - 0900 : Breakfast
0930 - 1000 : Check-out
1105 - 1230 : 
Muzium Sungai Lembing 
Sungai Lembing Mines (Tai Pei Tong)

1800 - 1900 : Dinner & head home


Monkeys in Cherating
Cherating

Sungai Lembing Museum
Sungai Lembing Museum


Hanging Bridge Kolong Pahat
Hanging Bridge in Sungai Lembing

Budget Estimate
Budget for 3 pax, 4 days 3 nights

Accommodation = RM1000
Meals = RM1000
Fuel & Tol = RM400
Shopping = RM300
Entrance Fees = RM200

Estimate RM967 per person

Expenditure
Actual spending

Accommodation = RM895 (RM299/person)
Meals = RM165 (RM55/person)
Fuel & Tol = RM245 (RM82/person)
Entrance Fees = RM69 (RM23/person)

Average RM459 per person, excluding personal shopping.

Note: The huge difference between estimated budget and actual spending is because we skipped Taman Tamadun Islam and cruise. I also overestimated fuel and tol budget =P

Tai Pei Tong




Saturday, 17 September 2016

Hatyai Overview

Hatyai Town

Hatyai (Songkhla)

Date: 13 - 15 August 2016 (Saturday to Monday)
4 pax

Red Planet Hatyai


Saturday (13 Aug)
1200 - 1300 : Meet at airport. Lunch
1555 - 1705 : KUL - Hat Yai (1605 local time)
1630 - 1700 : Check-in @ Red Planet Hotel
1800 - 2200 :
Hamid Restaurant Hatyai
Dinner at Hamid Restaurant

  • Shop in Hat Yai town

Central Festival Hatyai
Central Festival Mall

Sunday (14 Aug)
0700 - 0800 : Breakfast (we skipped)
0830 - 1300 : 

Nang Ngam Street Art

  • Nang Ngam Street Art
Coconut Ice Cream

Mermaid Statue Samila Beach
Mermaid of Samila Beach

  • Samila Beach 
Naka Songkhla
Naka of Songkhla

  • Songkhla Lake
  • Lunch
Lunch in Samila Beach


1400 - 1800 : Return to town. Surprise birthday spa!

Garabuning Spa Hatyai

Garabuning Spa Hatyai


2000 - 2200 :

E.P's Cafe Patisserie

Hatyai Street Food

Monday (15 Aug)
0700 - 0900 : Breakfast & pack
1000 - 1035 : Check-out. Leave for airport
1235 - 1445 : Hat Yai - KUL


Mustafa Restaurant Hatyai

Expenditure

Flight & 3D2N hotel  = RM362 per person

***

As usual, we each give 1000 THB to the persons in charge of meals and another 1000 THB for transport. Therefore, PICs each held 4000 THB (1000 THB per person).

The numbers below reflects meals and transport spending average for 4 pax. We deduct the total spending then divide the balance equally for return


Transport = 1900 THB (475 THB/person)
Spa = 7000 THB (1750 THB/person)
Food = 2000 THB (500 THB/person)
Sim Card + top up = 189 THB/person

Souvenirs = 50 THB

Total Expenditure in Hat Yai = 2964 THB/person

Personal cash brought = 4760 THB*
*Actual spending is slightly more because it's a birthday trip so things like flight, hotel, spa and cakes we divided between only 3 of us

So 3 days 2 nights all inclusive in Hatyai should cost you about RM700 per person.



Notes

  • Airport transfer - 200 THB/person
  • Tuk-tuk within town - between 20 to 50 THB/person
  • Day Tour to Songkhla - 1400 THB/car (we got 1000 THB for half a day)


I must say Hatyai is one of the cheapest destination I've been to. It may not be for everybody but if you love food and Thai massage, you should visit. Nightlife in Hatyai can be as wild as the crazy stories you've heard but it can also be as lame (I mean, tame) as you wish. Go with likeminded fun people and enjoy!

and friends <3