1. Wake up as early as 3.30 am to board the earliest electric train service from Butterworth to KL Central. Reach Penang Sentral station 15 minutes before departure. No security check. No boarding pass, just the earlier print ticket I bought from the net.
2. Time to continue sleeping in the moving coach…zzzzz
3. Reach KL Sentral 15 mins to 9. Again no long trails to reach electric railway line train.
4. The connectivity has improved drastically in 30 years. More work needed. People demand shinkansen to speed up the journey. Govt has to listen.
1. Today, we completed the final round of accreditation review, area ten document. All is done in a rush since I will have to go for my teaching round in Alor Star tomorrow. Basically, a ton of files with hundreds of documents need to be prepared just for few hours document inspection. What is ironic, this is a repeat inspection.
2. My Alor Star visit usually begins with an early morning trip via BKE and NSE. Roti Canai and teh tarik at Restoran Mee Abu are fantastic for breakfast after long hours journey. The roti texture added with kuah banjir offer the taste, you can’t refuse! It’s hundred times better than the Secret Recipe or Cili Restaurant at Bali Hai Golf Club.
3. Here, in Alor Star is the place where I rediscover friendship and jealousy. It’s the place where mitragynaspeciosaspecies are made into a cocktail and sold between RM2.50-RM5 per bungkus. It is also the place where my patient would come with paranoia and aggressive behavior.
4. Whether you know or not, Binjai is the name of a rare fruit which is found around every corner of the country, many decades ago. That’s why, you almost instantly bumped into Binjal in Kedah, Kelantan, Perak, and Melaka. In Kelantan, Binjai is the site of a day market where I used to go and buy fish and buah-buahan kampung each and every weekends. The sour taste of buah binjai is so good to make sambal belacan! Luckily, in Kedah, it is the name of a kampung too.
1. The road leading from Krokop to Kuala Belait is bumpy since a new highway is under construction. We drove passed Lotong where Julayhi is staying with his family. Kuala Baram river has many fishing ports which I supposed for deep sea fishing. The entire journey was straight except on some slithering spot on the incomplete newly constructed highway.
2. Malaysian immigration checkpoint made up a moderately big immigration complex manned with integrated computerized passport processing system. One doesn’t have to get out of the car, just submit the passport to the immigration officer and the camera is right in front of you for the officer to have a look at who you are in the car. Passing through a short length of ‘no man land’ reminded me of South and North Korean border. But here, ‘peace, no war’ is at work!
3. We passed Seria, Lumut, Tutong and finally reached BSB in two and a half hours. BSB is an idle, yet clean and well-designed town. It is very ideal to pass the hectic pace of life that always push everyone over the edge. In short, it is an ideal place to find zen… a total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind; a way of being and a state of mind.
1. Kuala Terengganu was a beautiful city especially looking down the Sultan Mahmud bridge with the low sun throwing a rich golden light on the mouth of Terengganu river; reflected sun rays onto the beautiful Crystal Mosque, blazing into our eyes who were driving along the bridge to go into the city.
2. The day was gorgeous. We had already passed a 3-hour driving trail along the coastal road looking at the South China Sea. We had also discovered two pasar minggu (weekly market) at Kuala Besut and Penarik. Kuala Besut’s market was very huge with nearly thousand of visitors. It was in the early morning of Friday, the weekend holiday on the East Coast.
3. When we crossed the border into Terengganu, we stopped at Kuala Besut jetty looking for tourist going to Pulau Perhentian. We found not a single tourist waiting for the ferry, only to realize that the service was temporarily stopped due to heavy monsoon season. On the way down, we passed through a row of closed wooden shophouses. It was a lazy town meant for fishing and transport tourist to Pulau Perhentian.
4. Taman Tamaddun Islam is basically located in a small uninhabited island called Pulau Wan Man, adjoining the Terengganu Museum. A beautiful road connected the Muzium to this site. The view is spectacular once you look down the Sultan Mahmud bridge with colorful lightings of the mosques and monuments.
5. If I may suggest the State government to build an observation tower or cable car near Sultan Mahmud bridge to look down at the site and along Terengganu river. That is where tourists can spot the beautiful sunset that adds to the lustrous color of nature at its best.
6. My guess was a gentleman, slender, smiley and soft-spoken. He was a strict vegetarian too. I met a family from South Thailand cycling and taking breathtaking photos around this park. We enjoyed the view and the AVA presentation especially on Taj Mahal and Masjidil Aqsa.
7. I was informed that this place has becoming the favorite place for the wedding reception because of its spectacular view for the photo session. The adjoining convention center is used by many institutions of higher learning for convocation ceremony.
8. I couldn’t believe why it was considered a waste of public fund. If the marketing strategy is right, this place can attract a lot of visitors inside and outside the country. I believe I could see why? None other than politics.