22 August 2006

Memoirs of A Boy With Memory Retention Problems Part 2

The 7-hour journey ride was quite bearable as I brought along my eye shades. Kuala Terengganu isn't actually that far from KL, but the thing is that there are no big highways along the east side of the peninsula so most of the time we travelled along trunk roads. I was asleep for most of the journey so I didn't actually get to observe the stuff along the roads but I presume they were all small villages anyway.

We reached the bus station precisely at 5.30am and our pickup driver came around 5.45am to take us to the transit area. The transit area is actually a rented shoplot with a sofa and several tables with chairs. It is a simple setup but an ingenious one as we could take a shower and rest while we wait for 8am to come around.

8am is the standard time when our respective resort buses will come pick us up to take us to Merang Jetty where we will then board the ferry to Redang. The boat ride there was very rough as the sea was quite choppy. I shouldn't have typed an SMS as I immediately felt a headache coming on. People said the ride is about an hour, but it actually lasted less than 45 minutes.

As we stepped out of the boat onto the mini jetty, I marvelled at the turquoise blue sea. It was clear enough to see right to the bottom, and I could see schools of small fishes swimming around. Paradise, I have arrived.

The first thing that greeted us at the resort was the signboard. When I use the term "resort" here, you should not think of 5-star luxury. In fact, Redang Bay feels very homely. Mdm. Tan, the general supervisor, was already waiting for us to check-in. She gave us our room key and asked us to stay for a briefing. She passionately asked us to wear life jackets at all times when we are out in the sea. Many drowning cases have happened when daring/stupid people went swimming without one...

Back to the resort! It's quite big, actually. Our Family Room is located on the ground floor near to the Reception so it's very convenient. Family Rooms are supposed to fit 5-7 people but we only saw 2 queen-sized beds and 2 single beds. Two people can fit onto a queen-sized bed but that still totals up to only 6 places. So I wonder what would happen if 7 of us came?

There's a big dining hall (above) that reminded me of a canteen. Many rows of wooden tables and chairs are laid out. During lunch and dinner, we are served pre-portioned food at our own tables (notice the food covers on the tables). They misspelled my surname so there was some initial confusion but we got over it soon enough.

We were all quite concerned about the quality of the food before we got there. In my mind, I imagined lots of Malay food and -gasp- curries! After all, Terengganu has mostly Malays. While I don't mind Malay food I do mind having spicy curry for every single meal.

But after eating our first meal, all of our concerns went away. It was quite clear that we had a Chinese cook as our dishes stuck to common chinese cooking. On our first day we had fish cutlets fried in ginger and soya sauce, japanese tofu with white cabbage, seafood meat rolls (lobak), stir-fried green vege, and horseradish (white carrot) soup with chicken pieces. For dessert we each had a piece of papaya. It was surprisingly good and exceeded my expectations!

The other lunches and dinners were as good, though it began to repeat itself by the second day. So while the food can get boring, you cannot say it wasn't good. We were also given breakfast and tea. The breakfast was a standard affair of fried noodles and toast, but the tea breaks were the best!

For our first tea break, we were served fried spring rolls and horseradish cake (loh pak ko in Cantonese?). The cake was very good because I haven't eaten one in a long time. Plus, they served barley tong sui with winter melon strips. I particularly loved the barley drink as I rarely take those that have winter melon strips. They do add quite a lot of oomph to the drink. It was so good that I poured a bottle full of it for later consumption!

Our second tea break was also a tasty affair. We had fresh curry puff! Only this time, it wasn't too spicy so I could eat lots of it. The best part? They only use sweet potatoes instead of the usual bland potatoes so it was sweet, crispy, and hot! And there was the red bean soup with pandan leaves to add an extra kick to our afternoon.

If you're wondering why I dedicated so many words to describing the food, it's mainly to assure people that Redang Bay food is GOOD and edible. And oh, to make my homesick friends Calvinsanity and Kelly extra hungry and jealous. MUAHAHAHAHAH!

Overall, Redang Bay was a good experience. They have many facilities we could use for free, such as volleyball, football, and various board games. They also have a mini cinema and karaoke room, both of which we didn't manage to try. And they have an open air disco every night at their bar (below). I danced like a madman there on the second night but I'm sure as hell not gonna blog about that.


Innocent^^Guy said...

I was about to say something when i started seeing wat currypuffs and all that...then came my name...so i had to keep quiet cos i know it was put up meant for me!!! haha

Kelly said...

Have I offended you in some way?! You big meanie!