Road trip to Kuantan (Pahanga) – Day 1

Ah my dear folks,

So, I am on a high. All that road trip and some amazing sights left me just content and happy. No, seriously, why haven’t I done more of such long road trips?

The nothingness of the expanse makes you feel amazing, seriously. You don’t always need picturesque sights. No, not always. To drive along fields and random greenery is so stimulating.

Before I start digressing too much, let me regale you with our 3 day trip to Kuantan in Malaysia by car. So, the lucky chaps were O, L, K and K (K and K would be my better half and me). It would be unjust to not tell you a li’l about O and L considering we have been doing these trips for a while now over long weekends and we have been like family.

So, that is Kuantan along the east coast.

O is a Spanish guy who was my better half’s batchmate during MBA. So, they both hit off very well and we are now family. O loves to travel much to the delight of my better half who looooves to travel as well and now me (all of my earlier travels were within India for either research conferences or small family vacations) and so all this is refreshingly new for me. He also loves food much to the delight of my better half and now me. So, you know how it is. We pretty much share our love for travel, food, new cultures and sight-seeing. You get the drift.

Meet L. L is a Malay lady who is also O’s fiance. She works as a para legal professional. She loves travelling as well. She also loves food much to my comfort because I need a lady with good appetite to divert attention from my plate coz’ I eat a lot. So, we have been friends owing to our better halves and have found quite a few things we both enjoy doing – for e.g. books and travel. Now, THAT is a LOT, right?

And then, there is K and K. We both were like kids during the travel but lets not dwell too much on that for now.

The last time we travelled was to Penang (I’ll write about it as well sometime soon) during Chinese New Year for 4 days and we’d been a riot ! So, we were reallllly looking forward to this trip mainly coz’ I have never heard of this place before, it was my first long road trip, the company and mostly because I hadn’t heard of Kuantan being a very big tourist spot except for few beaches.

 

What with Google churning out such images, I knew there’d be like lot of beaches.

 I’m not a very beach person if the beach is the commercial types (if you know what I mean) not coz’ I don’t like people but because I can’t appreciate all the beauty in the same way as I could if it were to be less crowded. But I am open to recreation anywhere so I really didn’t have any complaints.

After some smart packing (now, that’s a first for me coz’ I usually pack the entire wardrobe and as soon as you open my tightly packed bag there will be a mini-market inside) and some hustle bustle because we had to leave directly from work on thursday afternoon, we left for office with 2 backpacks and one Nikon DSLR.

Fast forward to afternoon. I met up with my better half at his workplace where O works as well. And L joined in too. We were waiting for O to join us at the lobby of Marina Bay Sands Skypark. At the lobby, there were some cute Chinese girls playing some really melodious tunes and while I clapped in joy, the other guests looked at me amused wondering which entertainment was better. During this meet-up, I managed to cup my thumb when I dug my hand into the bagpack for some tissues and realized that the tube of a cream had caused the cut. And as though my cut was just what the hotel authorities needed, they started warning the guests not to touch the Italian glass as it could be dangerous and cause deep cuts. Talk of blessing in disguise ! And all this while, I mentally made a note that this wasn’t smart packing and who had I been kidding?! Have I told you all that I am accident prone? At the start of a trip, I either trip down the steps to the bus and land on my bottom or hit my hand against a door or something. Pretty much always, seriously.

So, well, finally O came over and then we left for Johor Bahru which is the nearest Malaysian city to Singapore. We took a cab to the immigration checkpoint. So, we cleared the customs and immigration at S’pore and Malaysia and then left to the place where we picked up our car and whee! We started our journey into Malaysia.

What was supposed to start off at 2:00 P.M. on 5th April started at 4:30 P.M. but we were really way too relieved to repent the loss of time and happy to start the drive and use as much of daylight as posible when we were driving a distance of more than 500 kms.

The journey was a chatty one and we kept talking each others’ head off, sharing tales of Malaysia with L telling us a bit about different places, my better half asking some questions, me watching outside the window hoping for fireflies and O occassionally checking on us with his “you all ok at the back” and joining in the banter when the traffic was less and the road became visible. Well, with long weekends, it does get quite busy what with everyone suddenly wanting to go to Malaysia.

All along the drive, we felt so deliriously happy to see so many trees. Really, Malaysia is so green. We felt so good that the trees were so plush and the land hadn’t been cleared or whatsoever. I even started ranting in my head as to how much of all the global warming and CO2 has been saved by this greenery and became even more optimistic that we all really have hope. Palms, some random shrubs and lots of dense bushes and hills that were totally covered in green – wow ! We never took pictures on our way but we sure took a lot on our way back and I’ll share them in the subsequent parts about my travel.

After a long long drive that included one stop for dinner where I managed to find vegetarian red bean buns and some drink and some rice and some greens (My tummy is often called the Municipal tank), I felt good. So did the rest. O bought some crackers and Red Bull to keep him up for the late night driving that was to ensue and we set off again. Oh, did I mention the yummy Crunch icecreams?

Post-dinner and dessert, the chats became less with K and K dozing off occassionally and then popping their heads up to see if we were at Kuantan and see the GPS to know how far we were. Well, we also listened to some awesome music throughout the journey and it stuck in our heads. We sang and even danced inside our car and we must have managed to invoke the Rain Gods with all this that it started raining heavily. So, we decided to only listen and not sing much so that poor O didn’t have to undergo all this.

Well, after some circling around the same U-turns and shouting in glee everytime we saw Swiss Garden Resort signs coz’ that was where we were staying and we were so overjoyed to know we were nearby, we finally reached the resort. Ah yay ! We did it, we did it !

We parked the car (well, technically O did while we unparked ourselves from our seats) and checked in at 3:00 A.M. on the 6th of April. Absolutely thrilled about unwinding for the long weekend, Kand K cuddled off to sleep.

I leave you with a view from our room.

Don’t forget to check out the sea view. The photo doesn’t do justice because I clicked it coz’ we could feel the fresh air.

p.s. We had an amazing time and loads to share.We made trips to a cottage industry as well. More tales and more photos to follow in subsequent parts 🙂

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11 comments

  1. Jas · April 9, 2012

    great trip you had there… and text complemented by nice pictures… 🙂 waiting for the Day 2…

  2. Visha · April 9, 2012

    Am unable to view any pics attached 😦

    Looks like you had a wonderful mini-vacation…

    What happened next 😛

    • kismitoffeebar · April 9, 2012

      Uh oh, I wonder why you can’t view the pics 😦 What does it say or does the small box with an “x” appear? I am going to post more pics in the coming parts – I hope it works by then 🙂

      • Visha · April 9, 2012

        yes, a small box with ‘x’ appears

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  4. Confused D · April 9, 2012

    Even I am unable to view the pictures 😦
    I toh totally am a beach person 😀 You guide me when I am there 🙂
    Don’t worry….I travel very like very VERY light…… 😛
    And I am a foodie too 🙂
    Next?

    • kismitoffeebar · April 10, 2012

      You can’t view the pics? Jas seems to be the only one who can see them. Not even one? I just pasted the picture inside the box….. Okie, let me see where I have gone wrong.
      Thanks CD for letting me be your guide. You just come off and we’ll have fun ! 🙂
      Next part coming up today !

  5. Atrocious Scribblings · April 9, 2012

    Sounds more like an adventure than a road trip. That said, I’d much prefer culinary adventures than actual ones :D.

    Keep it coming, travelogues are always super interesting to read.

    PS: Could you check if the pics were attached properly, not able to view any of them (if any)

    • kismitoffeebar · April 10, 2012

      Thanks AS ! 🙂 Welcome here and am mighty happy to see you visit my blog 🙂
      Culinary adventures – I love them too !
      I’ll definitely keep posting and try to check where I have gone wrong with the attachment. I just pasted the pictures – anything I should do to set it right?
      Thankee ! 🙂

  6. Pingback: Roadtrip to Kuantan – Day 2 « kismitoffeebar

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