Thursday, September 10, 2015

Trekking Bukit Keluang

Bukit Keluang is located in Kampung Raja in the district of Besut. Approximately 30 minutes drive from Jerteh (nearest town), an hour from Kota Bharu or 2 hours from Kuala Terengganu. It is also not very far from the jetty to Perhentian Islands in Kuala Besut.

Since Kuala Besut is just half an hour drive from my house, I decided to go there with my sister during Merdeka Day long weekends. It was an impromptu hike in a way.

From my very little and last minutes readings, there are two way to reach to the top. One is via the stair that is located near the Bukit Keluang beach, and another one is via 'jalan orang kampung or jalan belakang' as the local says. 

After feasting on nasi dagang Ganu near the jetty, wearing jeans and beach fliplop, we head to Bukit Keluang. Without further ado, full stomach, little stretching, we chose the stair path near the beach on our way up. Phew, after the first 10 staircases, I started to questioned our decision to do this . My sister keep convincing me that it'll be worth it. So we hiked at snail pace, more resting and catching up our breath involved later on. I kept questioning our decision to hike through out the hiking. Be mind that, the steep staircases is just the beginning. More steep jungle trek coming our way. We met many people going down via that path.
Just look at how steep it is
The steep jungle trek near the beach
Halfway there, catching my breath,phew!
The view halfway through the jungle course.
Thought we reach the peak, naah,not yet!
Little bit more hiking
After hiking and trekking the jungle for about 20-30 minutes, we finally reach at the top. My oh my! The view is rewarding. My sister is so true, it's worth the hike, It's 9.30am when we reach the top. It's was scorching hot but still many people hanging around beneath the hotness. We snap some photos and we head down via 'jalan belakang/jalan orang kampung'.
Bukit Keluang peak, DONE!
Rewarding view isn't it.
'Seoul is just 4611km away'
Interestingly we met soooo many people treking up to the top via 'jalan belakang' path as it's a lot less challenging and very close to the top. Turn out, that's the norm. Go up via jalan kampung and go down via steep path. Bummer!! It took us less than 10minutes to go down the hill via jalan belakang, and we felt so silly because we spent so much time hiking the steep-physically challenging path in our flip flop!


Yay, till then!
p/s: wear sport shoes for the best hiking experience! :P


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Sawadika Krabi!

KRABI WITH ARI’S FAMILY!

 “There are years that ask questions, and years that answers”.

Hello. This year, many of my prayers got answered. I prayed for strength to go through the difficult time, HE granted me with great examiners that gave me A for my thesis. 
Oh My. Alhamdulillah. (Pergh,intro.)

It’s been more than 6 months that I worked for/with ARI in UiTM Shah Alam. My lecturers are the best ever. So does my RA colleagues! We’re like one big family. Even though I’m a little bit afraid of getting all close and affectionate with them, I just couldn’t help it. I love being loved and returning it. Love is all we need, isn’t it?

So back to the title, Dr Lia asked the lovely Zyzie to organize a short vacation to anywhere, just anywhere. This is because, her son, Imad and Dr Zu's Ijud are back on semester break from the USA and she wanted to go on a vacation together. To add more fun, of course she needs (MUST) to invite us. Considering the exchange rate, cost and the paxs that are interested to join our trip, we chose Krabi, Thailand.
Sawadekaa,first thing first. Zyzie booked the flight tickets plus insurances. But the ticket prices varied as the guest list keep getting longer, until we reach 23 paxs. Yes, we travel in group of 23 people and the Oscar Villa that we’re staying at had a great amount of headache entertaining us on arrival. 6 villas and 3 shuttle vans to cater us. Phew. Thank you so much Oscar Villa!
Day 1.
We decided to park & ride at ERL Putrajaya since it’s convenient and cheaper! We managed to catch the first train to KLIA 2 at 4.51am and arrived at the airport 20 minutes later. Everybody was at the airport by 5.30am since our flight was at 7am. Krabi, here we go!
Upon arrival, 3 shuttle vans were waiting for us. Our accommodation is near Ao Nang beach. Not THAT close, it’s 15minutes by tuk-tuk or 10minutes by van. We opted for Oscar Villa due to our big group. Initially we wanted to go for packages bargain at Ao Nang’s as per suggested by many. However, Oscar Villa offered us their service & packages at much discounted price, we figured, no need to bargain at Ao Nang anymore.
Right away we booked for elephant trekking and night market activity.
At 11 am, our shuttle vans came to pick us up to Safari Elephant Trekking. We had so much fun out in the scorching hot, riding elephant, trekking hills nearby for 1 hour. Then we’re back to our villa, enjoying the villa and refreshing ourselves before the vans came again at 5pm. To Krabi Town night market!


 

Day 2.
Today is reserved for island hopping and snorkeling. Even though Krabi is well-known for Phi-Phi Island and many more famous islands, we opted for less famous ones in our hope to avoid more people. Well, our group alone is already 23 paxs without our guides. We chose Hong Islands. An old school bus pick us up at the villa! 

We’re supposed to start our tour at 8am, but due to bad weather, we only get to depart from the shore by 11am. I must say, Krabi is for relaxing, sightseeing and island hopping, not snorkeling. There are literally no coral but beautiful emerald colored water so it kinda set it off.

 




Back from our island hopping, we went to Ao Nang town searching for more great food! Yummy! Hooray for the many halal eateries! Dr Lia and Dr Bell, went searching for massage parlor and found a great place that offer tip top service at super great price! We booked for a session the next day.



 
Day 3
Our activity for day 3 was just Emerald Pool & Hot Spring tour.As usual, vans pick us up at 8am after we had our breakfast. First stop is the Hot Spring. Wow. 
 
After that we went to the Emerald Pool. My oh my, it wasn’t just name! The color is no joke, insane! We had great time playing in the water. The almost 1km walk to the pool was worth it. 
 

We also visited the Blue Pool. And we kept on clapping and making sounds so that the pool produces air bubbles. Wow amazing!


It was my birthday on the 4th August, so the youngster group decided to go out for a FEAST dinner and they also treated me with cake from Ao Nang's starbucks. I was touched when they sang me happy birthday outside the shop. Thank a million guys!

Day 4.
It was free and easy day. Everyone could just go wherever they want. Us 5 girls decided to go for Full-body coffee scrub, 2 hours Thai massage and 30 minutes facial, all for less than 1000 bhat. My gosh. I love it. 


Until then, bye bye Krabi!
(2-5 August 2015)