I have a week long to time to kill, what should I do? It has been a long time since I have taken a drive around
Taking a week off, I planned to travel by driving to the east coast to Kuantan, and then work myself up north to Kota Bharu. I took another challenge to drive across the East-West highway. All this was planned out within 2 days.
I am travelling alone this time around because my wife and daughters are busy with their work and studies. My son is very impatient when travelling in a car. I offered him to join me and he declined my offer.
For accommodation, I managed to get a free night at Renaissance Hotel in Kota Bharu from the points that I collected for my Marriot rewards. I did not make any accommodation bookings in Kuantan (where I planned to stay for the night) because I was not sure whether to stay in the town or the beach.
I was very disappointed when I was in Kuantan, it was a Saturday and the town was like deserted. There were not many people and cars around town around. Even when I went to the beach area, there were not people too.
Not so many people at the beach at Kuantan
Passing pass all the beach resorts, I decided to have lunch at Cukai, Kemaman for the famous stuffed crab at
Tong Juan Restaurant at Cukai. Famous for its stuffed crab
Beach at Kemaman
After lunch I thought of traveling up to Kuala Trengganu where maybe along the way I may stop over to stay at any of the beach chalets along the way. However, to my disappointment, most of the beach chalets were not to my liking other than the Awana Kijal, but I know that that it has been fully booking.
I have left with no choice but to carry on my journey to Kuala Trengganu hoping that I stay in a hotel at the town. However, I faced another problem. Kuala Trengganu is the host for SUKMA or Sukan
I am frustrated because there were no rooms for me to stay for the night and I was caught in the long traffic jam for more than 1.5 hours. So what to do next, it was already 5.30 p. and it is getting dark soon. I decided to call the Renaissance Hotel in Kota Bharu to check with them whether there are any vacant rooms for the night. The Reservation told me that the hotel was also fully booked for the night. Why? It is the school holidays and it is a weekend and there were many Malay weddings where the relatives of the couples came by the bus loads and took up all the rooms.
My only choice now is to sleep in the car if I fail to get a room. So I decided to drive another 150 km from Kuala Trengganu to Kota Bharu hoping to get a hotel room there. I stopped over for fuel and the attendant told me that there were no rooms in Kuala Trengganu since Friday and many people were also caught in the same situation as I was. I then asked where is the nearest place I can get a room before reaching Kota Bharu. She said I could try to get a room in Besut.
After filling up my tank (I have travelled more than 500 km on my first full tank) and it has already turned dark, I drove north to Kota Bharu. The road was dark but it was a thrill to drive in the dark. I reached Besut district where the town where there could have hotel rooms is at Jerteh.
Guess what? All rooms in Jerteh were also taken up.. all because of the Malay weddings that were going on. I stopped over at
I reached Kota Bharu at almost 10.00 p.m., I decided not to look for accommodation for the night and decided to sleep in my car. The next question is where can I safely park my car and sleep? I saw the sign, “Pantai Cahaya Bulan(PCB)” ( Moonlight beach) in Kota Bharu and though maybe I could park my car on the beach and sleep in my car. When I reached PCB, I was in for a surprise, there were so many food stalls just next to the beach. The beach was separated from the stalls by a long granite boulder wall. I can find a place to park my car, but it is definitely not a place to sleep because there are so many people around.
I decided to park and sleep at the basement of the Renaissance Hotel. At least, it would be safer place and I would not be disturbed. I brought along two pillow where I managed to pull down my driver seat and sleep. Sleeping at the basement was not too comfortable, it was stuffy and hot because I did wind down the car windows and the basement was warm too. So I need to turn on the car air-cond to cool down before switching it off to sleep. I think I did this for about 4 times. Luckily I managed to get some deserving sleep.
I was awaken at about 7.30 a.m. in the morning due to a bang at my car door. At first I thought it was the security guard who did that but it turned out to be the owner of the car next to mine opened his car door which knocked into my car door.
I got up and went to the reception desk to ask when I can check-in to my room. I was told that I could only check-in at 2.00 p.m.. So, I took my car and drove around Kota Bharu to have my breakfast at White House. White House served the best half boiled eggs in town and at the same time, I wanted to eat Nasi Dagang. I managed to find the place and had the stuff that I wanted with a cup of coffee where all cost me RM4.30, reasonable price.
I could not wait till 2.00 p.m. to check-in to the room so I went back to the reception before noon and asked whether I can have a room. Luckily, there was a room available and I managed to check-in. The first thing I did was to have a nice shower and after that write down all this events before I forget about it.
So there are more to come of my journey.. stay tune!!