Tina and I had a fabulous time in Terengganu last weekend. Accommodation was
free - we stayed in a relative's house - and we had the sun, the sand and the
Tina's aunt's house was a stone's throw from the beach. The moment we
reached the house, we flung our bags down and headed for the beach.
It was spectacular. The sea seemed luminous. It was so early in the morning
that there was no one else there. The beach seemed to have been washed clean by
the tide and no one had walked on it except the little crabs and the gulls.
After the incessant noise of the city and the overnight trip on the train,
the silence was utter bliss. Enjoying the warmth of the sun, both of us just sat
on the sand and watched the waves roll gently on the shore. Far out on the
distant horizon were some fishing boats. It really was the perfect start for the
weekend. Tina waded into the shimmering blue and green sea, jumping to avoid the
foam breaking on to the shore. I ran on the wet sand, enjoying the feel of it
under my bare feet. 'Coee!' I answered the gulls and gave a cartwheel in sheer
Auntie Lis was waiting for us with freshly cooked nasi dagang. The
aroma welcomed us as we stepped into the house. After the
scrumptious brunch, Auntie Lis said it was time to
paint the town red. The first stop was the
Kuala Terengganu market. It was fun exploring floor after floor of local
delicacies and crafts. There was keropok lekor that we sampled at the
food court. We drooled over the hand-painted
batik fabric and bought colorful batik pants and T-shirts. Of course Aunt Lis
bought packets and packets of dried fish and keropok for us to bring home with.
The wet market on the ground floor had an intriguing array of fruits and
vegetables in all shapes and colors that we had never seen before. The best part
was the duku langsat. There were mountains of them and I had never tasted
such big succulent and sweet duku langsat before. Auntie Lis had to put a
stop to our fruit tasting. `Enough! Your stomachs will burst soon. Keep some
place for other local delicacies.
Our next stop was Kak Yah's where we sat down for plates of their famous
keropok and tea. It was wonderful. Auntie Lis had to drag us out of the shop
to a batik factory. There we tried our hands at batik painting and created our
own masterpieces. We also saw songket weaving and appreciated the fine
We went home for dinner after that. Aunty Lis reminded us we would celebrate
Earth Hour '09 by having a barbeque dinner under the stars. It was truly a
memorable experience having dinner underneath thousands of stars, listening to
the lapping of the waves and Uncle Shah's stories of old Terengganu.
The next morning we set off to the turtle hatchery near Kuantan. We were
beside ourselves with excitement when we were allowed to release little turtle
hatchlings into the sea. It was an incredible experience to watch the week-old
hatchlings waddle into the sea. I held my breath when a huge wave swept the
little ones into the sea and whispered a prayer for their safety.
All too soon it was time to take the train home. On the way home we talked
and talked of our unforgettable weekend in Kuala Terengganu. We had left for
Kuala Terengganu exhausted and burnt-out. Now, we left it refreshed and filled
with a quiet joy.