Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Fast and Loose

Day 4 Equatorial Hotel, Melaka
(updated with photos)

Today we were off to stay in Kuala Terranganu, a town on the NE coast of the peninsular which is handy for the beach. On the other hand, it's also a very strict Muslim state so we were aware that we might have trouble obtaining food before sundown or in getting hold of the odd beer at all. We did have a few possible options though. More waffles for breakfast before packing up, checking out and getting in a taxi to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) for our short internal flight up the KT. The taxi driver was a friendly chap, explaining that his family were from India. He didn't drive too fast but did ride up the arse of cars in front.

We reached KLIA in one piece and tried to check in, even though we were about 4 hours early for the flight. Jane insisted as she worked out it could take 3 hours to get to the airport and we needed to be there 2 hours in advance or more. Say what you like about her, but she does err on the side of neurosis. Anyway, there was some issue with names on the tickets or something so we waited 20 minutes for checking in. The girl doing it was a trainee so that probably didn't help.
We had lots of time to kill so wandered about, ate a burger again (there isn't much in the way of eating in the domestic terminal), this time at Burger King to our shame.

The flight was ridiculously short as we were in the air less than half an hour, during which time the crew managed to serve up peanuts and juice (pink guava. Yum!).

We landed and got a cab to our hotel. The place we were staying was the Hotel Continental which was a rather tired looking place and had signs all over the place saying how much the stuff in your room costs "if you wantd to buy it" and how they would prosecute for nicking stuff (really, a threadbare, ragged towel wasn't the most tempting booty). It could be a great hotel if they tarted it up.

Heading out to explore we wandered past where they was a Ramadan bazar cooking all sorts of fantastic food, though we weren't hungry. The idea is that the people buy the food, then take it home and eat it after sunset. We wandered further into Chinatown here we found places to buy beer. Bless Chinese communities the world over for providing places to drink, whatever the predominant local attitude to alcholo is. They also serve Guinness Extra wherever you find them, so you can always have that taste of not-quite-but-not-far-off home. We stuck to the local nectar that is Tiger. The Chinatown is very atmospheric with drab shophouses and its own arch.

Chinese arch
Chinatown, Kuala Terangganu

Wandering back into the town we came upon a well known traveller's cafe called Ping Anchorage (sic) which also has a travel agents on ground level. Again we could slake out thirst with fermented hop juice. Walking back we passed the local mosque which is very impressive, and walked back thro9ugh the bazar. By this time it was approaching fast-breaking time, and this food was just too good to pass by so we bought chicken biriyani, BBQ chicken wings and beef murtabak

The Town Mosque
Kuala Terangganu

Making satay at the Ramadan Bazar
Kuala Terangganu

Not wanting to be rude or disrespectful we went over to the grassy area by the water front and waited, along with lots of locals and joined them eating when they broke their fast at about 7:30. This was the sort of thing that makes holidays memorable, even though we hadn't been fasting ourselves, it was a shared experience that we will always remember.

Sunset falls
Preparing to join the locals breaking their fast as the sunsets in Kuala Terangganu

That evening we wandered over to a Chinese owned fish estaurant and had steamed grouper with fried rice and vegetables (containing meat, prawns and squid). Way too much food for the two of us (especially having been porkerly early on with the fast breaking). This lot with a couple of large bottles of Tiger came to about £15.

After this there wasn't a great deal to do so we just went back to the hotel and played cards while drinking out duty free vodka with some coke we had bought earlier. Then we went to bed

No comments:

Post a Comment