Driving up north east of Peninsular Malaysia brings us to a destination where it is called, the land of lightning – Kelantan Darul Naim. With more than five hours of driving on the single lane, the journey seems endless. It can be a tiresome journey as we made many pit stops.
The open fields are viewable as we draw nearer to the state capital of Kelantan, Kota Bharu.
It is a sign of relief when we see civilization – the town area.
The traffic is chaotic at most part of the town but the good news is that it is not as bad as those traffic woes in Klang Valley.
Going around with the assistance of GPS device is helpful for those who are new to this place. The food hunting experience was easy for us since goldfries know every nooks and cranny of this place.
The sight of the indoor complex is familiar.
With the exception of the outlets signage – Culture Shock at Kota Bharu, Kelantan.
The sight of coconut trees, sand beaches, wooden built houses from afar caused quite a stir to the excitement. However as soon as we set foot at the place, strangely a complete stillness of sound greeted us which raises our eyebrows. With a quick glance at the surrounding, there lies the usual attributes of any beach resort – coconut trees, beach sands and chalets.
The chalet is found to be old and musty. The toilet is just plain with no frills such as toiletries or bath tub. Squeaky sound of doors and floors are audible announcing our presence wherever we go. The cloth cabinets are shabby and a mouldy scent permeates at certain parts of the room.
The sight of hotel guests are rare except at the swimming pool area. It is the only lively place with loud chatters and screams of children playing while their parents watched them from a distance. Older teenagers with fully clad in attire – loose pants and shirts are seen dipping away relaxingly with friends. In fact, we stood up like a sore thumb among the crowd in our shorts.
The rest of the vicinity are in complete stillness, the sight of brokenness is everywhere and even the beach is not spared.
The entire stretch of resort’s beach is surrounded by giant boulders, making the accessibility to the beach impossible. Climbing up on boulders can be dangerous and if you are not careful you may slip and fall.
It is disappointing for us as the idea of a ‘refreshing change’ can only be seen but cannot be touch. This is our evening walk at the beach.
At some point, the view of the beach disappeared. The soothing sounds of waves of the sea gradually dwindles as we drifted further away from the shore line of boulders. Soon we found ourselves surrounded by the stillness of the unnatural silence, leaving the entire experience at the resort hard to swallow.
As the night drawn in, the stillness and the emptiness of the place became apparent.
The brief outdoor walks led us to besiege by hungry mosquitoes as we watched the night slipped past in deep silence.
We had our breakfast at the resort in following day but to our amazement, we have companies.
It is an ala carte styled breakfast with limited choices. It is chargeable for orders of second round onwards. There is no option for vegetable salad or fruits. Overall the meal turned out to be quite tasty but nutritionally imbalanced.
Nasi special with coffee or tea
American breakfast with fruit juice and dairy milk
We packed our bags to bid farewell to the place when the time for departure has arrived.
To sum up our experience, the food served by the local eateries are generally cheap and good but nutritionally imbalanced. It is hard to find eateries that serve generous amount of fruits and vegetables per serving. The most pleasant and memorable moment about the food culture here was my jaw dropping experience at Sun Hua Restaurant and Ann Loke Cafe – seeing Muslim patrons of young and old, single or family stopping by for lunch, Muslim workers working at un-Muslim named restaurants and the rare sight of foreign workers at the local businesses.
As for the resort, we rate the place ‘zero’ because it severely lacks the ‘standard’ when it comes to what is expected of a place as such, and it barely functions as a resort that would satisfy the needs of a tourist. The experience at the resort is indeed hard to swallow as the place has lost its soul and is literally dead. This resort will not be part of our recommendation should your travelling intent be to have a refreshing change of environment. The stay at this resort is also our last.
The beach is said to be washed away and the local authorities are making effort save the land from the coastal erosion. The giant boulders are placed at the shoreline to serve as sea defences.
Oh, how awful and miserable is this place! The livelihood of the locals here must be adversely affected. It is unimaginable living at the coastal area without the beach. No doubt their food is cheap and good but how much can one eat? Undeniably food is important but the role of food plays a small part in our lives. Oh, what an irony of life it is when all seems to be a mirage – you can see it but you can’t reach out for it! 🙁
Looking back at this food trip, it is an eye opener of something has gone terribly WRONG in the tourism industry in Malaysia, while this article may even serve as eye witnesses to the effects of the rising sea level.