Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Bala's Chalet @ Planters Country Hotel & Restaurant

“British cottage with mountain view. Definitely will come back next time!”

If you are looking for a great escape away from the busy traffics, concretes and hectic lifestyle in change for mountain views, temperate weather, with an ambience of British heritage, this is exactly the place you are looking for.

Situated on a hill and a family business, the cute British cottage offers a peace and quiet place for relaxing. The staffs are friendly and very helpful. The weather is always cool with fresh breeze.

Upon reaching the main building, the leafy covered walls of buildings really mesmerized us. We chose a non-peak season, checked-in after 2pm, and registration went smoothly. The receptionist took us to view a superior and a deluxe room, we chose the deluxe room as it is bigger and situated at the main building.

The room is clean and comfy. Humid but not in a bad way. No air-cond needed, you might want to prepare yourself a pair of socks for sleeping later at night. For a Malaysian, it is not everyday you get to stay in this kind of surroundings.

Next morning, we had a satisfying American Breakfast. Bala's Place is also famous for its tea and scones, a must try during your stay/visit. The place is suitable for family and friends to stay, though you have to keep a good watch on your kids as there will be staircases especially when you are taking bigger (2-level) family rooms at the upper block which would give you the best view of the mountains.

There are drawing room, gazebos, swings, tea room, beautiful dining rooms for you to enjoy. Highly recommended and definitely will come back next time.

Stayed June 2015, travelled as a couple

TH Hotel & Convention Centre Terengganu

“Spacious and clean ”

My husband and son spent a night here after a tiring weekend of Kenyir Triathlon. It was recommended by a friend, also staying there with his family that same night before we all head back to KL next day.

We checked-in quite late, around 7pm. The process was smooth and fast. We actually paid more when we paid directly, so please check first in online apps such as agoda/bookings for the prices in case you can get cheaper room price. 

The room is super spacious and clean (we took the twin sharing deluxe). No complain for the super clean toilet. 

We also found out that there is an indoor swim pool designated for the Muslim ladies who would like to swim without their hijabs. I joined my friend's wife there for a while, before we went out to the outdoor pool to join the kids and the husbands. 

Breakfast was great. Nasi dagang is a must have there and a lot of other local and western food choices.

Stayed May 2015, travelled with family

Lake Kenyir Resort

I came here in 2010 and was disappointed with the faulty aircond, how dirty and dusty the room was but my recent May trip (for triathlon) change a LITTLE bit of my perspective. 

Crowd - i prefer to come during peak season (for triathlon/company family day) as the place can be quite spooky at night. Otherwise, get a room near the main building. If you are lucky enough, you get to see family of wild boars passing nearby the room.
Baggy - the baggy is always helpful to carry you and your stuff around and this is important unless you plan to hike the little hills of the resort. The staffs are very friendly. Ample space to park the cars.
Food - we had lunch at the restaurant facing the swimpool. Average, resort-price. Dinner is always good. Always remember that the nearest town is Kuala Berang and it is about 40km away.
Room and toilet - I always remember how big the room was and the toilet is almost half the size of the room itself. This time, the room was clean, the bedsheet is newly changed, and looked okay. No bath tub, just hot shower with make up table and mirror. But I had a moment when I was alone on the toilet seat, mr. Ratatouille decided to say hi from under the closet space. Had a scary moment for a while. When my husband looked for it, it was gone. Aircond was working fine, no funny sound like last time.
Hotel phone - the hotel phone is not working, cable unattached and useless even when we try to connect it. Phone operators are out of service in most part of the hill. We couldn't really keep in touch with other friends so you better request for rooms near to each other (within walking distance) if you are coming in group.
So far, I'd say the place is average with affordable price.

Stayed May 2015, travelled with friends

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Kuantan Century Ride 2015

*from a cycling fan's eye..

At 9.30am after a quick breakfast at the hotel, I drove directly to Pekan, as I was pretty sure the cyclists were gonna past that way. After keeping in touch with MKCT's support/photog car (Aunty n Pakdin), I decided to wait at WS2.

Firstly I saw MKCT AdiYus riding in a peloton (at the Pekan -Kuantan Higway) didnt want to honk or whatever, scared to surprised him / caused any harm.. cycling in fast peloton needs full attention. Then I passed by 2-3big pelotons before reaching Clem's peloton. So I waited at WS2.

Surprised! I didn't notice Clem and Yao Shan passed by probably because the peloton was too big and they were at the outer side.. and they didn't stop at the WS2 (as planned).

Took more photos there, and few other MKCT cyclists came. Everybody was looking good, at that time. I drove around the kampung area, try looking for Clem's peloton.. only managed to catch up with them on the highway back before they exited the Tg. Lumpur.

Then I decided to go back to town waiting for everyone at the finish line. Reached the Padang Kemunting at 12.30pm and missed the 1st peloton by just few minutes.. waited for the MKCT cyclists at the finish line..

It wouldn't be fun, without any on site dramas! From the site, 2 MKCT riders vomitted, the body rejected everything I heard. But 1 managed to proceed, another had to bail. Different case, 1 more was cramping and at the very edge of giving up (another 20km to finish line!) after some words of encouragement and challenge by the teammates, he continued cycle and finish. Separate case also, 1 beginner cyclist punctured tube at 70km and end his first 'unplanned' Century ride. 1 seasoned cyclist also had to quit at 70km as the body could not give anymore.1 who always cramped at km100 had a day of his life yesterday, when everytg went perfectly well for the legs. One OP-MKCT surprised himself, to be able to finish unscathed without any training.


Race morning, ready to roll
From left: clem, yao shan, andrew, and henry. (This is henry's seriously unplanned CR, going to ride a hibrid bike for a start, with a lot of unexpected sores coming)

Ironlady Pui San coming through

Big peloton entering the waterstation

Sam was also there

Big smiles from Andrew and Adiyus

after WS2, i tried to track down clem and yao shan's peloton, and met them on the highway back to town before they exited to Tg. Lumpur. Then, I went straight to the finish line to wait for them to come back.

The superbikers. All dried up even after playing under the bomba's water spray.

Rafiq blur blur and Azizi

Saad looks like he is not tired with much energy to spare

Syukri.. always perform well during events

Clement and Yao Shan..
Yao Shan break away with the front pelotons then Clement managed to catch up with him before the last water station. Not bad for a 14 year old.

Azli, Daus, and Clement enjoying the water spray

The white red army of musang

Mr. Clement and Mr. Thomas

Nazri, finally a century ride finisher after battling with cramps 20km from the finish line

Halimey and Azah

Andrew Yaoshan, father and 14 year old son both finished their race and this is their first time doing century ride.
Henry had his tyre puncture and he couldn't finish the race. He surely will be back again for more century rides to come.

Afiq the triathlete, this is his first century ride also, yet he is still looking fresh!

Auzani and Cpt Sepat

Kem and Wanie

Azman and Rosdi

Congratulations to all finishers! To the DNFs, many other events to come, stay calm and keep training.. till next time.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Terung Asam/Terung Iban

In Sarawak we have this one local vege that we call terung asam (by melayu serawak) or terung iban (by my ethnic). I have been staying here (Klang Valley) since 2006 and never once did I found this terung anywhere. They say we can find it in Cameron Highland, but they were mistaken for persimmons.
My husband and I finally decided to plant it at home.. seeds from the terung we brought here from Sarawak.
The terung asam has its own taste. It can be perfectly combined with fish, chicken, beef, pork, or just by itself.
It is a very sensitive plant to be planted. It only grows well on the hill-soil. I remember when I visited my aunty's place at rumah panjang, the tree just grew well and healthy (with fruits) under the rumah panjang! Shady area. My father has the tree at home in Kuching, but it just doesn't bear fruit. I guess there must be some special condition for it to grow well. I hope our project here work well.
Now we can really see some seedling coming up. Fingers crossed...