I knew March was going to be a challenging work month, so I tried to slot in a weekend getaway somewhere. Texted Giri and asked if she was free bring me around Kuantan since she’s working there.
Now, some of you may ask, “What’s there to do in Kuantan?! There’s nothing unless you go to Cherating!”
WRONG. But I don’t blame you because that’s what I thought too! Until I came to Kuantan.
Took a bus from Puduraya to Kuantan bus terminal and it took 3.5 hours. From there, took a RapidKL bus to the Rapid bus terminal for another 20 to 25 minutes. My hostel was pretty near to the bus terminal, approximately a 150m/ 5minutes walk.
I stayed in Kuantan Backpackers – the only backpacker hostel in the town. The reviews in TripAdvisor mentioned that it’s pretty hidden, which is true. SPOT THE PLACE IN THE PICTURE! Haha..
It’s the small little sign in blue under “Merchant Trade”. I wouldn’t be able to find it if it wasn’t for the map given by Zamri, the new owner of the place.
Checked in and there were 3 different types of dorms. I chose the 3 bed female dorm because it seemed the most decent out of them all. Clean, neat, more space and privacy than the other dorms, I like! It’s only RM30 per night. The deco is also very prettyyyyy! With orange and yellow ball-like trees! 😀 Such a sucker for all things pretty ❤
The common hall was also filled with amazing graffiti done by previous guests and I can’t help but to also leave my mark with my newly learnt calligraphy quote on my last night. A quote I truly believe in 😀
Settled in, asked a few questions on bus routes and then I headed out to meet Giri!
Typical Malaysian favourite activities.
Then, we had coffee (RM8) and bersantai like a king.
Can’t believe none of the KL cafes have picked this up. Beach chairs with comfy huge pillows. Functional ping pong table which also serves as a long dining hang out table. Sweeeeet!
Totally kick-ass la. Even in their toilets. HAHA..
Met up with Aminda, another high school friend of ours and headed for the famous ikan bakar (grilled fish) in town. They say Kuantan is famous for that dish. True enough, the entire road was filled with restaurants selling that. I went to the most famous one – Ana Ikan Bakar Petai.
Ikan bakar sambal petai (Signature dish).
All for RM150 for 3 of us – RM50 per pax.
Also, my most expensive expense during the trip 😀
I was happily enjoying my meal that I couldn’t remember to take a picture of it. It was just superrrrrr good! The only one I took was a man who was swiftly cutting the coconuts into drinkable sizes. He was so pro, he did it in average 5 seconds per coconut! HAHA.. I know, I’m weird! 😀 #thingsthatamuseme
Had an incredible first night in Kuantan. Simple but so full (both tummy and heart), hehe! Really appreciate the simple moments like these. Meeting old friends, hearty meal, a break from the routine, meeting new friends in the hostel.
I even had a long conversation with my roomie, a girl from Scotland. We talked for so long that I delayed my shower for an hour and ignored Marc’s call because it was just so interesting talking to her! LOL!
Woke up the next morning meeting with new friends and talking about German (or some Europe countries la) engineers getting half naked during lunch time in Pekan – a really small town not too far away from Kuantan – because they wanna have tan skins so bad!
Laughed like crazy, especially when one of the them said, “Menjemur seperti ikan kering di luar, merah tubuh mereka!” LOLOL!
While waiting for Giri to wake up, I took a walk and allowed myself to get lost in the city.
Many people tell me that it’s dangerous for me to walk alone, to travel alone, to do things alone. Yes, there’s always a risk but doing all these things alone also reveal the things in your heart and the heart of other people. While walking, this Malay security guard saw me holding my phone trying to locate a place, so he offered to walk me to the main road when he found out I was pretty far out from my bearing. It’s things like these that warm my heart. Screw you, racism!
When Giri was finally awake at 12pm – life here is seriously chillax! – we headed for some Chinese food (RM6) in some hawker food.
Then, we ate again! LOL. Keropok lekor! *woots woots* Apparently, the favourite past time of the people here is to eat or go to the beach. I guess it’s true!
We then headed to the Natural Batik Village, Balok and there were a lot of handmade souvenirs for the tourist. I know batik is a tough art but RM70++ for a beach hat is ridiculous! Obviously targeted for the mat sallehs!
We walked towards the end of the village where batik prints are made.
Beach strolling at 3pm. Was blazing hot but I convinced Giri to drop me at the beach, reckon it’s called Balok Beach.
So serene!!!! only one hanging out at the beach. Giri decided that she will stay in her car with her air-con. LOL. At the other end of the beach, there was this group of men doing some fishing.
Curious, I had a conversation with them and found out that it was their weekly Sunday activities to pass time. The fishes are either made to ikan kering (dried fish) or ikan bakar (grilled fish) for their own consumption. Any extras will be sold to the market.
Wow, so cool la to see these people fishing. City girl ma. It’s not everyday I get to see this. =D
Satay Zul for dinner, approximately RM10 per pax (includes nasi lemak kosong, satay and a drink).
Spent the night in the hostel eating and chilling with the guests there. Totally one of the best experiences travelling! Listening to their stories back home, their culture and their future plans..and then watch movie together in the common hall. I learnt so much! Travel really inspires me! It helps me to take a short break from my routine and to refocus on what my initial goal is!
Had an early morning to give Teluk Cempedak beach before I headed home to KL. Love my quiet,alone time. No one can tell me what to do, how long to be at the beach..
While waiting at the bus stop at the beach, the bus driver was there chilling, waiting for his scheduled departure. The bus systems there are more advanced compared to KL. They have scheduled times, they have ETA screens at the bus stops which are accurate!!, next bus stop alerts in the bus.. man, I’m impressed! So yea, had a long chat with him and the bus conductor, talking about life in KL and Kuantan.
These kinda experiences can never be bought with shitloads of money, you know. It’s the little things in life that we fail to see. That we don’t pay enough attention to.
All in all, a very good relaxing trip to Kuantan! Thanks, Giri 🙂
So, how did I manage everything below RM250 for 3 days and 2 nights?
Bus tickets – RM47 both ways (Book it here)
Accommodation – RM60 for 2 nights in Kuantan Backpackers
Transportation – RM10 (RM2 per way from bus terminal to the bus station, Teluk Cempedak beach, LRT back home)
Shopping – RM12 for fabrics in Nagoya, LOL!
Food – RM97 for 3 days (includes RM50 for my yummy ikan bakar, Satay Zul, Keropok lekor…and other nonsense street food you wouldn’t want to know!)
GRAND TOTAL = RM226