Well this weekend we wanted to try out the route to Merang Jetty, Terengganu prior to our planned trip to Redang in August... so we wanted to journey all the way from Kuantan, Pahang to Setiu district in Terengganu.

We also planned to spend a night in One of the Hotels there... we picked Best Western, Merang Suria Resort, since we will be spending the night in Sutra Beach Resort the next time we are going up.

Well our journey began a bit late... since all of us were late in getting up... So after breakfast, off we went!...the journey till Pantai Kemasik was a trailed path for me... but after that is new territory... After Kemasik was the Petronas township built for the Kerteh Petroleum plant... it's very planned and the complex HUGE!... there was even a huge mall (not complete though) like those in the US kind... wow...

then came Paka... then Dungun... overall i'm impressed, Terengganu is quite well developed... with quite a lot of dual carriages, and more being upgraded... We also detoured to Tanjung Jara... and stopped by the beach there, Pantai Teluk Bidara for a look see... unfortunately for some odd reason... the weather conditions was wierd (in a good way... ) it was cloudy... and kinda misty/hazeish... not that really good for any views + the sea water was very choppy BUT it was not hot at all in the middle of the afternoon! So we spent an hour just walking and enjoying the water lapping at our feet.

after a wet stopover and a change of clothes for the toddler, of we journeyed on, passing by Rantau Abang Beach - the famous turtle egg laying beach... we just passed by it.. then reached Marang... where we stopped by a beachside makan place... we had some fried rice and fried sotong... i also tried air nira (old coconut water... slightly fermentish/sourish) & U could see Pulau Kapas from the beachfront. BUT! Warning! the makan area was infested with flies though... every makan place in this stretch had tons & tons of flies.

by now it was already 3pm after the meal... wah... our slow and easy trip was taking too long... we needed to check in soon... so we quicky drove past KT... and headed towards Merang.

We found out.. that both Suria & Sutra shared the same beach... and was just 10 min away from the Merang Jetty... so it was a good decision to plan an overnighter here prior to our island trip next time.

so after check in, julie had a short nap while the kiddos and i explored the hotel area and the beach... check the Merang Suria Resort Post. Then in the evening... pool time!

Be Warned... in Merang... there is no food except in your hotel... nada... unless u want to drive 25-30km back to KT ... which we werent up to it.

The next day... we checked out early and headed to KT... wah... superly developed... it's way much bigger then Kuantan... we also wanted to check out the Crystal Mosque... driving towards it, we discovered it was built in the same place like the new Taman Tamadun Islam! it's like an islamic theme park... it was still in its final stages of completion, but they did allow visitors in for FREE! for short time-limited trips... They had like 22 scaled model mosques from different countries in the park... the pseudo theme park was all very nicely built and had lots of activities for the family... Will definately come back when it's fully completed and ready. The crystal mosque too was nicely built... man... so much money spent!

heh... since i didn't really did any background research on what to eat in KT, we ended up in KFC on our way out of town... after lunch we dropped by another mosque... a floating one... i think i saw a billboard stating... 65 mosques built since 2005... WAH!

So... that is all of KT this time around...

on our journey back ... we stoped at Cukai area for some Otak-otak Che Wan, then back to Kuantan by 5.00pm... a super 500KM overnite drive trip.

located in the Setiu district of Terengganu... this Best Western affliate Hotel is quite new. Built in 2005 , only recently do u see the trees around here take root... so its quite bare all around. The good thing about this resort is its closeness to the Merang Jetty.... a good stopover before u go to the islands... we booked online for our room, and the one night with breakfast was RM170 for that particular day.

Adjacent to it is also a NS camp, possibly built at the same time as the hotel in one big project... since the name is similar. When entering the road towards the hotel its like driving to the NS camp... but u do turn off slightly and u can see the hotel.

A lake nearby also provides a very nice view... and even has canoes for u to boat in

As for facilities... it's bare necessities. With a small pool, one restaurant... the rooms with either a double or two single... tiled, not carpeted and airconditioned... thats it. Since it's not carpeted... u kind of hear all thats happening in the room beside or people outside the room... so try to get a room furthest from the pool, restaurant and reception... i guess the upstairs ones will fair better.

u can see the islands of Redang and Lang Tengah from the beach...

the beach is also shared with another neighbouring resort. The beach wasnt very clean... mainly due to washed up rubbish and uncollected waste... i guess if they did some regular clean-ups it will be ok. Unfortunately for us, this time round... the waves were quite choppy... bad weather i presume...

I missed the morning sunrise, waking up at only 7am... i think the sun comes up at 6.30... darn... but not particulary nice that day too... sigh... will time the rise properly the next time.

they also had some private jacuzzi's, which u could rent @ RM50 for max 8 pax. We opted for the free to use pool... it's small... but with a small water slide for the kiddos, it served its purpose.

one thing to note: there is no outside stalls to get dinner as we discovered... we did drive out to try and find a restaurant.. but ended up back in the hotel for food. We ordered some dishes and rice, the bill came to a RM32 Nett. The food quality was ok lah... not great... The Complimentary breakfast the next morning was a free for all buffet... a very small spread... and also so so...

overall i think the neighbouring resort, Sutra Beach Resort looks to be the better one... we shall see come August.

so... who's idea was Koo's Idea, Kuantan? Koo of course... hahaha.... seriously.. though, the owner is a koo thus the shops name.

A relatively new shop located very near the leaf restaurant. Serving up local delights... non halal though... i whole heartedly recommend their fried rice - any variation... their mee wasn't up to par... but i can't really comment only based on our single visit. Update: seems only the longevity noodles wasn't to my expectations... the others seem ok.

their whole menu is pretty extensive... from finger foods to some dishes for two to four persons.

Julie and i took each a fried rice each... mine being seafood and hers a pineapple version... heh... mine was better (pictured) [RM4.50]

Hannah finished her order of Longevity Noodles [RM5.00] , maybe because the noodles were very like maggi mee, her favourite... so so lah...

Other then the normal leong cha's and juice drinks... they also have a nice large selection of desserts... of sago based fruit mix, herbal jellys [RM2.00] and misc stufff... vote goes to the sago desserts... took the mango version [RM4.50] since it was in season... lovely...

they also don't close that early, so a very good place for night dessert aka. supper time... woo hoo! will certainly visit this place more often... Julie really wants to have her own mango sago dessert all for herself this time round...

Update : we came 2nd time round... and tried several more dishes... I took their Belacan Fried Rice... not bad [RM5.00]

Julie took a Dumpling noodle soup [RM3.80] aka. wantan mee with siew kaw, quite tasty.... i also ordered a bowl of Yong Tau Foo [RM4.00]

Of course this time round... julie took her long desired mango sago, i had a go at their today special, momochacha... aka. bobo cha cha... not to bad [RM3.00] Overall this place is becoming our regular place... and they do cook very healthily... not much oil and their servings with fresh ingredients.

decided to take Julie for a mother's day Hi-Tea at Swiss Garden Resort & Spa, Kuantan. I had initially thought it would be just a normal hi-tea... but they were having a Mother's day promo... with a free flower door gift... and competitions and lucky draws!

heh... the food was ok lah... not great... just so so... but since they had extra activities, our makan time was a bit chopped up by the cake decoration competition. So daughter and mom went for the contest with about another 8 others... heh... we didnt win... but heh... they did enjoy themselves..

the cake was designed like a face... keh... unfortunately since it was such... the end result couldnt be eaten. (hannah did eat all the cherries) We didnt win any prizes... but did overhear we almost got 3rd prize but due to our messiness... lost. So consolation prize was an Avon gift pack... good for mommy... not too lucky too in the lucky draw...

phoebe also joined in the fun on the other table rearranging all the cutlery on the table

Woo! Labour Day! a day off to go for an outing!... after a quick breakfast at Zaman... off we went.

We had initially planned to go to Sungai Berkelah waterfalls, but upon reaching they had a sign saying off limits till the weekend... maybe some clean up in progress or something... sigh!

So not wanting to waste our effort of packing and getting all ready for an outing, we detoured back to Hutan Lipur Sg. Pandan, where there's another Waterfall, We had tried going here last time we visited Sg. Lembing. They had a broken down bridge then, which till today is still not ready...

The waterfall is situated inside Hutan Lipur Sg. Pandan, about 25 minutes away from Kuantan... & we were pleasantly surprised...

as it was a weekend, there were quite a lot of people also having their mini family trip. The park itself is kept clean by the miniscule fee u pay to get in... rm1 per adult. facility wise... ok lah... u get some changing rooms and some toilets... but the pathways and such are in a detiorating state... some bridges are broken and paths eroded... no upkeep in this area... maybe lack of funds or management woes...

nevertheless... the river and waterfall area is still warrants a very enjoyable time and an icy cold dip in river water... u can even brave the pouring water and enjoy natures water massage (couldnt do with kids tagging along)

We will definately try to come back here again just for an icy cold dip...

vegetarian... hmmm.. ok, let's try lah... we said to each other, whilst wondering what to eat.

Located just opposite Seri Malaysia, Kuantan on top of a relatively new but empty food court is this quaint shop serving mostly taiwan bubble tea.

The deco of this place is really nice, with 4 hanging seats and dark wood furniture... with a huge verandah for u to enjoy the breeze. It also has an air-cond enclosure... if it gets too hot to sit outside.

We were the only ones there that day... a bit quiet mainly due to its out of view location... plus they are newly opened, one month ago... As a vegetarian place, their menu is quite small.. As said, 80% of their menu is drinks... juices to tea.... to bubble tea... to more taiwan powder drinks... lots of drinks choices...

Hannah and i took a pearl drink, hers strawberry and mine cantaloupe flavour.

Food wise, julie took their preserved egg porridge... it looked and tasted very nice... Hannah also took her portion out of the pot.

I had their fake pork rice with soup... more normal vegetarian style dish... tasty too.

overall this place looks to be a nice quiet hang-out place... they even have simple board and party games for u to just use... we can only hope their patronage increases over time.

This recreation park named Taman Bandar... is literally in the middle of nowhere. It's quite far of from town and any residential place... infact surrounding it are governmental depts. So the crowd around here have to travel quite a bit... but truthfully... it's quite a nice place.

It has a lake... and a full Woodball course... interesting game, originating from Taiwan... we will be enquiring about this later on.

The lake also has lots of fishes and they will rush out to gobble up the bread u feed them with. A paved joggig path also circles the lake + here was a fella testing out his remote powerboat... zipping here and around the lake...

Hannah and Phoebe enjoyed the childrens playground here... possibly the bulk of the people were around this thing... and the rest doing exercises nearby... overall the condition of the equipments were detiorating... with little maintenance... thankfully the cleanliness is still maintained.

With such a large body of water, I even caught an eagle circling around the park... too bad for not enough zoom... see the speck on the top left, first pix?

ahh... the search for the best coffee place in Kuantan ended here... i still can't decide between the 2, Muar-E or Hai Peng, Kuantan version. Between these 2 is the best coffee in Kuantan.

Unfortunately both these shops open till 6pm the latest... so no night time coffee. Some say the best coffee is always taken hot... well we are iced coffee drinkers... [RM1.60]

they also serve quite alot of food, from mee, nasi-lemak, nasi dagang, soup mee to kuehs, curry puffs (very good) and also muar's otak otak (also very good). They also do cook some single dish meals... eg. kampung style fried rice [RM4]

What U must try is their toasted bun's... with kaya & comes with a cut of butter.[RM1.20] Buns to die for... literally... they also have a pseudo healtier version... wholemeal buns[RM1.50]

that particular day we also discovered a new drink for Hannah, fresh strawberry juice... not bad i must say [RM3]

Situated along the main road, Jln Berserah is this funny name restaurant... the sign also does say authentic Thai cuisine, cuz the chef is really a lady from thailand + they do serve really good thai food!...

actually we had already had so called thai food during lunch, and we just wanted to try and see, what this place was serving... "see-see" also thai, but i was too lazy to go to another venue so we decided to try lah...

Pandan Chicken... ahh.. u just got to order this lah... firstly, good for the kids since it's not hot and heh... fried chicken... heard of any children not liking fried chicken... anyways their version was juicy and nice. [RM15]

Next came the parents order... Seafood Tom Yam, they were generous with the contents... with even a whole crab in it... the soup was very tasty... not too "hot" either

Kai Lan with salted fish... ok lah... not their forte... unlike malays who seem to master this style. this is more like chinese style... the salted fish is deep fried first... so not much salted fish taste on the veggies... [RM9]

A bit on the ex side... but a nice Thai dinner for all of us.the deco in the place is also nice, my only complaint was the mixture of white flourecent and yellow light... don't know why they couldnt stick to one variation or they just couldnt find repacement bulbs.