Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Wat Uttamaram, Lubok Jong, Pasir Mas.

If you are on your way to Sg. Kolok, Thailand from Kota Bharu you should drop by this place call Wat Uttamaram at Batu 3, Lubok Jong, Pasir Mas.
The Buddhist temple is about 3km away from the main road, which is why it's also called the Wat Bt.3.
The architecture of this temple is influenced by the Thais due to its locality which is so near to Thailand. Moreover, the people living surrounding the temple are mostly Siamese as well.
This temple is visited by tourist most of the time especially from the West coast and, I heard that the building of the temple comprises of funds that came from donations mostly from Johorean and Singaporean. This is so because the Late chief Monk used to travel t0 the South to perform his duty as a monk.
On the left of the temple is a building comprises of a school teaching Thai language and a hostel for visiting tourist.
The main building of this temple is very old. However more and more buildings were build to accommodate for visitors from outside.

Behind the main building is the river which reminds me of our Taman Negara at Kuala Koh. It looks so natural.
For more information about this temple, you can read here, here and here.

I am taking the opportunity to post this article as this year is also Visit Kelantan Year.
Not far from Wat Uttamaram is Rantau Panjang where you can do your shopping for Thai stuffs and food. It is the border town to Thailand.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sg. Kolok, Thailand

I haven't been to Thailand for more than seven to eight years now. Even though We are staying in Kelantan, and worst still my place is not really far to the Thai border. I remember I used to go there quite often, almost every month for food and visiting my cousins at Narathiwat until the bombing starts over at the Southern Thailand.
Today, me and the two boys tried to do something adventurous. The idea came after hearing some stories from a monk about their visit to Thailand recently. Their car got punctured along the highway by those nails spread by those irresponsible people. There were two army trucks in front of them but they just moved along even though with their tyres flat. I can understand why.
To cut it short, we went there for just a short visit. We drove our car in. It was very easy. No document required for a short and nearby visit. I never expect that even though I brought my Vehicle Registration card along. The Malaysian police just waive his hand and asked us to go along without asking anything. Then the passport/checkpoint also very convenient at the Malaysian side. Just show it to the immigration officer as we drive along. At the Thai side, that's where the troublesome starts. There were quite a huge crowd queing. And we have to acquire the middleman to write for us our entry permit form, and pay them RM2.00 per passport. I was told that this money will be distribute out half2 with the Thai immigration officers. So corrupted ! What happens if you try to be smart and write it yourself ? They'll tell you to go acquire the middleman to write and start queing all over again. And when stamping your passport, your photo will be taken using a web camera. This is as far the Thai security are concern. That's all.
We drove straight to our next destination i.e. looking for food. We no longer need to buy insurance for our vehicle nor have our vehicle declared. So straight off we drive there carefully and with caution. And there we head for Moon shadow Cafe which we haven't been there for many many years. A very cosy and nice cafe serving Thai food, real hot and spicy too !
if you have not been there before, this place is worth visiting. Some Malaysian people called it the Sewing Machine restaurant as their tables are made of old sewing machines. And they have lots of antiques displaying at the cafe.
Well, we spent there for about 1 and a half hours eating and relax for a while before proceeding to the 'talad' r the wet market to buy something back home. We bought 2kg of live crabs for RM20.00 per kg, a kg of cooked glutinous rice at RM10.00 per kg ( it's called santan pulut to be eaten with mangoes or durian) and some thai dish. In total we spend about RM150.00 there.
The exchange rate was RM150.00 = Thai Baht 1450
This is the first time the currency exchange is in favour of Thailand as far as I can recall.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Genting Highland

It's the break away time again. It's a long holiday break again in Kelantan, in conjunction with the state's Sultan Birthday, 2 days for the weekend and 2 days for public holiday. This time I brought the family to Genting Highland. We took the KB-Jeli-Banding-Kuala Kangsar-Ipoh-Tg Malim-Batang Kali-Genting Highland route. It's slightly further than the KB-Gua Musang-GH route but I prefer this journey as you get to enjoy the scenery and stop over at a few big towns instead of all the long and winding road along the palm oil plantation road. A no no for me using that boring road as it makes my driving very sleepy.

It was a 3d/2N at Genting Highland. Our first day was mainly resting at the hotel room at First World Hotel., as we were quite tired after along journey. At night, we take time to explore the in-door theme park. Nothing much for us (my wife and me) and our 3 teen kids. We end up taking dinner and surfing net at the free wifi station at the Starbucks Cafe.
Everything at Genting is so expensive including food and tickets to the theme park. A plate of fried mee can cost you RM10.00 and a can of coke cost RM4.00
Not much fun for us over here at the indoor park. Most of the games are for younger kids, so we only try out the Euro Express for a start at RM8.00 per head, per game only. Well at least that will warm us up for the 1st night over here.
Since I don't like gambling, we didn't bother to visit the casino at all. We spent the rest of the night breathing fresh air at the StarBucks cafe, with 2 cups of Italian coffee (I can't even remember the name) and a piece of cheese cake at RM42.00 . But it's worth it as they do provide free wifi facilities.

The next morning right after breakfast, we head straight to the ticket counter to buy tickets for 5 at RM190.00 for the outdoor theme park. It's a Saturday, so they are open for fun from 9 am to 10pm.
At the moment we got there, we don't want to waste any time.. we start off with the thrill rides The Pirate Ship, than Cockscrew, Cyclone, Flying Dragon..and many many more.
As for me, I get to snap plenty of photos.. non-stop using my compact Sony.
If you are really looking for remedies to release tension, this is the right place. Got fed up with your daily job or with your boss and want to scream it out ? This is the place. To release tension from all the exams after months of studies ? This is the place.

At my age, I can't be bother at all. I played most of the games as well.. and scream as much as I can.. haha. As the saying goes, If you can't beat those youngsters, than just join them. Just enjoy playing the games with the kids.. and stay young and be happy while you can.
Some of the games are categorise as family rides, meaning you get to enjoy the games with the family at slower pace. Not so trilling and as exciting but you get to rest for a while and relax while moving on to the next trill rides. The boating, Mini train, Pirate train flying jumbo, Tea cup and monorail are just a few of them.

Can't stop snapping photos too..
One of my favourite is the Space Shot.




The Pirate Ship.

The Matahari, merry go round.

The Spinner, another trill ride.



This is call the Flying Coaster. It's Genting's signature attraction. You have to pay additional RM10.00 per game.



Fun for the children too. This is call Rodeo Rider. I love looking at the facial expression of those kids. Some laugh and play again and again.. while some tears and some cry out aloud..

If you want to see more of my photos, please do drop by at my photobucket.

We return home on the next day using the same route where we started. And to share with you, the best photo for the trip ! We got to see2 wild elephants on our return journey along the Banding Jeli road. I consider ourselves to be very lucky enough to get to see these elephants as I used to hear some travellers talking about seeing wild elephants on their journey using the same road.
Anyway, this is the second time I saw the elephants somewhere near here as my previous one was during my fishing trip at Pulau Banding during the night.