I did searched online regarding places of interest in Kuala Terengganu but superbly old lady Ah Ping, forgot to bring along with her. I only remembered there is a pasar and the floating market. Kenyir Lake was too far. As I reached the hotel, they placed me in a room facing the sea. I stayed at Grand Continental with a swimming pool but without a gym! I cant swim at that time so I really missed having a gym at a hotel. During the hantu AGM I was really lucky because I get to stay at a hotel with a gym! Since I was travelling alone, so I wasn’t expecting I would get to explore much. I asked the counter, how to get to the market. They told me is actually quite far to walk from the hotel so I decided to go with a taxi. Along the way there I was impressed by the nice waterfront. The taxi driver stopped me right in front of the market. I started exploring the market and I saw mango. I think they thought I was Singaporean, so they charged me really2 expensive. I got to walked to the hill where I discovered, it used to be a fort during the old sultan times. I wanted to enter the fort until I realised there is a man following me. I got worried and left to the floating restaurant opposite the hill. Lunch was again expensive. I asked them if the museum was near and they said it was quite far so I continued my journey down. There I bought some durian dodol to try and continue to walk down the waterfront. Is really so much better than Kuching waterfront. I didn’t know how far more I needed to walk so I took a cab back. All through my journey, everyone was really nice and helpful. I decided to go to the beach near the hotel. Behind the hotel, there was a stall. I was at the beach when the sky started to turn gloomy that is where I decide to go back to the stall. There I met Fatin, a 9 year old girl. Her dad is a cook at the stall and she helps up whenever she can. They asked her to peel onions! I decided to help her up. She asked a lot of questions about Sarawak. She told me she cannot understand how come I am from Sarawak and I am chinese. The poor kid, she was in tears because of the onions until she had no choice but to go home. So I decided to go back to the hotel. I realised Kuala Terengganu gets dark later, so off I went to the stall behind the hotel again. Fatin was back at the stall so I decided to order rojak buah, ikan panggang and apple juice. I asked Fatin to eat with me but she said I have to ask permission from her dad. Her dad said is better we just chat and not eat. Then Fatin told me, “Melayu and Cina tidak boleh makan sama. Tidak halal” I was like “bagaimana tidak halal? Makanan ini dimasak oleh ayah Fatin”. If this is what they are teaching in school, the government can stop promoting 1Malaysia instead use the money to train better teachers! I know a lot of taxi drivers they will find their ways to get you to pay more but this particular taxi driver that drove me from the airport the previous day, he was extremely helpful. He was so proud that all of his children went to different local universities and all of them are back in Kuala Terengganu working. That is something I felt happy about. If it was in Sarawak, everyone will be so proud that their children in working in Singapore. The driver was so helpful to the level when we reached UNISZA, he insisted that he drove me to the nearest stop to meet my students even though I told him I am alright walking. Then he was so trusting, I told me I will pay him first when he dropped me off at UNISZA but he said is okay, I only pay later when I need to get back. On the way back, he asked me, have I seen the new heritage place? I said no. He actually drove me to see it and de-route till the showing me the chinatown. When we reached the hotel, I asked him, how much, he charged me the same price as agreed early morning without the de-tour.
During my visit to the students, Nor Adillah’s sis actually got me freshly made keropok lekor lesung from one of the village. I think about 20 of them. I was so touched. They even go to the extend of wanting to invite me for dinner. They brought me to the airport beach where we had fried cuttlefish, fish balls and prawns. They told me they need to go home for prayers and Hidaytus’s mum actually invited me to the house. Understanding local culture, I decide to get fried cuttlefish and prawns for her mum. Her house was a really nice kampung house. Her dad passed away and her mum had to take care of 6 children with the youngest 8 years old I think. Can really feel the warm of her family, making me tea and rushing out to buy me noodles that is popular in the village. After prayers the girls brought me for a walk at the heritage place. They actually wanted to bring me for a boat ride to see Tamadun. Unfortunately, they didn’t know the exact place to take the boat. The mosques there is actually very nice. Then they brought me to eat nasi dagang. I must admit, even though I never tried before, but the dagang was really nice. Is stall behind Hap Seng electrical shop and nearby a chinese eating place. It was obvious, in Kuala Terengganu, the Chinese and Malays do not mix at all. This time I am kind of happy I get to experience travelling to the level of understanding their culture.