Saturday, June 11, 2011

A short beach retreat

Both Onn and I were born in Terengganu. Onn is very proud of the place. I, on the other hand hate it. A lot. Mom always teases me that the fact that I end up marrying somebody who was born from Terengganu, is God’s way of getting even with me. You can’t hate anything too much. 

But there’s a big difference between me and Onn. Onn’s presence in Terengganu has always been as a visitor. Hence, you tend to be touristy and appreciate things more. I stayed there for a few years. And naturally, you tend to take things for granted. 

It has always perplexed me how a state with oil as the main revenue, beautiful island and beautiful beaches, and so rich in culture, can end up so under developed and so poor.

The scenic part of Dungun town

One of the things that used to annoy me most is there is not even ONE decent shopping complex in Terengganu. Unless u call Hock Kee Seng a shopping complex. Yeah…very lame I know. But it matters when you are young, and the slow pace in a small town feels like it’s killing you.

Fast forward ………after almost 15 years living in the city, I get tired of the city. The traffic. The rush. The superficialness. The fact that my kids have to resort to everything artificial for entertainment. The fact that you have to pay so much for anything that gives you any taste of nature and tranquil living. Then the thought of a slow pace life sounds more tempting. Though I doubt I can actually survive living in a place like that.

And over the years, I have also developed this strong obligation to keep my kids in touch with nature. Whenever I have the opportunity, I try my best to expose them to nature and educate them about their culture and heritage. I do believe Malaysian have so much to be grateful for. This is a very beautiful country. Nice place to stay.  It’s an irony that it takes me to be away from the country to realize that. Of course it would be much nicer if we can get rid of all those corrupted horny politicians. Wooopppsss ;)

Anyway, since we are going back to Kota Bharu for the school holiday, we decided to have a short beach retreat in Tanjung Jara Resort in Dungun, Terengganu. We spent 2 nights there.

The place is so gorgeous. I am so in love with the architecture.

And the landscape.

And the beach.

Most of the times, when you go to a resort, you will either get the beach OR the greens…here in Tanjung Jara you get both. They have landscaped the place so well that it makes you feel like you are living in a kampung next to the beach. 

You wake up every morning to the sound of birds chirping and the waves. And while you have your morning coffee at the balcony, you can just sit there watching the sunrise, birds and squirrels and the soothing greeneries while listening to the sound of the waves. Not to mention the smell of the local flowers. So natural. So virgin. It actually makes me feel so small. Like a midget.  Counting my blessing every single seconds.

To me, it’s the ultimate zen ;)

We didn’t have our meals in the resort. I was tempted to try out Nelayan…but $250 per pax sounds like a blasphemy. Especially if you have picky eaters who would probably eat very little, and still whine they are hungry after the meal. Dungun has a lot of cheap places to eat. And pretty nice food too. So food was not an issue.

By the way, that Pak Din’s Nasi Dagang was so yummylicious, it probably beat my mom’s ;)

It is so tranquil and peaceful that the kids had a blast, and completely forgotten they were disconnected from the world wide web for 3 days. Well sort of…the hotel lobby has wifi and computers ;)
 The one who still find his online manga is the most interesting thing despite the zen ambience.
But still it was impressive. No complain of “I’m bored” despite of the fact we didn’t do much. In fact we really didn’t do much. One of the nights, we tried going up to Rantau Abang to see whether we had any luck with turtle sighting. Zilch. And we were too lazy to drive down to Kerteh. So the closest we got to the turtle is the tungtung in the Turtle Hatchery Centre.
Most of the times, we just laze around and enjoyed the beach. For once, I don’t go to a resort and still have to think of ways to occupy the kids. While thinking why am I paying so much for the room when we hardly spend time there??  Not to mention spending loads of money on those activities. And whenever we were away from our room, they keep saying…”Let’s go home”…ehemmm…home is the hotel room??…ehemmm???!!

 Hajar feeling artsy fartsy...can't believe she actually packed her painting stuffs.

 Yoga anyone?? 

The service is superb. The staffs remember you by your first name. And your room number too. I don’t know whether it’s a coincidence, but they sure make me smile ;) They made you feel like they were anticipating your arrival. Like they will call you, when are you arriving? And if you don’t they will call again…before your arrival, they will make sure your room is ready…your additional requests are fulfilled….it gives you the same feeling you have when you are invited to somebody’s house. And whenever you need their service, they will be at your doorstep in less than 10 minutes. And they are always smiling. 

Aaahhh…how can I not be back again???
Note to self: Need to convince my Finance Director to go there again. Maybe we should make it a regular stop every time we drive up to Kota Bharu?? Hahahaha….coz I think it’s my Finance Director who need to chill and relax the most. Onn, you’ll be reading this right?? ;)