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Friday 25 December 2009

Xmas 2009 @ Kuantan

The day after coming back from Hat Yai we travelled to Kuantan (on Xmas day) to attend a gathering organized by my car club.

Before checking in, we had lunch at a roadside shop.

Interesting shop, the plates were huge

That night, we drove up the coast to Cherating and had dinner at the Peninsular Restaurant.

This was the only usable photo we had
The next morning before heading back to Kuala Lumpur we had breakfast in Kemaman.

Hai Peng Kopitiam, a favourite with the locals

Thursday 24 December 2009

Xmas 2009 @ Hat Yai Day 4

Breakfast at a Bak Kut Teh shop as usual. Although we could have walked there (some 15 minutes if on foot) Brendan insisted on a tuk-tuk.

Shot this whle on the tuk-tuk, the police were not amused!

Brendan wishing there were tuk-tuks in Kuala Lumpur

Did I mention Brendan loves the tuk-tuk?

At the Bak Kut Teh shop (ข้าวมันไก่ทุ่งลุง (เฮียอ้วน) or Fat Uncle's Rice Chicken Lung (?); Coordinates: 7.002222, 100.475694), while Brendan and I had BKT Cat opted for something else.

Cat had rice porridge instead

After breakfast, we persuaded Brendan to walk instead so that we could do some real sight-seeing. To our surprise, we came upon a Catholic church (Mae Pa Prachak Muang Ru Catholic Church; Coordinates: 7.004861, 100.475694) on the way back to the hotel.

The church

Said our prayers

Went around the church unencumbered

Tea time at McDonalds coz Brendan wanted his cheezy fries as usual.

While Brendan enjoyed his fries

Bought this watchamacallit potato thing for Cat

This was one of the last shots we took in Hat Yai

This year's Hat Yai trip was cut short as we had to rush back to Kuala Lumpur on Xmas eve to attend a gathering in Kuantan the day after Xmas.

But we'll be back.

Wednesday 23 December 2009

Xmas 2009 @ Hat Yai Day 3

The day began with breakfast at McDonalds. Brendan had a hankering for the cheezy fries!

Cheezy fries please

Then took a tuk-tuk ride to Robinson Department Store again (Coordinates: 7.003254, 100.468869) for some follow-up shopping (i.e. stuff we missed yesterday).

Hey, its my star sign (ornament adorning one of the streetlight poles)

Jersey and fedora?

On the way back from Robinson, Cat found a salon called Nong and decided to pamper herself. Thinking that it was going to be as cheap as last year (at a different salon though), she was horrified when she had to pay more than 1,000Bt this time (last year's cut, was & blow was only 200Bt).

Nong is located along the same street as Robinson, so beware!

Avoid this salon (Nong) at all cost!

After a hard day of gallivanting we gave ourselves a treat at Sizzlers.

Garlic bread as appetizers

Cat loves the salad bar

Brendan attacking his kids steak meal with gusto

Cat showed more restraint

Meal fit for a king

Tuesday 22 December 2009

Xmas 2009 @ Hat Yai Day 2

Took a walk in the morning to the market nearby (Gim Yong or Kim Yong, not too sure about the pronounciation).  On the way, we stumbled upon this quaint traditional house.

Looks like a typical Malaysian kampung house

We were amazed by how clean Gim Yong market (Coordinates: 7.007639, 100.469986) was, not the grimy wet markets in Malaysia.

Clean streets and walkways
And just what is he selling?
Going walkabout

We had breakfast there, found a shop selling local cakes and such.

Sorry, didn't have my flash on me

Then it was a bout of shopping at the Plaza market.

Clothes galore

Handbags as well

It was then off to Robinson Department Store (Coordinates: 7.003226, 100.468879) for more shopping. We found a simple shop selling really authentic thai food (read: flaming hot stuff) located along a lane behind Robinson (7.002639, 100.469167).

We love this down-to-earth kind of shops

Limited choice, but the taste more than made up for it

Caution: I was too liberal with the gravy on my rice, and paid the price (gulped down pints of water)

Went back to the hotel and Brendan said he wanted a foot massage. Since Cat and I didn't feel like it he went on his own.

An easy job for the masseuse, should've asked for a discount

Same as last year

Brendan loves this part

While Brendan was at the massage parlor, we spent our tea time at Chester's Grille.

Where would I be without my 55bt cafe mocha?

Dinner was at the usual tom yam shop (Coordinates: 7.007292, 100.470903) behind The Regency Hotel.

She remembers us

Authentic southern thai tom yam

Monday 21 December 2009

Xmas 2009 @ Hat Yai Day 1

Yes! As we've vowed last year, we're going back in Hat Yai for Xmas.

This year we made reservations directly with Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel and was quoted 1149Bt per night for a Superior Room and 490Bt per night for an extra bed. We booked for four nights and the total came up to 6556Bt.

Last year we booked through a travel agent's website ( and although the room rate was cheaper (1037Bt) we inccurred VAT. The total last year was 7241Bt.

So I guess its cheaper overall to book directly with the hotel. As far as transportation goes, we bought our bus tickets from Konsortium Bas Express Semenanjung (KBES) again and paid RM50 for a ticket. We booked the 11:00PM double decker bus.

Our adventure begins at the check point.

Malaysian check point

Brendan's excited to cross the border

We took KBES's double decker, same as last year

Border crossed, Hat Yai here we come!

Checked into the same hotel (Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel, Coordinates: 7.005694, 100.471597). Rested awhile, then took the tuk-tuk to hunt for our lunch.

Still a bit groggy, but he'll soon recover

He's been waiting a year to ride the tuk-tuk again
Haha, yet again we head to our favourite restaurant for lunch... Rose-E Son (Coordinates: 7.000486, 100.475764) beckons!

Feels like home

Brendan has longer hair this year

ooh lala

Brendan had a huge appetite

I don't blame him, waited a whole year for this

Just look at the tom yam

Later while walking around we found this very cute looking scooter.

Later that night we found a little foodstall selling mee hoon soup (located behind Pink Lady, Coordinates: 7.005556, 100.472569). Very reasonably priced at 25Bt per bowl.

Very simple and unassuming

Serving authentic thai soup

And very cheap!