While we go back to the mainland, those at our dive resort today go to Temple of the Sea, one of the best sites around together with T3 (which we did go to fortunately).
I started the day by walking out of bed into the sea; it was lovely at high tide at Teluk Dalam where we were staying. We followed with breakfast and checked out at 1100.
Our boat back to Kuala Besut [Kuala-Besut-travel-guide-1359291] left soon after 1200. It was a smaller boat and the journey was about half hour only. We weren't asked to wear life jackets until close to port when the maritime police was sighted; we slowed right down and life jackets were handed out in a panic.
At Kuala Besut taxi drivers tried overcharging RM70 for the fare to Kota Bharu. The signboard showing RM50 which we saw last time had been cast aside for the arrival. We managed to get a ride at the correct price by digging our heels in.While I didn't get any photos of swift houses in Kuala Besut, here's a bad photo of one in Kota Bharu.
Walking to the taxi I noticed quite a few shophouses which had their windows blocked up with small apertures through which swifts were flying in and out of. I've heard about premises which people have used for swift nesting so they can collect their nests (a Chinese delicacy made from its saliva). It replaces the need for labourers to risk limb and life climbing up caves on shaky scaffolding. However, I wouldn't like to be neighbours with a bird's nest house. Imagine the chirping and the smell from the droppings! The taxi driver said these premises are licensed; the small and rural council don't think too much about the impact.
On the way, I saw a lorry transporting water melons. Nothing unusual about that except that on the water melons were lots of monkeys. They're going to be very far from home at the end of the day.Ayam percik, the Kelantan specialty. Grilled chicken with coconut and lemongrass basting.Wonder what happens then? Perhaps take over somebody's garden and make it their new home?
We arrived at Tune Hotel Kota Bharu on the dot at 2pm, which is also its check-in time. After a short rest, we went to the KB Mall across the road to get lunch; most eateries open at 3pm due to Ramadhan. We couldn't help noticing the number of rather unsavoury-looking westerners hanging around the mall. They certainly don't look wholesome like all the others I've met in all my travels. I rather judgmentally concluded that they're the worst of the tourists to Thailand (sex tourists, drunkards and druggies) who have crossed the border for a visa run. They all queued outside McDonald's for its opening at 3pm; they obviously don't like the several Chinese cafes across the main road that are open during daylight despite Ramadhan.At the Ramadhan market; grilled fish.
We ate at a local franchise fast food outlet called The Chicken Rice Shop (with a standard somewhat between McDonald's and Denny's). They specialise in local favourites and their chicken curry and ayam percik was the best I've had in living memory.
From the mall, we went to the Ramadhan market near the stadium. The array of food on sale was pretty impressive and very tempting. Despite having just eaten we bought a variety of snacks plus "laksam" just out of greed and curiosity.
To round off the day, we went back to The Chicken Rice shop for some green mango salad, and deep-fried whole-prawn wontons as supper. I can't rate this place highly enough! It shows that fast food can be good food.