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Published: April 10th 2020
Saturday, 7th March 2020
It was awesome to start the day with a swim at the hotel's infinity pool. From where I stood, the morning views of the city was unforgettable. At 8am, this was probably the best time of the day to be at the pool when the majority of the hotel guests were either asleep or having their breakfast.
Since we had opted out from the hotel buffet, it was time to check out some breakfast options at Chinatown after the swim. Whether it was local porridge or chicken drumstick hor fun or char kuay teow, there were plenty of delicious options for us. Our gourmet journey continued to the local market where there were options for some kueh kuehs and keropok from one of the many colorful vendors around.
Next, no visit to the city would be complete without a trip to the beautiful An-Nur Great Mosque. Famed the "Taj Mahal" of Pekanbaru, construction took a good 5 years before it finally opened its doors to worshippers in 1968. The huge green qubba (dome) is an imposing site to behold. While the crowds at the mosque complex were thin when we were there, the security
personnel did ask a couple of curious questions. Eventually, he seemed quite pleased with our limited Bahasa Indonesia vocabulary and that we had came all the way from Singapore.
Another nice building to take in pictures in Pekanbaru is the Soeman HS Library Complex which had a gigantic truss over its roof which resembled a pair of wings. However, as we explored the interior of the library, we concluded that it would certainly benefit from a round of asset enhancement.
Since the sky had started drizzling, we decided to head back to the hotel before a late lunch at Pagi Sore, an upmarket Nasi Padang chain in the city. Food was top-notch and we were amazed by the variety of dishes and sauces on offer. After our meal, we decided to embark on a walking tour around the city to burn off the calories. The pathways were relatively well-maintained even though we had to be mindful of the occasional opened manholes.
Along our way to the dinner venue, we passed by the now-defunct Sang Nila Utama Museum. From the looks of it, restoration work would probably take a while (if it happens eventually). Since we were still
quite full from our previous meal, we ordered only three dishes at Pondok Gurih to sample - one fish, a couple of satays and fried long beans. Overall, this was another nice meal in a beautiful setting.
After dinner, we headed to the Korean-owned Lotte Grosir, a sprawling retail warehouse that is about 1km from where we stayed. What impressed us were the neat displays of goods which made a nice Instagram spot in my opinion.
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