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Published: February 18th 2020
After finishing my last blog and peering round my dark and dank mozzie-infested digs, killer spray in hand, I decided this was ridiculous and went to the main block to see if I could move. Luckily there were new reception staff. They showed me a room on the second floor looking over the road (but it’s quiet here after 11, so not much road noise) and it was fabulous, huge bed, nice bathroom, usb points next to the bed, bright and cheerful. I said I’d move, inwardly crying at the thought of packing and unpacking again, but for 5 nights it was worth it and I could do it straight away rather than wait until the morning. They tried to charge me an extra 150 ringgits, but I said no, that was the type of room I’d booked originally and she checked and said yes, no extra charge. Not that they’d offered me a reduction for the garden room!
After unpacking and working out that the WiFi code was different to the garden room I thought about staying in but no, at least I could change some money and have a nose around to see what changes there had been.
2 years ago it was in upheaval, with the main road being resurfaced and new pavements being put in and now it is all finished. There’s a new mall opposite with some nice shops and it’s much easier to stroll around. Of course there is the now inevitable presence of McDonald’s, KFC etc at the expense of the more local restaurants, but generally it looks better and as the road is one way a lot of traffic goes along the new bypass. There is a moneychanger just up the street, 5.25 ringgits to the pound at the moment, not great. There are still plenty of cheap warungs where you can eat for less than £2.
This morning I went down to breakfast and it has a definite local feel to it, fair enough. I had rice and beef curry so hot it made me cry, there was scrambled egg, beans etc, white bread for toast, fluorescent margarine and red jam or kaya, which wasn’t the bestie ever had. Also the sweetest watermelon ever, it was delicious. The staff were lovely. The restaurant is next to the beach and open so you can eat outside but on stone benches, and
there is a loo but of the squatty sort. Very clean, and I don’t mind, but not for everyone!
After breakfast I went to the beach in front and at 9am they were only just putting the sun beds and umbrellas out. They put everything away at night and dig new holes each morning. The sand is the softest and whitest I’ve ever encountered, consequently burningly hot in the afternoon. Hardly any rubbish. The beachfront walkway is swept constantly. If you don’t want a sun bed there is an area with trees for shade just south of the open square with the Pantai Cenang sign, and it’s backed by little kiosks for food, coffee, clothes. To be honest, the sea isn’t really clean here and after about mid calf depth you lose sight of your feet. Oh well, needs must! It was a peaceful day with no cruise ship in, hence there was no 100% hike in prices. Prices generally are much cheaper than Thailand, food, bottles of water, laundry etc. My lovely room with breakfast, which could be for 2 people, is £27 a night.
I was just ready to make a dash out for dinner and
Rules for staff, on the restaurant wall. Best not smoke, then....
the heavens opened, I was too late to go anywhere and it was torrential for about half an hour, so I munched on some pringles as consolation and looked on tripadvisor for the nearest OK looking restaurant. When I could see people strolling about again I risked it, and headed towards the Underwater World, where there were some Indian restaurants, but on the way, where the new road starts, there was what is left of the night market and some food stalls were unpacking their damp chairs and reopening. It looked good, with a lot of locals eating, so I picked a noodle stall and said I’ll have what she’s having and yes, with the fried egg. It was kuey teow goreng kerang, fried flat noodles with cockles, in a delicious gravy, 7.50 ringgits. For dessert I thought I’d give fried ice cream a go, but it was a disappointment as it was a tiny lump of coconut ice cream (aiskrim!) surrounded by a thick sort of fish finger coating, which was very doughy. The clouds were gathering again and I got back just in time. The new roads are not built with drainage in mind, and outside the hotel
was a stretch with 6 inches of standing black water, which the scooters were going through very slowly.
Tomorrow I’ve booked to go on a 3 hour evening jungle walk near the cable car with Dev’s Adventures, 140 ringgits for 3 hours, flying lemurs a guarantee! Beach until then. Never get bored of that!
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