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Published: February 22nd 2020
For the last few days I’ve had the company of my new buddy, Bill, both on the beach (where it has been uncomfortably windy!) and for eating out. As he’d been in Cenang for a few weeks he knew some places I hadn’t been to before. There are an increasing number of places which offer western as well as local dishes, and although they are a bit more expense the food is very good and they have the added benefit of cocktails (but not as we know them.....).
The first night we went to a place called The Kasbah, at the back of Cenang towards the airport and in fields. A very quiet area with some cheap backpacker type places to stay, including a dorm for women only, 35 ringgits a night. It was a really nice walk of about 20 minutes, dark when we left so you need a torch or your phone to see. It‘s in a big open wooden barn area, cushions on the floor in the centre, relaxed and funky. Smiley service. I had beef rendang, Bill had 2 types of hummus and nachos. The portions were huge. It is a really nice place to go to
get off the busy main street. The cocktails were quite weak though, go for the Long Island iced tea if you are desperate!
On my last afternoon I went to Best Fingers 1 spa to get a pedicure, which cost 4 times what it does in Thailand and not nearly as good, although the girls were very sweet inside. 58 ringgits for pedicure (not really) and colour. All the spa/massage places have signs, clean massage only, no sex or you asked to leave, people must get mixed up with Thailand! 3 French ladies came in for a foot massage and they struggled to understand the English of the staff. Out came my school French and google translate. I really liked that! The spa girls wanted to know how old we all were. No problem asking that question here. For me, no problem answering it! Ooh, they said, very strong! Hopefully it was a compliment.
For dinner we got a Grab to Fat Cupid, which is at Tengah Beach but behind the main street on the non sea side. It doesn’t have much of a sign and the driver used his satnav. Walk along past the Korean restaurant and
take the next turn on the left, it’s just down there. We were the first but when we left most tables were full. They have 12 rooms there, expensive (about £65 a night with breakfast) but beautifully appointed and with private seating areas outside. They were all empty, I felt so sorry for the staff. They have a small pool with sun beds and the trees around make it a peaceful place, great if you have transport or don’t want to be right on the beach. Bill had laksa and it was in an enormous bowl. I had a mojito which had me consuming a lot of minced up mint and beef hor fun, delicious. We both had desserts which were also gorgeous and beautifully presented. It came to 123 ringgits for both of us, worth it as the quality was excellent and as I was flying the next day I was keen not to be too adventurous.......
We walked back, again about 20 minutes and along this stretch there are huge hotels and apartments either in planning or going up now. One looked about 20 floors high! I dread to think what it will be like in a
few years’ time. At the moment it’s developed enough to be comfortable but not too much.
This morning I was very thankful to have the last in a series of really horrible breakfasts. The first morning I thought it was OK, but since then it’s been grim, mainly dry noodles, rice, pasta, not much in the way of sauces, cold chips, scrambled egg (at least) and horrible margarine and jam, all the cheapest stuff you can get. The juice is so sweet and the only fruit worth having was the watermelon. Most days it was cut up oranges or apples, not appealing. Yesterday I thought I’d go out for breakfast but as it was Friday nearly everywhere was closed. I remembered to get my 50 ringgits deposit back from reception and they called me a Grab, 15 ringgits to the airport, where the AirAsia self check in was really easy. As I was going through security there was a group of about 6 Malay ladies, all having their bags searched as they had way over their allowance of cigarettes. The officers were being very thorough, making them take out every single loose packet from all their bags. It was
a surprising sight, seeing women breaking the rules.
Now to fly to Singapore, to meet Gill and travel overland through Malaysia for 2 more weeks, then home.
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