Hon's Surprise Visit to the North

Two weekends ago Hon paid a surprise visit to the North. I wasn't expecting him to come at all and he said he already gave me hint the night before by asking me "Any activity tomorrow evening?" Dude that is like routine question how am I suppose to tell from that!?!

When he called and asked me to look outside my lab, I 心花怒放 immediately :)))

Too bad for him lah when he asked the night before I didn't decide to do anything, but I suddenly inspired to go for a hill climbing, so he had to tag along.

Overlooking the Arau, Mata Ayer, Jejawi side
I have been sick for more than a week now, nothing serious but fever and occasional running nose and coughing with sputum (suspected dengue but the fever lasted for only 1 night and 1 day thank goodness). I hate getting sick especially after I haven't been sick for such a long time, when I got sick it is really bad. My body aches, feeling really really tired and exhausted, luckily no headache and stuff but the fact that I don't feel well simply sucks max!



Because of the sickness, I pretty much stayed in for few days and no activities in the evening, I knew I needed to get myself sweaty (from sports especially); I don't like jogging; I'm not in the good form for indoor gym; so I sorted to hill climbing.

hilltop
It's been a while since I last stepped foot on Bukit Gua Cenderawasih, the view is still so spectacular.

Kuala Perlis, Langkawi from afar, Buddha ray wubwub!

The brighter version
On the first night, we stayed at Sanctuary Garden, Arau.

The hotel is a newly opened hotel in Arau, about 10km from Kangar. It is the budget style hotel with very nice concept - very comfy lounge area with a lot of chairs and sofas (drawback is the air-cond is not cold enough to cool the whole area); reading area with some collection of books; 'gaming' area like foosball, ping pong, congkak and carrom; a REAL tree in the lobby with sky window above it; and their most unique feature would be the way they name their rooms - the rooms are numbered according to football teams! Our room belongs to Bayern Munich. I'm not a fan of football so no wow factor for me hehe.
grabbed from their FB
They are having a promotion now, RM 80 for a room and add on RM8 for breakfast for two! To make it buffet style, they need to hit certain number of people to purchase breakfast, or else it's gonna be ala carte order. Luckily quite a lot of people stayed in that night and many people took breakfast deal too. The buffet breakfast provided was the usual fried bihun, fried rice, kuih, bread, cereal etc.

The room is normal size, half (the bed part) carpeted half (the bathroom part)cement, but not sure what kind of paint they use, the cement part is sticky and the worse thing is it's outside bathroom. Regardless wet or dry feet we walked out from bathroom, it feels yucky and sticky. The bath has rain shower head but unfortunately the water pressure was not strong enough so the bath was more of drizzle rather than cats and dogs level sien max. TV is small with only local channels. LOL it sounds more like complaints than review haha!

The next day, I brought Hon to: *1) my cycling route to see those awesome views; *2) went to Kaki Bukit for the pau; *3) to Perlis State Park and walked an eerie 2km trail inside it; *4) to Wang Kelian and crossed the border without passport; *5) hang out at Timah Tasoh Dam viewpoint; back to town.

*1) The Mata Ayer railway crossing where it overlooked Bukit Keteri, I've showed it few times in my blog.
*2) For some reason, Kaki Bukit's pau is very famous (I also donno why and I'm not a big fan of pau though). The last time we went, we were too full for the pau, so this time gonna try loh. (I tried it before, nothing special). Not only that, the beef noodle is famous too.
*3) Perlis State Park is one underdeveloped, under-maintenance, under-everything place. We parked out car and walked at a visible tar road, we were the only people there (there's a guy or two slept at the hut at the park's entrance), the further we walked down the trail, the eerie-er it became as the jungle is very thick and quiet. There is suppose to be a chalet of some kind about 2km down the trail, but it just got more and more creepy so we walked out when we saw a roof thingy and a downhill road. Will come again next time when we have a larger crowd to overcome the fear haha!
*4) Every (I think) weekend, Wang Kelian border will open door to the people to pass without passport - to the market about 1km stretch from the border of course. If you wanna go further down, there's guards there standby to ask to see your documents. The market has the usual kind of stuffs you would see at every Thai-Malaysia border market - stuffed toys, clothes, stainless steel Zebra utensils etc.
*5) There is a lookout point next to the Timah Tasoh Dam with cafe.

The second night, we stayed at Hotel Ventura in Jejawi.

All the while when the hotel was developed and renovated, the letter V caught my eyes every single time because it reminds me of 'V for Vendetta'.
Photo grabbed from their FB
The room rate is RM78 for a double room (1 Queen sized bed) and RM88 for a superior room (2 single sized beds). The rate is not inclusive of breakfast, and parking is kinda limited on weekdays day time (especially when there's a lot of hotel guests) because the hotel is located in the middle of a stretch of auto and mechanic and whatnot shops.

Other than that, the rest is awesome. Hon told me the mattress used in this hotel is the double layer kind, which commercially cost around 6k-7k, sometimes even 10k a mattress. I must say, although the pillows are too soft and fluff, the mattress is definitely to die for. The room is normal size, of mosaic flooring so it's kinda cold to walk on it especially it's been raining heavily for few days. Our room was at the back of the hotel, facing the beautiful paddy field and bukit keteri from distant. The TV is slightly bigger than the one in Sanctuary Garden.

Since it rained very heavily the night before, on Sunday the sky was full of clouds and looks cloudy and moody. Perlis has entered the monsoon season, where it would rain frequently than ever. For the few days Hon was here, it was hot, I mean really hot, in the day time; and rain like crazy at night!

8.30am

9.30am

11am
 Look at the sky sooooo blue!!! Thanks to the sun for the awesome sunshine and superb bright effect but no thanks for the heat -_-

This day, I brought Hon to Kuala Perlis to get a taste of Laksa Perlis, and off we went to Jitra.

We had our dinner at Sabai Dee Cafe.
Photo grabbed from their FB page

I first knew of this place was when a friend shared their FB page and some of them went to eat and it looked nice. When we lepak at Tutti Frutti for its air-cond and internet, we tried to search for the place but it seems like very hard to locate, so we jotted down several possible addresses and GPS coordinates and tried our luck.

We went as early as 5.30pm (although they stated their opening time is 6pm) because we need the natural daylight to see our way while finding the location. We turned into a newly developed housing Taman, and it turns out, the restaurant is located right next to the Taman.

We were the first customers there. I must say the ambience and environment of the restaurant are really awesome!! It is owned by a family and the restaurant is actually transformation of one of their houses. Since it is their own land, they have utmost freedom to do all the deco and garden. There are tables in the garden but too bad it was raining that night so the outdoor seating was closed. It is located next to a vast paddy field, so the view is very beautiful~~~

We ordered...

deep fried catfish with turmeric (RM8 per set - 2 catfishes)
green curry chicken (RM14)
steamed squid with chili and lime sauce (RM18)
Phat Phong Kari Talay (RM15)
Stir fried mixed seafood in curry powder
All the food was sooooo nice!! The green curry was a little too spicy for me though and their unwise choice of chicken breast, would be better if it is the lean part. All were swept clean except the green curry Oops~~ Hon loves their fried catfish very much!! If he has another chance to dine here, he would just order 4 of the fried catfish with rice. The total bill was RM65 including drinks.

After the meal, the sun was setting so we head to the paddy field to take some pictures.
Yummy view

Yummy sunset!!
Since we were the only customers then, we had a chat with the 'co-owner', he is the brother of the family, he works in F&B line in Marina Bay Sands Singapore and came back for a month or two holiday to help out with the business. His sister-in-law, who has been taking our orders and serving us food and cleaning the table afterwards, is from Kelantan!! Tumpat to be exact. And she was my cousin's schoolmate!! LOL what a small world this is!! The chef they hire is from Satun, the border town of Wang Kelian, Perlis. So it is confirmed they serve 100% original Thai food from Thai :)

Hon intended to go back to KL that very night, but there was a heavy downpour while we were driving back to Kangar from Jitra. The rain was so heavy we could barely see the cars in front! Water was gushing down the road, puddles and puddles of water forming on the road, it was too dangerous to drive in such condition, especially night driving, so he stayed for one more night.

(I silently thanked the god for this hehe)

The rain was so heavy, part of Arau town flooded!! At one part of the road, they had to close one side as the flash flood had taken over the road.

We stayed at Hotel Ventura again, but unfortunately the room we stayed the night before was taken, so we had to take a room with no window.

So.... That's it! Peace out~~~

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