Danok One Day 'Decent' Trip

Since there is a request on writing this post (and I'm freaking damn honored!), so here it goes...

On Friday, Wesak Day, we (me, CK, Voon and BeeYing) went to Danok for a day trip.

It was initially a plan to have the cheap steamboat after I had one on January, but, you know, delays and delays happen. Until one day, we had enough and decided this is it!!

Since CK has been there few times at night, I have been there once at night, the other two never been there, and they can NONE about description or recommendation of day trip in Danok online, we decided we gonna give it a try (a day-trip try).

Departed from Kangar after breakfast around 9.30AM, reaching Bukit Kayu Hitam about an hour later and traffic jam!!! It took us around one hour (!!) for a journey of 200 m to reach and cross the Malaysian border checkpoint. SO many people were going 'overseas' on the 3-days long weekend plus school holiday.

Parked the car at the Duty Free mall and walked for about 200 m to cross the border. The queue was tremendous too! Since it's always my friend who takes the Arrival-Departure Card, I had no idea at all where to get it. There is this table and tent set beside the immigration where they will help you fill in the immigration card, and they charge RM2 per card if you wanna get it from them -_- Finally CK got it from the counter for free, filled the card and queue up. Bear in mind to always prepare RM1 note with you, just in case the immigration staff ask for it - which in our case, we were charged to and fro.

All this while, I thought Danok (crossing from Bukit Kayu Hitam) and Sadao (crossing from Padang Besar) are two different places, until I asked/googled it up - and - copied from Wiki: Sadao is a small town aka "Danok" and district on the border of Malaysia in the Songkhla Province, southern Thailand. OK, confusion cleared.

Danok is indeed a very small town where everywhere is within walking distance, unless you want to go to specific restaurants or places which requires you to take tuk-tuk or bike or other transportation.

We first exchanged the currencies in a convenience store (not 7E) at the rate of RM1 to 9.70 Baht. Then, the exploration started!

First stop was McDonald's, Voon and BeeYing can't stop recommending the pineapple pie - which is NOT available in Malaysia - so we just got to give it a try. I have never eaten McD's pie, and my first time was a good one. The pineapple juice and meat was delicious and HOT! The pastry was meh.

Thanks to them, I get to know there is a Tesco Lotus here in Danok. The internet said it is at the secluded area from town, and yes indeed it was. Just less than 1km from town (I take immigration, Oscar Palace Hotel and PP Hotel as the town 'indicators'), the number of shops decreases, and there is Tesco Lotus, and beside it is a stretch of lonesome road and trees without buildings. -_- THAT small of a town.

We had some shopping in Tesco - for your information, groceries like hair care, body care, oral care, food and whatnot are generally cheaper than the price in Malaysia, or I shall take Perlis and Kedah to be compared, because most of those products are made in Thailand and imported into our country.

After shopping, "OK. What next?"

We walked back to town for food hunt :)

We had our lunch at, I didn't get the name, it is a small shop lot after you turn at the junction next to Oscar Palace Hotel. Three of them ordered pork leg rice 猪脚饭 and I beg to differ by ordering char siu sio bak rice 叉烧烧肉饭. The food was awesome (or maybe because I have a easygoing taste bud and I was hungry!). The menu is printed in Mandarin and Siam on a board and hang up high above the stall. I ordered a glass of ice tea as it looked tempting, yet it was a little too sugar-y sweet for my liking.

It was only 2pm after lunch and we started to feel very boring. We walked from alley to alley for our next mission - in search for a good and decent massage parlor. 'Good' and 'Decent' here are defined as
parlor with clear and see-through windows, and massagists in decent outfit.

After about 5-10 minutes searching (note, again: it's really a small town), we finally selected this parlour, Gaya Thai Spa, located opposite to Oliver Hotel.

All of us had foot massages and the massage was great! I had an intense badminton games the day before (and I fell onto my butt!!), so the massage helped ease the sore legs. Before the massage began, my masssagist, a sweet nice petite lady, pointed at two small bruises on my leg and mumbled something. I assume she wanted to make sure I know that the bruises were there before she began, so I wouldn't be blaming her after the massage as if to say she caused it. :) Everything was great except when she did it on my calf and I felt pain. The simple upper body massage was great too, the stiff neck and shoulder gave me some hard time when she pressed on the stiff-y part.

Rate: 10/10 =D

The parlor next to the one we went in looked pretty fascinating too, but we were few steps too late as a group of 5-6 adults barged into the parlor before we did. Many people = longer waiting time.

After the massage, we got boring again. Had an ice cream by the road, and walked around the alley again.

We spotted some stalls on one of the alley, opposite PP Hotel, looking like a market or something, so we gave it a try. The market was very simple and small, with basic things like seafood and vegetables, I assume it was for the locals.... until, we spotted this stall at almost the end of the road.

Of course, I can understand nothing from the words, but the pictures say it is orange juice, something about 99.99% (we assume it's the purity of the juice), and since it's only 20Baht (RM2) per glass, why not? To my surprise, it was so darn nice!!

First, we didn't expect, at all, it is ice blended juice; Two, the first sip was odd because I didn't expect it to be tangerine instead of orange; Three, it was INDEED 99.99% juice! It's like you are eating tangerine during CNY when you have a mouthful of the juice in your mouth! THAT full of juicyness! Four, not only a stall, they have a truck going around town selling this juice - I think it is a franchise or something. A must try!!

We hang out by the roadside sipping the very contented juice and chatting, and shared a laugh when CK told his unfortunate childhood story of baguette when I shared my story about baguette in Vietnam.

Then, again, we were bored. At this point, we went in almost every 7-eleven stores that we saw and relished the air-cond and the products in the store. We were so sad that none of 7E stores in Malaysia is half the better of 7E stores here, none. Surveyed prices as well to make sure we check everything on our shopping list before we left later the night.

Another food to try - pulut mangga/durian aka glutinous rice with mango or durian. The shop was a random pick, the fruits were nice but the glutinous rice was a little too hard. CK and I couldn't even finish half.

We hang out at McD again to wait for dinner time.

We had our dinner at JIB Buffet & Seafood Restaurant. The price for buffet is 89Baht per person exclude drinks, and the beverages are not cheap! 70Baht for sugar cane, 30Baht for mineral water and so on, and they charged 30Baht for ice too -___- This was my second visit and thankfully the choices for the steamboat buffet are pretty generous still, and most thankful when I get to know the three of them are literally meat eaters!! :D Throughout the night, all we had on our table was meat, meat and more MEAT! Had some soaked vegetables for nutritional balance too. For the price of 145Baht per person, we had the best bargain ever hehe!

It was a quiet night as almost all of the nightclubs, pubs and karaoke were closed for the Wesak. Without all this night entertainment, the town seemed to be in a decent quiet small town way.

We stopped by McD, again, to have a McFlurry. At 29Baht and smaller cup, it is still a good bargain, and there is always room for ice cream :) Plus point when I received a compliment from the staff saying I'm cute :) OK who cares if he's just being polite, it still makes me fly :)

Final few trips to the convenience stores to get the necessity, and off we went back home.

1) Now we know why no one writes about day trip in Danok - there is no need to be. Danok is literally a small town that serves few purposes - bargain shopping, food, massage and night entertainment. Ideal plan is to go in at around 3-4pm, and exit at night, or overnight.
2) Toilet: I am the squatter type, but unlike Malaysia, the bowl is not embedded on ground but it is a standalone unit that requires your balancing skill even for 'pro' user like me. LOL. Just google 'Thai toilet' and you'll know what I mean.

Next trip - different buffet restaurant! :)


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