East Coast Trip - Food, Turtle Sanctuary & Impiana Cherating Resort

The Chinese version talked about the long stretched details of the East Coast trip last week, so the English version would focus on the two main places: turtle sanctuary and the disappointing 3D2N stay at Impiana Cherating Resort; and of course, FOOD.

Overall, the mileage of our road trip hits approximately 1,700km++, which starts from Perlis, going Kelantan through Gerik, down south to Terengganu and Cherating, Pahang. You can view our route on Google Map in this post.

Turtle Sanctuary

We visited two turtle sanctuaries en-route from Terengganu to Pahang.

The first one is by the road side on the way to Dungun town.

The scale of the center is small, inside the gallery area placed a small pond with few cute sea turtles in it. The staff attended to us and informed us about the events, activities and program conducted by the center and the fisheries department. Inside the compound were few big ponds residing small and big sea turtles.

While staying at Impiana Cherating Resort, we visited the larger scale of sanctuary next to the Club Med entrance.

There are three large ponds here, keeping the active large size sea turtles, peaceful turtles and cute baby turtles respectively. 

This pond has 4-5 large size sea turtles and one XL godlike size. The large size sea turtles are very active and playful! All the while we were there, the turtles swam back and forth back and forth the pond in speedy mode, and it's fun to see they swim and interact with each other.
Swim swim swim!!
 There is this isolation pond for baby turtle in the large sea turtle pond. Reason of the isolation pond is unknown. Once awhile one of the sea turtle would come by and knock at the isolation pond.
baby sea turtle isolation pond

Hmmm... probably his/her babies are in it
 When we stood by the small gate of the pond, the active sea turtles came hogging on the stairs and it was cute!! This gate probably is their gateway of food paradise!
Hogging at the gate area
 The baby sea turtle pond is full of cuteness! There are few larger size turtles in this pond, everyone get along just fine. While looking at the pond, I snapped this picture and said:"Hey, I can try put this image into my image processing code to see if it can count how many baby turtles are there in this picture!!"... and Hon thought the same thing haha!
Look at all these cuties!
The peaceful turtle pond
We had a complimentary turtle release program from the promotion package of Impiana Resort. The release went on on day time as "office hour is until 7pm" which is pathetic and sad. As we watched the baby turtle crawled towards the sea, we prayed nothing but for them to find food immediately and not to die too soon.

3D2N Impiana Cherating Resort

Hon found the promotion package for a 3 days 2 nights stay at Impiana Cherating Resort. Having great experience at Impiana Chalet in Patong, Phuket Island, Hon decided to give it a try, which ends up in great disappointment.

The package is RM638 nett, including daily buffet breakfast, one complimentary dinner, one batik printing or baby turtle release program, and a RM20 Kedai Runcit credit.

On the first night, the queen size bed rooms were full, so they arranged us in a 2 single beds room.

After settling down, we took a tour around the resort. The swimming pool is dirty, the gym room is so-so, the beach view is awesome.

We were changed to a queen size bed room the next day.

As we had the complimentary dinner on that night, we decided not to spend any money on food, so we had rather heavy breakfast/brunch.

We went to the gym on the evening.

The facilities and equipments were hand-me-downs from Impiana KLCC as there were labels and stickers shown on it, so it was torn, used and definitely not in good condition. One of the two treadmills' screen were out, same goes to one of the two stationary bikes, fortunately the cross trainer functioned well. The weight training equipments were limited but usable. The machinery were compatible with Polar Heart Rate Monitor, I bet it was bought from United Akrab Tech, the company I used to work at.

We went on with our baby turtle release program afterwards. Two babies were picked up from this box.
We asked if the release can be taken place at night as that's how it suppose to be, but the staff's response "our office hour is until 7pm only" made me so sad and angry. Don't they think about the turtles' welfare?? Unfortunately, there's nothing much we can do as we don't think the fisheries can do us justice.

*Note: The reason of my furious is because... after the baby turtle get themselves out of their egg and sand, they instinctively head towards the sea or might be following the moon light which usually take place at night; In the night they would stay low from their predators; they have some sort of fat in their body so that they can stay alive without food for a week while learning how to look for food; However in this case, the release must be done 'during working hour', and the baby turtles are used to manual feeding that might reduce their ability in finding food; Anyway, looking at the tiny polysterin box keeping all those baby turtles (we spotted 1-2 dead turtles in it), we doubt the babies we released would live through that hell, so we hope for their best after the release...

The dinner was rather pathetic and disappointing. We could only choose the local cuisines on the menu and dessert, beverage not included. I had Impiana fried rice and banana split, and Hon had a sambal shrimp and mango caramel pudding. The only thing to shout about the food is, not only it is overpriced, the taste is bland and ordinary, which we can get from the restaurant outside with price 3 times cheaper.

view from lobby

View from Kedai Kopi the restaurant

View from our room

The dirty swimming pool
More reviews:
1) The TV is so small, I have the same one at my Perlis house;
2) The resort is ant infested;
3) It is the monsoon season so the tide is rough and dangerous;
4) The breakfast buffet spread is near perfect;
5) The Kedai Runcit credit is worthless as the products are very limited and overpriced, we took two candles that costs RM10 each;
6) Due to the building design, the lobby is the center of the resort and the rooms are spread out into two wings on both sides of the lobby. Our room on the first night was a distance away from the lobby, although there's guests staying around our room, it was still quite spooky as it was dark and eerily quiet.
7) OK lah another compliment I can give - the pillows and bed are so so nice!!!


On his volunteering program, Hon got to know about this 'famous' Maggi Ketam aka Maggi crab dishes from a girl who studies in USM Kelantan, the famous food I don't know of =_=

We had the dishes in Dungun town at a shop called Megi Ketam Bistro.

All this while, I thought crabs are 'haram' illicit food on the Muslims' menu. On their Facebook page, they put up a photo to recognize which kind of crab is illicit and which type is legal 'halal'. Well, for me, I can't see the difference as I love them all!!!

Muahaha so happy when this was served!
 The Maggi Ketam is pretty literal and straight forward - it is a Maggi curry soup noodle with crab on top. Anyway, the serving is very good. They are generous on the ingredient of the noodle, large squids and shrimps, the curry flavor is obviously from the instant noodle packet, it tastes nice. It only costs RM23++!! Moreover, as Hon is allergic to crab, he couldn't had much of the noodle and soup, so 2/3 of the bowl went into my tummy! :)

***   ***   ***
We had the famous stuffed crab at Tong Juan Restaurant, Chukai, Kemaman. We chose this one as it has more customers than other restaurants at that row, and it turned out to be the most mentioned on the blogosphere.

This restaurant serves the fried version of stuffed crab. We ordered two, along with fried lalas, veggie and lemon chicken. The serving size is small but the quality and taste is nice and the price is cheap.

I found another restaurant just two shops away from Tong Juan which serves the steamed version of stuffed crab and Hon was interested of this, but both of us were too darn full so we reserve it as the next thing to try next time.


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