Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Leap Year 2012

Today is 29th February and it is a leap day. This year, 2012 is a leap year and consists of 366 days. This particular date is special because it only comes in every four years once. What are your best memories of a leap year? My previous leap year 2008 was a memorable one because my mum and her spouse came back from USA for two months holidays in Malaysia. They had a great time here and so did we. 

Age did not deter my stepdad (my mum's spouse) from travelling. He was very sporting indeed for his age :) I remember having our two weeks journey driving from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu. We did a short check-in at Awana Kijal in Cherating before heading on to Kota Bahru. We passed by the Kerteh oil refinery along way and also managed to visit a few of my mum's relatives in Kuala Terengganu. My mum had her favourite durian after so many years and rambutans too but not for my stepdad...he has to stay FAR away from the aroma!

We continued our journey through the small towns in Kelantan along our Malaysian borders and moved on from Jeli, Kelantan to the beautiful Pulau Banding in Temenggor Lake, Hulu Perak before reaching Gerik. The view in Temenggor Lake was awesome! That was my second time visiting the lake. Located approximately 35 kilometres to the north-east of Gerik and covering an area of 15,200 hectares, the Temenggor Lake is the largest man-made lake in Perak. In a clear day, jungle stretching to Thailand can be seen from the top!

With the East-West highway running through the island, Pulau Banding is the only island in Malaysia that is serviced by two bridges linking it to the mainland. The tranquil beauty surrounding the lake is complemented by the diversity of its flora and fauna. This enchanting atmosphere is home of the `orang asli’ with their unique traditional lifestyle of totally depending upon the jungles and surrounding lake. The lake has a rich variety of freshwater fish including Toman, Sebarau, Tenggalan, Baung and even the renowned Kelah, providing ample challenge to fishing.

From Gerik, then we moved on to Pengkalan Hulu (near the border of Kedah). Along the route, we can see signboards reminding drivers "Beware...wild elephants crossing"! I can still remember the previous time when we came here years back, there was a few elephants sitting right in the middle of the road at night. Drivers are not supposed to honk or put on their car lights on. We have to turn off our engines and wait till the elephants move away.

By the time we reached Baling, Kedah it was late in the evening...way past dinner time and was raining heavily. After having a simple dinner there, we continued on to Kulim, Kedah and since Penang is not very far, we moved on. Spend three days in Penang roaming for food and moving around. A break from being confined in the car for days. Penang food is super good! I love Penang food! Well that wasn't the end yet...

We decided to add a few more days to our vacation and the next destination is Perlis and Langkawi. The following day, we made a move to Sungai Petani and Alor Setar. By the time we reached Alor Setar, Kedah it was already late afternoon. Check-in for a night at Seri Malaysia Hotel and visited a few places there. We adjourned our journey early morning the next day. Using the North South Highway and the Changlun - Kuala Perlis Highway, we reached Kuala Perlis, Perlis by noon. 

We have to park our car at the parking bay. Walking to the jetty, buying the tickets and waiting for the ferry (because we just missed one ferry) took us quite a while. My hubby and I have to carry most of the bagages (kids still young and my mum has to take care of my stepdad). We reached Langkawi by late afternoon. After renting a car, we managed to get a comfortable room in a hotel near the Langkawi airport.

Nothing much can be done for the day...we took a short rest and waited for dinner time to come. We had decent and reasonable chinese dinner in Kuah town. Drinking, drinking and drinking...beer was so cheap as Langkawi is a free trade zone! After dinner we were back to the hotel to recharge our body for the following day. Super tiring but it was great. Many things and places to see. "To know Malaysia is to love Malaysia" by our late Malaysian singer, Sudirman Arshad is very true.  More to come in the next posting...stay on ;D