I've returned from a weekend getaway at Club Med, Cherating Beach, with my friend! It was meant to be a birthday treat for her from her company, and I got pulled along (lucky me!). It was a truly magical weekend at Cherating. It's a coastal village in Kuantan, Malaysia and it's dotted with resorts all along the beach. Yif and I took an 8 hour bus journey to Kemaman, after which we took a 15-minute cab ride into Club Med.
The service at Club Med is awesome. I wonder where the staff get their enthusiasm and joy from. They're required to always be all smiles and jolly and friendly. They always manage to keep the atmosphere up and buoyant, so kudos to them! It must be trying when some guests are less than desirable in their behaviour.
We were greeted by Kate, a Korean, who showed us to our room and settled the administrative stuff. I couldn't help but slip in a 감사합니다 haha! We got settled in, had dinner and watched their Michael Jackson performance, which was really fun! :D
On the second day, we headed down to Pantai Beach ('pantai'
, too) to sign up for sailing. However, we were told that the mornings were not so good for sailing. We decided to go to the Zen Space where NO kids are allowed, ha ha! We spent the afternoon there, had lunch at the Rambulan Restaurant, and tried to go sailing again. This time, we were too late! All the slots were taken up. We kayaked about instead, and got pummelled by the waves. Pierre, the water sports manager, pointed out a bunch of gibbons that appeared behind us in the trees. I tried drawing them, but, as it is with animals like them... they're so fidgety even when they are eating.
Here's a picture of them I found on the internet. They're called "Dusky Leaf Monkeys". Cute, right?
At night we went out to....................
It was magical, I tell you.... Hafiz, our guide, communicates with the fireflies using torchlights. As we sat there, in a boat, the full moon above us illuminating the darkness, he waved his flashlights at the trees dotted with what looked like tiny yellow lights. And to our amazement, the fireflies FLEW OVER. He encouraged us to gently catch the fireflies by cupping our hands together. When I did, I was surprised by how tiny the firefly was. It was just beautiful!!! (sobs)
When we got back we watched the lion dance done by the Pahang Lion Dance Troupe. It was freaking awesome. The lions are so damn cute, and the boys did a really good job catching the gestures and expressions AND stunts. Five stars.
On the third day, we headed out to Kemaman on an excursion. Our guide was Derek, a Malaysian. He speaks fluent Bahasa Melayu and English, and some Mandarin. He's a banana like me! Hur. On the bottom left is our bus driver. Next to him is Salleh, the monkey kept by Pak Ali. He picked a few coconuts for us and we had a coconut feast. YUM! We visited a handicrafts store and a batik store. I finally tried out some batik drawing, which made me want to do some, and so...
What's with this tissue paper, you might be asking... Well, it's from batik painting! Club Med has a batik room where you can try your hand at painting some batik. They don't let you do the wax drawing, but you can do your own designs and colouring. So what Yif and I did was draw on a piece of paper, traced it on the cloth, let Abang Khairul do the wax drawing, then painted them. This tissue was me trying out colours I've mixed. I'll show the end result some other day. A kid came in and did some also, and he asked Yif and I whether we were artists, heehee. The dude had some skills himself, though he didn't know it (or was very modest about it).
Later that night, they had a Kpop showcase which I told Yif we MUST watch. Once again, the staff put on an enthusiastic performance and it was so FUN. I couldn't help but clap. Heehee. While waiting for the performance to start, an uncle sat in front of us at the lounge and did the most figure drawing worthy postures. He didn't seem to be aware that there was a girl in front of him drawing him.. or he didn't care. The lady on the right is his wife.
On the last day, I sketched Masjid Geliga and a cat while waiting at the bus station. Another looooong bus ride ensued with Yif purchasing about 20RM worth of gum (hahaha!!), and soon the dream was over.
It was a really wonderful trip. It was a pity that the last two days were marred by the appearance of the haze in Kuantan. It smelt like it did when we left Singapore! I hope it's all better over there now, and families can enjoy the beach.
Ah, I nearly forgot to mention how our room was ransacked by the macaques!! But that's another story for another time... :D