Weds morning, Jan 19.
Four of us from XiMnet hopped into my car at 8.30 am and headed towards Kertih, Terengganu. We are going to kick-start a project with a foreign Petroleum multinational. It will be a long drive so I've decided to put up a night at Terengganu.
A few months ago, I saw a little ad on The Star about a place called 'Strawberry Park, Kijal'. Yes, I know, the name Kijal seemed exclusively 'owned' by Awana Kijal. But no, there's more to Kijal than Awana Kijal, I found out.
There's Strawberry Park, Kijal. Yes, related to the one on top of Cameron Highlands.
I saw some photos of the place. It had some apartments on stilts, sitting on top of what seemed to be a lagoon or a swamp. The glorious South China Sea is a stone throw away.
I was gamed to check out the place.
I made a call the day before and we arrived there around 1.30 pm. I was told by the manager that it is an abandoned resort. The investors pulled out of the place after PAS came into power the in last 1998 election. The place is about 7 years old.
The apartment suites, that I booked are completed and furnished. There were a couple of permanent residents and a few odd guests. Maybe 5 in all.
We were the odd ones too.
After our meeting at around 5.30pm, we went to check out the beach.
It was a beautiful location. Exclusively so. There's nobody here but us.
And look...at the pristine beach. Layers of white surfs roaring in against the windy blue sky.
Listen...to the glorious sounds of Nature, undisturbed.
A 2 km of white sandy beach fringed within nature-sculptured rocks from both sides, that rise into the hills covered with thick verdant forest. The South China Sea roars up to meet the shoreline, sending white fizzling seawater onto the beach, caressing its sandy brow here and splashing playfully on the rocks fringes there.
We walked the length of the beach. (Yes, the beach need to be cleaned up a little. Flotsams and dead tree trunks, etc. Easy stuffs)
But Nature speaks here...
At about 10pm, I sat at the verandah of my suite, the stars bright and plenty above. A little hill with insects thrilling, rise up ahead of me, its trees silhouetted against the glowing sky. On the foot of the hill, 20 meter across where I sat, 2 spotlights cast shimmering images of the brooding forest onto the silent waters. The calmness of the night, the starry skies above, and nature's symphony that plays over the hill, it's something I haven't experienced for a while.
You can enjoy this too.
But don't expect luxury. Don't expect great service. This is not Awana. This is not Pangkor Laut. The breakfast was bad.
But get there if you want quiet moments where the forest meet the sea. A weekend escape worth the 5 hours drive from KL. A unique experience, especially for those who are confortable with silence and being alone with nature.
Yeah, get there, to this place where the forest meet the sea.