Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Day 32 : Kota Bharu - Wakaf Bharu - Rantau Panjang - Jeli

Date : April 3rd, 2009
Distance travelled : 125 km
Time taken : 6.40 hours

We woke up to a beautiful morning! No sign of any rain...yay! Guess Mak's wishes did come true :o) Once again, we got up early as we knew it was going to be a long day of riding because we wanted to visit two buddhas before heading down to Jeli.

We found out from Razani that there was another way to Jeli from the sleeping buddha and it was the countryside roads which was what we wanted :o) So from his directions, we headed first for the standing buddha (which turned out to be a sitting buddha instead!) It took us much longer than expected to find the first one. We went into a few temples which we thought was the one but there weren't any huge buddhas around until we asked someone and found out that the sitting buddha was just down the road.

So off we went searching for it and when we finally came to it, it was what I was expecting...a huge buddha sitting down :o) We took a few pictures there and went to look for the big one...the sleeping buddha....the largest in South East Asia!

Huge sitting buddha!

According to Razani, we should turn left at the traffic lights and the sleeping buddha should be around 2-3km away. So with confidence, we turned left at the traffic lights and cycled until the end of the road but still no signs of any sleeping buddha!!! Luckily, it was only 4km to the end of the road. Mak decided to ask some people at a food stall and I secretly laughed when they pointed the opposite direction from where we came from!!! hahaha....Boy, this sleeping buddha has been taking us on a wild goose chase!!! In the end, we realised that Razani did give us the wrong direction!! Oh well, it was all good :o)

Once again, we detoured and went back to where we came from and after the traffic lights, we headed straight on and finally found the entrance to the elusive sleeping buddha!! After taking some photos of the sleeping buddha, we stopped by a food stall within the premise and had something to eat. We had the nasi kerabu, thai style. Tasted a bit different!

Ahh, finally the entrance of the elusive sleeping buddha!

Mak finally got his wish to see this elusive sleeping buddha :o)

Wat Phothivan is where you can find the largest sleeping buddha in South East Asia!

Nasi Kerabu, thai style!

Satisfied now that we have finally gotten to see the famous and elusive sleeping buddha, we started our way to Rantau Panjang, which was about 24km away. The road to there was pretty scenic with paddy fields on our left. Rantau Panjang is on the border between Malaysia and Thailand. It took us about an hour plus to reach there and decided to stop for lunch. The town has a duty free zone as well but the scene wasn't really our cup of tea!

Great! the sign to Rantau Panjang!

One of the many beautiful roads during our tour....:o)

Great sceneries too!

Duty free zone in Rantau Panjang

If you go straight, you will be heading to Sg. Golok, Thailand!

It started to rain while we were about to finish our lunch so we had to wait for awhile for it to stop. Luckily, it was a passing cloud and we could continue with our journey. Halfway riding out of Rantau Panjang, the rain started again and this time, it got really heavy! We had to seek for shelter at a bus stop and decided to play cards while waiting!

Our dear friend wasn't too happy having to wait for the rain to stop!

Our bikes seeking shelter from the rain as well :o)

After waiting for about 40 minutes, the rain subsided a bit but we decided that we have to make a move if we wanted to reach Jeli before dark. It was still a long way to go! We cycled in the rain for about an hour plus before hitting the highway. The light rain continued on while we were on the highway. Once we hit the highway, the highlands were on our left side and the mountains were beautiful with the clouds hanging around them.

Breathtaking....view from the highway to Jeli

We were in pretty high spirits when we realised that our destination was nearing! We passed by a R&R on our right and we didn't think to stop and check it out because friends did tell us that there were a few accommodations in town...hmmm!

When we finally arrived Jeli town, we really didn't know what to expect of this town. Friends have warned us that this town has nothing at all and everything closes on a Friday! Well, we found out the hard way.....:o) It was true, nothing was opened and we couldn't find a place to stay because the one by the lake, the owner wasn't around and there wasn't any other place! Someone said that we should have stopped at the R&R 7 km back!! What???

Finally, a kind soul decided to help us to look for a place. He took us to another place and told us to wait for awhile while he went looking for the person in charged of the run down looking shacks.

After awhile, he came back and had some good news! He managed to locate the guy and he was on his way to meet us. We were already wet, tired, cold and hungry and we couldn't be too fussed about what we got as long as there was a place to stay for the night! Well, we can't say much about the accommodation we had! Just that we had to use our 1.5 litre water bottle to shower and that the bed kind of sunk in the centre!!

It was an early night for us in Jeli as there wasn't anything to do in this sleepy town and also, we had a long day. We walked out to a nearby stall for our dinner (lucky for us it was opened!) and bought some food and water for the next day before heading back to our little shack.....

So what have we learnt from this experience? We should have stopped at the R&R and checked it out first! Oh well, we learn something new everyday!! :o)

Oh by the way....did I tell you that we had a visitor throughout the night? A firefly decided to keep us company for the entire night!!! I told Mak he finally got to see his firefly hehehe.......

Finally, Jeli town is nearby!!

"Wow! Welcome to Jeli in peace!!"

I think this might be the Stong mountain.....:o)

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