Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Alor Setar Revisited (Nava K Tripping)

Alor Setar. Yes. Nava K returned to Alor Setar again. Alor Setar. The state capital of Kedah and the second largest city after Sungei Petani. By the way, any particular reason why we made this trip to Alor Setar? Nothing really. Except maybe, instead of returning home after being in Penang, we thought it will be a great idea to catch up with our Alor Setar friends we have not seen for some time and also, some free, easy time for ourselves. Of course, ultimately, when friendship is a concern for us Malaysians? I'm sure you must be agreeing. We Malaysians no matter what, must bond friendship over food. Precisely. We arriving in Alor Setar by noon and alongside our friends, 5 of them, plus obviously at their recommendation, lunching in Numeral Eight Curry House. 
Numeral Eight Curry House. A must try I was told and already, most probably, validated as a popularity in Alor Setar. True enough. By the time we stepped foot into this homey, rustic and quite a spacious restaurant, customers have flocked and more were, mind you, making their way in as well. Honestly, to tell you the truth, the moment I took my steps into 8, I felt as though I have walked into one of those traditional homes in Alor Setar.  Utterly impressive. Even the toilet and wash area.

Moreover, food too, winning my palates like nobody's business. Food calling in 8 for your information is not by menu. Rather, standing in front of the food counter where the prepared dishes are displayed and point to what you want. The signature dish in Numeral Eight Curry House you shouldn't miss out on? Fish Head Curry. Creamy, spicy, aromatic and elevated deliciously. What about the rest of the dishes we tucked into alongside rice? Without a doubt, the winning home style Nyonya food formula too. Sambal Belacan, Kari Kambing/Mutton Curry, Spicy Beans, Salted Fish, Brinjal Stir Fry and Fried Eggs. Wah! Power House. 

After lunching, which basically took about approximately an hour, off I left for a mini city tour of Alor Setar. Mini and not major, and mini tour, at the courtesy of my two friends who willingly drove me around. What did I see during this Alor Setar city tour? From a distance, viewing Monument of Sultan's Tengkolok at Taman Jubli Emas/Golden Jubilee Park. Golden Jubilee monument surrounded by five "keris" sculptures for symbolizing the mark of 50 year-reign of Sultan Abdul Halim Mua'dzam Shah, located at Jalan Suka Menanti and in a park featuring the uniqueness of Kedah Sultanate since 1,000 years ago. Built to celebrate the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the 27th Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah and inaugurated by him on September 9, 2008. Park by itself, as I was told by my friends, containing a massive fish pond in the middle and activity tracks for youth, like go-karts track, surfboards track, sky diving, horse riding and there’s a playground as well.
Where to next?Gunung/Mount Keriang Recreation Park. No. No. Not to the peak or even a slight bit of hiking or walking. Just at Mount Keriang foot/base for taking a 360 degree turnaround and of course a couple of photos for remembering I have been to Gunung Keriang Recreation Park. The nature wonder of Alor Setar which I vouch touched my soul and mind, located in Gunung Keriang site and is 12 km from the heart of Alor Setar city. Furthermore, this elephant shaped mountain, believe me, has already been crowned as one of the major tourist attractions of Kedah.  

Thereafter. Istana Anak Bukit, Alor Setar. Another pit-stop for like 5 minutes and me viewing Istana Anak Bukit from outside. Istana Anak Bukit, the official residence of HRH Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah. Pretty much the only thing I can tell you about Istana Anak Bukit. Located in Jalan Anak Bukit and Anak Bukit being the royal town of Kedah. 
Subsequently. This drive from Anak Bukit, passing by some of the streets of Alor Setar, landing me in Grand Alora Hotel. Not bad. Rather an impressive hotel and quite a grandeur from the outside, the lobby and our room by itself. Did not fail us. Comfortably set up, clean, and the best part of it all. Wah! Overlooking Mount Keriang, but sadly though, considering that its not the padi season, I did not have the honour of seeing the padi fields. In their full blown or half blown, neither at a height of green or yellow lush. 

What did we do after checking into our room? Interesting. The Saturday night market/pasar malam in front of Grand Alora Hotel. Stalls on both sides of the street and mostly, all about food. Spot on actually for us. Making it a whole lot easier for dinner and we agreed to one of the stalls where tucking into Chicken Noodle Soup and slurping into Ais Kacang. Okay. Food verdict? Must be said as, satisfying street food dining experience.  

Dinner over, we returned to our room for showering and calling it a night. Buffet breakfast next morning. Suffice to say, the pride of Grand Alora Hotel. Ample choices and we tucking into breakfast by sitting outside, like at the roof top open dining area.

With another few hours in hand before we fly back home, later, at about noon, we crossed the road for checking of if we can have our lunch in any of eateries in Tesco. Nope. Nothing to our liking. I mean, fast food and the food court food, especially for my other half-half. He being anti chicken and not a big fan of Malay food as well. Mmmm!

Back to the other side of the road where Grand Alora hotel is and within the row of shop-lots,
unfortunately, being a Sunday, all the eateries were close. Except for, the only choice actually, lunch in Fresh. The Taiwanese, if I am not mistaken, kinda food and drinks, and we opting for Salmon Bowl and Squid Bowl. For drinks, orange juice and plain tea. How? In all fairness, can be regarded as hunger decent food. Otherwise? Not the type of food, given a choice,we would have tucked into, but somehow, drawing loads of Chinese customers. 

That's about it guys for us in Alor Setar. This lunch basically concluding our trip and we later, hopping into the cab for flying back from Alor Setar airport and prior to home sweet home. 

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