That Monsoon Season in East Malay Peninsula (Part 1)
When going to Malaysia, it's always about KL, Penang, Melaka, and mostly the Western part of the Peninsula. Couldn't blame them. Much of the urban development was focused on this side. However, going to the eastern coast of the peninsula is for those who like to go deep into Malaysian life and culture. Thankfully, we got a great friend of mine who is working there. Great! I'm excited to see, at least for a day, the states of Terrenganu and Kelantan.
It was late in November, the monsoon has just started.
Got late, almost missed my flightWe got complacent that Saturday night. Staying in Cyberjaya and having checked-in on the web, we told ourselves maybe we should get a bit late before our flight. 4:45AM for my 6AM flight to Kota Bharu in Kelantan.
|Though we missed the flight to Kota Bharu, we have tons of options to push through with our east coast trip. One can take a bus to Kota Bharu, or in our case, we flew using our unused ticket to Kuala Terengganu.
We woke up, went to the airport, and found out that our flight to KB was already leaving. Eff! We couldn't get in! Though we felt a bit distraught, we still have one option--our unused ticket to Kuala Terrenganu, a three hour drive south of KB!
We rushed to the check-in counter and just in time for the last call for passengers for KT! Still partly nervous because of my luggage. I didn't purchased a check-in luggage option! Good thing though, the check-in counter cleared it for carry-on. Before I knew it, I was aboard AirAsia Airbus A320 flight bound for KT!
|Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 2 (klia2). It became my hub base for my flights, including that flight to KT with AirAsia.
|Downtown Kuala Lumpur as we took off towards KT
So this is Amihan in MalaysiaWe are about to land at Sultan Mahmud International Airport after an hour journey from KL. The skies look very sinister. Dark grey clouds lingered menacingly in the eastern coast. Both of my friends warned me about the monsoon season in Pantai Timur, or east coast of the peninsula, during November to at least March--the same season of my favourite amihan.
By the time that we left and airport and started our journey downtown, the rain was furious! We never knew that amihan could be this furious in east coast! We remember that back sometime a few years ago, the three eastern states of Terengganu, Pahang, and Kelantan went under water. The thought that we might get stranded because of flood came in our minds.
|The entire flight was like this. Good thing it wasn't that turbulent!
The Bus Terminal at KTKota Bharu is a three to four hour drive north of Kuala Terengganu. Though both are major cities, they only have scheduled trips in between them, unlike those in the Philippines that leave 30 minutes to an hour. We arrived at around 8:30AM. The next bus ride to KB was...10AM!
|While I was waiting at the bus terminal in KT...
The terminal sits right at the heart of downtown KT. If it wasn't for the rain, we could have gone to Kampung Cina or around downtown. However, there was an ankle deep flood just in front of the bus terminal! Never mind, we'll stay.
|The main bus terminal of KT is located right at the heart of its city center. Too bad, it was raining heavily back then
(Screenshot from Google Street View)
As we eat and took a sip of hot tea, thunder and lightning pound the city. The rain wasn't stopping, it was getting stronger as time goes by. We looked on the AccuWeather app and checked the satellite imagery for the area. Dang! The clouds were getting enormous! Somebody! Mag-alay kay Santa Clara ng itlog nang matigil ang ulan!
Before we knew it, the bus arrived--on time!
Too bad, because it was raining and we were saving our battery for our journey to KB.
(...to be continued)