I look for any excuse to go on a trip. A promotion on a travelling package? Sure, I’ll go. Your cat got sick? Sure, I’ll visit especially if you live by the beach. A good friend getting married? Hell to the yes!
We went to Terengganu to attend a wedding of a friend, on a weekend in the middle of the monsoon season. Nobody goes to Terengganu during the monsoon season. It rains and pours and floods, the beach is moody and the snorkeling islands are shut down. But the thing is, I like the unconventional. And I like lots of rain. Nothing says adventure quite like traveling down a strange road and finding new things to see that are not too touristy. While getting splashed in the face with acid rain.
We decided to pay a visit to the Islamic Civilization Park. It was the talk of the town because of its controversially high budget, but I’ve also heard some good reviews. Plus it was either that or we’ll have to visit a Batik Factory House, which to be honest, should only be reserved for when you’re 70 with no teeth.
The ticket costs RM15 (what a rip-off!) and once you’re in, you’re allowed to ride the bicycles around the park instead of walking. The park was filled with miniatures of historical mosques around the world, and the built were intricate enough that you almost feel like you’re seeing the real deal. There was the Masjid al-Haram, of course, and al-Aqsa, Grenada mosque, and the Taj Mahal, among others. Each mosque was accompanied with a description on when it was built, why it’s significant etc. If you’re too broke (right I am right now) you should give this park a try. It made me feel inspired to save money and travel again and see the real live mosques. They looked magnificent enough in miniature, so I am sure it’s even better in person.
After that we went to the beach anyway, because a visit to the East coast is never really complete until you visit a beach. That’s like eating an ice cream Sunday without the hot chocolate fudge. The beach was dark and cloudy, and it definitely gave a different nostalgic effect compared to a bright sunny beach. The former reminded me of sharks and Godzilla, while the latter reminded me of…Baywatch. Those hideous red bikinis. Yeesh.
Cycling around the park. At the back is the first mosque in Nigeria, built entirely of clay.
Now doesn't she look like she's in Istanbul? (minus the horrendous plane ride, airport tax, and currency exchange)
Sad, moody beach. It literally started pouring minutes after these pictures were taken.