Thursday, December 17, 2015

Runcation: Hatyai - Day 3: Hatyai International Marathon

Date: 22th-24th May, 2015

Race Information
Date: 24th May 2015 (Sunday)
Venue: Hatyai, Thailand
Organiser: Hatyai Runners Club

It was finally the day that we've been waiting for. THE MARATHON! well, 'the RUN' for me since I was only running for 10km hahahaha!

Due to the long walk yesterday, we decided to take the tuktuk instead. It was already buzzing when we arrived at the Stadium. People cheering, MC talking things we couldnt understand and the marching band playing. We actually reached there 15 minutes before our flag-off at 7am.

There were 4 categories for this run - 42.2km (FM), 21.1km (HM), 10.5km and 4km fun run. The theme was Run for "Happiness" and it was indeed a happy run for me.
It was also an interesting run since the route and city were brand new to me. New people, new environment and new people. As usual, I ran with my buddy, Kak Emma. But only during the 1st quarter of the run when kak emma decided to walk and jog instead. Since I can't really walk within the 1st 10km, I left her to run with own pace.

Then I jog and jog (I dont really run, ever), passing a lot more people who started to walk. This was the 1st run that they provided watermelon at the waterstation hehe. Plenty of water and isotonic drinks. I managed to hi-bye Schu at the short u-turn; as for the rest of my friends, we met at the finishing line.

A distance away from the u-turn, I felt like it was time to start walking and jogging alternately. I was kind of forcing myself to jog as long as possible and was about to stop when a runner came from behind to my side. So I told myself to keep running. After few minutes, I noticed that we've been running at the same pace and I finally looked to him. A grandpa with a sweet smile, Tae Cha. 

With limited English, we struck some conversation. He's a local, ran this marathon every year and he's 64. Hahahaha! Doubled of my age, yet he could run at the same pace as me (malu seh!). I only noticed his bib category number, 60 (mine was 30) and we're in the same 10.5km distance category.

So, unknowingly, we crossed the finishing line together :D

Thank you Tae Cha for being my running buddy! Another 10km successfully completed without stopping * proud grin *.

It was a wrap up by 8.30am for us as we need to check out at noon. Took a tuktuk back with a quick stop at a food market (dont know the name) where we borong seaweed and nuts.

After check out, we head out to our now-favorite restaurant, Salma Restaurant. Had a scrumptious lunch before leaving to the train station. 
Since it was still early (we still have 2hours before departure), we people-watched and went to the nearby Robinson Mall. I actually bought a set of pots and pan there hehe.
The train arrived at 3.45pm (Hatyai local time) and departed 30mins later. We reached Padang Besar at 5.30pm for immigration and customs clearance. We had to bring everything down except food but my bag weren't really checked haha. I think the officer decided to not dig thru everything when he opened the bag and saw that shoes and damp running attire in a plastic bag were on top of everything. We bought bagpacks so there weren't a lot of space to buy unnecessary things. 

6pm, we left for Butterworth and arrived safely at midnight.

In conclusion, this was the most laid back and memorable run I had so far. Worth a visit for next year!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Runcation: Hatyai - Day 2: Race Kit Collection & ASEAN Night market

Date: 22th-24th May, 2015

Our most important plan for today was the race kit collection at Jiranakom Stadium. We walked about 1km to reach there, stopping by the tea stall along the way.

The stadium was already busy when we reached there around noon. Among all the run I have ever registered, this is the most laid back event. The collection was located in an indoor badminton court area. It's a huge space with few sections. There were the collection center on the front left and registration tables to the right (for walk-ins registration). The best thing is that u can choose what type of shirt u want to run with: t-shirt or sleeveless. And u can change the size on the spot.
Outside, there were various stalls selling sports clothing. Very cheap when u compare to the same thing in Malaysia. Some things were obviously fake, but some were genuine. I bought some running skirt (which I have yet to wear LOL), headband and a cap.

Race kit done, it's time to fill in our stomach. This time we head to Salma Restaurant near Lee Garden area. It was marvelous. Quite cheap and tasty. Pure Thai taste.

After the late lunch, we head back to the hotel to freshen up. 

Later in the evening, we planned to go to the largest flea market there but boy we're wrong. We thought THE market is located at Central Festival Mall (since there're tonnes of flea market banner around the area). Turned out that the market located next to the mall is just a small local market at a size of 1/3 of a football field -_-'

Thanks to Mr.Google, we found another market, "Asian Night Market". Well, from the name one would assume it's only opened at night but upon arriving, i doubt it. It's a huge trade center with proper open-style building. It's like a place in downtown Shah Alam, but 4x the size and multiple building.

Being a lady, of coz all of our eyes grew bigger. Which lady doesn't like affordable and quality things to shop, right?!?

We walked around, finding some clothing and cosmetics before heading upstairs to food heaven (we only walked around 1 building). Perfect place for carbo-loading hahahaha! Anyway, we tapau-ed a bunch of food - nasi kuning with ayam rempah, sushi, tempura mushrooms and the best tea from cute bunch of Thai lads.

After a long day, we ended the day with a housecall massage at the hotel. If i'm not mistaken, it's BHT350 for an hour full body massage. What happened that night, is a secret that only 5 of us knows hahahaha.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Runcation: Hatyai - Day 1: Klonghae Floating Market

Date: 22th-24th May, 2015

Next target --> F.O.O.D!

I was kind of expecting the floating market to be like the one i visited in Bangkok but apparently it's different. It's a market with rows of boat next to a walkway. So basically only the sellers are on the boat while the consumers are on the pathway.

Apart from the floating market, there were also a huge flea market next to it. Since we're running out of time, we just went to the floating market for our hi-tea there.

Apparently, the most famous item on sale were the drink. It's served inside a red-clay cup of all sort of shapes and sizes. As for the food, all of them were served in bite-size. All of which were yummy! I especially love the egg roe 'burger'.

After spending about an hour there, we asked the tuk-tuk driver to drop us off at the Lee Garden area. Went into the mall just to use the loo and walkaround. Since the previous years bombing incident, you are required to have a body scan into every major mall in Hatyai. One of them the Lee Gardens' Plaza.

Nothing much here but we spent some time at the art center level on the top floor. 

Since we're pretty stuffed from our hi-tea at the Floating market, we skipped dinner and ended the day with a Thai massage at one of the massage parlor in front of the Plaza. Chepo, around BHT300 for an hour.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Runcation: Hatyai - Day 1: Ice Dome

Date: 22th-24th May, 2015

What is the most important thing to do when u travel? Yes, ure right! F.O.O.D!!!!

We head straight to Kai Tod Daycha @kedai pokok mangga by walking. The restaurant is located at "Sheutit Rd, Tambon Hat Yai, Amphoe Hat Yai" (that was what we searched in Google Map) which is about 700m from the train station. It was hot and the decision to order tomyam wasn't the best of an idea. But we're starving. We ordered the white tomyam, tempura squid, mixed veggie with Oyster Sauce and salty egg squid.
After lunch, we decided to take the tuk-tuk instead. The hotel was 0.9km away but we're already drenched by the earlier walk.

It was heaven when we reached Hatyai Greenview Hotel. Airconndddd!!! We booked the hotel via the hotels' website. i cant realy remember how much it cost but if i'm not mistaken it's only RM200 for 2nights. There're 5 of us, so it's RM40 per person. The room was huge and clean. There were 4 towels provided. :)

After settling down and taking a rest, we left for the Ice Dome. Seems to be the best idea with the hot weather.

Oh, we rented a tuk-tuk for the afternoon to take use to few places - Ice Dome, View Point and the Floating Market. This time i cant remember how much we haggled for it. We're kind of cheated since after coming out from the Ice Dome, the driver said that his tuk-tuk cannot climbed up to the View Point. He should hv said this earlier! We're already in the same Municipal Park.

We dropped the original plan to go to the Chang Puak Elephant Camp due to the late arrival. It's already 4pm when we left the hotel and the elephant camp closes at 5pm.

Anyway, back to the Ice Dome. Entrance fee was BHT300 including the winter jacket. To rent an ear muffler and booties, you have to add BHT100.

There are plenty of ice animals, small building and a slide. Apart from that, there is a section for flowers near the exit. We spent 1.5hrs in there, then off to the next stop. Klonghae Floating Market! 

Runcation: Hatyai - Day 1: Departure to Hatyai

Date: 22th-24th May, 2015

We bought the tickets 2 weeks earlier at the KTM station. Do note that since Butterworth/BM is considered closed to Hatyai, we could not buy the advanced ticket so with the suggestion of the staff, we bought the closest 'long distance' station which is Parit Buntar. We paid extra, but we dont want to take the risk of a full train (due to this international marathon) so we bought for 5 seats. RM25 one-way for superior coach (no sleeping berth for this route).

We departed from Butterworth Station at around 4.45am. There was a little incident when one of us couldn't make it in time so she had to rush to the next stop, Bukit Mertajam, instead. And to no surprise, this particular coach was full (u'll understand why once u reached Padang Besar). Most of the people in the train slept once boarded but I guess we were too excited for our 1st long train ride LOL.

K.emmas's mum prepared some kuihs and sandwiches for our breakfast. individually packed. It was a laid back journey with a lot of interesting scenery. Lush green paddy fields and villages along the way. It's a different view form the road route.

We reached Pdg Besar Station at the border at 8.45am and were informed that we could leave our bags in the train. The train was scheduled to depart in an hour. It's interesting to see the train head and the rest of the car sections left, leaving only 1 coach behind (our coach). We went in and were given the immigration card, filled it in, waited for our turn and cleared the immigration after about 30mins. There were only us so the queue wasn't long.

Since we still have another half an hour, we decided to have our brunch at the cafe on the 2nd floor. There were only one but the nasi lemak was awesome (although a bit pricey).

Unfortunately, there was a hiccup where the head of the train couldnt attached to the coach properly, so we were delayed for 45minutes. We finally left Pdg Besar at 10am.

When we reached Hatyai, it was already 12.30pm MAS time. Hatyai is an hour late than M'sia, so it's 11.30pm there.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

blog tinggal~

It's been months since my last update.

i couldn't find enough time & mood to write yet although i have plenty of things to update *sigh*
no travel since my last accident during my Aussie trip and the nearest trip will only be in March next year..

i miss jalan-jalan, salt water & running.....