Kijal - Terengganu Malaysia
Kijal is a quiet little fishing village wedged in between recent developments. Surprisingly, it has not changed greatly as most cynics would have expected it to.
The villagers go about their old ways, chatting over cups of thick, local coffee in the early evening, grating coconut for the evening meal, feeding the chickens, flying wau(kites) - the things we used to do when there were a lot fewer choices in life. Where would we all be if there weren't MacDonalds, Starbucks and nintendos?
The villagers are hardy people. They have learnt that the sea can be rewarding but it can also strip one of all the kindness it has bestowed on them in one flail sweep as can be seen in the conditions of some of the houses facing the seafront. So they work and work and live a simple contented life. Always in praise of the almighty Allah.
The long, quiet beachfront runs pass Awana Kijal, the only luxury resort in Kijal, secured with an unobstructed view of the South China Sea. This is the resort to go for a couple of days, away from the busy streets and noisy traffic. But steer away from weekends as it can get pretty crowded. The resort has also started a mini 'save our sea turtle' programme with a little hatchery on the beach
There isn't much else to do at Kijal except to enjoy the company of travelling companions and a bit of golf. Visiting families and friends of the expatriate community often opt for the more upmarket accommodation at Awana Kijal although further away from other resorts and available lodgings in Kemaman and Paka or Kerteh. There is an 18-hole golf course right by the sea. A conducive place to catch up on some reading, maybe even entice you to write a few paragraphs or so in the much delayed book you have always dreamed of writing?