You know, it being our first time going to the east coast and our first time to Lake Kenyir Resort And Spa, we admit to being a wee bit excited as to what the place held in store for us. Factor in a treasure hunt that would start around 7am in the morning (which meant everyone had to be up by late 5am to early 6am, meet for breakfast and then head down to the venue in Shah Alam) and take around 7 hours, followed by another 250km before we reached the hotel, well...
We knew that there would be the chance that we wouldn't be able to do much once we arrived at the hotel as it would be quite likely we all would take a nap before dinner. We remembered the Rasa-Rasa treasure hunt, where after the hunt around Klang Valley finished by 3pm, we went back and slept till near 7pm before heading down to 3K Inn at USJ for the dinner.
We never expected that we would only reach the resort at Lake Kenyir only at 8pm.
The treasure hunt itself was rather adventurous, taking us all over the place out of Klang Valley, and while solving cryptic crosswords helped speed up our ability to solve certain puzzles, we were still lacking a bit in certain areas. Like in spotting rather small logos/signs that were the answers for some of the questions. Some of the times where we spent too long looking for answers were due to trying to spot that small sign which were still visible from the car. However, there were still some questions that stumped the lot of us, that can't be helped except to keep doing more puzzles we suppose.
Once we were done with the treasure hunt, it was onwards to Lake Kenyir Resort And Spa! As esteban was familiar with Kuantan, we all stopped at Hai Peng for a tea break (time management during the treasure hunt meant we never did had time for a lunch break!). The stopover at Kuantan turned out to be both a good and bad thing, good because it meant we got a quick rest, food and coffee before making our way onwards to the resort, but bad because we only reached the hotel at 8pm, just in time for the start of dinner.
You don't really want to be travelling on the roads to Lake Kenyir when it gets dark. There aren't many street lights and as we were reaching Lake Kenyir, we were greeted by a particularly treacherous road filled with lots of potholes.
If the travel time didn't already discourage us from going to Lake Kenyir again, the roads did. We kept worrying about the car suspension when we accidentally hit the potholes in the dark, and it only got easier when we caught up with a lorry, and used it to navigate the road. Another three cars caught up with us, and didn't try overtaking us too. We learned later that they decided it was much easier to tail us to the resort, thinking we knew our way as we had lad's Nokia N97's Garmin leading the way. They continued tailing us even after we made a wrong turn and led the entire party to a jetty instead of the resort at first.
Honestly, we don't think we'll ever make the trip to Lake Kenyir by car or coach from KL. If it's a flight to Kuala Terengganu first, then a transfer pickup from the resort, then maybe.
Reaching the resort at night meant we couldn't see any scenery, but not that it mattered much anyways because we were rather hungry by that point. Parked at the parking lot, got our room keys, and were ferried by buggy (buggied?) to our respective chalets to drop our stuff before we were taken to the dinner venue.
Had our fill and then it was time for the prize-giving. Prizes were given for the top 31 places (the odd number due to tied scores we surmise), and calculating based the score the 31st team scored, we suspected we were somewhere in the top 35 (so we would like to believe).
Anyways, when people ask if we won anything we would nicely say we won a one night stay at Lake Kenyir, complete with dinner and breakfast, and a nice goodie bag. Which we did, after all.
We didn't plan to do much the next day too, for judging from the time we took to reach the resort, we thought it best to check out early for the 7-hour journey back home. So all we did was have breakfast with a view...
Then headed down to the jetty within the resort grounds to take a closer look at the lake. No, we didn't decide to rent a boat to go rowing. We hate how we tend to compare lakes here with those in Glasgow or the Lake District or in Austria, where their lakes were like mirrors.
After 5 minutes at the jetty, we headed back into our air-conditioned chalets for a quick game of Kill Dr Lucky and some rest before we packed up.
Then it was time to check out and leave!
Stopped by Kuantan again, this time at Kemaman Kopitiam (because all other places were closed when we arrived around 3pm). Three of us had the Nasi Lemak Special while esteban had the Nasi Dagang, we all had coffee and such, and then lad went to pay. When the cashier rang up a total of RM72.80, lad thought the cashier was joking. Turns out the cashier wasn't, and then we discovered that the Nasi Lemak Special we had, with the chicken chop sized lemongrass chicken, was about RM12. Our drinks were RM5.50 each. Only esteban's Nasi Dagang was the cheapest, being RM3.50. Good thing the food was good, otherwise we'd all be griping all the way home.
It was somewhere around 7pm when we arrived home, even though we left at 11am!
It was a shame that we didn't extend our stay at the resort, since the difficulty in getting there itself means we aren't going back there any time soon. So we can't say if Lake Kenyir would be a great place for a vacation. But it certainly is a large place to explore, and if you're the adventurous, nature-loving type then there would probably be enough things to keep you occupied what with the many waterfalls to visit. Otherwise, lazing a couple of days in the resort chalet would be a great way to destress (provided you don't mind your chalet running the risk of being invaded by insects that may find their way in).
Another unfair comparison we have to make here. After Nusa Dua, Lake Kenyir can't really compare. And dammit we never did get to explore the spa facilities!