I googled up on things to do in Sg. Golok before this trip. Unfortunately, there is nothing much to be done here. There were only websites on how to solicit prostitutes! It was really vomit inducing to read such things on the internet! Even star newspapers itself mentioned about the free company from GRO at the expense of very few cheap beers! No wonder sleazy men are flocking this place!
I didn’t expect much from this trip, apart from maybe shopping for cheaper toiletries. I remember many brands are being manufactured in Thailand so we could get things cheap here.
Wat Photivihan, Tumpat
Before going to Golok, we stopped by Wat Photivihan at Tumpat for a short visit. It seems this temple housed the longest Reclining Buddha is South East Asia!
Since all of us have not eaten breakfast, we had a plate of kao jiam here – the Siamese version of Nasi Kerabu. We also ordered Som Tam to complete our meal. After that, we had a short walkabout the area to take some pictures.
It seems that even in Kelantan, a predominantly home to the Muslims, there were many grand Chinese and Siamese inspired temples, built using people’s generosity and the State’s recognition of our constitution of freedom to practice one’s religion!
Since we were told the night before of the bombings in Golok, I didn’t expect that we would be going there. We didn’t know how grave the situation was, hence we were led blindly. Our host downplayed the bombing but warned us to be careful and drive slowly when we reached there.
At the immigration checkpoint, we were led to a room where we would be filling up our immigration forms. However, we need to pay RM2 per person. There were a few people sitting at the desks, assisting us to complete our forms. I find it rather unnecessary because we can complete the forms ourselves – for free! Anyway, I didn’t want to cause any unnecessary hassle, so I went along with the rest.
As we drove into Golok, there was police presence everywhere. We noticed that a road leading up to Merlin Hotel was blocked. We didn’t think much about it. Our host said that, normally that street is very packed with people. It was merely a short drive through, so we didn’t really see any wreckage.
Thailand’s special cabling characteristics
We found a spot to park and went around on foot. The streets were rather quiet for a weekend. Many shops were closed. Somehow, we still didn’t suspect that the bombings were that grave! Some shops opened went about their business and nobody seemed to be affected by it.
Most shops are closed
Our host somehow looked nervous and kept asking us to get into the car, so we could go have lunch. So, we did after just about 40 minutes of walking around the streets around Golok town. I find the things here are rather old fashioned – things like clothes, toys, crockery sets, so I didn’t buy anything. I didn’t even go to pharmacy to check out some of the toiletries sold because we didn’t have time.
Army patrolling the street
Lunch was so so at a local restaurant but service was exceptionally good, since there were nobody else in the restaurant and only us occupying two tables.
Then our host rushed us to the immigration check point. I guess this concluded our trip to Golok. I checked my camera time stamp – check point to check point – 12.33 pm and 3.17 pm. Hahah! So I guess this is probably the shortest “overseas” trip ever! Beat my first trip to Macau – took only 6 hours! Hahah!
We drove past a Chinese architecture inspired mosque. It looked like a temple! But with minaret! I wished we could have stopped to take photos but somehow, the driver in front of us was in a hurry to go some place. It was then, we found out that, he borrowed a car from his neighbour opposite his house to ferry us and the neighbour’s mom died! What a way to end a trip to Golok.
Warung selling kao jiam along Jalan Kebun Sultan
At night, we went to Jalan Kebun Sultan again, this time to buy some kao jiam from this lady wearing scarf, selling along the road side a few steps away from Warisan Nasi Kukus. Then, we went to Wakaf Bahru for Thai dinner. We went to Restoran Kg. Kulim – it was difficult to find this place – even our host got lost. LOL.
After we managed to find the place – it was just along the railway, we waited 1 hour and 35 minutes for dinner.. I was glad that we managed to ta pao some kao jiam and had our dinner at 8 pm before our second dinner at 9.35 pm! It was then, I found out how grave the situation was at Golok the night before. I wish for speedy recovery to the injured victims and condolences to the family of the dead. It was heart breaking news.
Luckily dinner was great after the really, really long wait. The specialty dishes – sam chan budu (sliced pork cooked with fish sauce), curry tong fun with prawns and ayam kampong bakar (roasted free range chicken) were really good!
Curry tong fun with prawns
That concludes our very short trip up north. I guess we could have done better with proper planning and wish that I’ve found this link before this trip. I guess we have to wait for it till another trip to Kota Bharu to discover other places.