My church is organizing a congress / church camp in Bukit Gambang Resort City (BGRC) next month. I’ve been asked to do a treasure hunt en route there, something for the families to occupy their time with along the 3-hour journey. So last weekend I took a recce trip there on Saturday morning and stayed a night there.
To be frank, I’ve never actually heard of BGRC before this. All I knew was that Gambang together with the equally weird sounding Gehbeng were two industrial towns near Kuantan. Back in the day when my parents stayed in Kuantan in the mid-60’s, Gambang used to be a one street town with maybe 2 rows of shoplots. Now they probably have three rows of shoplots.
So Saturday morning we loaded up the car and drove off. Travelling eastwards for us is trickier than going north or south, we need to circle the city along the MRR2. Traffic was good though, reached Gombak toll in good time and on to the Karak highway. The entire journey from my place to Gambang takes more than two and a half hours, so i thought it was important to take it slow and enjoy the journey.
At Karak, we exited the highway and went into town for lunch. Karak is a small non-descript town, famous since the 70’s for the highway that runs through it rather than the town itself. In the previous years, the jam exiting the highway during holidays is legendary. Thankfully these days, the East Coast Highway joins the Karak Highway seamlessly without you having to go through the town.
What’s good to eat in Karak? A lot, apparently, but today we’re trying this famous restaurant called Yik Kee.
They are famous for their durian puff and durian tarts. They own a branch in TTDI and Sri Karak in PJ.
Lunch was their duck noodles and fish paste noodles (yee wat sang mein). The latter was really good.
My wife tried the fresh prawn noodle (sang har sang mein).
Pricing is very steep even by KL standards.
Then onto the East Coast Highway for more tarmac time. Then a welcome sight.
Strange building in Gambang. I think its a swallow farm.
Aaaaand after a short drive off the highway, we reach the resort.
The resort isn’t big, so its easy to navigate. First you pass the more upmarket Arabian Bay. then you see the Caribbean Bay where we stayed. Opposite Caribbean Bay is the active park where you can play paintball, flying fox, et al.
A little further in you will find the water park and safari.
We stayed in the standard 2 room apartment. It’s quite satisfactory, pretty clean and big. But one complaint, though. Why no sofa set?
After a short rest we went down to the safari. Didn’t go for the water park. this is the view of the water park from the hill.
The safari tickets (both day and night safari combo) costs RM38 for adults and RM18 for kids.
The safari consists of a bus ride around the park for about 40 mins, driving through the animal enclosures. To be honest, it wasn’t worth the price, even at the discounted rate. Most of the areas are still under construction, and most of the animal enclosures were disappointing. Like for the elephants, there was only one baby elephant. I really hope no Thai tourists get to see this.
After the park we went back for dinner. we were the first people at the restaurant. As you can see the food is all still shrink wrapped. The food here is good, maybe a little spicy for some folks.
After dinner, we went back to the park for a walk in the night safari. If you are expecting ‘night safari’ like Singapore or Chiang Mai, or even Taiping, you’ll be severely disappointed.
On the plus side, there are two shows to watch throughout the day. There’s a pretty short animal show (the show was short, not the animals).
Again, if you are expecting Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary or KL Birdpark animal show, you will be… never mind.
Again, if I’m being honest, I’d still recommend Farm in the City as a better (and cheaper) alternative.
Later on there’s a fire show.
A little disappointed nothing or no one got burnt.
The next morning the kids went for swimming while we slept in.
This is the small gym. Didn’t feel like working out here so I brought my shoes for nothing.
Last meal before leaving the resort. Lunch was pretty good as with all the meals here.
Just before going off, we checked out the Arabian resort. Whoooooaaa! this is so much better than our resort…!
Then it was another 2 and a half hours of hard driving back to the valley. A short trip, but good one.