My Retirement Story Part 2

Pre-retirement celebration

I have never imagined that my colleagues would arrange a pre retirement celebration for me in Krabi. They had it planned so well that during the entire journey I kept on saying Alhamdulillah. 

The trip to Hatyai - Krabi took place from 6 - 9 July 2023. There were 10 of us travelled on this trip, namely Dr Shapiza (the head of department), Noriza, Ramlah, Khir, Datin Dr. Thusha, Vg, Sharifah Hanim, Aliff (Noriza's son) and Marsya (Sharifah Hanim's daughter).

Precious memory

Day 0 - 5 July 2023

The journey started on  Wednesday night, 5th July, by ETS. 

Light supper at a restaurant at KL railway station

Waiting for the ETS to arrive

Happy faces

We were excited - most of us first experience travel by ETS

ETS KL - Padang Besar in Business Class Platinum
 - cost us RM267/pax return ticket

It took us roughly five and a half hours to get from KL to Padang Besar. We arrived at Padang Besar Station around 4:30 a.m.  Then we took a pre-booked Grab cab to a mosque to refresh ourselves before performing our Fajr prayer. The grab car then drove away to pick up more passengers. The grab car returned about 6:30 a.m. and transported us to Bukit Kayu Hitam, the border for immigration checks.

Early morning at Padang Besar Train Station.

Day 1- 6 July 2023

Once we have passed the immigration check, the travel agent and the tour guide, Sobree, have already waited for us.  Then, we alighted the 11-seater MPV, Alphard, I think, which was decorated with fancy lighting. In case you wonder how much we spent for the travel agent, it was RM629 per person for 4 days 3 nights vacation to Krabi and Hatyai. The cost included tour guide (cum driver), transport, accommodation and places of interest. The driver will be on duty starting 7:30 AM up to 9:00 PM. Beyond that hours, we need to pay extra.

Sobree, the tour guide is standing on the far right.

Look at the fancy lighting in our transport.

Our first stop for breakfast

The journey to Krabi took another 5 hours on the road. We stopped by an RnR and treated ourselves with iced coffee at Amazon.

Dr. Shapiza and I at Amazon

Ramlah, Vg and I at Amazon

Ramlah, Dr Shapiza and I at Amazon

Once we reached Krabi, we stopped by at a local restaurant for lunch. 

Lunch at Hasna Restaurant in Krabi

After lunch, we checked in at Haleeva Hotel, owned by a Thai Muslim. We took a shower, did our prayer and then, continued to go for our next adventure.  
Posing in front of the Haleeva Hotel, Krabi

By 4:30 PM, we gathered at the hotel lobby and got on the MPV. Sobree took us to a souvenir shop to buy t-shirt and souvenirs before heading to Khaothong Hill to view sunset.

Shopping for t-shirt for souvenir

At the entrance of Khaothong Hill

To go up the hill  paid 50 baht per person. The ticket could be redeemed as a discount coupon when we buy the food at the hilltop cafe. A van looked like a pick up truck, took us up the hill.

On top of the hill

Dr. Shapiza & I - Over-looking the sunset

Beautiful view of the sunset

Khaothong Hill cafe

Dr Shapiza and I - creating memories together

From Khaothong Hill, we went to Krabi Night Market and then had dinner at local restaurant.

Krabi Night Market

Just looking for something to buy

We couldn't find anything that soothe our appetite

I was looking for Miang Kam and Coconut Ice-cream but I couldn't find them at the night market.

We asked Sobree to take us to a decent restaurant for dinner.

Happy faces after dinner

After dinner, we headed back to the Haleeva Hotel. What interesting was, in front of the Hotel was a Thai massage shop. Therefore, all the ladies went into the massage parlour to unwind. We really enjoyed the Thai Massage for the two nights we were in Krabi. It was reasonably priced. For one hour of Thai massage, the fee was  250 THB (about RM32.00). The price increased for aromatherapy massage or for longer massage hours.

Day 2 - 7 July 2023

On the second day, after we had our breakfast at a local restaurant, we were brought to The National Park for island hopping activity. We had to pay 200 baht (About RM27.00) per person for government tax. 

We had breakfast before going to the National Park for Island hopping.

Ready for Day 2

Posing before alighting the boat

On the boat

On one of the islands

Datin Dr. Thusha, prepared banner for my pre retirement celebration.

Posing in front of National Park Office after we were back from island hopping

After we were done with island hopping, we went to take pictures at Sailfish monument at Aonang beach.
The statue of the fishermen catching big fish

Close up pose

Then, we went back to our hotel for shower and prayer.  That evening, we walked to Aonang walking street. There were quite the number of souvenir shops by the roadsides, but I didn't buy anything though.
Posing at Black Crab

Sitting by the roadside at Aonang Walking Street.

That night, Sobree took us for dinner at a seafood restaurant. The restaurant provided free boat ride for us to get there.
Free boat ride

Seafood restaurant - Unfortunately, I do not know the name.

On the second night, we enjoyed Thai massage again before hitting the sack.

Day 3 - 8 July 2023

Day 3 was our final day in Krabi. We packed our luggage and checked out from the hotel. Then, we went for breakfast. After breakfast, Sobree drove us back to Hatyai. We stopped at two RnR for coffee and restrooms.

On the way to Hatyai

After coffee break at Amazon

Bought local biscuits and tid bits for the road.

Once we reached Hatyai, we had lunch. The restaurant was nice but packed with visitors from Malaysia too. I did my prayer at the prayer room provided at the restaurant. After lunch, Sobree took us to three shopping places, i.e. Kim Yong Market (for cashew nuts), Nora (rice soaps, herbal balms, leather goods, bags, t-shirts) and Kaysorn (all sorts of souvenirs).



Then, we checked in at the SriPhu Hotel for shower and rest. That evening Sobree took us to Floating market.

Coconut ice-cream

Mango & glutinous rice

Floating market

Then, we head back to the SriPhu Hotel since Sobree's working time was only until 9:00 PM. If we were to go to Lee Garden, we needed to go back to the hotel on our own.

Hotel Lobby

SriPhu Hotel is a new hotel but the location is a little far from Hatyai city centre. I would not recommend anyone to stay here. There was no shops near the hotel. Even halal food is quite far away. I remember the last time I went to Hatyai, the hotel was at the centre of the city. Restaurants, halal hawker food stalls and reflexology massage parlours were all within walking distance. 

Day 4 - 9 July 2023

On the final day, we checked out of the hotel early morning. Then Sobree took us for breakfast at a dim sum restaurant.
Eager faces to go home

Hotel lobby

The restaurant was really packed. We had to wait for
empty place to eat. 

Posing after breakfast

After immigration checks, Sobree sent us to Padang Besar Station.

Posing for the camera again before heading home.

Happy faces

Let's go home

Alhamdulillah, the ETS took us back to KL railway station safely. We went back home bringing back sweet memories for the time well spent together.

I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Dr Shapiza (Head of Department), Datin Dr. Thusha Rani (Head of English language Unit), Noriza Sulaiman & son, Alif, Ramlah Ghani, Sharifah Hanim and daughter, Marsya, Khir and Vg for joining my pre retirement trip.  I am truly blessed to have all of you in my life. Thank you so much for the fun we had. Love all of you!!!

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