Merang and the beach
After turning off the highway, we proceeded towards the Merang Suria Resort just north of Kuala Terengganu. The drive to the resort was a reward on its own, with coconut tree lined roads, facing the sea shore.
After a welcome photoshoot by the resort, everyone retired to a free and easy evening by the beach, where we commenced our video shooting activities while some got busy catching the beautiful waters of the South China Sea. After having two day on the road, it was good to stop and soak in the pristine view of the beach and refreshing sea breeze.
At the barbecue dinner at night, everyone was given their fair warning that the next day would be all about driving, and the last two days were merely conditioning of the self and the car before we hit the big one. It will be a full 8 hours of pure driving and everyone was ordered to get their full rest. The night was silent, in anticipation of the next days violence.
Sg Lembing to Kuala Terengganu via LPT
The drive to and fro from Sg Lembing is actually quite brilliant. Well sighted, nice surface, and plenty of limestone hills along the way. The original plan was to use the internal roads. But thanks to our really far trek for some sweetened tofu (it was really good though!) we decided that its best we opt to use the LPT highway towards Kuala Terengganu.
The road from Kuantan to Sg Lembing was the only route in and out, so we had to drive all the way to the edge of Kuantan before proceeding towards Sungai Ular via Bukit Goh.
The easy crusie
We are running across the Peninsular with the hot GTi’s and the PureTech’s from the 208 / 2008 range. We had covered a staggering 600 plus km on Day 1, and now proceeding towards Day 2. Day 2 was set to be a lot more relaxed and chilled. Since we trekked the coastline in day 1, I suggested that we use the inland roads instead. We took this opportunity to perform some sight-seeing on the way to Kuala Terengganu.
Kuantan to Sg Lembing
After the unscheduled workout session, we loaded on some nasi lemak and proceeded to head the convoy out to Kuala Terengganu.
Before heading out to the B roads though, we trekked towards the old tin mine town of Sungai Lembing for a rustic village experience. Sungai Lembing used to be famous for its tin mines. These days it’s the eco-tourism destination of the east coast. Notably the time-capsule hotel, hanging bridges and the ‘rainbow falls’.
We kept it real simple, straight up to Sungai Lembing, a quick brunch, and then a really long, LONG trek towards some Tau Fu Fa. They weren’t joking when they said Tau Fu Fa, this one was really far!
The Highway Run
Ok here’s the thing, it’s a convoy of 200bhp hot hatch with the highest amount of torque in the market. The highway has the lowest amount of traffic compared to all the other highways. I cannot confirm nor deny that everyone drove at 100kph. What it gave was a great opportunity to see just how stable these Peugeots are at high speeds.
The GTi was not designed to be a high speed cruiser, with its short gearing optimized for acceleration, and the short wheelbase for cornering. Even so, the car remains firmly planted at high speeds. It will trek true like an arrow shot out of a bow, handing high speed bumps with ease. Even the afternoon shower didn’t make the car nervous, most owners kept a steady pace and were really comfortable doing so.
Even the dainty 208 and 2008 PureTech’s were incredibly stable at high speeds. You don’t feel like the car is underweight, or unstable, like it’s going to fly off the road due to crosswind. And crosswinds were a real hazard out here on the LPT. Those using this highway at night be warned, besides the potential wildlife crossing the highway, crosswinds can also cause havoc if driving above 100kph. I could feel the push from the crosswind from the high riding 2008, but it was nothing serious. It still was planted and quite secure.
Before the actual drive, a group of us figured out that we can cramp in some sunrise shots before the start of the drive. Which in Kuantan, since we are facing the East coast, sounded like a brilliant idea. We scouted for a location at night and proceeded to the location in the morning. We found a slipway from the tarmac that lead directly to the beach. I trekked on the sand first with the 208 PureTech and it did’nt sink so we figured it’s good to go.
Sunrise, cars at the edge of the water, overlooking a fishing village, what could possibly go wrong? That’s when everything went Top Gear (the Clarkson, Hammond and May version).
I do not want to elaborate further, but I think you can guess what exactly had happened. Despite roping in a 4WD Pajero as a tow vehicle, all 3 cars had to be hoisted using manpower instead of horsepower out of the sand.
I would like to take time to apologize to my brothers of the GTi club for the unscheduled workout, for being ambitious but rubbish. Big shout out to the abang-abang pancing who took the time out to help us get the car out of the sand!