Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Kuala Lumpur 29/30 January 2012

 Petaling Street
 Jalan Alor
We tried to visit as many places as possible on our 2 days/1 night trip to KL on 29 January 2012. On our first day after checking into the Furama Bukit Bintang, we took a cab to Sungai Wang Plaza (where we had lunch at Dragon View Restaurant) and later took the monorail to Petaling Street, both havens for cheap goods! That night we dined at the infamous Jalan Alor where we had the priviledge to witness lions and dragon dances right where we were dining. The next morning, we walked to Berjaya Times Square and from there took a cab to KLCC. All these while we had no problems with these taxis (we took blue cabs which can accomodate six passengers as there were four adults and two kids in our group) but from KLCC back to our hotel, the taxi driver insisted on charging us double on the RM12.50 fare shown on the meter! I complained that all these while I had not been double charged but the taxi driver had the cheek to insist that I pay first and report him later! I refused to pay and that was when the hotel staff intervened and we came to a compromise to pay RM20.00 which I still think is a rip-off! Click here for more photos of my KL trip.     

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Furama Bukit Bintang @ KL

This morning. we drove to KL in Mike's Fortuner and with the help of a GPS managed to locate the street (Jalan Changkat Thambi Dollah) where Furama Bukit Bintang is located (the hotel's name was not found in the GPS). The hotel is right behind Berjaya Times Square. Once we were there, we parked our car at the hotel car park and commuted around by taxis and monorail. We took two rooms at RM220 nett per room, without breakfast. This 433 room hotel was opened eight months ago and a unique feature is that all rooms are non-smoking (good for non-smokers like me). However, the surrounding area and roads (which are not under the hotel and certainly not the hotel's fault) were filthy due to a lack of rubbish bins and poor maintenance. The relevant authorities should spruce up the surrounding areas as it is an eye-sore and gives a bad impression to tourists and out-of-city visitors.

Re-Union Dinner @ Batu Pahat

My chubby Thai nephews!
 Restaurant Sea View
Last night, we had a re-union dinner with my in-laws as my brother-in-law, Mike and his family had just arrived from Bangkok for CNY. They had driven all the way from Bangkok on 26 January 2012, stayed one night in Hatyai and arrived in BP the next day at 10.00pm! Mike's wife is Thai which is why I have two Thai nephews who are very close to me. We booked a table at Restaurant Sea View which is very popular among the locals for its excellent dishes.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

City Tour of Malacca

At Jonker Walk
The statue of Admiral Cheng Ho at one of the temples
On the 4th day of CNY, we went for a city tour which we have pre-booked a day earlier. The cost was RM60 per adult (free for Tristan) and the tour lasted three hours. Most of the places that we went to were nothing new to me as I've been to Malacca many times before. We were joined by an elderly couple from Taiwan who were staying at a different hotel. Our driver, Azmi and tour guide, Desmond were very professional and patient (with the traffic jam and hot weather) and Desmond sounded more like a history teacher than a tour guide as he is well versed in the history of Malacca. Places of interest included in the itinerary were several churches (St. Paul's, St. Francis Xavier's & Christ's), Jonker Walk (Jonker is a Dutch word for gentleman), A'Farmosa, Bukit Cina, Hang Li Poh's well, Dutch Settlement, Portuguese Settlement, and a Temple dedicated to Admiral Cheng Ho (cannot understand how or why as I believe Cheng Ho was a Muslim!).

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Portuguese Restaurant @ Portuguese Settlement

My niece, Adeline & her son, Tristan
My wife & daughter
My sister (Angie) suggested that we had dinner at the Portuguese Restaurant in Malacca as her friends strongly recommended this place. So everyone of us cramped into her Honda Civic (we drove 2 cars to Malacca) as we were being told by the hotel staff that this place is very near to the hotel. With the aid of a GPS (not mine, Angie borrowed this one from a friend), we went round and round with the GPS "re-calculating" and "instructing" us to turn into non-existing roads! This GPS must be using an out-dated software! We managed to find the place 45 minutes later but another dissapointment awaited us. The food at this particular stall was terrible (for the price we pay) and the only good thing at this open air restaurant is the view of the Straits of Malacca. Don't be fooled by its name as I cannot find a single Portuguese dish (more like hawker fare). We ordered mussels from another stall which never came after more than an hour! However, we did enjoyed our drinks!