Thursday, 2 July 2020

WEEKEND IN PHUKET 3D/3N


HOW TO SPEND YOUR WEEKEND IN PHUKET


This is a long overdue story, Short weekend trip to land of Smiles. It happened just few days before the second wave of COVID19 infection in Malaysia and a few days before the whole world on lockdown.

Flight: Airasia Kch-KL-Phuket
Hotel: Sleep with me design hotel
3d/3n
Travel with 5 travel buddies.




Day 1 (29 february 2020)

1350H: Kch- KL
1540H: Arrived KLIA2
1805H: KL – Phuket (Malaysia Time)
1830H: Arrived in Phuket (Thai Time)





We took a shuttle van – 9 seaters, brought us to the hotel at Patong beach. The journey was about 1 hour.

Fast check-in at the hotel and we made our way for dinner. What a great welcoming Thai Cuisine dinner we had. The restaurant located at Bangla Road. It is a must to taste the delicious cuisine when you are at the beautiful land of smile. Signature dishes “Steamed barramundi with lime and chilies”, Tomyam soup, Chicken Pandan. Fuuhhh.. long list to mention.

Seafood Tomyum Soup
Steam Baramundi with lime chilli



Prawn Salad

Grilled Squid
squid salad















Night never ends, that’s norm in Patong especially Bangla Road. Pub hopping till the Deejay says no more next song..


Bangla Road

Bangla Road



Day 2 (1 march 2020)

Good morning Phuket, relatively quieter in the morning. People have gone for an island trips and diving trip. Usually, the trip departs from hotel around 7am.
Enjoying our light and easy buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Then walk to nearby Hard Rock Shop to get Phuket print shirt before heading for Thai lunch and coconut water by the beach.
In the afternoon, I shopped some titbits at Jungceylon Shopping mall, before had an afternoon nap.
Night came and again there come great Thai Dinner before Gay Club show.

Day 3 (2 march 2020)

Good morning, buffet breakfast and walk to Patong beach side and had coconut water and delicious hot and spicy treat.
Spent an afternoon at Coffee club at Jungceylon Mall, before afternoon nap.
This is holiday. What a great way to spend a day.
This trip we didn’t make any arrangement to island. Basically we had made to various islands; Phi Phi Island, Ko Pangan Island, james Bond island. 4 years ago, I flew on paragliding on the beach of Phuket.
Pub hopping at night including ladies show (Thai girl show @ Tiger show) before we called it a day.

Day 4 (3 march 2020)

We had our shuttle van around 6am from hotel to airport, and our flight was 8am. At the airport, everybody wore mask. We know the virus is lingering around us.. Phuket – KL – Kuching.
An important day, where the Tabligh pilgrimages were at the airport KLIA. Here is the beginning of second wave spread of COVID19 in Malaysia.

When this journal was written (July 2020), Malaysia is in the recovery phase of Movement Control order. Malaysia began strict movement control order on 18 March 2020. Currently, we are adapting to a new norm of lives. School, offices, colleges and business  has been closed since 18 March 2020. Currently, we are still in process of opening back the school, scheduled on 15 July. Travel might not be a norm in this new norm of lives until world has got the vaccine against the virus. This short breakaway trip to land of smiles is so meaningful, that I am not sure when is my next trip.

Love Love..
3 July 2020

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

How To Spend 24 hours in Cheras Kuala Lumpur





How To Spend 24 hours in Cheras Kuala Lumpur
KL Weekend Gateway January 2020



Morning

Fun Run at MAEPS Serdang
Breakfast Bandar Permaisuri Cheras
Lunch
Plaza Premium Lounge Kch
MorganFields Garden Mall
Afternoon
Flight OD 1601 Kch KL
Arrived KLIA
Sunset Mass at Sacred Heart
Shopping at Border
Jaya Gorcer
Starbucks Reserve
Dinner
Sunway Velocity Chilies Bar
Mark and Spencer
Flight KL-Kch
Arrived in Kch

Day 1


Malindo OD 1601 2.45pm from Kuching quite a perfect timing for those who work on Saturday morning and comfortable time to take this flight to Kuala Lumpur.
Using my Public Bank Visa Infinite for Plaza Premium Lounge is a great way to spend the waiting hour at the departure hall. Plaza Premium Lounge Kuching is just located around Gate 5, which was used by Malindo Airlines and MAS. Having my lunch Laksa Sarawak , good coffee and Juice  and just come out when the boarding call for the flight.

Arrived in KL around 4,30pm and just right timing to catch KL Transit from KLIA at 4.52pm ( KL Transit depart KLIA every half and hour). The JOurney to Bandar Tasik Selatan Station takes around 30 minutes.
Just right timing to attend Sunset Mass at sacred heart Church at 6.00pm, Peel Road. Which is just located walking distance/ opposite Sunway Velocity Mall.

Sunway Vellocity Cheras, one of the latest mall around Kuala Lumpur / Cheras. Ample of place of dining. Rows of Chinese Restaturant served buffet steamboar/ bbq along  nanjing walk in the building.
We decided to go for fusion western at Chilies Bar and Grilled.  Beef Steak and Lamb Chop is still one of the best from Chillies Bar.  Chillies Bar is still keeping its standard after in town for quite sometimes.
After dinner, walk around the mall. There are few British outlet in this mall eg Mark and Spencers where we can buy good coffee beans. There is also Jaya Grocer with variety of good quality imported  food.
Sunway Velocity also have a hotel section. So it's OK to bein Cheras alone if you dont have enough time to  KL City centre.



Day 2


Wake up early for our charity run at MAEPS Serdang (Malaysian Agricultural and Exposition Park Serdang). Huge park with variety of plants and animals. Very green and great terrain for run. Great morning run started around 6.30am and ended around 8am. We had refereshement after the run and proceeded to Bandar Tasik Permaisuri for breakfast. deliciously prepared nasi lemak, with egg and hot sambal.
After we took shower and rest, headed to MId Valley Mega Mall. The earliest giant mall in KL. Mid Valley with extension to The Garden . The Mall is still keeping updated with all the branded outlets and very packed with people.
We had a specially served coffee at Starbuck Reserve Coffee and another western meal and Morganfield Mid Valley.
Shopping at Mid Valley  , Borders Book Store before heading back to KLIA via KL Sentral Station using KL Express. With Touch n Go e wallet 15% discount will be given for KL xpress and KL Transit paseeenger purchasing ticket at the counter.
 Great ..no long que at KL xpress and KL transit counter.
Taking Malindo Flight 6.50pm and arrived in Kuching at 8.30pm. The whole JOurney with Malindo was great. free baggage check in allowance 20kg with simple in flight entertainment, which I didn't watch. very importantly, the flight was on time.!!




Monday, 9 December 2019

LONDON and SWISS WINTER 2019





LONDON –SWISS WINTER 2019 HOLIDAY

26 NOV- 6 DEC 2019

My year-end holiday finally has arrived.  Started with 1 day London stay followed by 5 days/ 4 nights  Switzerland trip and back to London, my favourite city for another 4 days before returning to Kuala Lumpur.
Total duration of journey around 11 days (including 2 days of travelling in the flight). The journey started on the 26 November 2019 afternoon and taking the midnight flight to London . I arrived in London around 6am, and started my whole day program in London.

4 of us as travel buddies in Switzerland and solo traveler in London.


Gornegrat , Switzerland




Breakfast
Morning
Lunch
Afternoon
Evening
Hotel
26/11
D1



Kch-KL
Dinner @ Plaza Premium KLIA
KL-LHR

27/11
D2

Arrived LHR
LHR-King Cross(Hotel)
Breakfast at Pret@Stephen Street
River Thames Cruises
St Thomas Hospital Cafe
St Thomas Hospital Visit
Dinner at Dishoom @ Granary Square
Belgrove Hotel
28/11
 D3
Hotel Breakfast
Train to LHR
LHR-Zurich
LHR-Zurich 11.50am
Arrived at Zurich @ 2.30pm
Train to Zermatt

Arrived at Zayetta Apt
Dinner in the apt.
Zayetta Apartment, Zermatt.
29/11
D4
Breakfast in apartment
Trip to Gornegrat
Derby Restaurant,
Zermatt
Leave Zermatt to Lauterbrunnen.
Dinner in Steinbock Hotel, Lauterbrunnen.
Steinbock Lauterbrunnen
30/11
D5
Breakfast in Hotel
Interlaken Town

Trip to Murren Village
Dinner in Steinbock Hotel
Steinbock Lauterbrunnen
1/12   D6
Breakfast in Hotel
Walk around Lauterbrunnen

Train to zurich
Dinner at Cuchi Swiss Zurich.
Wellenberg Hotel, Zurich.
2/12  D7
Breakfast at Hotel
Train to Zurich Airport
Lunch at Air Cafe
Zurich-LHR
Check in YHA
Dinner at John Lewis
YHA St Pancras
3/12 D8
Breakfast at YHA
Train to Bicester Village
Itsu, Bicester Village
Bicester Village- Ldn
Winter wonderland, Dinner at WWL
YHA St Pancras
4/12 D9
Breakfast at Somers town Café Full English Breakfast
Shopping at Oxfort Street
Primark, Gap, Dorothy Perkin,

Train to Kew Garden
Kew Garden Visit
Diner at Euston Flyer
YHA St Pancras
5/12 D10
Breakfast at YHA
UCL Quad,
Gower Street,
Waterstone
HRC Lunch
Hard Rock Merchandise shopping
2.30pm Train to LHR
LHR VAT
Check in
Flight LHR-KL

6/12 D11




Arrived at KLIA 6.45pm
Flight 9.15pm to Kch.






 

26 Nov 2019

Plaza Premium Lounge Experience, my favourite lounge at international departure KLIA. Previously I utilized my Public Bank Visa Infinite to enter the lounge. PB Visa only entitled to the named on the card,  This time I used my BMW Privilege Card. BMW Card allowed to bring extra guest for free, and subsequent guest more than 2 for 50% discount.
Bar at Plaza Premium Lounge
 Variety of food and drinks including alcoholic drinks are served. Convenient shower room and changing room. The most importantly very comfortable sofas and resting cocoon place while waiting for flight departure. I normally will spend around 2-3 hours in the lounge before the departure.
Dinner at Plaza Premium Lounge

Relax at Plaza Premium Lounge

27 Nov 2019

After a good night rest in 13 and half hours flight, landed in London Heathrow Airport Terminal 4 around 6 am. Very fresh to start a day for London trip.


Terminal 4 LHR

As usual, I will take the most economical transportation to King’s Cross, which is underground via Piccadilly line heading to Cockfoster.
From the arrival, take an elevator to level – 2 for underground. Got my oyster cqrd top up. Unfortunately the convenient shop didn’t  received debit card payment for the oyster card, I got my GBP notes and topped up for GBP40. The train ride took almost 1 hour, stopped at around 20 stations before arrived at King’s Cross Station. Ticket cost GBP 3.50
The other option but  faster and more expensive is to take Heathrow Express which connecting LHR to Paddington Station . Ticket cost GBP 25.
Arrived at King’s Cross Station and exiting to Euston Road, my hotel was just 100 mtres away from the exit. It was around 8am, still early for room check in.


Belgrove Hotel
 I refreshed myself and changed, left my luggage. Made my way to Oxford Street for Breakfast.
Organic meal at Pret a’Manger is my favourite coffee and sandwich. I had  black coffee and chicken ceaser with bacon.


Chicken Caeser with bacon and americano @ Pret

After very fulfilling breakfast, I made a quick stop at Trafalgar square and walked to Westminster area, where I took a cruise ride. The earliest cruise service started at 10am, I was just in nice timing for the first cruise.
Trafalgar Square

Eye Of London


Bought ticket at Westminster Pier, bought a return ticket from Westminster Pier to Greenwich and return, ticket Price GBP 11.80. The journey to Greenwich took around 40 minutes, Stopped at Greenwich for about half an hour and returned to Westminster Pier. Total journey took around 2 hours plus.







Tower Bridge

From Westminster Pier, I walked to St Thomas Hospital, just opposite Westminster Building through Westminster Bridge.
Westminster

St Thomas Hospital


Evelina Children Hospital @ South Wing St Thomas
Quick Visit to the children Hospital, Evelina Children Hospital and had light refreshment and coffee, before heading back to King’s cross. Around 3 pm, it was already started to get quite dark when I arrived at King’s Cross station and went to my hotel room.


Renaissance Hotel St Pancras / King Cross 

KIng's Cross Station


St Pancras Station

Around 5pm, walked around King Cross Station and while waiting for my friend for dinner. We walked toward Granary square for dinner at Dishoom Restaurant. I was super delicious grilled lamb and chicken biryani.


Granary Square

Chicken Biryani and Lamb





I called it a day around 9 something, back to hotel room.

28 November 2019

Breakfast at Belgrove Hotel, English Breakfast,  Toast, Bacon, Egg, juice, milk, coffee and banana. Very fulfilling. I took the 7.30am train to LHR Terminal 2 for my flight Swiss Air to Zurich. Piccadilly Line for Terminal 1,2,3 and 5/4. The journey was about 1 hour. I was stil early for my flight to Zurich.
Terminal 2 Departure LHR


While at Terminal 2, I got a value buy of Jo Malone Perfume and Kipling Luggage.
The journey to Zurich took around  1hour 50 minutes, and reached Zurich around2.40pm. Thanks to Swiss Travel Pass which was bought earlier via KLOOK to be used for public transpotation while in Switzerand.


Zurich Airport

Swiss Chocolate served in Swiss Air

The next journey was train to Zermatt, which took around 3 hours. Arrived at Zermatt and it was already dark and the road was covered with thick snow. Zermatt is a car free city and we walked to Zayetta Apartment, which is about 200 metres from  Zermatt train station. We had dinner at the apartment, which had quite a complete cooking utensils for cooking.

29 November 2019

Good Morning from Zermatt Switzerland


After breakfast at the apartment, we made our first tour in Switzerland. We took train from Zermatt to Gornegrat. The train journey took about 1 hour. 


Zermatt Train Station

Snowing in the morning at Zermatt

Outside of the apartment at Zermatt
Around 9 am, we reached Gornegrat. It is around 3010 metres above sea level, and covered with very thick snow. The journey to Gornergrat on good weather should able to see peak of Matterhorn.


Gornergrat

Gornergrat

Gornergrat

Train  Gornergrat - Zermatt

  After about 2 hours on the top of Gornergrat, we came down to Zermatt. Still snowing at Zermatt around afternoon and we headed for lunch at nearby restaurant, because strolled along Zermatt City to buy Zermatt souvenirs.


Zermatt town

Lunch at Zermatt

Zermatt train station

Zermatt Town

Gornegrat

Zermatt Town

Snow ploughing at Gornegrat

back from Gornegrat

Train Gornegrat- Zermatt

Zermatt Town

View along the way
 Around 3pm, we left Zermatt on train to Lauterbrunnen. The journey also took around 3 hours. We arrived at Interlaken Train station, it was already dark and got on bus to Lauterbrunnen. The Boutique Hotel was located just across the bus stop.
It was very cold, the temperature was around 1”C. We had dinner in the hotel and had good rest.
Steinbock Lauterbrunnen


30 November 2019

We are in Lauterbrunnen, what a scenic Swiss Village located at the valley by the mountainous Swiss. In the morning, after breakfast at the Boutique Hotel, we had a low pace trip around Interlaken Town. Beautiful town surrounded my beautiful mountain. The mountain was also covered with white snow.
Breakfast at Steinbock Hotel


Interlaken Town

Interlaken Town

Spent around the whole morning in scenic Interlaken Town (Interlaken Ost- and Interlaken West). In the afternoon, we decided to venture on Cable Car ride from Lauterbrunnen to Murren Village. The cable car ticket all included in the Swiss Travel Pass. The journey took less than 1 hour, we able to see to Lauterbrunnen Village from the cable car before we reached Murren Village.


Murren Village

Murren


Murren in action

Murren view




What a great view from Murren Village. Peak of Swiss Mountain could be seen clearly on the bright afternoon. We enjoyed the view and snow ploughing around the Murren Village neighbourhood.


view from the train

We came down after 3 hours of freezing and phototaking at Murren Village via cable car and had dinner at Hotel. What a great view and experience on the top of Murren Village.

1 December 2019

Today, relaxing day, tour around our Boutique Hotel at Lauterbrunnen. The View was amazing. A typical Swiss Home, 3-storey wooden house with a front balcony and decorated with beautiful flower. 


Lauterbrunnen 

Lauterbrunnen , photo taken from hotel

Lauterbrunnen, typical Swiss Home

lauterbrunnen explorer

Lauterbrunnen view

1st sunday of Advent, background Lauterbrunnen Church
Spent around few hours, before we checked out from the hotel and moved to our next destination, Zurich City. Bus ride and train, we arrived at Central Train Station, and go on Tram to our Hotel in Zurich.


Where's the Tram...

Wellenberg Hotel Zurich, strategically located in Zurich Old Town. It was located just a walking distance from the tram stop, few beautiful iconic buildings in Zurich ie Cathedral of Zurich ( Framunster Kirche), Zurich Christmas Market, Zurich Opera House and many others. We tried an authentic Swiss Cheese Fondue at nearby restaurant called Cuchi Swiss Reataurant. Melted cheese taken together with either bread or chicken. Great to explore Swiss Iconic food.


Cheese Fondue with alcohol

Swiss Fondue Restaurant



Enjoying Swiss Cheese Fondue

Zurich Circus

Zurich Old Town near Zurich lake

Oprah House


It was an an amazing view to see Zurich at night and beautifully lighted. A well-spent evening along the Zurich lake and Zurich old Town.


Zurich Lake

2 December 2019


We wake up early, had our breakfast in the hotel and the food served was great too. Checked out early from the hotel and made our way on tram to Zurich Airport. We changed 1 tram station before taking direct tram to airport. Good to see Zurich town in the bright morning on the way to airport. Surely memories in Switzerland will cherished long  till we meet again.


Zurich Airport



Taking the English pride airline, British Airway back to London from Zurich Airport. The flight journey around 1 hour 50 minutes. Unlike Swiss Air, which serves foods and drinks including alcoholic drink in the flight, British Airways sell food and drink from Mark and Spencer fro the passengers on board. Anyway, it was a great flight and landed in London Heathrow around 2pm and passed through British immigration. I made my usual way to King’s Cross using underground using my remaining balance in oyster card.


British Library at Euston Road

Euston Road

Arrived at Youth Hotel Association, just across King Cross Station, was very convenient. I book a private room and it really like a hotel, well equipped with elevator to my room at 5th floor.
YHA reception

YHA

After checked in to YHA, I made my way to Oxford Street for my early dinner, shopping at Oxford Street and enjoying Christmas lightings along Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street.


Oxford Street from John Lewis 5th Floor

Regent Street

Regent Street

Oxford Street

One of my favourite shopping mall at Oxford Street is John Lewis, which sells cosmetics, make ups, bags, clothes, home appliances and delicious café on the 5th floor. On early reservation also can go for roof top restaurant with ice rink. This is one of my favourites during Christmas season in London to watch Christmas lighting. The theme is year “Festive Feelings”. Last year was “London is calling”.


Chicken Salad at John Lewis


Edgar at John Lewis

After 18000 steps of walking for a day, I called it a day and rest.

3 December 2019

Breakfast at YHA,  a continental breakfast which was value for money. It was  only GBP 4.99 per person buffet breakfast. They served good breads and coffee. 



View from Breakfast place at YHA
After breakfast, I made my way to Marylebone Station for trip to Bicester Village. A 1-day pass to Bicester Village was bought from KLOOK website. It was a good buy for only RM67  to get a return train ticket to Bicester Village. The usual ticket bought at the Marylebone station will cost around RM 200 for a return ticket to Bicester Village.


Marylebone Station, London
Train Toward Oxford


Bicester Village

Bicester village housed more than 200 branded outlets from Prada, LV, GUCCI, Polo, etc. from handbags, to branded clothings , luggages and make ups. The price can be reduced for more than 50% from the retail price in the city.


In one of the  branded outlet

No more shopping...

After hopping from shop to another at the Bicester Village, I had my lunch at Itsu restaurant before going back to London.


Asian Meal at Itsu

The journey back took around 1 hour to Marylebone station.
Came back to King Cross and get ready for excitement at Winter Wonderland London at Hyde Park. This is an annual event in London during Christmas Season. Usually starts in November and ends in early January every year.


Winter Wonderland at the Entrance

German Sausages stall


Haunted House

Fun rides, games, live performances, German sausages, mulled wine and beer usually the  highlight during this season. We spent the whole evening at the winter wonderland. It was a great moment to remember. I wish I could attend Winter Wonderland Hyde park every season.

4 December 2019

My last full day in London before bid farewell London for 2019. I went for English breakfast at Somers Town neighbourhood. Somers Town Coffee House. 


Somers Town Neighbourhood

English Breakfast


Full English breakfast includes Egg, Toast, sausage, bacon and baked bean. It is a high calorie meal than could last you the whole day.
After breakfast, went to another round of shopping at Oxford Street ie primark shop, GAP, Dorothy Perkins, Clark, sketchers shoes. These branded good are generally cheaper than in Malaysia and can get tax return for purchase more than GBP 35.
In the afternoon, I made my way to Richmond Park to Kews Garden, a Royal Botanical Garden. It was very serene place and housed various plant including tropical trees eg palm.


Kew Palace

Kew Neighboorhood

Pine Trees

KewGraden via District Line

Came back from kew Garden, We had a touch of British for Great British Fish and Chip at Euston Flyer just opposite King Cross Station.


British PUB Euston Flyer

Fish n Chips at Euston Flyer


5 December 2019

Wake up early Continental Breakfast overlooking British Library and King Cross Station. Walked to UCL campus and got some UCL merchandise.


UCL Quad, Entrance

UCL

Gower Street

Leicester Square

Checked out from YHA around 10am,  and made another walk in London around Gower street to Waterstone Bookstore. Got into bus ride to Leicester Square to Hard Rock Picadilly Circus. Bought some Hard Rock Picadilly Circus merchandise, the newly opened HRC outlet in London after Old Park Lane HRC.


Leiscester Square
China Town London


Piccadilly Circus

Return to King Cross, took my luggage and big farewell to London City. Got into underground Picadilly line to London Heathrow Airport terminal 4 for MAS. Before check in, I claimed my VAT return at LHR. Around 5.30pm, the check in counter opened for check in. After check in, proceeded to departure hall and more duty free shop in the departure.


MH 001.. bye London 2019. See u again 2020.


WEEKEND IN PHUKET 3D/3N

HOW TO SPEND YOUR WEEKEND IN PHUKET This is a long overdue story, Short weekend trip to land of Smiles. It happened just few days befo...