| Part 2: KL |
Weather: tropically hot in KL.
arrive at the airport at 8:15pm, then proceed to check in at the
Emirates counter in the C area of the airport. There is a
just for people who have checked in online with almost no queue. By
8:40pm we are checked in, but since the flight is delayed by 35 minutes
we proceed to the fast food area of the airport. There we have
some dinner. Big screen showing the football match Spain-Chile, cool
atmosphere. We leave in a rush when it starts raining and proceed to
The flight leaves with over an hour of
11:45pm. The plane is completely full. We land in Dubai at
7:30am, one hour later than planned. Then we walk around a bit. I'm
unable to withdraw cash with my ATM card from two ATMs. Hopefully the
problem does not persist in Malaysia, otherwise how can I get cash.
flight leaves Dubai on time and lands in KL punctually at 9:35pm. By
time however we manage to retrieve all luggage and go through
immigration it's almost 11pm. The flight was very full and there is
lots of luggage to be discharged.
been waiting for us outside since 10pm. We drive in his car to his
home, where Shirley's mother and sisters welcome us. Big family reunion
scene, lots of talking. Shortly after midnight I go sleeping (only got
one hour of sleep on the flight from Munich to Dubai).
27.6: Kuala Lumpur
Hotel Boulevard, KL
sunny in the morning, blue sky with clouds, gradual cloud buildup, some
light rain in the afternoon. Hot and steamy.
wake up at 9am, Shirley and Alissia a bit later. The small one
(Natasha) will continue sleeping until 11am. Simple breakfast in an
open air restaurant near Shaun's place around 10am. More family
socialising. At 1pm we drive to a restaurant in Puchong where we have a
dim sum lunch. After that Shaun brings Shirley and myself to the
Alissia and Natasha will spend the rest of the afternoon at Sara's
After checking in Shirley and I buy local SIM
our phones - Maxis, 10RM with 4RM of airtime on them. I top mine up
with 30RM. Then Shirley and I split. Shirley will have a haircut and do
some shopping, while I take a taxi into town.
taxi rates have sharply increased since last year. RM18 to get from
Midvalley to Jalan Ampang (RM 10 last year). The starting fee
is RM 3 (RM 2 last year), and the km fee seems to have gone up by
30-50%. Quite a sharp price increase, but it's also true that taxi
rates have been very low and stable for so many years. There is now a
big sticker on the taxis 'This is a metered taxi - price haggling
is prohibited'. Prohibited my ass, as I find out later that in the
Chinatown area taxi drivers still refuse to use the meter despite the
sharp rate increase.
I withdraw cash from the
Citibank ATM in
Jalan Ampang, then slowly walk to KLCC, have a look inside, then walk
towards Bukit Bintang and then on to Petaling street for some shopping.
Not much has changed since last year in KL, except that now
Puduraya bus station seems to be closed for renovation and there is
lots of construction going on around KLCC.
Shirley and ask what she would like to do. We'll meet in the
hotel. Then I'm notified by SMS that I only have 79 cents of airtime
left, which is quite surprising since I have made only one 20 cents
call and the phone should have RM 34 left on it. Some checking and in
call log I find a GPRS data download for 3251KB. Mobile data with Maxis
is around RM10/MB, and this explains why the phone balance is almost
I then remember that I briefly tried out the
navigation and allowed the phone to connect to the Internet. This is
needed to get the position faster through A-GPS, otherwise you have to
wait for several minutes until the phone finds the satellites.
also tried to enter a destination in Malaysia to see if the navigation
works and the phone did a search online instead of using the maps
stored on the memory card. It seems that this Nokia dumbphone initiated
a data download which stopped when the card balance was close to empty.
So I decide to always prevent the phone from going online while I'm in
When I try to get a taxi to the hotel all
refuse to use the meter. One guy even leans against the car in an
effort to cover the 'This is a metered taxi' sticker. Incredible, the
rates are increased by 50% and the drivers still refuse to use the
meter. After some searching I find a honest driver willing to use the
meter. I'm back in Midvalley after 7pm.
28.6: Kuala Lumpur
Hotel Boulevard, KL
same pattern as yesterday - sunny in the morning, blue sky with clouds,
gradual clouds buildup, some rain after 6pm. Hot and steamy.
alarm clock wakes us up at 9am. We have breakfast at 10am, then do some
shopping. Around 1pm we have lunch in the Esquire kitchen restaurant.
They also have increased sharply their prices - around
30-50% compared to last
Shortly after 2pm, while Shirley and Natasha
a nap in the hotel, Alissia and I go to the Butterfly park. RM 15
(adult) and RM 9 (child) entrance fee, RM 1 camera fee. Nice park full
of butterflies but a bit pricey. We only spend 40 minutes in the
butterfly park (Alissia is not too interested), then take a taxi (RM 5)
to the Bird park. We could have walked if we had known the way, because
it is a very short distance.
Steep entrance fee of
RM 42 (adult)
+ RM 32 (child) at the bird park. Later Shirley tells me that local
Malaysians pay less than that. This is really expensive (over 10 Euro
at the current exchange rate) and not surprisingly most visitors to the
park are foreigners (very few Malaysians).
is cool and
breathtaking. Lots of tropical birds flying around. When you enter you
pass through a cage with colourful parrots. Tons of photo opportunities
with the telezoom lens. There is one booth where you can have a photo
of yourself taken with birds on your arms and shoulders. Alissia enjoys
feeding the parrots, with parrots climbing onto her. We also spend some
time in a playground inside the park.
heavily overpriced. The Munich zoo costs only 7 Euro and has more
attractions than this bird park which is more expensive.
we take a taxi and head back to the hotel. In the evening we all have a
dinner in a Japanese restaurant in the Midvalley mall. Unimpressive
food and very tiny portions.
29.6: Kuala Lumpur
hotel, Miri. RM 80 for a large room with attached bathroom with shower,
TV, fridge, phone, adjustable A/C, some furniture, comfortable bed with
soft mattress. The hotel is very old, but is spotlessly clean. Quiet,
you hear very little of the street noise. Breakfast included. Good
Weather: overcast in the morning,
then starting at 1pm it starts raining for the whole day.
breakfast Shirley does some shopping while I head
back to the hotel room with Natasha. Shirley is back at 11:30am and
after that we take a taxi to the Sunway Pyramid shopping mall in Subang
There I meet Andy Lim at noon for some
lunch. Andy is
now working as a freelance wedding photographer and web designer in KL.
We got to know each other years ago during a trip to Laos.
we take a taxi back to the Midvalley mall. There Shirley tries to make
Natasha sleep, then goes shopping with Alissia. Surprise, surprise,
although it's sleeping time Natasha refuses to sleep and finds a lot of
excuses why she won't sleep even if she is tired. In the meantime I
browse a bit the Internet doing some research about Taiwan. Was
thinking of perhaps visiting Taiwan, but after checking some potential
places to visit I decide to skip Taiwan.
back around 4pm. I pack my stuff and at 5pm take a taxi to the airport,
arriving shortly before 6pm. The AirAsia LCCT terminal is now a bit
more organised than it used to be before. Free Internet access with
decent speed at the airport.
The flight to Miri
leaves with approx. 20 minutes of delay. The plane is quite full.