Monday, 8 March 2010

Trips


Off-topic. Kuala Lumpur.


Last 3 days were spent in Kuala Lumpur. Visa Run. In case someone doesn't know - most of foreigners working in Thailand have to leave the country every 90 days, crossing Thai border to somehere and back...It's a big industry here in Thailand - people with minivans, taking people to the border and back in one day...If you want to do it quick and cheap - you just book a seat in one of those minivans and spend one whole day going to Malaysian border (in Samui's case) and then coming back on the same evening with a new 90 days stamp in your passport.
We didn't want it quick and cheap. I mean of course we wanted it cheap, but it wasn't the case. As usual....

So, this time we decided to go to Kuala Lumpur...We've been there before, but I've made a friend on Internet, and really wanted to meet her in person. Our babies are same age, we met in some women's group, found out we got pregnant on the same day (how weird is that?!!!), and that's how friendship has started...



We flew with Firefly (we used them before, but not with a baby in tow though). The plane is pretty small, one of those turbo-propeller ones, not much of a leg room, but at least it was clean. It was even cleaner when we landed - Jake has wiped the whole aisle with his clothes, crawling backwards and forwards and being a real nuisance to air -hostesses who were desperately trying to avoid him with their food/drinks trays...We just couldn't stop him, he is like a tsunami- unstoppable...Flying with children was not meant to be easy...

Anyway, after 2 hours we finally arrived to Kl's Subang Airport, which is a small old airport out of town, but who cares...
30 minutes and 40 ringit (400 Thai Baht) later we were standing in the hotel's lobby.

This time I've chosen a hotel right next door to the shopping mall. Last time we've done all the sightseeing, Petronas Twin Towers, Suria KLCC, and everything around them, KL Bird Park which is the largest walk-in free-flight aviary in the world, and some other places, but this time I just wanted to relax and only do minimum walking and right to the point.
So, "Prince Hotel and Residence" was carefully chosen on Tripadvisor after reading tons of positive reviews and learning that you get a free internet in a room and a pretty good big breakfast included in the price, the decision was made.



Hotel was really nice. Across the road from it and just two minutes’ walk away, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur shopping mall was waiting for us with 450 stores and a shopping experience like we get in London or New York or any other big capital...



Our room was nice and clean, bed and bathroom were very big (two the most important things in a hotels room for me), the water pressure in a shower was nothing we had ever experienced on Samui - it was a pure joy taking showers there... two free bottles of water in a room daily, kettle and choice of tea/coffee, nice toiletries...
The views from the room were nothing special but still quite good, we took a few pictures.



There was an open air swimming pool and I promised myself to go down there in the morning. It wasn't too big, but had a shallow section for kids, nice pool bar and jacuzzi, basically everything we needed.





We had a couple of hours rest in a room and then we hit the shops. The nearest shopping mall was Pavillion, one of the best in KL. In a matter of 3 hours a few excellent purchases were made, I got a great dress with 70%discount, my darling bought funky jeans, and the rest was various kids stuff, which we cannot find on Samui, I was especially happy to find a fantastic comfortable sandals for first-walkers...Kids go normally barefoot on Samui or wear cheap shoes of questionable quality and even more questionable design from Tesco, so these ones were a great find.



So we were kind of done with the shopping for the day and walked back to the hotel. Next morning after extensive breakfast we went down to the pool. At last. How many times I stayed in hotels with a great pool and never got to use it...So this time it was different. Got sunbeds, got ourselves comfortable, and didn't move much for the next 3 hours besides playing with Jake by the pool. Also took some more pictures with the views of KL...






Then we were off to meet my friend and her family. They invited us to their house for a home cooked dinner.
I haven't eaten like that for ages, in a typical Russian manner my new friends laid out the table with all the best, most delicious, freshly prepared food..They are great people, I felt like I've known them for ages...We found it hard to leave...We had a great time eating, drinking, talking about life, taking pictures and before we left we arranged to meet next day again.

Next day started similar...breakfast, then pool...I must admit- the pool is a blessing in the sky when you travel with a baby...There is no sand to eat, there are no cigarette buds to pick, and there are no waves, so swimming was actually quite enjoyable for our son...




After a bit more shopping we joined our friends to have a dinner together.
They invited us to the Starhill Gallery which is on the ground floor of JW Marriott Hotel, and the place is absolutely beautiful. There are many excellent restaurants and bars there, we went to Tarbush - a great Lebanese. Food was excellent, service too, prices reasonable.



This was our table. We are drinking arabic tea...


I felt a bit sorry for other customers because our 3 kids made lots of noise and mess, but the restaurant staff seemed totally fine and tried to occupy the kids so we could actually enjoy our time out a bit... Evening went really well and we didn't even notice how a few hours passed by and it was time to say goodbye... We had to go back to hotel and get ready for our early departure next day.

Next morning we woken up at 6am, had an early breakfast, politely refused hotel's limo for 70 ringit (cheeky!!!), caught an old taxi for 50 (what a rip off those taxis over there, there was 27 ringit only on the meter when we arrived to the airport, and I thought Bangkok was bad...), and left for the airport. After checking in, we spent our last Malaysian money in a local Starbucks and then proceeded to the departure gate.
I forgot to mention that we actually managed to bring 2 full bottles of water, baby milk and food to the planes in both directions (to and from KL) without anybody noticing or saying anything - they do take it easy here in Asia, I cannot imagine it somehere like Heathrow ( they made me try every single jar of baby food and drink over there - yuk!!!)
The plane was ready, on time, all good again. Arrived back to Samui 15 minutes earlier, without any problems, got the luggage, walked to the car which was left in a free carpark for 3 days , drove home. Home sweet home...Have 3 months to stay here before we have to go somewhere again...

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