Capsule Hotel in Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) fulfills the needs of transit passengers

January 15, 2015 by  
Filed under Other Cities

This blog has mostly been about Sarawak but today, we are going to venture outside Sarawak and I am going to share with you the very new concept, Sleeping in a capsule right in Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2). This is especially for those who had a few hours transit time in KLIA2 or KLIA and do not want to go down to the city.

Lobby area at Capsule

Lobby area at Capsule

I had a 5:35pm flight back to Kuching from Kuala Lumpur. I reached the airport at 2pm. I was very tired and was looking for a place to relax and perhaps take 40 winks. I asked the KLIA2 customer service counter  if there is a place where I could rent for a few hours where I could sleep and perhaps take a shower. Initially, she introduced me to Plaza Premium Lounge  which is over RM100+ for a few hours. I pressed her further if there is any place nearby that would be cheaper. Then she introduced me to Capsule Hotel. She gave me the directions to there. It is located at the basement ( same floor as the arrival hall) right at the end.

Capsule Bar & lounge area

Capsule Bar & lounge area

Upon reaching the hotel, I was greeted with a Capsule Bar. I registered here for my capsule room. I was given a card key. I paid RM50 for 3 hours usage of the capsule where I was given an amenity bag filled with a towel.  Locker is available for free if you are staying here. I then went to my room or capsule. The bed is rather comfortable with 2 pillows . Its Orthorest. I was tired and the bed was a welcome respite for me despite the small space, though for 1 person, and if you are of Asian size,  its still reasonable. I crawled into my capsule and just taking in the whole environment. There is a foldable table at the right side of the wall for you to do work on your computer, but I found the height too tall, as when you sit down on the bed, the height should be lower when it is opened up.

Beds & amenities at Capsule by Container Hotel

Beds & amenities at Capsule by Container Hotel

There is a thin screen to close the capsule when you want to sleep. You just pull it down and switch off the light. Just make sure you put your belongings beside you near your headrest but I doubt it anyone would steal your things.

It seemed that each of us when we checked in, we would be given a pair of slippers to walk around in the hotel, but the receptionist did not even give it to me. Not to mention that I was not even given a receipt which she should, as all she gave me was a deposit slip of RM50 that will be returnable to me when I checked out. So I basically walked barefoot in the vicinity.

Toilet entrance

Toilet entrance

The space was very comfortable but I had trouble sleeping as my bedtime was over. I decided to take a shower. It was a communal shower room for ladies. The men section is partitioned off from the women section. There were many shower room in there with several basins and long horizontal mirror. They even had a small space at the end of the basin row for us ladies to put our makeup items on the table.

Bathroom at Capsule by Container Hotel

Bathroom at Capsule by Container Hotel

At the far end of the hotel , there is an area for us travellers to chill out, read a book or magazines, hooked on the net with their free Wifi or just to look at passengers alighting from the shuttle bus just outside.

When I was ready to leave, I just returned my room key or access card to the reception counter, and they refunded to me my RM50. The black amenity bag was free for me to keep as souvenir.

Comfortable seats and unique bookshelf

Comfortable seats and unique bookshelf

My overall experience was 9/10. If you are on transit in KLIA2, and don’t want to spend too much money during this few hours, you can just stay for that few hours here or take a quick shower to freshen up for RM15, where towel and shower gel are also provided. They call it Shower on the Go.

If you are catching an overseas flight that is scheduled in another few hours, you can leave your luggages there safely. Locker can be rented from the reception at RM15 for 6 hours, RM25 for 12 hours and RM35 for 24 hours. It is much cheaper than leaving it at the Locker for Rental office at the airport which charges according to the size of your luggages.  The larger the size, the higher the costs.

I was seriously surprised that there is this gem of a hotel right smack in KLIA2, for the convenience of us travellers. Go on, do give it a try but do note that each capsule is only for 1 person. Male in one section and female in another section.Capsule Hotel is the “Where to stay for transit passengers in KLIA2” .

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How to get to Miri city?

September 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Other Cities

If you are planning a trip to Miri and right now, you are still residing overseas, I would recommend that you book your flight to either Kuching city or to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. There are flights from these cities to Miri city.

If you are travelling from Singapore, the good news is that Airasia.com now flies direct to Miri city from Singapore. All you need to do is to book online at www.AirAsia.com.

If you commute from Kuching, you can book online either at www.Airasia.com or www.MASwings.com.my or Malaysia Airlines at www.malaysiaairlines.com for flights  to Miri city. The journey by air takes less than 2 hours.

You may also travel by coach from Kuching. The trip takes around 13-15 hours with several pit-stops at several towns in between. The fare is around rm80 per way per person. The coach that I would recommend would be MTC because the coach made lesser number of pit stops compared to Biaramas coaches. The last time when I travelled with MTC, the whole journey took me 13 hours whilst the journey by Biaramas coach took us 15 hours to reach Miri city from Kuching. If you travel by coach from Sibu town, then the journey will be around 7 hours to reach Miri.

Alternatively, you may also try a speed boat ride with Expres Bahagia speed boat from Kuching to go to Miri.

Express Bahagia No.8 Speed Boat

Express Bahagia No.8 Speed Boat

Departure hall of Kuching Port

Departure hall of Kuching Port

I took the speed boat ride once from Kuching to Sibu and it took me 5 hours to reach Sibu. Passengers will alight at their destination but the boat will move on to Miri. It is faster to travel by sea compared to travelling by land.

If you should decide to take the speed boat ride, do remember to bring along a sweater because the air-condition in the boat is usually at full blast and you will be freezing cold as you watch some Cantonese drama in the boat or you may also opt to sit at the open deck during the journey and enjoy the strong wind blowing against your face and a nice sun tan.

If you should come from Kota Kinabalu, there are direct flights to Miri city either by Airasia.com or Maswings.com or Malaysia Airlines, www.malaysiaairlines.com. Another route is travel to Miri city from Brunei, the oil rich state by car.

From Miri, most tourists favourite destination would be Mulu caves and the Pinnacles. To reach Mulu from Miri, one has to book a flight from MASwings.com.my to get there or he can also fly direct to Mulu from Kuching with the same airline. Only MASwings airline flies to Mulu from Miri. Once you reach Mulu, you can easily go to niah caves.

Click for Miri city tour here >>

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Unforgettable Journey into Mystical Borneo on RV Orient Pandaw Cruise

July 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Other Cities

I recently had the priviledge to go on board of RV Orient Pandaw, a cruising boutique hotel even before the launching of its maiden journey on 1 July 2009. I was given a tour of the cruise ship by its Hotel Director, Mr Alexander Scheible. The RV Orient Pandaw is the newest addition to the Pandaw fleet family. It is now based in Borneo on the Rajang River. Like its other siblings, it exudes a traditional colonial style perfect for tropical locations.

RV orient Pandaw Cruise docking in Sibu

RV orient Pandaw Cruise docking in Sibu

Irrawaddy Flotilla Company was founded in 1865. By 1920s, it was the largest privately owned fleet of ships in the world. In 1942, over 650 vessels were sunk in an act of denial and protest when the Japanese invaded Burma. Its largest vessel was licensed to carry 4000 deck passengers.

In 1995, the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company was revived by Mr Paul Strachan. He acquired the Pandaw cruise ship which is over 50 years old and re-fitted her. They tried to conserve as many original features as they could. Later, they built larger vessels with better design and efficiency. The newest addition being the RV Orient Pandaw is now cruising along the Sarawak river.

Its 28 guestrooms are also known as staterooms of 170 swq ft. They are finished in hardwood with brass fittings. All accomodation is air-conditioned. Its bathrooms are fitted with shower and toilet with wooden cover. Each room has a mini safe for guests safe-keeping. All staterooms open out on to a promenade deck with private outside seating.

Like the staterooms, the public areas are beautifully designed with their almost Somerset Maughan quality. A small spa and fitness area are available too. Other facilities include a mini-safe, minibar, DVD on demand, room service and wifi.

Chefs prepare a fusion of spicy Asian and Western food on board and produce is sourced locally including tropical fruits like pineapple from Sarikei, vegetables from the Sibu market and the fresh river fishes from Rajang River. Breakfasts and lunches are a simple buffet. Dinner is a sit down dining. The single sitting dining room offers a mix of European and Asian influences. There is a cocktail bar on the large observation deck and a sitting room with a lecture theatre on the lower deck.

The Cruise

What differentiates this cruise ship from others is their services. There are 30 crews on board and each crew takes care of 2 passengers. The maximum passengers allowed on board are 60 passengers. So that ensures that each passenger is very well taken care of. This cruise ship is different in that its main focus is to allow its passengers to relax, and enjoy the surrounding scenery as the ship cruise along the Rajang River.

They do not focus on giving their passengers occupied with many activities. There are no karaoke sessions, no swimming pool and no activities on board. The ship’s main aim is to let the passengers relax on board, read a book and enjoy the sun. There are complimentary coffee, tea and mineral water available all day. In addition, there is a free bar throughout the cruise offering local spirits and cocktails free of charge.

What the Borneo river cruise focus on is to let the passengers explore the jungle and see all the wild animals and plants that grew deep inland.

Passengers are welcomed to join the escorted shore excursions, do their own thing or just stay on board, relax and read a book. Though there is space for those who seek silence, a Pandaw cruise can also be a convivial experience with a group of like-minded travellers exploring a little known country in the charming and historic atmosphere of a Pandaw. Schedules for at least once, if not twice a day, there are excursions into timeless villages and small towns and return home relaxed with an unforgettable experience on board RV Pandaw Cruise of Sarawak.

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Is this roasted coffee in Sibu better than Nescafe?

July 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Other Cities

I was in Sibu recently and I was introduced to a coffee shop which is famous for its coffee. The test is in the tasting. So I ordered a cup of iced cold coffee.

The moment the coffee drink touched my tongue, it felt like a medium roast, smooth and full bodied with full fragrant aromas. Even with ice cubes in the drink, I could still taste the roasting and smelt the fragrant aromas. It Ieft a lingering taste of roasted nuts on my tongue. Indeed it characterized richness of the coffee beans.

I love tea more than coffee. Usually when I drink coffee, I drank it for the sake of drinking it to keep myself awake and not really aware of its roasting taste or the feel of its body on my tongue. Yes, I am not a sophisticated coffee drinker to be able to differentiate its flavour or aroma or acidity but after today’s cup of coffee, it seemed like my senses had suddenly been awakened and I became more aware of the differences in aroma, body, fragrant and flavor.

This glass of iced cold coffee is definitely a must have if you go to Sibu. It costs less than rm1 per cup or rm1.50 for a glass of iced coffee. Ask your friend or whoever to bring you to Sungai Merah vicinity at Lorong Wong Ting Hock 1 and go to Choon Seng Coffee Shop which is right below Cosway Office to order your coffee.

Coffee shop serving popular coffee

Coffee shop serving popular coffee

Trust me, you will not regret the effort to go there for this cup of rich coffee. We even bought a kilogramme of coffee powder from them to take home.

Local popular Sibu coffee

Local popular Sibu coffee

Like me, it may even change your outlook on coffee from there on….

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The Biggest Sea Horse I have ever seen in Miri, Sarawak

May 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Other Cities

I was in Miri recently on a city tour. My guide Saliza took me to several interesting spots around Miri.

The one place I was most impressed with was the Seahorse at Marina Bay. When Saliza told me that he was going to show me the largest seahorse in Miri, I got curious and asked him if it was a live one as I know seahorse is actually very small. He laughed and said, “No, it is a seahorse lighthouse”. When I saw it, I was in awe of it because it was a really tall lighthouse, around 2 storeys high.

biggest-seahorse-light-house2Seahorse at Marina Bay

Marina Bay Restaurant

Marina Bay Restaurant

Then I went wandering around the area and spotted this cool Marina Bay Seafood Restaurant. The restaurant is 2 storey high and is designed with a Balinese touch.

Tiny huts surrounded its front building and its whole outlook and ambience looked traditional. They serve not only Asian cuisine but also Italian food.

Sea Plant

Sea Plant

I spotted this display at the corner of the entrance. It sure looked interesting isn’t it?

Wood carved into a seaplant and sea creature.

Seaplant Sea Creature

Seaplant Sea Creature

Check out this restaurant on your next trip to Miri.

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