Meritin Hotel, your Perfect Abode in Kuching

December 5, 2017 by  
Filed under Hotel Reviews

If you are planning to discover Kuching and staying at the heart of the city, Meritin Hotel is the place for you!

Photo credit to Agoda

The newly constructed Meritin Hotel is located within the “Golden Triangle” on Padungan Street. You could not miss it as it is the only tall building there and it clearly outshines the other buildings at either side of it. Its architectural design weaves together Asian elegance with modern layout.

The hotel is located right smack in the centre of the city for business, leisure or shopping.

The hotel logo is symbolic of the Chinese character “??” which means “People”. They intend to deliver the best experience to every person, every reservation, every time.

You could spend a day cycling around the city along Padungan Street, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman and The Main Bazaar just to take in the daily life of Kuching city and the people in Kuching. You could also opt to take a sampan across the Sarawak River to visit the State Legislative Assembly (DUN Complex), Fort Margherita, The Astana, or simply enjoy a leisurely walk around traditional villages and colonial shops dating as far back as 1900s.

The hotel is just steps away from supermarkets, currency exchange and popular eateries. The popular eateries serve a wide selection of seafood and local delicacies such as Top Spot Seafood Centre, Pork Noodles (Noodle Descendants), Dim Sum (Hong Kong Noodle House) and traditional coffee shops that brew local coffee. There are also hawker stalls that serve local specialties such as Laksa, Ayam Penyet, Nasi Lemak, Mee Jawa, and more good food.

If you feel like having Western gourmet instead, there is a Western restaurant called Tom’s Steak House that is ready to serve you with menus like steaks and wine as well as providing local gracious hospitality, while cafes such as Bing! Café and Life Café, can serve you freshly brewed coffee, delightful sandwiches and light meals.

There is a total of 65 rooms in the hotel and are furnished with fine parquet flooring. The rooms are sufficiently bright, spacious, clean and comfortable. It is well equipped with basic amenities to meet every traveller’s needs, which includes a high speed Internet access, a writing desk and a tea and coffee making facility.

Meritin Hotel Cafeteria

Meritin Hotel Cafeteria

Meritin Hotel Cafeteria

Here are some of the facilities provided by Meritin Hotel:

  • Free high speed internet WIFI
  • 32? and 40? LED flat-screen TV
  • 1 IDD enabled LCD telephone
  • Satellite/cable channels
  • Complimentary drinking water
  • Coffee/tea making facilities
  • Mini fridge
  • Hairdryer
  • Safety deposit box
  • Room slippers

The free Wi-Fi is accessible in all public areas. Transport is easily available via GrabCar mobile apps.

Here are the types of room that the hotel offers:

  1. Standard Room

Standard Room

There are only 4 Standard Rooms in the hotel and it is the most popular among backpackers. The standard room is 20 sq. metres wide and comes with 1 queen bed without windows.

  1. Studio Room

Studio Room

This room is highly picked by solo traveller and there are 8 Studio Rooms available as of now. The rooms are 15 sq. metres wide, come with 1 queen bed and face either the street or the rear of the building. The soundproof floor-to-ceiling-windows ensure a good night’s sleep after a long day exploring the vibrant atmosphere of Kuching.

  1. Superior Room

Superior Room

There are 40 Superior Rooms and this room is a target for people who are travelling in groups. The superior rooms are 23 sq. metres wide and come in two types; 1 queen bed or twin single beds. The rooms are all inspired by classical elegance and are more spacious than Studio rooms. The combination of extra space and modern facilities ensure a perfect stay, no matter if you are on holiday or a weekend break. Almost all the rooms face the city centre and are soundproof from the floor-to-ceiling-windows.

  1. Premier Room

Premier Room

There are 10 Premier Rooms in the hotel. The rooms are 23 sq. metres wide. There two types of beds for the rooms; King bed or Queen bed. You get nice city view from the windows.

  1. Family Room

Family Room

The rooms are 23 sq. metres wide and come with twin double beds, as well as a view of the city from the windows. Perfect for travellers with families.

  1. Executive Suite

Executive Suite or Meritin Suite

There are only 2 suites in the hotel. The rooms are 38 sq. metres and 50 sq. metres respectively and have a sofa as well as big LCD TVs being provided. You can sleep comfortably on the King beds and enjoy the city view from the window.

All of the rooms are non-smoking rooms. The hotel support local talented artists and photographers as you could see the paintings or photographs framed up tastefully in each room.

Transport services are within easy reach of phone call or just mobile apps; taxi, Uber and GrabCar.

The hotel is also in the process of upgrading their service and facilities, so expect a gym and a mini bar being provided to the guests soon.

Mini gym coming soon!

For more information, visit their website at The Meritin Hotel or contact them at 082-550 800 for bookings.

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Firefly Airline vs. AirAsia

November 6, 2010 by  
Filed under General

It is interesting to note that FireFly Airlines, the subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, is in competition wth AirAsia. However it cannot be denied that AirAsia is way ahead of Firefly even though Fireflyz is a full service point to point airline with rates almost similar to Air Asia. AirAsia started from a humble beginning of RM1 company and 1 aeroplane to become a RED giant that it is today with Richard Branson of Virgin Group having a share in its long haul AirAsia-X  sector.

Firefly, the plane with a buzz

Firefly, the plane with a buzz

The concept of firefly is to connect together the few neighbouring countries of Malaysia in Asia. Right now, its route are between Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. Firefly airline is still growing to add more destinations into its flying list. AirAsia on the other hand is out to conquer the world covering more and more destinations and sectors with each passing day.

Let’s check out in details the differences between the 2 airlines.

Full service? Low Cost?

Firstly, Firefly, the community airline as their tagline suggests is not a complete full service airline but neither a low costs airline either. The airline “IS THE BEST OF BOTH WORLD” as it offers the full service that full service airline like Malaysia airlines offer at the price of a low cost airline like AirAsia because of the type of aircraft(turboprop fleet of ATR72-500s) that they use which means that their cost is much lower. Operational costs, expertise, skills and infrastructure are well based on Malaysia Airlines. Airasia is a low-cost airline (also known as no frills, discount or budget carrier or airline) that generally has lower fares. To make up for revenue lost in decreased ticket prices the airline may charge for extras like food, priority boarding, seat allocating, and baggage which is what AirAsia is all about. It is a carrier that sends a person from 1 airport to another.

AirAsia Plane

AirAsia Plane

A full service airline means that you are taken care of when you pay one fare price and you will be allowed 20kgs of checked in baggage, 7kgs of hand carry luggage, you may choose your desired seat no, and be served soft drinks and snack on board without any additional charges.

Airasia recently came up with the ruling that starting from next year, there will be a fee charged for bags checked in at Check in Counter as they want to encourage people to check in earlier ONLINE to avoid offline check in congestion at airport.

The good point is that means we will have less hassle at airport but the drawback is that it will cost more now to fly if we need to add in this cost, esp. if we are not able to print out the boarding pass ourselves. Firefly Airline is still free to have counter check in .

Would you like to Upsize your Luggage Sir?

For AirAsia, a regular size baggage is 15 kgs, a supersize Medium is 20 kg whilst a supersize Large is 25 kg and a supersize Extra Large is 30 kg. Most of us opt for the 15kgs and if you are on a shopping trip, I recommend you to buy at least 20 kgs and be at ease to know that you will not be required to pay if your bags exceeded the 15kgs weight but is less than 20kgs.

AirAsia Checked in Bggage Rate

AirAsia Checked in Baggage Rate

Things like baby prams/strollers/buggies, wheelchairs, mobility devices and walking frames can be checked-in for free. Sports equipment however, is subject to a sport equipment fee. Check out the table above about AirAsia’s baggage allowances and rates.

As stated above, Frefly airline allows you 20kgs of checked in baggage at no extra charge.

firefly checked in baggage

firefly checked in baggage

Orange or Red?

Firefly airline crew comes decked in bright orange and white uniform while AirAsia crew is out to paint the town red with their bright red uniform of red blouse with tight red skirts with a little slit at the side.


Is it anything like OSIM Chair at all?

If you are looking for OSIM chair type of comfort, then you might as well be flying with Malaysia Airlines though of late, I have seen AirAsia’s long haul flight advert showing comfortable reclining seat.

The cabin within Fireflyz plane is more luxurious though AirAsia is equally on par with their new fleet of planes and black leather seats except for the tight seat space and leg room and certain seat near­­­­­­­ the emergency exit ways are permanently upright and could not be leaned down for more comfort.

Can youspot the difference?

Can youspot the difference?

As such, the value that you get from the “dollar/ringgit malaysia that you pay will be much higher with Firefly airlines compared to AirAsia. In short, you get better service in return for every dollar/ringgit malaysia spent.

Do you want to reach the city faster?

Firefly airline taxies at Subang Skypark Terminal while Air Asia berth at LCCT where there are constantly a high no traffic flow of people arriving and departing. Even Singapore budget terminal cannot beat the people traffic flow at LCCT.

Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport Terminal 3, also known as Subang Skypark Terminal is so much closer to city. LCCT is about 65 to 70 km away from KL city. I compared on Google map the distance to get from LCCT to Central Market, KL city centre. The data showed that we need at least an hour to reach the city. Terminal 3 is only about 26.2km if you use Federal Highway to go to KL city, it is 26.2km and takes only around 28 minutes to reach the city.

Have you twit lately? What is your FACEBOOK ID?

Airasia has a team specially to take care of their online marketing needs and promotions. They are aiming to get 1million fans on their facebook and they are almost there, having over 600k members now at point of writing. In this day and age, if you are not online, not on Facebook, not tweeting, not on youTube, then you are way behind time. Elections have been won and lost because of the usage or non usage of online technology. Check out AirAsia and you will see many videos about them or by them on YouTube. Firefly still has a long way to go if comparing the number of videos posted by AirAsia and them. Online marketing is “THE” thing to do now to get more customers. Having said that, offline marketing is as important too.


Honestly, most of us use AirAsia because the fare is lower than MAS and it allows us to save a few dollars. When things are expensive these days, saving a dollar or 2 means a lot too especially for those middle income earners.

When passengers intend to fly, the first thing we check is the fare rate, then the time schedule before we proceed to make a booking. Where access to instant information is available at the click of a mouse, smart travellers do their own research and go where the value for money is.

Firefly Airline at this point of writing has yet to touch down in Sarawak and Sabah and once they do, I will definitely support them for the value of Ringgit Malaysia that I will be getting. If I need to fly to a destination for a meeting, I don’t want to be stressed in having to worry of my baggage weight limit or many other million issues not taken care of online when I booked earlier. Regardless of how I feel, AirAsia has allowed thousands of people to tour and see the world. Keep it up AirAsia. You have made many people’s wishes come true!

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Amazing Mulu Caves, Sarawak

August 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Road Less Travelled

Below is an Honest Unbiased view of Mulu Caves

These magnificent caves are the main attraction in northern Sarawak, a Malaysian state in Borneo. The caves, nestled deep in the thick tropical jungle, were discovered by chance in the 1970’s by a local hunter. They boast the world’s largest cave passage, the world’s largest natural chamber and the longest cave in Southeast Asia. With its rich diversity of flora and fauna and the world famous caves, the Mulu National Park offers visitors an exhilarating jungle and cave experience that is unrivalled.

Four caves are open to the public. The walk from the park headquarters takes visitors over elevated planks through the jungle, allowing visitors a fantastic view of this dark green world. The first cave is Lang’s Cave, a breathtaking cave with amazing stalactite formations. Then there’s the Wind Cave, known for its cool breeze and strange calcite formations. A short distance away is the Clearwater Cave, an impressive cave that is reputed to be Southeast Asia’s longest (with 107 kilometers of passages). The cave derives its name from the crystal-clear water of the river that runs through it; with a diameter of up to 30 meters, this is one of the largest underground river passages known. The most awesome of the four caves is undoubtedly Deer Cave. The immense dimensions of this cave is difficult to describe or to film. With a length of 2 kilometers, a width of 170 meters and a height of 120 meters, this is the largest cave passage in the world. It is an awe-inspiring experience to walk through the cave from one end to another. The cave is so enormous, it houses its own little eco-system replete with hills, valleys, creeks, forests and swamps. The cave is also home to millions of bats who fly out in a single stream each day at 6pm in search of food; a spectacular sight that lasts about an hour from head to tail!

If you do plan a visit to this park, the easiest way to get there is a short 20-minute flight from the town of Miri. The best part about the flight is if weather permits, the pilot obliges the passengers with a low swoop over the stunning Pinnacles, a series of jagged limestone spikes, some 45 meters tall, that protrude majestically from the flanks of Mount Api. A truly amazing sight!

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