• Asia,  Malaysia,  Pinaytraveller

    Mt. Kinabalu: A Flyby to Remember

    A few years ago, when the business of budget flights to nearby Asian destinations was still at its infancy, I had a once-in-a-lifetime chance to do a Mount Kinabalu flyby aboard a  tiny Cessna. I was transitioning from freelance writing and directing  to working as a regular slave when the offer to write the pilot of the travel show “Air Safari” came. I readily said “yes” thinking this would be my last chance to have That One Grand Adventure before being chained to a 9 to 5 job (little did I know that even grander adventures would come with that 9-to-5 job, but that’s another story). With the offer came…

  • Malaysia,  Travel Tips

    KL’s Hop-On Hop-Off Experience

    Some hard core travellers would tell you that hopping on a tourist bus is a waste of time and money. By ‘hard core’ I mean backpackers on their thirdorfourth round-the-world trip who consider such things as expensive tourist traps. Why not just go around the city on your own? they would say. Why spend money on something you can do for so much less? To some extent, this is true. But riding tourist buses has its own merits, too. For one, it allows a traveller to see major tourist attractions for the least amount of time. This is perfect for business or transit travellers. Aside from this, riding a tourist…

  • Hotels and Lodging,  Malaysia

    Hotels: Number Twenty Guest House, Melaka

    I have three words for Number Twenty:  surot (bedbugs) sungit (rude) ingay (noise) This hostel is a good concept that failed in execution.  It may be very cheap, but then again, you get what you pay for.  It’s easy to get drawn to its seemingly perfect, Ikea-furnished interior but it’s a whole different story when you’ve actually checked in. I won’t get into details because just thinking about it exhausts me. Suffice it to say that if getting eaten alive by bedbugs is your thing, then go ahead, knock yourself out.

  • Malaysia

    Malaysia: Ikea, baby!

    Before going back to Manila, we just had to stop by the Swedish furniture company, Ikea. The last time I was in Ikea, it was still squatting in the basement of One Utama.  But now, it has a space all its own in Damansara. It’s quite a long way from downtown KL but it’s worth the trip. Here are a few shots of our visit.           I love the thought that went into designing this bar stool by Nike Karlsson, i.e. the metal wrapped around the foot rest to avoid damaging the wood, thus prolonging the stool’s life. Nice.     I drooled over this ultra-modern…

  • Asia,  Malaysia

    Malaysia: KL Sentral

      One of the things that really impressed me about Malaysia was the amazing transport system.  It’s so efficient that there’s  hardly any reason to be late to your appointment or get lost along the way.  Everything is accessible and affordable, even the cabs.   One particular place that I love is KL Sentral, Malaysia’s biggest transit hub. It integrates all the rail transportation lines (all 6 of them) and the bus lines.  It basically operates like an airport and looks like one as well.   KL Sentral is also  directly linked to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)  and the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) which is so convenient for…

  • Asia,  Food, Entertainment and Culture,  Malaysia

    Eating Malaysia Part 2

    Eating Malaysia continued… 6. Dry Mee Hoon with Minced Pork Chinese noodles served in a pool of special dark gravy and topped with minced pork. Perfect for breakfast, while waiting for the city to wake up;  or for a pre-dinner snack eaten while loitering around a hawker stall as you lazily people-watch. Eat with a hot cup of Kopi Tarik. 7. Nasi Lemak Malaysians sure know how to start their day! The traditional Malay (all-day) breakfast of rice cooked in coconut milk (thus, the name), topped with fried dilis (anchovies), boiled egg, sliced cucumber, roasted peanuts and sambal (chili) and wrapped in banana leaf is sure to wake you up.…