Category Archives: being happy while backpacking

Stuck in Kertih, Terengganu for 6 hours! BORED?! NO WAY!

Hi guys! This blog is written just for your own entertainment. I know i haven’t been writing much and updating the blog. But im about to blast the blog with tons of new stuff that will hopefully entertain you.

I recently got the the privilege of getting stuck in a little town called Kertih, on my way back to Penang. This small little town is basically only known to people working in the oil field. There isn’t much to do here and there shouldn’t be a reason for you to be stuck here as i am. But in case you are wondering where this little town is, it is on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia in the state of Terengganu.

Surprisingly, i did see some foreigners walking no the streets in town. There were 2 to be exact. I was really tempted to stop and ask them, what they were doing here, but then realized i myself couldn’t answer the question.

The public transport here is shit. I do not think there is a bus that is existent here. Everyone owns their own car and if you don’t have one, taxis are abundant. Of course, due to the situation, the fare is more expensive.
Being stuck in Kertih, and my flight out was a FireFly flight to KL. I could either take a taxi and head to Kemaman, which was a slightly bigger town about 1 hour away, and stroll around there, or stay in Kertih and explore the newest mall- MESRA MALL! The locals tell me, it is the biggest thing to hit their small town since the first 7-11 set shop here.
So with 6 hours to waste, i start my exploration. I hitched a ride from a friend from Kertih Airport to Mesra Mall which was like 10 minutes away (without jam) – Yes and that is the weird thing here in Kertih and in Kemaman. THERE IS TRAFFIC JAM! I do not know where the cars and lorries come from but i sure know that it is because of the narrow road system here.

MESRA MALL is a flat building that spreads out. This is the entrance of the mall below.

Shopping Kertih

Latest premier mall in the small town of KERTIH, Terengganu

I will shut up and let the pictures take you through the mall.

WOW! this mall has BODY SHOP!
the ad says “being bare is beautiful”

The mall is a flat one story building. With only one intersection – one single row of boutiques and shops

The mall is new and very clean! There are a few security guards around as well as  a concierge!
There is TOYS R US here!! YIPEEEE

The kids are going to love this!

McDonalds is going to have trouble with this opening here

I wanted to see what the supermarket was selling, and besides normal groceries….. and house hold items…they had…..

Fancy some angry bird slippers? It caught my eye, because i haven’t seen them before

Or you can always opt for some fake FLIPPERS!

The big show was seen at Mesra Mall!

This picture below was taken t show my friend NIKO, that the word BIDAAH actually existed. He taught me, that the meaning was actually improvisation.  hmmmm…… and there is a whole dictionary of it!

I didn’t try the cookies, but i assume they are of the same quality.

This whole town is going crazy on DONUTS! Must be the sugar addict

You know about the donut craze? Well each time a donut stall which has a name, like this- Big Apple! hits a city or a town like this. The people just go banana’s. I don’t know if its the colorful allure or the diabetes waiting to happen.
We Penangites, managed to get over the craze a long time ago. Well at least im just speaking for myself.  But it was amazing to see that they did make the effort to come up with something different. DONASHI! Cool and Cute! The kids are going to love them!

cute sushi

Its more worth it to buy a few donuts as once. I bought one and it costed me like RM 2.50.

we wanna see whats all the hype about

Roti Boy – Malaysias addictive mexican bun

If you haven’t tried the Mexican Bun. You just have to buy one and see. Trust me.

I wasn’t fancying Burger King for lunch. So i went straight to Pizza Hut. It was empty…..and it was 12pm.

Ended up parking my self at Pizza hut for lunch

Ok, maybe its a little early. So i grabbed out my laptop and tapped in to the free wifi. Its broken! Damn it, so its time to eat!

tried the wifi here at Pizza hut, and it was Absolute SH*T

I was naturally training my stomach for the MATTERHORN BURGER challenge. There was a competition back home, which i so wanted to enter. It was a 3 kg burger, where you have to finish it in 45 minutes. And the only thing you could drink with it, was beer!
So i had to test my self to the fullest and order the biggest, baddest most..intensifying meal ever! MEAL 4!

 

training for the big burger challenge when i get back to Penang

Naaaah….we train some other time. I had spaghetti instead.

Spagetti with added spiciness for lunch

Ad a chocolate cookie with melted ice cream, because they brought it out early, way before my soup! Which idiots would do that!
So i asked them to keep it for me. Obviously they just stuck it back in the fridge. So when it came out like 30 minutes later, it was all soggy and melted. Damn you PIZZA HUT for ruining my competition chances!

i just had to have something for my sweet tooth! Chocolate Chip cookie and vanilla ice cream topped with chic fudge!

Has your mother ever told you that the best way to waste perfectly precious good time, is to watch a movie!
Great, MIB III was showing.

Watch a movie!!!
Its movie day on wednesday! Tickets are RM 8

And it was movie day, so i didn’t hesitate. The movie was quite refreshing, but the fighting scenes were kinda soggy.

And you can watch another movie again, cuz there is nothing else to do…

If you haven’t watched the AVENGERS, then please go watch it.

Bubble Tea is in Kertih!

Bubble Tea craze is here in Kertih! I didnt try it, because we have Cool Blog back home and it sucked. Maybe Cha Time will come…..some day……someday..over the rainbow….
And if you still had plenty of time to spend. GO bowling!

YOU BOWL?

No shoes ?
They rent them out.
No socks?
They sell them.
No one to play with you?
They will assign a person to accompany you.
No money?
Go sit in the corner, far far like me and surf free wifi!

Because i do!

But i went ahead and bought a latte…for RM 8.

grabbing a cup of fresh brew

ended up ordering a chocolate indulgence donut which is topped with chocolate and oozing with chocolate inside as well

I sat down, and bit into my chocolate donut. Mmmmmm mmmmmmmm No need to say no more.

donuts and Facebook……the ultimate partnership

For those who needed a souvenir back home. We recommend the Pink Nipple Cream. It makes your nipples pink!

buying something for the Mrs

Stay tuned and if you do have Facebook. Because if you don’t, then you better go kill yourself.
But if you do, then you are one of us. A savvy, ultra cool traveler.
Add us on Facebook, because if you don’t, then you are not cool.
Here is our address.
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Nice Express Bus from KL to Penang review by backpackies

There are a few way’s of traveling around in Peninsular Malaysia. Besides the scenic but snail crawling Keretapi Tanah Melayu train, you have the direct opposite which is to fly (Air Asia, Malaysia Airlines and Fire fly covers most of the major states). Somewhere in the middle, you have the express busses which have existed back in the early days when the first trunk road was constructed to connect the many cities in Peninsular Malaysia.
There are basically 3 classes of express busses in Malaysia. The VIP class, normal express busses and the cheap ass factory/holiday busses converted to express busses to cater for the growing number of commuters.

In this blog we will be reviewing the NICE Executive bus service which covers most of the major cities in Peninsular Malaysia. The ticket from KL to Penang costs RM 75 one way. Which to us, is a hell of a lot of money. So are we getting what we are paying for? Lets see for ourselves.

Nice buses depart from the Old Railway Station in KL. So if you have bought your tickets from the newly renovated Puduraya Bus Stop, there is a shuttle bus service that will take you to the Old Railway Station.
This was what i took and i am not sure if it was the normal procedure but i was dropped off right at the corner about 2 minutes walk from the Old Railway Station. I have pointed it out in the picture below, where i was dropped off.
Not that im complaining but, i would pity the person who had plenty of bags to carry. Mind you, i had to walk across 2 roads before reaching this station. What about if it was an old lady?

nice express bus

The shuttle bus from pudu raya drops you off there. You have to walk all the way to where i am now

The Nice buses are parked directly outside the Old Railway Station.  It’s on the right hand side of the main road.

nice express bus

nice busses depart from the old rail way station in kl

Here are the operating hours of the office.

nice express buses

operating hours

If you havent bought your bus tickets, and have made it this far to do so, the ticketing counters are up on the second (2nd)  floor. There are signs showing you where it is. You wont miss it.

nice express bus

ticketing counter on the second floor

The toilets are also on the second floor. A wonderful thing i discovered was that there were also showers there! Yup, typical Malaysia. The doors for the shower were locked.
(In Malaysia, there are plenty of facilities that are provided but people are unable to reach/use it).

nice express bus

shower room in the toilet?

And because the bus tickets are so expensive, there is an executive lounge for the passengers to sit and wait in. Of course it is air-conditioned and comes with cable tv and drinks.

nice express bus

lounge with tv

nice express bus

executive lounge

nice express bus

executive lounge

Comfortable chairs to sit and wait for your bus. But the lounge seemed small, because the rest of the chairs were basically bar stools. (Not so comfy anymore).
In case you doze off, you can actually tell the waiter to wake you up when your bus departs. There is also a receptionist who will announce your bus arrival and departure on the PA system.
Once you are in the lounge, you will be served with some light snacks and coffee or tea.

nice express bus

light snacks and coffee or tea at the lounge

nice express bus

empty sugar and creamer containers

The service was pretty bad. The creamers and sugar containers were empty. And worse of all, i found a stone in my kuih! (some indian cake they gave me)

nice express bus

I found a stone in my cake!

Almost chipped my tooth!!

nice express bus

nice executive express busses

One thing good about this bus service is that it leaves on time. Unlike the normal express buses, where they tend to wait for other passengers till the whole bus is full. Sometimes you will have to wait for up to an hour before the bus leaves.

nice express bus

boarding on time on time

The chairs and coach was comfortable and nice. Everything you would expect for your 75 bucks.

nice express bus review

comfortable seats

nice express bus

VIP chairs

nice express bus

pantry

The pantry was for the waitress to serve you hot drinks and heat up your food for you.
One thing that amazed me was that the chairs had plug points. Which was a great feature because i regularly watch a movie or do some work on my laptop. But the catch is that the plug points are situated on alternate chairs. So you had to request for a chair with a plug point.

I was seated on a chair without a plug point, and lucky for me the coach was not full. So i requested to change seats, which i did. So i started to blog about the ride.

nice express bus

chairs that come with plug points are the handiest for business people

This was the collection of snacks that was provided on the bus. The funny thing which i didn’t like was that the food and drinks came all at once. Imagine having 2 drinks and some food together. If it was me, i would prefer the water to come, then the sandwich and during half the ride, the juice and coffee or tea. But i guess the waitress was just being lazy and wanted to get away with it, by giving everything at once.

There is nothing to comment ont he water and juice. But the bread i got was a little stale. It was hard and not that tasty. The last time when i rode on a NICE bus, the sandwich was really good. I hope NICE reads this blog and takes action to improve it.

nice express bus

this is the chairs they give

The reclining chairs we got. Which reclined to almost 40 degrees down. There was also a leg support to raise up your legs. 🙂 Did i mention that they also had an internal bus TV and music system. You will be given the headphones for it. (Which you are required to return at the end of the destination).

Overall, the bus ride was ok. It wasn’t faster or anything, but maybe more comfortable. Although i have rode on the same comfortable buses for Rm 40 before. (Minus the drinks and food).

So if you are interested in this service, here is their website. NICE BUSES

And guys, if you have a facebook account, please do add us on BACKPACKIES IS ON FACEBOOK.
We try to make traveling fun! 😉
Have a safe trip wherever you are!

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Filed under backpacking, Backpacking Kuala Lumpur, being happy while backpacking, Penang

My virgin visit to Patpong Bangkok by backpackies

My first night out in Bangkok and the ‘helpful’ receptionist at my Guesthouse already points the direction to the nearest night market – PATPONG. (Of course everyone has obviously heard of PATPONG, except me who still thought it was the BEST night market in Bangkok.

I was staying at Just Beds a nice small boutique hotel which had rates that were quite reasonable. (I will blog about it a little while). It was stated there on their website that it would be a 10 minute walk to Patpong. But i thought since i was going to be tired from all that wonderful shopping that i envisioned in my head, i took a taxi there. The cab costed me 50 THB something  (please dont get me started on the sang (cents)) The zeros 0000 behind the notes are already confusing me enough.

There are two ends to Patpong sandwhiched between Silom and Suriwong Roads, just down from the Sala Daeng Skytrain Station and is home to the city’s most popular and renowned night market, many fine shops, restaurants, five star hotels and the main draw of all, some of the city’s most boisterous nightlife.

ping pong show pat pong night market

Welcome sir...to patpong! You wanna see show...banana show, ping pong show...tiger show

The Patpong area as we know it today, was founded in the late 1960s when a number of bars were erected for the US servicemen who were enjoying R + R away from the battlefields of Vietnam. By day the area was home to the offices of international companies, including a number of airlines, but by night it transformed into something far more exciting.

When the troops pulled out in 1975, Thailand’s increasing tourist trade discovered the area and since then Patpong has been a magnet for tourists and locals alike.

pat pong bangkok

some soi's are so narrow even the skinny lady boys have a hard time squeezing in between the taxi and the road side stall to get pass traffic!

Small shopping stalls overflow into the side streets of Silom and Suriwong but the main shopping is in Patpong Soi 1 itself.
(Soi means small street in Thai). There are plenty of things to buy here, ranging from shoes, fake watches, souvenirs, jerseys but all with over hiked up prices just to cater for the farang (white man) market. So if you are buying something here, make sure you bargain hard.
(This is what we normally do. If they open a price, lets say 500THB, we offer 50 THB. I know its ridiculous but it’s also shows how much we are prepared to offer, which isn’t a lot. Then you need to bargain up while the seller bargains down. Bargain till you meet a middle point where both of you are happy. What ever it is, just try to enjoy yourself. No point, if you guys and up yelling 4 letter words and being angry about it in the end. I have seen many people who cannot handle stress end up like that.

patpong bangkok

jerseys of every team and every player you can think of

patpong night market bangkok

flower soap handcrafted

patpong bangkok

creative pillow covers - very colourful with nice 'meaningful' words

patpong night market

zooming in on the wordings so you OLD fellas can read what it means

bangkok night shopping market patpong

glasses galore!!

Girls will love Patpong. But generally we noticed that all the street markets sell almost the same things. Here you will find plenty of sun glasses, earrings, hair accessories, hand bags and shoes.

bangkok patpong night market

stitch and donald makes smoking marijuana so illgally happy

Patpong has developed and it is not just known as a red light area.  Patpong is more diverse than any of the city’s other bar areas and is home to open air bars, live music venues, pool halls, gogo bars and other specialty bars.  You truly are spoiled for choice.

bangkok patpong

angry bird fever is madness in bangkok

Even if you are a shopping freak, you still got to eat don’t you? All around Patpong are small food stalls selling the local snacks and meals. Most common you will see is fried or BBQ food stuff. Below you will see a fried chicken stall selling every single part of the chicken FRIED!
Did you know that in Thailand: Fried chicken skin is a delicacy?

patpong night market

fried chicken!

The sushi stall had quite a variety going on for 5 THB each . I missed the Unagi Sushi, though i don’t think they have it.

bangkok patpong night market

fresh road side sushi

We passed by this stall selling pork rice. Man it was so good that if melted in our mouths. I would definitely go back there for another. A normal plate with pork meat, vegetables and 1 egg costs about 45 THB.

bangkok patpong night market

fatty pork rice served with vegetables and egg

patpong night market bangkok

Yummy pork rice, that is cooked will its so soft that it half melts in your mouth

patpong bangkok night market

Fresh seafood any one?

I kind of doubt how clean it is though since it is directly beside a busy road side. Mostly they will taste delicious after covered in tuk tuk smoke.

patpong bangkok thailand

steamed soft bread dipped in a mix of pandan kaya and coconut milk

bangkok night market

after a full tummy we venture further into patpong

They have a whole group for this??? Kewl….. i didnt know that. Did you??
As you reach the Suriwong end of Patpong. If you turn left, you are a very horny man. If you turn right you are gay.
We turned right just to be sure they got their left and right -RIGHT!
We discovered a street and here is what we saw..

patpong dream boys

Check out the patpong dream boys

patpong lady boys

Dream street in patpong- every girls fantasy?

DREAM BOYS, BEACH BOYS, SCHOOL BOYS, CREAM BOYS….you name it…..they are all TOY BOYS!
Of course there are toys here for sale as well in case you got bored with your toy boy.

patpong bangkok

A variety of tools for everyone

patpong bangkok boysThis guy even gave me the happy pose! He is really loving his job.
You get to sit with girls, kiss them, entertain them, free drinks, and you get PAID! What a job….

Of course just on the other street are where all the lady boys or KA TUEYS (thai) hang out. They were so friendly that one of them kept flashing her panties at me. What a syiok i got! (SHOCK)

patpong night market bangkok

of course Patpong is crawling with lady boys as well

Just ignore the lady boy on the right. He/she is just trying to be friendly.

What we were trying to figure out was, out in the middle of all this fantasy we were suddenly hearing some hymns….from a choir. And here was a group of students trying to collect donations from all of those poor farangs who have just went shopping in PATPONG.

pat pong night market bangkok

And all of a sudden we see this band of innocent school children collecting donations

PATPONG besides being a famous red light district and shopping market, it is where you will find great bars and clubs to hang out at. We were sitting in one of them, sipping our over priced beer as we watch how the touts try their best to pull tourists into a ping-pong show.

We hope this give you an overall of what to expect in Patpong, Bangkok. If you guys have any more questions about Patpong please do add us on facebook at backpackies is on facebook.

If you want to ask us where the best ping-pong shows or tiger shows. I’m sorry we do not know. (Seriously).
Good luck and happy travelling.

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Filed under Air Asia, being happy while backpacking, Thailand

Famous Steamboat Street Food in Luang Prabang, Malee Restaurant Review by backpackies

We have to be honest to you that our recent trip to Laos was totally done without any help from the Lonely Planet.

To say we did the entire trip on our own, backpacking and researching without any prior Divine ‘travel guidance’ would be a lie. We did “Google” out ‘Laos’ and also ‘Things to do in Laos’ though. Hope you don’t condemn us for cheating in advance.

We were still trying to shake off our numb legs courtesy of the energy sucking 8 hour bus ride from Vang Vieng. To make matters worse, our mood was pretty sombre that day because of the leaky so called ‘dry bag’ that the girl sold us for 40,000 Kip (5 USD), assuring us that our important stuff would be safe when we go TUBING. Our camera and phone was **cked! Soaking wet, I tried to revive it by drying it in a dry environment. (But that’s another story).

When we got to Luang Prabang, this place immediately gave us a very relaxing and slow-paced feel to its whole setting. It is advisable to rent a bicycle and ride out to see what the whole town has to offer.  We did just that and rode around the side of Mekong River, where there were plenty of Guesthouses, restaurants, massage parlours and a few nice quaint coffee shops along the way.

As it was already getting dark, we decided to have some dinner.  We saw quite a number of  locals sitting by the river eating something. It looked good!.

Malee restaurant lonely planet

A local crowd eating here

Guests just sit on short plastic and wooden stools under a plastic canopy.
It’s directly next to the Mekong River. On each table, you’ll find a circular slot and in goes a charcoaled heated piping hot metal steamboat cum grill.

malee steamboat restaurant laos

Prepararing the food behind the counter

It looked like they were eating steamboat. Half of the food was in soup and the top of the silver pot was where they were BBQ’ing some meat on it.
Looked interesting enough for us to decide we would eat here.
Most importantly we felt that because it was a cold day, it would be inviting for us to have something hot. The rates and portions looked reasonable as well.

The dinner set we ordered. (Of course you can order separately, individual meat or more vegetables according to liking)

You’ll get a menu choice of Chicken, Pork or Beef along with vegetables. Use pork belly or vegetable oil to oil the grill and on which you’ll throw your meat for grilling. The lower portion doubles up as a steamboat, where you’ll add stock to cook vegetables and mushrooms.

malee steamboat luang prabang

Plates of vegetables, meat strips, egg and sticky rice

malee restaurant steamboat luang prabang

We set the meat to BBQ and the vegetables in the soup to cook

malee restaurant steamboat luang prabang
Little did we know, later after coming back from Laos, only did we notice that the restaurant we ate at “ Malee Restaurant” was recommended by the Lonely Planet.
If you love BBQ, you would love this place. You don’t actually ‘eat under the stars’, but its Al Fresco for sure. The place was clean and it was pretty airy at that time, so we didn’t have to worry about our main enemy “Mosquitoes”!!!

malee restaurant luang prabang

sitting on small stools and enjoying the local cuisine

We had our dinner at around 8 ish, which was already dark. The whole place was actually quite crowded when we left. We did the occasional foreign tourist eating here, but majority of the crowd was local.

The BBQ cost 35000 Kips per person (2010).

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Jonker Street, Melaka by Backpackies

Held like a weekly ritual, Jonker Walk is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The street heats up with electrifying atmosphere from as early as 5pm till late. Correct me if i am wrong, but i dare say, its as if the whole of Malacca is out here at Jonker Walk to shop.

If you are driving in Malacca, make sure you are not parked on Jonker because we did. And man, it was a nightmare because all the stalls were streaming in to start business and we couldnt get out. We had to wait till everything ended around 1 am before we could move the car. Luckily we were staying in Malacca for the night.
Here is a pictorial story book we did up to show you what to expect in Malacca. Jonker Street Market is a must see when you are visiting Malacca.

jonker walk

Entrance to jonker walk

Along the whole street, you can find some really nice Chinese temples, antique shops, and guesthouses hidden behind the overflowing stalls.
If you are tired of sitting at the side stall watching the crowd move by endlessly, you might want to check out the many activities held at the chinese temples. We were drawn to music coming out from this temple.
And another amazing thing is, if you are lucky you can actually get to watch the local lion dance troop practicing! The gong and the drum beats are so captivating that it will have you standing there for more. Lively and Hair raising is more the term to discribe watching a lion dance troop in action!

jonker street melaka

Very detailed crafting on the outside of a chinese temple

jonker walk chinese temple

delicate wood carvings on the temple doors and walls

chinese temple melaka

curious locals checking out what is all the music about

jonker street melaka

old ladies get together for line dancing session at the chinese association

jonker walk melaka

Chinese orchestra playing

jonker walk melaka

crowded street during the week end

wooden clogs melaka

tiny wooden clogs with cute cartoon characters

jonker walk melaka

Plenty of women acessories sold here

shopping at jonker street

We spotted Shin Chan showing his little wee wee in public here

One thing that i personally love about Jonker Walk is that, over here you can find all sorts of special” toys”. Battery operated helicopters, portable electric handheld fans, “baby milo” limited edition dolls, and some really nice money boxes are among the usual.

jonker street

interesting sweets they sell here

This stall was selling chocolate fruit fondue. Some of them was sugar coated and some was with chocolate rice. Kids will go crazy if they see this.

chendol melaka

delicious chendol melaka at restoran jonker 88

chendol so sweet and delicate, the ice will melt in your mouth ...the moment you put it in your mouth

nyonya laksa melaka

Nyonya laksa melaka

Laksa is a popular spicy noodle soup from the Peranakan culture, which is a merger of Chinese and Malay elements found in Malaysia and Singapore, and to a lesser extent Indonesia. The nyonya laksa here is served with a generous chunk of tuna meat with it. Tangy sourish and spicy taste to the whole bowl of noodles. Great and you need to give it a try while you are here!

.tang yuan melaka

tang yuan in a slightly spicy ginger soup

Tang Yuan are “Glutinous balls cooked in sweet flavoured soup”

Chinese usually eat Tang Yuan together with their families, during the Lantern Festival. They believe that the round shape and smoothness of the balls symbolise family togetherness and that everything in the New Year goes well and smoothly without any problems.

tang yuan at jonker walk

nyonya food melaka

freshly made Popiah rolls

bak chang melaka

bak chang- glutinous rice dumplings that come with assorted fillings

backpacking melaka

selling the famous freshly made heong pheah

jonker walk

fake food along side the real food

shopping at jonker walk

assorted watches sold

One thing that i told my self, that i would be getting my son( when i get one) is a BEN TEN watch. Man, do you know how cool these things are? Some of them can shoot out laser light and others plastic discs at your enemies! And how much do these watches cost? RM 10 only. I wished we had these, back in my time.

jonker walk melaka

chinese caligraphy by a handicap artist

melaka souvenirs

melaka souvenirs

Gold inggots that seemed to have chinese caligraphy, mostly wishing you good luck and wealth.

musician on jonker street

happy musician performing

Off course all along the road you can see how artsy Melakans are. We managed to snap this happy local performing.

 

trishaws at jonker street

There are plenty of those “twinkly boom box blasting” trishaws parked at the start of Jonker street, offering services to take you home.
Its actually quite an experience to ride on one at night. Although we personally would recommend taking it during the day to visit the attractions.

toilets jonker walk melaka

STOP!! and pay..

There are no such thing as free things in this world. You still need to pay to pee. Funny how this man really takes his job so seriously.

crowded but filled with so much to see

With all the crowds, you are bound to get sweaty in no time. Make sure you dress down. We still see the occasional “local” tourist in high heels and mini skirts. Just remember, its too crowded to be dressing to be seen. You know the saying ?” The nicer you dress, the more you pay for something”. The hawker might think you are a rich shopper from Hong Kong or Singapore. He might not be so relunctant to bargain with you. Thats why i always dress like a bum with no money.

shopping on jonker street

cart selling antique money

No wonder this vendor didn’t really serve me because of my dressing. I still got my photograph though. This place was selling all sorts of antique money notes. It does add to the whole feeling of Malacca’s historical title.

For more non bullshit travel information that gives you straight to the point information. Do join us on facebook if you have an account. (we knos you do) at backpackies is now on facebook.

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Filed under backpacking, backpacking melaka, being happy while backpacking, cheap flights

LCCT – Air Asia Low Cost Carrier Terminal KL so whats new 2011 by backpackies

LCCT Air Asia

So what's new at LCCT Airport?

It has been quite a while since we have seen any improvement to LCCT – Low Cost Carrier Terminal in KL Malaysia. LCCT is the hub for all budget airlines in Malaysia. You can basically call this the base for all Air Asia flights.
This blog is an extension of our bestselling blogs >>

Low Cost Carrier Terminal LCCT Air Asia KL by backpackies 

and Air Asia Self Check In- Step by Step guide to checking in at the “self check in kiosks” by backpackies

So we went around recently (June 2011) to check out the latest additions to this airport.

And once again, we at backpackies only show you what you will get. No editing or made up story was done to this review.
Backpackies supports No Bullshit campaign.

Air Asia flight schedule

Flight schedule on the display system

There are  a few number of digital display screens located strategically around the airport. The information is pretty accurate. So chances are that you wont be missing your flight.

But again, please do not rely 100% on the system. Always be aware of your flight time and try to be on punctual.

backpackies backpacking penang

Air Asia Check in counter for Air Asia

Chances are there is always a long queue at the check in counters.  So make sure you get to the airport on time.

A minimum of 2 hours 30 mins before flight time for International Flights and 2 hours for domestic flights.
(most people will tell you its 2 hours for International and 1 hour for Domestic. But LCCT experiences high volume of passengers compared to other airports. So we had to take this in to account)
 

For International Flights. The main queue is at the check in counter, the immigration check and security check. This will slow you down the most. On average its a 5 minute walk to from the Immigration to the Departure Gate.
**This picture is an example of the Air Asia check in counter**

But of course the queue works to your advantage. If there is still a long queue of people checking in, they wont close the counter until every one is cleared. So if you see there is a long queue, means you still have plenty of time.
To avoid the queue at the check in counters, you can always check in online or now check in with your phone. MOBILE CHECK IN!

air asia mobile check in

Air Asia mobile check in counter

After you have done your check in using your Mobile Phone. You will be given a bar code. Which you will then need to scan on to these scanners here to get your boarding pass printed out.

mobile check in air asia

Check in using your mobile phone!

Air Asia mobile check in

Whats the mobile check in for?

Seems like there are some dedicated check in counters also for different locations. But these are the only ones that we have seen.
But after all the mobile check in, internet check in ….and dropping your baggage at the  baggage drop counter. You still need to come to this counter to verify your boarding passes. This is only applicable for International flights. So beware of this. This counters are located on the right of the International Departure Gates.

Air Asia check in

After you have done all your check in's...you still need to come here

air asia tickets

Buying your Air Asia tickets from the kiosk

If you need to buy a last minute ticket, there are kiosks that you can operate yourself.

Air asia ticket sales

Air Asia Sales Office

And if you have any questions, you can always approach the staff at the sales counter just beside the kiosks

FREE WIFI! one of the most used and sought after facility after the toilet.
God knows we cant live without it nowadays. *Need to chat with mum, dad, girlfriend 1, girlfriend 2, wife 3…..”

lcct free internet

Login enables users to use free internet for 2 hours

Its easy to connect and apparently the connection is everywhere around the airport. But they do TRY to limit you to 2 hours usage.  We don’t see anything hard about by passing this. Just log off and log on again!

LCCT internet

Login to the internet is tracked

And nowadays..they try to make you fill up forms… that will supposedly help to improve the system. Well you all know how efficient the Malaysian Government is. So fill it up you guys!!!

Internet at LCCT with backpackies

Questionnaire to fill up before accessing the internet

Being the lazy arse’s we were. ..we scrolled down …..CLICK

Air Asia LCCT

Go straight to the bottom clause

Next up is the first or probably the second most important facility after the internet. *TOILET*. Of course it would be awesome to have a Wifi enabled toilet..Imagine while you do your business, there is a touch screen beside to facebook and chat! **CHECK IN*  or LIKE maybe? ha ha ha Wow….. But no. But they did do away with the plastic pail and broken water hose. Bidet system!!!

Air Asia toilets

Auto Cleaning System Installed

And in case this isnt good enough to shout about. Check out the disinfectant liquid which you can use to clean the toilet seats! No more…. bending over, holding the door and ….xxxxxx.

LCCT toilet

Clean your toilet seats

*************************************COMMERCIAL BREAK******************************

LCCT food

The nasi briyani on board is pretty good

The Briyani Chicken Rice was awesome!! Just in case you are thinking of what to eat on board Air Asia.

***************************************BACK TO REVIEW****************************************

restaurants in LCCT

Dunkin Donuts outside the terminal

Just outside the terminal there are 2 new stalls. Dunkin Donuts to get you on your sugar high.

LCCT restaurants

Sugar colored donuts! Yummy!

Although the airport has managed to supply more seats but the growing number of passengers has out numbered it. During peak periods, most passengers are forced to sit on the floors.
Some smart entrepreneurs have come up with an idea to open spas. There are a few spas offering body and foot massage at the airport. (One of the spas is just by the toilet in this picture)

LCCT terminal air asia

One of the waiting places in LCCT.

The Emporium is still the cheapest place to buy drinking water, chocolates, and other travel essentials.

LCCT shops

Emporium is the cheapest place to get necessities

Air Asia low cost carrier terminal

Picking up your Sim card, buying products from the Air Asia Mega Store

Once you buy your Tune Talk sim card online, you can collect it at this counter here. They also sell cheap mobile phones, t shirts and other souvenirs from Air Asia.

Teddyyyyyyyy!!!!! 

Air Asia Teddy Bear

Wow check out the free gift on board!

So this concludes our update of Air Asia LCCT terminal KL.
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Filed under Air Asia, Backpacking Kuala Lumpur, being happy while backpacking, cheap flights

Moon Tree at Muntri Street review by backpackies.com

It has been quite a while since we travelled up state, so last week-end we decided to pack our bags and have a road trip up to Penang. We arrived in Georgetown somewhere around 3pm.And it was hot as hell i tell you!
We were pretty impressed with the number of heritage cafes, guesthouses and boutique hotels that have mushroomed in the recent 1 year. Most of them have the same kind of concept :  buy old shoplot, restore it to original look, slap a new bucket of paint, throw some non workable antique furniture and there you have it “HERITAGE CAFE” and “HERITAGE BOUTIQUE HOTEL“. Something like that- you get our point.

Anyways, we were staying at this chic new hotel – Ryokan on Muntri Street. Very nice place. The review on Ryokan will be up next.

Moon Tree Cafe was just opposite our guesthouse. So we decided to do a review on it. One word of advice, try going in the evenings or at night when its not that hot. Like most “heritage cafes” the seating areas are not air-conditioned. The tiny antique fans inside wont do you much good you know. Bloody hot!
And with the kind of food and drink prices at Moon Tree ($$$$$), the hell with our usual saying “You AINT EATING if you AINT SWEATING” !!
If you search on the internet, there are actually limited pictures on how Moon Tree looks like (and we also get people asking us-“What is a moon tree”?? Here i mean REAL pictures that actually show you how the cafe really looks like inside. Not some artsy fartsy edited shots of the tv, half broken flower pots or the 1970’s wobbly wooden stools. For gods sake, we know how these furniture look like! We wanna know what the place inside looks like okkk??!

So backpackies is going to show you in our own way..
This is Moon Tree Cafe located on Muntri Street Penang. It’s a few doors down from the high-end cafe/boutique hotel- Muntri Mews.

heritage cafe penang

Moon Tree Cafe on Muntri Street Penang

moon tree cafe penang

Their hot latte's are served with a cookie

The first half of the cafe is not very big and is now filled with alot of antique furniture and broken chairs (May 2011). We figured the extra damaged furniture are for the extension plans beside the cafe. We heard its going to be a gallery. So they are in the process of repairing the chairs. (The round olden day coffee shop chairs are very hard to come by nowadays)

“The latte is pretty good” according to our own coffee specialist. Yes we brought our specialist all the way to Penang to taste coffee so our blogs are accurate ;). Pretty good pretty good. We paid RM 10. (now its not that good) 😀 I guess the fact that its ILLY coffee, it does have some justice on the price?

When we asked the boss-“If you had one thing that you would recommend here, what would you say is good and to die for”?
You have to try the
Kofte Burger
Minced pork marinated with turkish spices and herbs
Served with tzatziki sauce and lettuce

From their drinks list
Tea from RM 6
Coffee from RM 10
Heineikken RM 12

moon tree cafe penang

Inside the cafe

The furnitures are all recycled, most of which are all rickety and rackety. So please be gentle.

moon tree cafe penang

A beautiful lady jealous of another beautiful lady- What irony

Because the cafe was empty when we were there and the only friends were the mosquitoes, we sacrifice our own model for the photoshoot. (Not the mosquito)

moon tree cafe penang

preparation counter

This small preparation counter will be extended to the back once their back renovation is done. Apparently they will have a cook and serve more food when its ready. Anybody knows why the name “Tian Chin Hiang” is on the signboard? You can also see it on the picture album they have.

Like olden days, they dont have a cash register. So their cash is actually in the empty milk tin hanging from the ceiling . Easy to steal dont you think?

moon tree cafe penang

moon tree cafe penang

The place is littered with old antiques

moon tree cafe penang
moon tree cafe penang As you walk in, on the right is a wall complete with antique paraphernalia. Tiffin carriers, brass switches, photos, kerosene lamps. We know the brass switches are for sale. RM 1xx each if you are interested.

moon tree cafe penang

hanging walls of penang

Out back, we managed to find the MOZZIE HQ. At night, Moon Tree has plenty of mosquitoes. There are plenty of plants and water containers with stagnant water. Probably there is just too much potted plants here. Get rid of some? Or if they still insist on keeping the plants, then get the poison to kill the larvae please.

moon tree cafe penang

the antique metal basins being converted to sinks

When you are here, check out the transformation process of Moon Tree on the folder. Titled “Tian Chin Hiang”

moon tree cafe penang

Exploring Moon Trees past

moon tree cafe penang

Moon tree before its restoration

The sequence of its renovation work is being captured in the book. And there is another book there that guests can comment on the place beside it as well. From the looks of it, most of the comments seem to be good ones.

moon tree cafe penang

comments and appreciation

For what its worth, this place is an OK cafe to hang out at. Price wise, they could do with a little discount from the original price.
The place is too hot during the day, and at night, there are plenty of mosquitoes. If they had lighted up some mosquito coils, this place would be nice at night.
With so many other cafes with similar concepts coming up, they should really look in to making their service into something different to survive. But that just our modest opinion.
Good luck Moon Tree, we wish you all the best.

For more wacky free travel advice, do join our group on Facebook. Backpackies.

We hope you have Facebook! 😉
Till then travel safe and happy travelling!

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Filed under Air Asia, backpacking, being happy while backpacking, Guesthouses Penang, Penang, Penang hostels