Minci Travels Macao 2019. Metropole Hotel, Getting around & Food

This is part 2.

If you have kids, perhaps staying near the area of Senado Square is a good idea. At least, when the kids sleep – your older self can just roam the lit up, vibrant streets downstairs.

Getting Around

Unlike other travelers, we chose the taxi as our mode of transport. A bit on a posh side but comfortable for the family. We always start with MOP 19 on the meter. Eventhough the driver does not speak fluent English, having a picture or address of the place you intend to go would help. Despite thinking that Fishermans Wharf is a tourist spot and should be recognizable, they cannot seem to grasp what it is in English. Ha ha. cute.

They accept HKD for payment.

 

METROPOLE HOTEL

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We initially chose the Superior Chinese Style room but was later upgraded to a Deluxe European Style Room. We also received complimentary breakfast with the room, so big thank you there. Despite the hotel situated in the busy bustling city, the noise does not seem to penetrate the walls of the hotel – unlike the hotel we stayed in Vietnam. HA ha ha. Hence, we had really restful nights during our stay there.

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Our room had the usual, expected amenities ; complimentary beverages, mini fridge, a TV. The bath tub was a bonus! I managed to squeeze a bubble bath 2 nights in a row. The sockets in the room were Malaysian friendly (meaning you don’t need those international adapter thingy) and they even have readily available USB ports. What I don’t get is that you only have one switch for the entire room. In other words, you don’t have the option of putting the lights out and watching TV at the same time. Cause once the lights go out, your TV is out too. Interesting, right? kedekut

I used the qiblat finder website to find the direction of the qiblat in the room. screenshot_20190329-151321_chrome5761446460054149522.jpg

Breakfast was in the form of an a la carte menu but with free flow coffee/tea/juice and pastries. We inquired regarding the possibility of preparing a vegetarian menu. Not that we are but under certain circumstances where we are not sure if the meat is handled/prepared the halal way , it is best to stay away and choose a safer option. The lady was happy to oblige.

“I will tell my chef – no meat, no pork or wine”

We thought that was really kind. In fact, their noodle in vegetable soup was super yummy. Padahal sayur kubis je tuh.

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Food

Own packed meals

There are times when the kids are just too tired to walk which resulted in us abandoning the itinerary and have a meal in the room itself. Here is where Brahims meals becomes handy.  They even give you a metal spoon in the box. Since we don’t have a microwave, we need to submerge the packet in hot boiling water for at least 8 – 10 minutes. And they come with a few flavours. We bought the mushroom and cheese rice & tomato rice.

 

On the other hand, we bought most of our extra beverages at the Eco RM2 store back home. oklah.. we get at least 3 sachets in a package of RM2. And it taste nice.

 

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Ting Ting Vegetarian Cafe

On top of their cafe, they also have this little kiosk in the Jorge Alvares Square Park situated right in front of our hotel. This food joint sells vegetarian based meals and Mr Husband discovered that the owner is Vietnamese. Or was it only the person manning the kiosk. Their mushroom burger is to die for!! They also have tofu based burger and fresh smoothies.

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LUO LANG RESTAURANT

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This is a very familiar name to most muslim travelers. The workers are Indonesian but the owners are Macanese. We ordered a beef broth with noodles, a lamb pie which is practically karipap yang dibesarkan, the signature fig juice (ya habibi.. kiciknya gelas dia..) , rose tea and egg fried rice.

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We all know the price is steep but hey, the portion was huge. We had to tapao the karipap. The Rose tea was nice but it took us so long to finish the pot. Its like never ending tea. Tuang ada lagi, tuang ada lagi.

 

If a culinary adventure was what you were hoping, I am afraid that this is the only thing I have for you. Yes, there are other local halal places like those with an Indonesian flavour to it. There is that Michelin peacock restaurant too. And eateries with an Indian influence to it.

This is us enjoying Turkish ice-cream. It’s time to draft the next part of the holiday.

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Minci travels Macao 2019. Tickets and the start.

This is Part 1.

I am a Malaysian. I am a Muslimah and is traveling with my two young children. Let’s face it Macao is expensive. So it is very hard to create a budget itinerary when you want to be comfortable. Or maybe there is a way but I have yet to find how. We shall learn from other bloggers. I am not going to lie. I felt a bit anxious wearing a hijab there but thankfully nothing bad happened.

Short clip Video

Edit by googlephotos

Here are our preparations for the trip. It is a 4D3N trip using Air Asia. Mr Husband was very generous as he ordered in flight meals for the  direct 3 hours 45 mins trip from KLIA to Macao. Perhaps he did not want Ninie to be irritable and hungry. Yes, young girls need to be fed before she starts rolling on the floor like a mop. The ticket was booked in less than a month prior to the trip. We went there on the 29th of March. The ticket was booked on the 13th of March. Very last minute. Geram pun ada. Tak sempat nak inform boss. 

Packing the suitcase

  1. Brahims instant meals. While Mr Husband and I are adventurous when it comes to trying new food – we were just worried that both Ninie and Ee being unaccustomed to new dishes may not be able to stomach their meal very well. So we brought something more familiar to their tongue from home. A few other instant meal options I discovered out there was the delicious Sharifah (Nasi Briyani GAm) which I ate before the trip and Kembara Meal that was a bit over my budget. The latter is sold at selected petrol stations. In Melaka, they have it at MITCs Petronas station.
  2. Medicine and ointments
  3. A simple notebook. For me to document anecdotes for my blog and hobominci
  4. Extra coffee and hot chocolate beverages with snacks
  5. Entertainment for the kids in the hotel. In our case, the ultramans and raksasa. 
  6. Socks and light jackets
  7. BABY WIPES!!! Very useful for easy, effective, quick sanitation. Basically to wipe everything from bums to food and stuff.
  8. My doTERRA oils – I handpicked Peppermint, Wild orange & Forgive Roller Blend to bring with me. And since we will be doing a lot of walking – the deep blue rub.

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Currency

I exchanged RM500 of spending money into HKD. In Macao, we can use HKD but the change will almost all the time be given back in their own currency, the Macanese Pataca (MOP). I made my husband keep my money and basically spent it on souvenirs like magnets, food and taxi fares.

Since coming back from the trip I have yet to receive any change, so I guess we have spent it all. Ha ha ha.

Starting the Journey

We left Melaka at 0530 in the morning by car and stopped at Seremban RnR for Subuh prayers. This time we parked at Salak Tinggi instead of the Long Term Car Park centre. From Salak Tinggi we took the KLIA Transit train and hopped off at KLIA2. Since we are traveling with an infant, we have to check in at the counter which was a breeze that morning. We bought a 25 kg baggage and ours was already a freaking 19Kg. macam heran ada jugak.. bawak apa lah.. LOL.

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We had a light breakfast and it did not take us long to board the plane. Our flight was at 1005AM and e.t.a was 1355PM. There is no time difference between Malaysia and Macao. Only the prayer times are slightly early. I did have a bit of difficulty to locate the baby changing room once we’re in the departure hall. I did find one at the L2 area. It had a water dispenser in the room hence easy to prep Ninies milk. It also had a small curtained area for privacy in case a mom needs to breastfeed or do some pumping.

Ninie amazingly behave throughout the flight. The in flight meals were delicious. The prebooked meals we had were Potato salad, choc banana muffin (highly recommended),  milk coffee, chicken teriyaki with rice, bukhara chicken briyani and uncle chins chicken rice. We had a similar menu on our flight back home.

2 adults, 1 child, 1 infant : Return tickets + in-flight meals + tax = RM 1595.00

With Air Asia, everybody can fly.

Our plane landed 15 minutes early. There is no prayer room at Macao airport but it is okay, we can perform our jamak prayers at the hotel.

Immigration was simple. Because we have no hidden agenda of course. No questions. They check your passport, look at your face and soon you are on the way. Not even a Hello was exchanged. We then took a cab to our hotel which was located in the city itself. The Metropole Hotel.

The WaterFront Hotel, Kuching

 

For our annual trip balik kampung last year, we decided to try a different hotel than our usual Lime Tree. Hence decided to give The Waterfront Hotel a try. We did not regret our choice.

Ninie being cheeky and refusing to sleep during the flight from KL – KCH.. 

 

I made a booking for two rooms. One for my Minci family and the other for my parents.

The trip was in December. I booked for myself, a Deluxe King room for 5 nights. After tax and a discount of 5% the total price amounted up to RM 1071.40. My son Ee was charged an extra RM15/day for breakfast at the hotel. But it was worth it. The breakfast spread was awesommmmeee.

We rented a car in Kuching which we drove from the airport to the hotel. The hotels parking area is shared with Plaza Merdeka. It’s a wonderful shopping mall attached to the hotel. It took a while to check in because of the high volume of visitors during school holidays. So we passed time taking pictures and kind of explored the mall.

Here are a few points I especially loved about this hotel;

LOCATION

Situated in the heart of the city, it is walking distance to most of the main attractions in the city. We could shop at the nearby Carpenter Street & India Street. Famous for its spices, textiles and local delicacies. If you’re willing to walk a bit further, you would reach the Main Bazaar where most of the souvenirs are sold. A little further, you could reach Top Spot. Tapi jenuhlah nak menapak.

Having Plaza Merdeka as a neighbour which houses most of our favourite fast food joints makes handling cravings for a McD cheeseburger, Gloria latte and Sugarbuns chicken easier with picky eaters. They even have MPH!

SPACIOUS CLEAN ROOMS

What more can I say. Our life is complete when there is a mini fridge to store those Kuching only food we buy at the store.

Housekeeping were on time and very accommodating. I particularly loved the toiletries they used especially the lemon grass like shower gel. It felt fresh.

And did I tell you they have the cutest, cosy swimming pool ever?

BREAKFAST BUFFET

We could actually sit there till 10am. I was too hungry to take pictures of the area. Suffice to say, the selections were delicious and we really enjoyed the Sarawak specials eventhough its just Nasi Aruk for that day. The Sarawak Laksa was the best. I think it is a special on a Sunday. Or was it on a Monday. I’m not quite sure cause they change these special menu daily.

But even so, you still have the star dish daily. That is the NASI LEMAK. LIkeee woowwww.. I had it everyday. And the bread pudding!

You can have your breakfast outside at the terrace too if you wish.

In general, the hospitality offered by the staff was like 10 stars. We couldn’t feel happier.  It is those little things that count you know, like the free shuttle to the nearest masjid for Friday prayers! I look forward for our annual trip this year. Perhaps, if the price is similarly great – we get to experience this first class hospitality all over again. InsyaAllah.. 

Review : Grand Blue Wave Hotel, Shah Alam (2018)

Posh, Modern, Islamic hotel

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I booked a room in this hotel because I had a conference there. Furthermore it was walking distance to the mall, several restaurants and the famous Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah blue mosque.

My pre-conference forum was at the mosque and I was in awe of not only its majestic structure but also how imarah it was – bustling with activities in the early hours of the morning. And I am not talking about just acts of worship like performing the Dhuha or attending a tajwid class at the mosque – there was in fact a CPR workshop taking place there, alongside other beneficial classes including my forum.

The mosque felt so welcoming to all as it celebrates knowledge  of all kinds that mankind could learn and benefit from. And it should be – if only we all see it that way!

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I arrived Shah Alam by bus at 10 pm. My initial plan was to hail a cab to bring me to the hotel but I couldn’t find any. Plus the area was very dark. So, I frantically downloaded the Grab App on Google Playstore, booked a ride, muttered millions of alhamdulilah because my driver was a lady and I arrived at the hotel safely. And boy, were the reception so friendly despite the sudden top-up transactions I had to do that night – mainly the SST and Ee’s breakfast buffet. Yes, we have to pay for him now.

The room has the standard amenities I prefer : mini fridge, a kettle, free WIFI, a bath tub, sejadah, complimentary daily English newspaper, many sockets to charge your phone and stuff. I am puzzled that they do not have an in room iron though. Tak cukup mahal lagi kahhhh ini bilik.. maybe it is a safety issue.

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The breakfast buffet spread was wonderful. Loved the nasi lemak rendang and pastries. I had to stay alone and have breakfast alone for the 1st two days as Ee still had school and my husband his work. They came later on the Friday evening to lepak2 at the hotel. I honestly missed them a lot. I don’t think I have ever said that enough.

I did not get the opportunity to visit the hotel’s spa. At the 4th floor. Or the pool. But I did get to soak in the bath tub during the nights when my kids were not there yet. I was also glad that the hotel had this mini poster of suggestions of places to go around Shah Alam. I thought that was a good touch. The malls are within walking distance. Otherwise, you could always hop on the FREE BUS or use GRAB.

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This hotel also has a certified halal japanese restaurant. I did not get to try that as well since the conference itself fed me well. Maybe next time.

I spent RM550 for the conference and the forum.

My room in the hotel was a Deluxe Room. As usual, booking platform is Agoda.Com. It was a 5D4N stay amounting to a total of RM1,146.20 minus tax. YUP. One of my biggest spends this year. For knowledge. InsyaAllah – may Allah be pleased with my efforts.

Krabi 2018 : Timber House Ao Nang

Previously, we stayed at Ananta Burin Resort (2014) and Ibis Styles Hotel (2016) for our Krabi getaway. this year we tried Timber House Ao Nang. 

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Timber House is a 3 star family friendly resort with commendable facilities and staff. It is walking distance to the beach and most importantly, near Halal eateries for Muslim tourists.

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Things we loved about the place;

  1. The Room – we booked a family room which has 1 King Size bed and 1 single bed. Each unit has a private terrace complete with chairs and a table that overlooks the pool (in most places). I wished I had brought my HoboMinci for it would be an ideal place to do some journaling. Each room has the basic amenities like the fridge, hot shower, room and pool towels, daily complimentary bottled water and beverages, a kettle, a microwave (bonus!) and basic toiletries although I would recommend you bring your own shower gel.
  2. The pool – kids loved it especially when the management left a floating alligator in the pool for the kids to enjoy swimming. Pool opens from 7AM – 7PM.           wp-1535267001793..jpg
  3. The FREE BREAKFAST package – there were online reviews from fellow visitors that did not enjoy the choices. We personally think that it was alright for a 3 star hotel. Although the spread was not fully HALAL, there are safe options like the vegetarian fried noodle, the bread and HALAL butter, the fresh fruits, juices, lovely coffee from the machine. I had my fix of mocha and cappuccino almost every morning.
  4. The mini playground – the entrance is at the car park. The kids enjoyed playing the swing and the slide        wp-1535266900385..jpg
  5. Walking distance to the many places to eat – the HALAL pancakes, ice cream and hot meals are just around the corner. Take the turn up the hill towards 7 Eleven and voila, its like a Muslim street up there. It’s different from the street near the mosque but the options are just as varied and great.

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The resort did say we have access to FREE WIFi but I find the connection to be awful. So I resorted to my very own DIGI Roaming Package. It’s an RM25 package which has a 4GB Internet + 60 mins call for 3 days. Interestingly I could still settle my bills online and receive my TAC number for my transactions in Krabi.

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Would I stay here again? Yes. I think we paid for our rooms for less than RM 120 per night. And it was for 3 nights. Of course it would depend on certain variables like the season, the deals available and the number of people joining the trip. Still, it was a nice stay.