Silka Cheras Hotel

I attended a conference at PPUKM Cheras recently. I was not familiar with the area and I basically chose my hotel based on what is available on Agoda, the distance to PPUKM and the nearby amenities that my family could enjoy while I was at the conference.

SILKA HOTEL CHERAS seems to fit the bill and I did not find any dodgy facts regarding the hotel. Perhaps it is because not many people blog anymore hence reviews are limited and quite backdated. Well folks, here is something from 2019.

It is a 2 star hotel in a tremendous location. You could get there by highway and public transport. In fact, it is walking distance to Taman Connaught MRT Station. The Cheras Sentral Mall stuck to it however was nearly dead. nyawa nyawa ikan. There are very little shops and it’s probably still alive because there is a functioning Starbucks, TGV, Old Town Kopitiam and Subway. In a way, you could still have a decent meal at these eateries. We had dinner on the 2nd night at Old Town Kopitiam.

I booked my room through Agoda. com. I made a reservation for 3D2N, DELUXE ROOM , Free Wifi, NO breakfast ( the option was not included) for RM572.40 including service tax and fee. Since we managed to reach Cheras from Melaka before 2100H, I was able to book breakfast for RM15/pax. They also have room service if its your thing.

The size of the room was good and clean. The air conditioning however was a bit unstable. Sometimes it gets too warm and the remote does not function well either. Otherwise, at night it’s cool enough to sleep comfortably. There’s hot shower with complimentary shower gel and hair dryer. No toothbrush though so bring your own.

Breakfast was OK. Plenty of carbohydrates, minimal protein. I think eggs, fishcakes and sausages were the few available. Thank God for nasi lemak. There was coffee, tea and one juice option daily. Toast was also available with butter and jam.

Reasonably priced rooms and breakfast package thus makes Silka Cheras a great option for GROUP TOURS for both local and international tourists. So if you are not in a rush, do have your breakfast after 0800am as the cafe will be really packed! The lobby is packed every morning.

If we were coming to KL for a holiday, SILKA would not be my choice of place to stay. But if I am here for business trip without the kids, I would. It is an easy location for Grab drivers to pick you up or if you prefer, head up to the MRT station to move around KL.

hello Ipoh – our hotel and food

This was a much awaited trip. 

The 5 hour journey however turned into a 7 hour stretch. I swear I could grow a beard in the car. or have roots growing from my buttocks. We bumped into a lot of mini accidents along the way, none were that disruptive to the traffic but invited audiences in the driver seat to have a peek all the same. It was raining cats and dogs in Ipoh hence we were glad when we finally arrived at the doorsteps of DeParkview Hotel.

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The hotel boasts of a 2 star facility. I wouldn’t mind giving it a 3 star based on the warm welcome at the front desk itself. Both ‘aunty’ and ‘uncle’ seems to know the best place to get food including whereabouts of the local Pasar Malam and best place to get limau bali. 

I loved the new-ish room and bathroom facility with hot showers! It has a kettle – yeay! Two complimentary bottles of mineral water with coffee sachets on arrival (only). Free shower gels, toothbrush and fresh towels. Apart from that, ironing board, extra pillows and hairdryers are available upon request.

Perhaps we’ve missed the memo but the rooms are not made up on a daily basis despite putting a sign outside the room. Thus, we had 3 days worth of rubbish sitting in the dustbin in the room throughout the stay. We did look for a common bin outside the room, along the alley .. just in case. But there were none. So we left the bin outside the room for the rubbish to be disposed of. It worked. So thats why its a 2 star facility – hahaha. Yang penting bersih.

Now comes the important question :

Would I stay in this hotel again? A definite YES!

Our main objective to Ipoh was actually to visit The Lost World of Tambun. Will get to that later. Sambil menyelam sambil minum air.  We did however get to taste some of the popular local eateries here. 2 in particular are;

LAKSA TELUR GORENG BERSARANG

No.1,Jalan Margosa D/8,Seri Margosa,
Taman Seri Botani.

We had a difficult time persuading our little Ultraman to come along. All he wanted to do was watch cartoon in the hotel room. The laksa was a bit spicy for our boy but we adults enjoyed it. Kira adalah rasa ikan. We were a bit lost at first on how to place our orders but we followed the crowd. The place was packed. The turnover rate for each table was pretty fast.

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I was a tad disappointed however with the attitude of some of the young uns. There is little ‘urgency’ to eat up their food and they somehow seemed oblivious to their surroundings. Its as though they feel the need to claim their birthright to sit at the table for hours talking nonsense because ‘hey I paid for my laksa and drinks – I can sit here for as long as I like’ come on lah – this laksa is so nice you should share it with other people. Let this makcik have a seat and enjoy the meal as well.

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This is a noodle based dish served in a fish-y soup concoction. Normal laksa would have hard boiled eggs as its choice of condiments. This particular cafe chose to serve its eggs in a nest-like appearance hence its name. It was delicious all the same.

My next mention is ..

NASI VANGGEY

Apparently this Nasi Vanggey was also referred to as Nasi Ganja because it’s said to be very addictive. Also seems like Nasi Kandar to me. A rice dish with many side dishes to choose from. I ate safe by having what is biasa. Mr Husband chose my dishes of sotong kari and ayam madu. I am not a fan of rice dishes (omputih sangat)  but I suppose this one is OK. I wouldn’t mind having it again. Boleh kenyang satu hari. 

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Perhaps I can next try the Halal Dumplings. Or any other special Ipoh food apart from the coffee. Any recommendations?

Ho Chi Minh : Duna Hotel

If you pay peanuts, you get peanuts.

(And people would still try to grab more of your peanuts)

Duna Hotel was rated on AirAsiaGo.Com website as a 3 star hotel. When we reached there, it was more like a 2 star hotel. I would not recommend this facility to family with small children. The type of people coming in and out of the hotel are just … suspicious. I almost mistook it as a secret brothel.

We arrived at the hotel by 3 pm and to our dismay our booking was not there. This is so against AirAsia’s secure booking policy. But the top management of the hotel insisted that we didn’t have a room booked with them and said that it was full. Mr Husband was obviously not happy but thankfully remained calm because ‘shit happens’

He tried calling the AirAsia centre using the number given but conveniently no one was there to answer the call.

After much delay, the receptionist suddenly recommended we pay for a room which was miraculously empty because the customer who was supposed to have that room canceled their booking. So we paid because they put a knife to our throats we were tired and at a foreign place.

Duna Hotel also operates a tour agency. It seems that we were not the only unfortunate ones with a horrible money-related experience here. A group of young European tourists were ‘ripped off their money’ when their supposed bus trip route was cancelled. Instead of discussing alternative routes with them, the agency took the liberty to book another route which made stops at places they did not want to go at a cost slightly more. Needs no guessing here that they were horrified. I mean who wouldn’t. One of the more vocal women in the group demanded a refund in exchange they will forget about the whole incident and say nothing more about it. But the hotel decided to play games. They were only going to give back a 50% refund despite the problem rooting from their side. After much bickering and soft threats from the group, the management finally gave in. I have to applaud the beautiful angry lady for she was damn serious when she said in her Russian accent, “If you don’t give us our money back, I will sit here all day and tell all the other tourist what you have done to us!!”

It worked.

After the short drama, we were finally ushered to our room. It was clean and the bed was comfortable. We had horrible next door neighbours though who can’t seem to shut the door properly. Bang sana, bang sini. Then there was the inevitable fireworks and noise after midnight from the public park across the street.

We reconciled our differences with Duna Hotel over free WIFI and breakfast. Although most of the spread was NON-Halal, we were still able to enjoy their simple fried rice with delicious soy sauce, the toast and scrambled eggs and lovely Trung Nguyen coffee. I can’t seem to replicate the same taste coffee at home. Another visit to Ho Chi Minh it seems – at another hotel.

Ho chi minh trip dec14