Hotel Seri Malaysia Pulau Pinang

We booked a one night stay at this hotel because we were flying back to Melaka from Penang using Malindo Air.

We took a 2 hour 45 min ferry ride from Langkawi to Penang. Once at the pier, we booked a Grab ride to bring us to the hotel.

This is a 2 star hotel which gives off a 3 star vibe. Eventhough the lobby was small, they provide Welcome drinks to guests which is a nice touch. They even had cute Christmas decorations with freaky little dolls in the main space.

Without a doubt, Seri Malaysia is an old hotel. Not to the extent of having dilapidated facilities but more to its design and crowd. Service is impeccable although Mr Husband did have a minor glitch at the reception. The lady handling our check in was unable to relay basic guests information.

We get to check in 30 mins earlier and coccooned ourself in the hotel compound. It was after all New Years eve and to have our meals outside could be challenging with all the traffic. We also fear of stumbling upon drunk people.

Mr Husband booked 2 Family Room through Traveloka. Our room has 1 double bed and 1 single bed. It was priced at RM142.56 per night including tax. The room fee came with FREE WIFI & FREE breakfast for 3 people for each room. In a way, Ee is covered. Each room has a mini fridge, hairdryer, towels and basic toiletries.

We ordered the steamboat buffet ‘lunch’ at its restaurant for our meal. It was priced at a flat rate of RM18/pax. The portion was huge. We couldn’t finish the noodles. The seafood and marinated poultry seemed fresh. The juice were refillable. Later at night, Mr Husband tapau-ed some food for his parents dinner. I was still full from the steamboat meal.

After the steamboat meal, Ee and Mr Husband went to explore the pool. It’s very small. Ee could fit the kiddie pool just by his length (height). But it is adequate as long as you’re not training for the olympics.

Breakfast was commendable. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by the options they had for a 2 star accommodation. Refills were prompt and tables were cleared swiftly. We checked out by 12 noon and took a Grab to the airport for our flight. Location wise , this is a good place to bunk in as there are a lot of eateries within walking distance.

I would definitely consider Hotel Seri Malaysia again in my future visits to Pulau Pinang.

Melaka – Langkawi – Penang – Melaka

Finally, my husband could take leave after slaving himself for 4 months working non-stop. He is at the near top of his career ladder. This translates to still having to work on the weekends. He chose Langkawi & Penang for our mini year-end vacation and we invited his parents to come too.

This time we tried using Malindo Air and depart via the Batu Berendam airport in Melaka. It’s a small airport which has 1 mini cafe and 2 other tuck shops. The toilet and musolla was enough for the number of visitors and most importantly, clean. Parking was FREE. For now.

The flight took about 1H 40mins from Melaka to Langkawi. Our plane was a little, cute plane that gives off this Jurassic Park vibe to it. We did not order any inflight meals cause the journey is very short. We checked into the Greenish Hotel (will write about that later) and went about our days. For this trip, we decided to take it really easy. Since we have been coming to Langkawi for almost every year, this time we ditched the cable car and The Aquaria.

We still went to Langkawi Wildlife Park because its fun to feed the animals. They have a new attraction which is an augmented reality studio. Honestly not impressed. Please do not waste your time and money there.

HIG complex is a must. This is where apart from selling chocolates, they sell local health & cosmetic products, kitchenware, glassware, duvet etc. All this at a tax-free price. A construction is ongoing at site. Not sure what they’re building.This time since I am in a weight loss programme, I have been more cautious in my selection of chocolates. I spent more on dark choc varieties. However, my favourites like Hersheys, Bounty & Maltesers made it into the basket too. I am not a fan of Daim.

Meals were simple. We had nasi campur at various places including the famous Kak Yan. Then there’s Laksa Kaw which was a disappointment. The recipe is just off. It made me wonder whether that nice Rossabina laksa we had is the same owner of this Laksa Kaw (rebranded?) because the location is the same.

We spent 3 days and 2 nights in Langkawi and departed to Penang via the passenger ferry. Mr Husband booked the tickets online and had them printed out early. The tickets were scanned at the autogate and we get to wait at a very big, comfortable, air conditioned hall. Impressive!

Adult RM70.00

Child RM51.30

We were allocated numbers for our seats. So, no rush. Toilets are OK. They even provide complimentary puke bags for passengers. The 3 hour ferry ride went by smoothly cause they had movies on. Plus, air condition was working great. Bring a jumper if you are sensitive to cold. I was worried initially upon boarding because we were bombarded with a string of dangdut videos on the public TV screen as entertainment. I had thought it would last for the 3 hours of our journey. Thankfully they switched to an English movie as we set off. ha ha ha.

We hailed a Grab from the ferry terminal to our hotel Seri Malaysia (another blog post) and just stayed within the compound till our flight back to Melaka the following day. In short, we did not go sight seeing considering that it was New years Eve and people might get drunk on the streets. One thing I have to mention, even though this hotel is rated only 2 stars – the breakfast buffet is worth 3 stars. Even better than Greenish Hotel in Langkawi.

We finally reached home with a bang! Turns out that our flight coincides with the Melaka Welcomes The World campaign. So, we had kompang and all of the tourism entourage making a fuss over us handing goodie bags and what not at the airport. My kids of course enjoyed the attention.

Malindo Air delivered its best this time around – flight was punctual. I loved that we could travel easily from Melaka to Langkawi without having to drive up to Kuala Lumpur, spend money on overnight parking and catch a plane from there.

Now we can just land in Melaka, get back into our car and just drive another 15 mins back home. We had time to at least rest a bit before we got back to work and school the very next day. Let’s hope there will be more flights from Melaka to other places in the world. Our family would love it!

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.

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