Kuching 2015 : 56 Hotel

I chose 56 hotel primarily because it is within my budget for a long stay. It is located in town with nearby 2 shopping malls and plenty of other small eating outlets. Initially it was a choice between the Lime Tree Hotel and this one but I ended up choosing 56 hotel because its 8km from the wedding venue I was supposed to attend.

56 hotel rated themselves as a 3 star hotel. I agree. Any room without a mini fridge is a 3 star hotel.

But it has a few plus points;

Breakfast like a little- King

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There should be something for everybody especially for kids. I am not hoping for 12 different pastries for breakfast or 19 types of fruits in a salad. Variety is the key even though its a choice between ‘two’. Throughout my 5 day stay, I get to sample food like Nasi Goreng Dabai, Nasi Lemak, Mi Kantonis, croissants, koko krunch, porridge… with fruit juice and hot beverages. Needless to say, it was a great start everyday as we fill up our tanks early on. The selection is admirable for a 3 star hotel like this one. I praise them for the effort and hopefully they would keep it up.

In house toiletries

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.. including self-embossed towels! Although we bring our own shower gels, it is always nice to have new ones to try – be it a shower cap or a cotton bud. I also loved their prompt housekeeping – very fast, efficient and the room always smells nice. Crumbs swept away, pillows and mattress fluffed up for another snooze fest at night after a tiring day. They also earned brownie points by providing an in room kettle – very important for parents with children who still drinks formula milk. As for the complimentary beverages … well well.. thank you very much for replenishing them without fail daily.

Location

Not that we were planning to shop at the malls or anything -but having not only one, but two shopping complexes in less than 5 KM radius of each other is a delight. Food seems so nearby and it does provide an avenue for a short brisk walk to get rid of the extra calories. These malls are The Spring and One City Mall. All within ‘free hotel shuttle distance’. Which brings to my next point …

Shuttle Service

56 hotel provides free shuttle service to these 2 malls and also airport transfer  – on allocated hours. I did not use the service myself but I suppose you could always make arrangements at the front desk.

I made my booking through Agoda.com. The website has great deals on Fridays especially to members and the membership is FREE. As long as you have a safe and fast internet connection, the online booking process should be without hiccoughs. I paid a total of RM 538.44 for the 5D4N stay in Kuching.

Our little family would like to thank 56 Hotel for the wonderful hospitality. Hope to see them again soon.

My next entries will be about places we eat and places we went. Cheerios..

KUCHING 2015 : A brief itinerary

This week should be a good time to catch up on the journal-ling of my trip to Kuching – my hometown. As this is a yearly trip, I decided to take advantage of my waran hence we traveled as a WPUA customer of #airasia. This means Hot Seats, Free 40 KG baggage each, free 20 KG sports equipment, hot meals with a snack box.

We stayed overnight at my parents house and left early the next morning to Putrajaya Sentral to leave our car there. The overnight parking at Putrajaya Sentral is so much cheaper than the ones they have at the airport. Of course, security is a concern but one just has to pray hard.

Then as usual we took the KL Transit Train and voila within 20 minutes we were already at KLIA2.

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Checking in was a breeze as a WPUA customer. The queue was shorter to begin with. Thankfully, there were no flight delays and the flight attendants were friendly and accommodating despite a full plane since Gawai is just around the corner – what else could I wish for.

I leave you with my itinerary. A brief account of what we did during our stay there. Its different when you travel to a city as a tourist/traveler as opposed to someone who originates from there. We look for different experiences and things. Perhaps you could at least get an idea of where to start.

ITINERARY

More stories to come.

Raya 2014 : Salam-salam, jalan-jalan, kenal-kenal, makan-makan …

How do you spend your first day of Eid? 

After the Eid prayers and breakfast, we’d usually start the day with a formal salam-salam ceremony. My parents (who looked like royalty this Eid with their yellow outfit) would sit and ‘bestow’ forgiveness and money to their ungrateful, degil children. Hehe.

Mr Husband finds this ritual kind of humorous as this was his 2nd time having to again, salam and cium lutut. Even Hazeeq could not escape this adat. 

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Then, a couple picture with the royals. With a few selfies along the way.

 

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Later, a mini convoy to our relatives houses for their food and famous layer cakes. My kid has yet to understand the joy of duit raya but that did not stop him from making a collection from the elders and stuffing the envelopes in his little pocket.

Upon bringing Hazeeq berjarah, I learnt of an old adat as well. Adat sambut anak sulung. Intrigued by its name, I asked Father what it was. He said old folks believe that if you bring any eldest child of the family (anak sulung) to any house for the first time, you should spray him or her with perfume and such. This is to prevent the living spirits in the house from befriending and attaching themselves to that young sulung child and cause mischief. Itu kata orang2 tua lah. The good thing is Hazeeq smelled nice for the whole day. He he.

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Highlight of Raya 2014 was when we visited another aunt the following day, who was staying at the house Mr Husband and I rented when we first got married. We couldn’t resist taking a quick picture to wrap up the Raya. Smile.. KImchi!

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Raya 2014 : Homestay Taman Lavendar

People often ask,

“Siapa ada di Kuching?” after knowing very well that my parents have migrated to Semenanjung ever since I was 12 years old. I have lost my grandparents when I was very young which means my parents loss their parents at a young age too. But we still have blood ties who are still alive. Mainly our cousins, their siblings et cetera. And this is enough to make Hari Raya a festive season for all.

This year kita raya ala-ala merantau di bumi sendiri. We do not have our own house in Kuching. Hotel rooms are way expensive hence we chose a neat homestay for the Raya week.

Homestay Taman Lavendar,
No 25, Jalan Depo,
93050 Petra Jaya,
Kuching, Sarawak

Owner : Encik Rahman
Tel : 016 867 3565

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The single storey terrace house had 3 bedrooms with air conditioning in each room. 2 toilets with one in the master bedroom fuly equipped with a hot water heater. A small, cozy kitchen with its kitchen appliances, even a fridge to store our ikan masin and kuih lapis. A front porch that could fit two cars – our Persona and Myvi that we borrowed from a relative. A TV with Astro.

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NO WIFI. But who needs it anyway during Raya, kan?

All this for MYR 250/night. 

I felt it was reasonable for our party of 10 people ( 8 adults, 2 toddlers). My younger brothers slept in the living room which was equally  comfortable because of its nice sofa and air conditioning!!

Overall, the house was clean and most importantly near Matang where all the relatives live.

Raya 2014 : Travelling under WPUA with Air Asia

Selamat Hari Raya everybody. Camne Raya kitak tek? 

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As a civil servant from Sarawak working in Semenanjung entitles me to a special ‘treat’ from the government. That is a once a year FREE FLIGHT back to my hometown whenever I choose to use it. And these free expenses cover Mr Husband and my son till the age of 18 years.

WPUA

Air Asia’s smart top people have introduced the Waran Perjalanan Udara Awam (WPUA) flying programme to kind of bring them closer to public agencies and truth be told, I felt like a First Class passenger on board the flight under this WPUA.

In short, we get pre-selected Hot Seats, Hot Meals with a snakc box and most importantly FREE 40kg worth of baggage space each! That’s enough to bring back lots of kuih lapis for a home business. Hehe.

My brother who was using his warant as well under MAS even envied our food selection and ‘special seats’. He got an economy class seat of which he said was far more cramped than the Hot Seat in Air Asia aircraft. Now that he’s mentioned it, I am choosing Air Asia again next year.

PUTRAJAYA CENTRAL – EXPRESS RAIL LINK (ERL) – KLIA2

We traveled from Malacca using our own car and parked at Putrajaya Sentral. The facility charged us MYR4/overnight parking which was a cheaper alternative to park at KLIA2 itself. Then we took the ERL for a mere, very comfortable 20 mins journey to KLIA.

The transit train was well on time and we noticed other young families doing the same.

Adult fees were MYR6.90 per way.

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KLIA2

As most people have commented elsewhere, it does involve a lot of walking. A bit of a challenge for the elderly or small children but if you know where to ask for help, I’m sure the relevant authorities at KLIA2 could help make your journey smoother and more convenient.

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KLIA2 was an airport connected to a shopping mall –  which makes any woman scream for a bit of  ‘light window shopping’   prior to boarding.

We checked in at the counter as the computer system was down and had plenty of time to just rest before getting on our flight. Hazeeq enjoyed his Upin Ipin movies and snacks while waiting.

Already we were hearing familiar Sarawakian accents at the airport by staff to passengers during boarding.

“Mintak boarding pass kitak kak”

“Kitak tiga nait sama kah?’

“Kitak nait dolok.. embak miak”

Hello Sarawak. Let the fun begin!