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Malaysia -2009


We flew in to Kuala Lumpur from Bali on a Malaysian airlines Flight. Immigration was quick and painless and we were soon off on our pre-booked transfer to The Hotel Equatorial - the drive taking less than an hour.

The Equatorial was chosen as it is a Malaysia Airlines Enrich frequent flyer partner, located within 5 minutes walk of the Petronas Towers, at a good price. The restaurants, breakfast and staff here were excellent. It has a smallish pool, which was adequate (it was never crowded) although we did not use it.

Kuala Lumpur - Petronas Towers
Guard - Presidential Palace

Kuala Lumpur - Petronas Towers

Guard - Presidential Palace, Kuala Lumpur

As mentioned the breakfast meal here was very good and we finally cracked from eating oriental food and had a meal at their European restaurant - The Chalet. I am so pleased that we did. The food, service and ambience were, we both agreed, far better than our favourite "special occasion" restaurant at home. We both opted for French Onion soup (excellent and authentic), followed by a Chateaubriand (superbly finished at the table and the juices used to provide a pepper sauce accompaniment) and chocolate dessert (very more-ish). We opened the meal with couple of Singapore Slings, washed it down with an excellent Brouilly and completed it with some first rate coffee. This meal was expensive, even by UK standards, but we agreed that we would not hesitate to do it again!

The major let down at this hotel was the guest room. It was generally clean, of good size and with a well-lit bathroom. It also had a partial view of the Petronas Towers. However, the carpet was old, stained, and had many cigarette burns. There were hairline cracks in the hand-basin and the bath had been damaged in several places by the shower head. With the benefit of hindsight we should have asked to be moved, but as none of this was apparent initially (prior to unpacking) we didn't want to go to the trouble of moving.

We took a city tour, booked through the hotel, but this proved to be an excuse to take you to a craft centre, chocolate factory, and other places to relieve you of your cash. It was a very poor orientation tour of KL, missing Chinatown, Little India and much of the old colonial heart.

National Monument - KL
KL - Station

National Monument - KL

Railway Station - Kuala Lumpur

We also took a private, full day, trip to Malacca. This was a far better and more interesting trip, but how Malacca has been ruined since I was last there in the 60s!

There are themed rides, banners and advertising (covering some old and interesting buildings) and consequently the sights. Nevertheless, some nice places remain and the sheer history of the place makes a visit worthwhile.

The trading history of the town, the remaining architecture and the influence of the major trading nations, Portugal, Netherlands and Britain, as well as a huge Chinese influence, are still a major draw.

Christ Church - Malacca
Malacca - Tri-Shaw

Christ Church - Malacca

Tri-Shaw - Malacca

All too soon, once again it was off to the airport. We were unable to find the bag drop (we had checked in on line) and got little assistance from airline or airport staff. The check in queues were very lengthy.

The Malaysian Airways flight home uneventful, although service was poor and slow (we had to chase everything on the aircraft).

Thankfully, Heathrow was not too busy and despite a long and not too pleasant flight, we were away from Heathrow at least 30 minutes before we (optimistically) had expected to be!

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