Teksi in KL

I first came to Malaysia in 2008 and caught a teksi (taxi*) from KLCC to Mid Valley Mega Mall. The first one back then drive like a bat out of hell and it cost RM60. Now in Aussie dollars that’s about $20 and given that taxis in Aus are notoriously expensive I didn’t think too much of it. I did think it was a LITTLE overpriced, but hey, we were there to have fun**.

Coming back to the hotel in the afternoon the driver was taking us on the scenic tour and I remember repeatedly telling him we wanted to go to KLCC. He confirmed we were but my concern stemmed from the fact that the Petronas Towers were directly behind us and we were headed away from them. Reraising the concerns the driver assured us we were ok. We were going the right way.

As it turned out, we were going the right way and he got us there for RM30!!! Half the price.

Wind the clock forward to 2011, my wife and I walked out of the hotel yesterday and jumped into a taxi and headed off in search of MegaMall once again. We got there and the fare amounted to LESS THAN RM30! So with a tip it cost us RM30 exactly. And this taxi driver was really funny, very wise and will probably be the subject of another post in the next few days.

But then coming back to the hotel last night, the taxi was stuck in traffic for almost the entire journey and it seemed to take forever. We arrived at the hotel and the whole fare rung up at LESS THAN RM15!!!

What’s going on? Everytime I get in a taxi in Malaysia, is gets cheaper!!! This is cool! But it does go to show how much we got ripped off every other time!

* I do love the way Malay’s spell English words, or incorporate English words into their language

** and as it turned out, to get ripped off!

KL 2011

Petronas Towers
Petronas Towers

It’s been a long time since I’ve done anything with this site, and maybe it’s about time to start doing something again. I’ve been overseas a lot lately, currently lying in my bed, in KL, Malaysia debating on going shopping. No, I don’t live here, I’m just a tourist. Debating on having a shower and visiting MegaMall in Mid Valley. I went there some years ago and was amazed, preparing to be amazed again, and have my wife spend all my money… After all, isn’t that what they’re for???

I spend most of my time now in Thailand and Australia. Debating on which I call home. Often I get trapped and call both home, but there are moments where I take sides, in which case it’s “Back in Australia… but here at home….” and other times, it’s “When I’m at home…” clearly referring to the other country. One thing that is funny, is visiting your own country as a tourist. Ok, admittedly it’s probably not quite the same as a tourist, because you’ve probably got accommodation, transport (or a transport system you know), no language barriers and communications (email, telephone etc etc).

But going to Australia for short stints, is kind of like a holiday. And like all holidays, they have their good points and bad points.

The Rum Jungle Bar
The Rum Jungle Bar, KL

Regardless, I’m heading off to Singapore in a few days, ready to hit a few attractions that I didn’t get to see in either of my last two trips. But for now, I’ll just sit here, and slowly wake my wife (she get’s grumpy if I just push her out of bed lol), and debate the day’s (and the night’s) activities… Tonight could see me at a favourite little haunt called the Rum Jungle (free plug), they’re just around the corner from the towers (pictured above). But I have found a new little bar at the moment (only because of the price of the drinks).

I’ve never drunk “Carlsberg” beer before, it’s from Copenhagen and it’s not too bad a drop. I’m a Tiger (Singapore) and Chang (Thailand) beer drinker myself (or a Wild Turkey man when I’m at home/in Australia!)… But this bar I found has RM30 (about 300฿ or A$9) for the first stubbie (which is definitely overpriced…), BUT every one AFTER that is just RM1!!! (about 10฿ or just A$0.31)… If over the course of the CRAZY HOURS (as they call them), you put away 11 of these (to make the math easy lol), that’s 11 stubbies for RM40 or 400฿ or A$12.30… breaking that down… each stubbie costs RM3.6, 36฿, or A$1.12… Now that’s good by anyone’s standards. I just have to get the wife there again tonight!!!!

But who want’s to hear about beer…

PPPPPPP – The 7 P’s

Prior Preparation and Planning Prevent Piss Poor Performance

I first travelled to Singapore in 2008 with a good friend of mine. While we were there we darted off to KL for a few days and took in some of the local sights, as well as attractions (there is a hidden pun there – sorry, private jokes are so bad, but if anyone knows Sissy, you’d know what I mean!) Anyway, we elected to go by VIP bus. We had heard about how good it was, and cheap, and so we did it. Without a lot of research, we jumped on one of the services (the name has seriously escaped the pair of us) and we were dropped off in some dingy bus terminal/car park with hordes of teksis (how Malaysian’s spell taxi) who were unwilling to run their meters for us.

So we elected to walk.

It was hot, uphill, long and we were dragging our luggage along for the ride. Did I mention it was hot?

We stayed at a hotel, Corus, pretty much across the road from the Petronas Towers. Not bad at the time, cheap, free wifi in their lobby (BTW they don’t have this any more), and not too bad. Especially for the price. The bad point was though, that another bus company ran VIP busses TO THE DOOR!!!

It’s now 2011.

I had forgotten a lot of the lessons learned in 2008 – especially the difficulty in organising and coordinating international travel between countries, that aren’t your home country, and that (despite official languages) don’t speak great EngRish). When I decided to visit KL with my wife I did look briefly at the Corus hotel, but quickly dismissed it for some reason (it wasn’t the wifi!), and went with the Novatel. Now this is no dig on the Novatel, they are a good Hotel and I would recommend them again, Well, we’re still here and haven’t had any problems so far. BUT, and here’s where the 7 P’s come into it… When it came to organising the bus (long after I had BOOKED the accommodation), I booked with the bus company that dropped us off at the Corus Hotel. But the Novatel is closer to the car park/bus station that Andrew and I had taken in 2008!

Is that irony?

No, it’s just those 7 bloody damn P’s