Friday, 18th July 2008
I had a short weekend (Friday to Sunday) trip with Li Xiang, mum and my uncle (mum’s elder brother) to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. My uncle drove there. It is about 340km from Singapore all the way to Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. We supposed to set off at 2pm but somehow my grandfather GTAed the car without telling anyone about it. When we managed to contact him, it is already about 3.30pm and my uncle has to send him home first before driving the car. So we are late by about 2 hours.

On our way to KL, my uncle got distracted as we keep talking and he misses one of the turn on the highway. We reached KL, he also misses a turn to Bukit Bintang and hence we reached out hotel at about 8pm. My uncle is driving at about 130km/h to 140km/h, so technically we would need about 2 hours and 30 minutes to reach KL.

We stayed in The Royale Bintang Hotel. We only booked one room and the price is quite reasonably. We paid RM299 for the first night and RM279 for the 2nd night and it includes a breakfast for 2 excluding tax.

We had dinner at Outback which is located in BBPark just beside our hotel. Food there tastes the same as in Singapore but prices wise, it is definitely cheaper. I think it is also cheaper than Outback in Thailand.

After dinner, we went to take a introductory walk around our hotel. Most of the shopping centers are closed after 10pm, however the streets are still filled with people and cars.

We went back to our hotel about 11pm and Skype with my dad and to have an early rest. The Internet rate is quite reasonable, RM24 for 4 hours and it has to be used within 24 hours from the purchase date.

Saturday, 19th July 2008
Could not sleep the whole night and hence woke up at 7.30am. Had breakfast at Sunflowers Brasserie which is the hotel cafe. The food was lousy and the variety was quite little as well.

After breakfast went to visit “Thong Hock Toys & Foodstuffs” which is a shop/company which my mom’s company has shares in it. While my mum and my uncle talk inside, Li Xiang and I walked around and took random pictures as we are really bored.

Once my mum is done, we took the rail (Rapid KL) to Suria KLCC for our first shopping trip. We stayed there till lunch and then my mum re-joined them for lunch while Li Xiang and I headed to Sungei Wang Plaza to shop.

At about 5pm met up with my mum at The Pavilion. As my mom was early, I asked her to buy tickets for The Dark Night. We wanted the 11pm slot but it left the first 3 rows and hence we settled for the 12.30am slot.

We had a late lunch at Food Republic in Pavilion and the food is good and the variety is similar to that of Singapore’s Food Republic, just cheaper.

Joined one of my uncle’s friend for dinner at a restaurant called Restoran Overseas (Near Berjaya Times Square). The food is fantastic and the Soy Chicken has to be the best Soy Chicken I have ever ate.

Went to Berjaya Times Square to take a look as it is located nearby, was quite disappointed with it as there is nothing much to shop there. Maybe people go there for the Amusement Park only.

We went back our hotel after that to take a rest and left again at 11.30pm for our movie at Pavilion. At 11.30pm, the streets are still filled with people and cars and it was very lively.

The Dark Knight was fantastic and I love the underground level as compared to the bat cave. The show lasted about 2 hours and 30 minutes. My mum got confused after watching the movie and Li Xiang said the movie was boring and slept 3/4 through it.

I don’t like the facilities at the movie theater. The toilet is so small and even guys have to queue up for it. After the movie, we had a hard time finding a toilet and we found it only at the ground floor and it was crowded with people as the toilet is again, small.

However, the movie ticket is cheap, RM12 for a weekend ticket, which is only like S$5 and in Singapore the cheapest you can get is S$8.00 at Cathay.

But I think VivoCity still has the best movie experience especially the toilet part.

We walked back to out hotel at 3.30am and the streets are still filled with people and cars definitely much more than Orchard Road if we compared the timing.

Sunday, 20th July 2008
As usual, woke up at 7.30am and have breakfast at the famous Imbi’s Sun Hong Bak Kut Teh. The taste is slightly different from Singapore, it is more towards the herbal side while in Singapore it is towards the pepper side. But I like the way or the idea that they give you a big claypot of Bak Kut Teh and then you scope whatever you want to your own bowl rather than each a bowl in Singapore.

After breakfast we went to Star Hill Gallery which is located beside Pavilion as my mom wanted to take a look at Loewe. It is like a ghost town inside as I can hardly see a single soul inside.

On our way back to our hotel to checkout, we went to Gloria Jeans Coffees and the prices there are very cheap. It is about S$5.60 for a large GJ Ice Chocolate and if we pay using May bank, it is a buy 1 get 1 free offer. So that makes S$2.80 per cup, in Singapore the same cup will cost at least S$7.

We also pop by to Sungei Wang’s Giant to get some last minute supermarket shopping.

After our hotel check out, we went to Low Yat Plaza to get some IT Stuff. Some of the electronics there are MUCH cheaper than in Singapore. 2 weeks ago, I bought for my mom’s the Microsoft Lifecam VX 3000 for S$83 and at there they are selling it at S$50 which is almost half price. My uncle immediately bought 2 of it.

My uncle also bought Canon IXUS 800IS for RM599 = S$249.47 and I bought a Canon IXUS 860IS for RM1180 = S$491.46. The latest pricing for Canon IXUS 860IS in Singapore is S$540, see the difference! On top of that the warranty is international.

The last thing my uncle bough is the Canon Pixma i1880 for RM139 = S$57.91. In Singapore, it is selling for S$99, but the down side is that the warranty is in Malaysia only. But for S$58, once it is spoilt, you can just throw it away.

And all the while I thought electronics in Singapore are cheaper.

We left Bukit Bintang at about 1.30pm and we reached Singapore at 3.30pm. This time my uncle is driving 150km/h to 160km/h and hence it only take about 2 hours to reach.

The bottleneck is always at Singapore side regardless whether you are going into Malaysia or coming back into Singapore. It is ALWAYS the Singapore custom holding the queue. I seriously think that Singapore custom need to do better than that.

Petrol in Malaysia is DIRT CHEAP, 1 litre of petrol only cost RM2.70 = S$1.12 and in Singapore 1 litre of petrol cost at least S$2.20. Malaysia’s government can subsidize so much for their petrol and I wonder why Singapore’s government can’t do that. I only saw Singapore registered cars pumping petrol in the last petrol station when coming back to Singapore.

Overall, I love and enjoy this short trip! Hope there is more to come. I shall learn how to drive to KL someday.