Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Penang (Sep 2014): Day 5 & 6 KL, KL to Singapore

Day 5 (28/9/2014): Kuala Lumpur

Link to other posts for this trip:
Day 1 & 2 Singapore to KL, KL to Penang
Day 3 Penang
Day 4 Penang
Day 5 & 6 KL, KL to Singapore

(Itinerary for this day)
0540 Arrival at KL Sentral station
0600 Checked in at hotel, and rested in the room.
1200-1215 Took taxi from hotel to Mid Valley Megamall
1215-1645 Lunch and Shopping at Mid Valley Megamall
1645-1700 Took taxi back to hotel
1700 onwards, relax at hotel room.

Even though I was hoping that our train will arrive at KL Sentral station late (because arriving at 0540am would be way too early for attractions/shops to be opened), I was surprised that the train actually arrived pretty much on schedule at KL Sentral station.

So, even though our hotel for the night (Aloft hotel) is conveniently located just opposite KL Sentral station, but with my past experiences with hotels is that most hotels usually don't allow check in that early. 

Therefore, we were pleasantly surprised that we were able to check-in to our hotel room at around 6plus in the morning, even though it was a slightly cheaper room on a lower floor. By then, both of us were pretty tired due to not having a good sleep from the overnight train ride, so I happily agreed to the "downgrade" to a lower floor room (even though the room size is the same) in order for us to be able to immediately check-in as opposed to waiting for an available room located on a higher floor.

Mother-in-law loved the room, since the room was pretty spacious and the beds were really comfy. 
I volunteered to go out and buy some breakfast back while she takes a shower. 

Since it was only 6am plus, so only McDonald's was opened at KL Sentral station (since I assumed that the shops at NU Sentral shopping mall would still be closed) and that's what I got for our breakfast.

Had a relaxing time eating breakfast while watching tv in our room, and then we subsequently dozed off for a nap. lol. Even though she woke up around 10am, but she very thoughtfully let me continued to sleep since I was sleeping really soundly. It was nearly 12noon by the time I finally woke up. 

I hurriedly went to change, and we head out to catch a short 10mins cab ride to Midvalley megamall to do some shopping as well has have our lunch.

First stop, lunch. Since mother-in-law didn't had any preference (and she knows I'm the fussy eater), so she let me choose where to eat. I chose Thai food. Had a nice and not too expensive Thai meal at a Thai cuisine restaurant at Midvalley megamall. 

After a couple hours of shopping where I finally found a bag for myself as well as some souvenirs for my hubby and sister-in-law, we decided to head back to the hotel since we had already gotten our fill of shopping and eating for this trip already. KL was more of a stop for us to take a break rather than shopping and exploring. 

So it was early evening when we took a cab back to our hotel. Bought some dinner from NU Sentral shopping mall back to our hotel room to eat, and then called it a night.

Day 6 (29/9/2014): Kuala Lumpur to Singapore

(Itinerary for this day)
1200-1300 Lunched at NU Sentral.
1300-1400 Collected our luggage, went to buy some snacks and lunch for the train ride.
1445 Train departed from KL Sentral station
Around 1600 Train stopped for nearly 4hrs due to engine problems.
Around 1950 Train resumed.
Around 0115 Arrival at Singapore's Woodlands checkpoint railway station (originally supposed to arrive around 9pm plus)

Had a good sleep, and woke up late morning to have early lunch at 1 of the restaurants at NU Sentral. Since I didn't really enjoyed the food, so I won't blog much about it.

After lunch, we went back to the hotel to collect our luggage and buy some snacks and food for our long train ride back to Singapore. 

This train which we took was EXTREMELY COLD. Kinda like the one which we took from KL Sentral to Butterworth a couple days ago. My mother-in-law used 1 of the sofa seat covers which she bought in Penang to cover my arms while I was asleep as it looked like I was shivering (and I was wearing a cardigan as well!).

The premier seats carriage which I was in. Seems to be a newer one than the other Premier carriage on the same train.

My seat. The legroom was extremely spacious. My legs nearly couldn't reach the foot rests in front.

The other Premier carriage. Seems to be an older version since the seats looked worn. I think it is probably depends on luck as to whether your cabin is a new or old version. I wasn't able to see any indication of it when making my booking.
The regular (and cheaper) seats. Seems pretty comfy too. 


 About 1 and half hours into the train journey (around 4pm), the train stopped. No one seems to know what's going on, as the train just stopped in the middle of nowhere. It was more than 1hr later then we heard from some staff that there was some issues with the engine, so they are waiting for another one to be sent from KL. 

Stopped for 4hrs in the middle of nowhere while waiting for anther engine to be sent from KL.

Therefore, it was about 4hrs later at around 1950hr when the train finally started to move again. 

In the end, it was about 1:15am when we arrived at Singapore, when we should have arrived around 9pm. That's a 4hrs delay.

All in all, had an enjoyable trip with my mother-in-law

Link to other posts for this trip:
Day 1 & 2 Singapore to KL, KL to Penang
Day 3 Penang
Day 4 Penang
Day 5 & 6 KL, KL to Singapore

Monday, December 29, 2014

Penang (Sep 2014): Day 4 Penang, Butterworth to KL.

Day 4 (27/9/2014): Penang, Butterworth to KL

Link to other posts for this trip:
Day 1 & 2 Singapore to KL, KL to Penang
Day 3 Penang
Day 4 Penang
Day 5 & 6 KL, KL to Singapore

(Itinerary for this day)
Visited Clan Jetties of Penang.
Walked through Lebuh Armenian street.
Had lunch at Joo Hooi Cafe
Shopped at Komtar and Prangin Mall
Took taxi to hotel to collect luggage, then to ferry terminal.
2040-2100 Took ferry to Butterworth
2150-0540 Butterworth station to KL Sentral station

Since our train from Butterworth to KL Sentral is in the night time, so we practically had almost an entire day to spend at Penang before we had to go catch our ferry to Butterworth.

For breakfast, we went to a coffeeshop near our hotel where I finally managed to have a decent bowl of Hokkien Mee (since I wasn't too satisfied with the one which I had for dinner the night before). 

Our Breakfast. I don't take beansprouts and don't like meehoon, so my bowl is a "plainer" version.

 After breakfast, we ended up walking to Chew Jetty where I felt my mother-in-law might like that place...and I was right. She enjoyed the rustic and "kampung" feel of the place. 
Since I wasn't sure where exactly was the entrance to the Chew Jetty, so I followed a group of Japanese tourists whom I assumed were also heading for the same place...and yup, finally managed to find the entrance. :)

The entrance to Chew Jetty 
 Many households are still living here till this day, and often, they sell souvenirs and drinks in front of their home. 
Advisable for you to bring along a hat when u visit Penang since it's pretty hot and humid.

Used to play with these when I was young.

 After visiting the jetty, we just followed the crowd and walked down Lebuh Armenian street. 
Found some street art as well as some pretty interesting shops too.

Muah Chee

Since it was getting closer to the time where we had to check out of our hotel room, so we decided to head back to our hotel for a quick shower before checking out of the room.

Although we could have walked to Joo Hooi Cafe from our hotel, but it would probably take us about 25mins to walk there under the scorching sun. So we took a cab there instead.

Joo Hooi cafe is a popular coffee shop with foreign tourists, and is located along Jalan Penang. Expect long queues (especially for their chendol stall and Char Koay Teow stall) for both food and table.

Chendol stall outside Joo Hooi cafe
Lunch at Joo Hooi cafe

Yeah, it was packed

Char Koay Teow stall

What my mother-in-law had...think it was some sort of meehoon. Can't remember.

Lor Bak (again)

Char Koay Teow for me (yes, again)
 Since we were still planning to look for some souvenirs to buy for my hubby and brother-in-law, so we decided to head for the shopping mall for some light shopping as well as to enjoy the aircon since we have a long overnight train journey ahead of us later in the night.

First, we headed for be honest, between Komtar and Prangin Mall, I prefer Prangin Mall since the shops there had more variety and the building seems newer too.
Back at Prangin Shopping mall.
 We enjoyed the snow ice which we had the previous day so much, that we came back again for a second round. :)
I think this was mango snow ice

Chocolate snow ice. The darker bits tastes like oreo.

My dinner at Prangin mall
 Around 7plus in the evening, we managed to take a taxi from Prangin shopping mall back to our hotel to pick up our luggage, and then head for ferry terminal.
I believe we boarded the ferry around 8:40pm and arrived at Butterworth around 9pm.

Upon arrival at Butterworth train station, we were being directed (follow the directional signs) to a somewhat makeshift waiting area with some seats and toilet facilities to wait for the announcement of the arrival of our train. 
Waiting room at Butterworth train station.
But when the train's departure time starts to approach, we still didn't managed to hear any announcements, so we followed some Malaysian passengers out to see if we could find out our train platform number.  Since my mother-in-law speaks a little malay, so she managed to ask for the platform number from another fellow passenger, so we then went to look for the train platform, where we then managed to board the waiting train. Along the way, I used what little japanese I know to help explain the direction to the train to a Japanese couple who seemed pretty lost. 

It would be morning 5:40am the following morning when we arrive at KL Sentral station.

Link to other posts for this trip:
Day 1 & 2 Singapore to KL, KL to Penang
Day 3 Penang
Day 4 Penang
Day 5 & 6 KL, KL to Singapore