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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Travel Cheap and Smart to LangKawi and Penang 2013


Wow! Last year I shared how to travel cheap and smart to Bangkok and Bandung...  This year 2013 we went to Langkawi and Penang.  How much do we spent for air tickets; hotel; car rent and of course food? Can you believe RM 500 per person which include airtickets from Kuching to KL, KL to Langkawi and Langkawi to Penang; Penang to KL and last flight; KL to Kuching?  Guess we are getting smarter and smarter huh? Well thanks again to Air Asia for great cheap flight; we are able to see many places; even with tight budget..

While averagely most Malaysians live with monthly salary of RM 1500-RM2000 - we not only have to eat, we need to share and pay car loan; and house loan; we left tiny bits for saving..So who say we cant travel cheap?  Our mission is to be able to travel within our budget; enjoy ourselves; get together; and look look see see...We will eat at stalls; kopitiam; and occasionally a good restaurant if our budget permitted...let us share how we do it within the budget.

**Who says we  need to spend fiercely for a holiday? There are 5 of us...we gathered RM 2500 for 5 and the below is how we spend...hihi..

Langkawi airport

Overall Expenses: RM 2500 for 5 persons 

1. AirTicket :
Kuching to KL = RM 29
KL to Langkawi = RM 24
Langkawi to Penang = RM 24
Penang to KL = RM 24
KL to Kuching = RM 29 = Total of Airticket per person is = RM 130;  X 5 persons = RM 650
However; you need to be fast to get cheap airticket..sign up of BIG member to get priority booking for cheap huh..

2. Car Rent at Langkawi Toyota Rush = RM 240 (deposit rm 50 refundable)
3. Petrol expenses in Langkawi = RM 30 for 3 days 2 nights
4. Azio Hotel Langkawi = Family room RM 300 for 2 nights - 5persons capacity (2 King bed and 1 single
5. 3 Islands Hoping Langkawi = RM 40 per person = RM 200  for 5 persons.
6. Penang Airport Car Rental Proton Saga RM 312 for  (deposit RM 900 - just authorized credit card only)
7.Penang petrol = RM 30 for 3 days 2 nights
8.Tune Hotel Downtown Penang = RM 150 for 3 double rooms for 2 nights (means RM 25 per night with
   24 hour aircondition credit which you can use for 2 days)
9. Food for 5 days 4 nights Lunch and Dinner RM 550 = RM 110 per day for breakfast, lunch and
   dinner..eating cheap but good..haha..
10. Miscellaneous such as parking fee etc = RM 38

Add all up the above and total expenses for this smart travel =  RM 2500 for 5 persons = Rm 500 per person..And Langkawi and Penang is added to our travel list wooohooo!  

Do read the below details of our trip..where we went and what we have visited..

1st Day from Kuching to Langkawi

Picking up our rented Toyota Rush for RM 240 for 3 days 2 nights from Langkawi airport (plus another refundable deposit of RM 50).

We landed in Langkawi airport at 2 pm; we took flight from Kuching to KL at 9 am and then transit at KL airport for about 1 hour 45 min..Taking our luggage, we headed to Mr Ghoni at car rent counter -Fi Holidays to pay our car rent and take our car..To our surprise; the car was very new and so nice..

This is the first time we have a rented car on our we were so excited ...I read that about Langkawi on some blog that in Langkawi, it is more convenient to drive around than looking for taxi; yet you can drive to many places   Even though it is our first time to Langkawi..thanks to google map; we drove every where easily.. 

Our first destination with the car -Pia's The Padi field around 23 minutes away from the airport for our first late lunch in Langkawi..yum yum...Look at the photos as below..We had our lunch by the padi field and strong breeze; cows and buffalos..Kinda great experience though..I guessed this was the most expensive lunch we had in Langkawi..RM 176 for 4 homecook dishes and drinks..

(so we have balance of RM 374 for another 9 meals for the whole trip  - budget of around RM40 per meal for 5 persons.)

Our first lunch at Langkawi at Pia's The Padi restaurant..check its review  and its map at

me and Pia's The Padi restaurant

We ordered Pia's special home cook such as Thai Fish, Chicken Butter Masala, Chicken Rendang; sambal fish and thai fish.they do serve western food too.. 

Fish sambal..

After late lunch; we drove around area near Pia's... searching for Tanjung Rhu beach and surrounding area for greens and fresh air and nature..All greens..all cool...destress! Calm...However; my hubby did not really enjoyed Langkawi...(he loves city; that's why..cannot shopping bah..hahahaha..) So; for those who loves shopping; Langkawi is not a good choice..For those who loves nature and greens; it is a great place to relax...

Around Tanjung Aru...
Around evening time; we drove to Azio Hotel to check in; which is located at Kuah Town;...So everything looked new to us..but Kuah town was easy to drive around and small...So we checked into our hotel Azio thru their website end of last the time did not have any review about it..(they do have now)..I was lucky I did not choose the wrong hotel to stay as it was clean and quite new........
convenient; the only weakness we faced is that bathroom is not private enough..So we took bath 1 by 1 and while 1 bath; the rest went for a walk or waited at the lobby..anyway; we coped well since we were on budget..haha...for further details check on tripadvisor link as below.

We stayed at Azio for 2 nights; we love the fact that they have free water where we can get from the water we ofter refill our mineral water bottle..

Azio Hotel at Kuah Town - family room for 5 at RM 150 per night...Do book early to get early bird rate..A clean hotel for  sleep only ;)

Rootian Seafood

I checked online for chinese food in Kuah Langkawi; but there are little information about here I would like to share some information with those looking for simple kopitiam chinese food; you can find get lunch and dinner at ROOTIAN Seafood

For dinner; we went to Rootian; just at the next block of Azio Hotel.  They have "Chu-Cha" which means you can order freshly cooked meat and vege or seafood...Some tips for you all..;) The boss of the restaurant is very honest with us; they usually charged the locals do let him know you are from Langkawi.. ;P. We ordered some freshly cook vege and meat; fried rice and pork rice..and spent around RM45; including drinks;..After dinner; we went back to hotel to have a rest for tomorrow's activity: island hopping...

2nd Day in Langkawi.

random kopitiam we is by the road side...the road in Kuah town; but direction drive way going up to  Pulau Cenang

So; the second day we woke early about 7am and prepared to go for our first breakkie at Langkawi Kuah town.  We made our move at 8 am and driving around for about 15 minutes to see see look look whether there are nice breakkie around.  But we noticed  that the town was a little quiet; only 1 or 2 coffee shops and duty free shops were opened. At last; we saw a kopitiam shown as above; and there were many people in the shop; so we decided to pull over for breakkie..after breakfast; we drive back to Azio Hotel for our 9.30am island hopping..

Affordable food in Rootian Seafood Langkawi  for 1st day dinner (fried rice RM 5, vege at RM 6 etc) and photo of breakkie on the second day at a randon kopitiam in Kuah Town; Langkawi.. Nasi lemak Rm 1.20; yee mee at RM 4.50; second day lunch at Langkawi famous chicken rice -  ( for lunch at RM 7 (quite expensive and taste so so only..I am a Hainanese so I know the best taste haha...)

We has booked island hopping for Rm 40 per person from Azio Hotel including to and fro from the jetty.  If you bought at the airport with Mr Ghoni; it would be RM 30 per person  however you have to go to the Jetty yourself.  Sharp at 9.30 am; a driver will pick us up from Azio and sent us to jetty and after the 4 hours trip; we will be driven back to the hotel from the jetty too...we didn't mind paying extra Rm 10 for the convenience.

the view we took during our trip..island hopping to Beras Basah Island ,  Dayang Bunting Geoforest,  Ibu Pulau Bunting and watched eagle feeding...

the scenery during island hopping..we enjoyed the speed boat felt calm and green;P

Dayang Bunting Marble Geoforest Park

Island Hopping -Beras Basah Island Langkawi 

After the 4 hours trip; we went back for bath and got readied for our next destination; Pulau Cenang beach..When we reached there; we are excited to see Starbuck; Old Town; Mcdonald and some familiar cafe back least we saw some lively shops.. No wonder Kuah was quiet; all the tourists have been hiding at Cenang area.  All the nice restaurants; cafe and western food hide in this area hahaha..for those who did not plan to rent car in Langkawi; the best place to stay other than resort is Cenang...There are a lot of small motel; or holiday houses to rent..and also massage centre but the price is abit steep for Malaysians since it is a touristry area..Compare RM and know what I mean..

due to our budget; we only walked by the beach..enjoyed sunset and  look look see see..

We spent half day at Cenang; having coffee at Starbuck..laid back and relaxed.....; walked around; (shopped some chocolate with some extra budget of our own hihi,,,); walked to Cenang Beach watching people having fun with lots of beach activities such as parasailing; jet ski; banana boat etc..By the way chocolate sold in Kuah town is cheaper than in Cenang area by few ringgits...;).

Langkawi Cenang Area

Shops around busier's fun to walk around..

We hunted for dinner around Cenang after the beach...everything considered quite expensive (however; McD and KFC is still ok but we wanted cooked meal); until we found...Restoran Nasi Kandar Tomato..nice and cheap wooohoo...

huge signboard that you cant missed by Cenang street...Its malay and indian food...definitely affordable..

Try their roti tosei (RM2 only), nasi kandar (RM 6.50) and roti canai (RM2) is tasty and cheap...but they also have other food that ranged from Rm 8 and above...
After dinner; we went back to Azio for bath and then walked around nearby kopitiam for teh O peng and  duty free shops for some icecream and chocolates before call it a day.

3rd Day in Langkawi@ Penang

We woke up a bit late as we were to check out at 12pm..but before we checked out; we went for breakfast at nearby kopitiam where Rootian Seafood located during at night.  Then we drove to the airports and stopped by JOM IKAN BAKAR near Langkawi airport for the fish..( you can refer to the map at this webpage.. .. we found the map in the website as above..

look at those fishes...they are freshly barbecued...we ate only the fishes..they also sell  malay fast food..lots of people eating here...We ate ikan siakap...RM 30 per fish..quite expensive haha...

fresh fish..lovely place..

 Penang Here We Come...30 minutes flight from Langkawi..

view of Penang airport; Queensbay mall... - Once we took our car at the airport with New Bob ( his car rent rate is quite reasonable; but they would take your credit card and pre-authorised RM 900..and will cancel it after you return the car..); a proton saga and so cool..5 persons' luggages can fit in..We happily browsed google map for our first destination.. and we went to Queensbay Mall..what a huge nice mall...

After visiting the mall, we drove to Gurney Drive for dinner@supper..We reached about 11pm and some stalls still opened..So ate Kueh Teow soup ..very nice and only cost us RM 3.50 - RM 4.50 per bowl depending what ingredients you want...Love the sotong bakar; fried tauhu and chicken; penang laksa and 'Chu Chiong Fan"...all food were very cheap from RM 3.50 - RM 5 per bowl.


After supper; we checked in  Tune Hotel Penang..situated at Burmah Street which is very near Gurney Drive ..10 min drive...We love Tune Hotel parking; and we felt safe with our rented car being parked there as there are 3 security guards...lobby was huge and there is also massage chair; pool and inhouse chinese massage centre..

Tune Hotel Penang with 7-11 ..very convenient...

Tune Hotel Penang... book with Tune at for great promo rate..We paid only Rm25 per night  for double room with aircon plus tax during their was good enough for bath and sleep..

4th Day in Penang 

We went to Bangkok Lane for late breakfast..We were trying to find the 80 years history Penang Indian Muslim food. mee mamak goreng and Hokkein Mee at  SENG LEE  kopitiam at Bangkok Lane..Lovely food..and affordable..I love the 'Samosa'..It taste like curry puff; but tastier..

Seng Lee at Bangkok Lane..Mee Goreng Mamak from RM 3.50,  Samaso - CurryPuff alike ..RM 0.50 to RM 1.50 depending on what  meat you choose..

Lovely Bangkok Lane..

After our late breakfast; we walked around Ah Quee street and other streets to find Ernest Zacharevic Murals Wall Artwork..The fun part was to treasure hunt it...The weather was so hot...but we still enjoyed it...We spent about 2-3 hours looking around the streets...

Penang Street Art..Hot to walk around but the experience is cool..;) we found some only haha... I forgot the name of the street but the webpage I attached gave you details on the location of each artwork..
photos for this cool video of Ernest Zacharevic work in Penang.. 

After the walk; we headed to Gurney Plaza.. Nothing much to see but its great for some shopping and hang out...

found this cute shop when we walked around Penang Street; looking for wall art...lovely souveniers available here...

Gurney Plaza

Penang city view day and night...

Dinner at Gurney Drive again..This time we went around 6 pm as we wanted to see more stalls haha...So at last we got to taste Pasembur; a client who intro us in Kuching; It's tasty but expensive (1st pic on the left)..well I guess Pasembur  cost us a bomb RM 25 for that plate..felt being 'potong' hahaha...So becareful guys; it's better to check on the price before ordered ya...Rojak and mee soup is delicious..

So if you only have 2 nights in Penang, visit Gurney Drive for its 1 stop food heaven... For those who love seafood; you can visit the seafood centre along Gurney area...

After Gurney Drive; we drive along  Penang for its night view..and even drove to the Penang bridge..The view is really amazing and indeed looked like  little Hongkong if you drive from the bridge heading back to George town..(p/s there is toll charges of RM 7 ya hahahaha)

5th Day In Penang

Bye bye Penang..we will definitely come back...A really clean city with great food!!...We flew to Kl and transitted for about 2 hours before headed back to Kuching with our favourite airline.....Tips: If you want cheaper flight; do not fly direct..follow our way from Kuching to KL and to Penang...To KL and  back to Kuching..well yes it will waste a bit of time..but it saved you alot!   Well; we are budget traveller; so we will try our best to save ...and enjoy our trip! WOOOOHOOOO! We made it!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Kuala Lumpur during Chinese New Year 2013 - CROWDED!!

Kuala Lumpur no people during Chinese New Year? 

Everyone told me that during Chinese New Year, Kuala Lumpur city is like a dead city.. I was like what??? Seriously? For this year 2013, is my first time celebrating Chinese New Year in KL.  Gosh.. I am worried.. But I told myself if really that bad, I will just stay in hotel and enjoy the available facilities. Sad...

Well; as excited and nervous; my long wait for Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday has finally arrived. Me and my family checked in to Impiana KLCC Hotel on the 2nd day of  CNY.

me and my family on a van from LCCT to Hotel Impiana KLCC..

(Read the comments in tripadvisor about Impiana Hotel KLCC ...

After checked in; we went to Pavilion for lunch. As I walked thru the bridge; I hope I see crowd...and WOW...It was  really crowded with people; amazing decorations..great restaurants and food court was packed!!

Everyday Pavilion was packed..We hung out mostly everyday in Pavilion and I personally feel that it is perfect enough - I tasted different food and visited lots of shops.  Amazingly; all shops are opened!!

And it is also very convernient for us to walk back to hotel easily..We only went to KLCC for one time only as we still feel Pavilion is the best place to eat, shop and enjoy all at the same time..

Hubby and Tyan at Pavillion...Nice deco..

Conclusion is; Kuala Lumpur is really a great place for holiday during Chinese New Year time..So lets not worry;)

Look at some of the photo below...

Japanese  sweet mochi..

Din Tai Fung for dim sum..yummy!
Look at this Dim Sum..

Beautiful Pavilion during Chinese New Year

all restaurant at packed..

"people mountain people see" outside pavilion -2nd day chinese new year


full of people

food is everywhere..


Monday, March 4, 2013

Kuching into Fashion Forward Capitol@Hunger Games Movie; Alike Looks..

Fashion Forward Vibrant Hair Colors Seen in Kuching!

Kuching is the capitol city of Sarawak; which is one of the state in Malaysia.  A lot of people would know about Malaysia; but not so much about Sarawak..and even little about Kuching... Most people would have thought that Kuching is very rural and we are living on treetops; which is really "are you kidding me?"  Kuching is my hometown; I love it and would not be staying far from here ;)

So, as part of my life; a hairdresser trained with Toni and Guy Singapore and London; I always get the question,"why would you want to stay here? You should be heading to big city for better opportunities.  My calls - I love Kuching. My family is all here...and I had a calling to help making sure Kuchingites get better haircut and hairstyles.  Yeah..that is what I am working hard on....To work my hand on their hair beautifully; and showed to the world that we are fashion lovers and we eat and breath fashion too.  I felt I have the responsibilities to improve the hairstyles of the people of my hometown.

The wrong myths about Kuching; that the people here are outdated and have less sense of fashion is untrue at all.....NO NO! That is crap...Kuching girls are very beautiful and....Kuching is one of the city that breeds pretty and smart ladies..haha..well I am one of them ;)

Wonderful local brand turned massive international brand like Sereni and Shentel has shown to all of us that "Nothing is impossible!" So does Essensuals Hairdressing an Intenational Brand made local and wellknown among Kuching people..;) And the fact that Sereni and Shentel believed in Kuching as much as I do; has made us strive to be best at what we do...I love Sereni and Shentel's quote,"Whoever it was who said that big things do not happen in small town is obviously WRONG! Our brand is a living proof that you do not have to move to a big city to realize your dreams" Yeah...they are so right! And I was so happy and my dream come true when I was voted Malaysia Top 10 Women Hairdresser 2012/2013; a recognition that I have never believed that would happened to me because I am from Kuching and has been staying in Kuching my whole life..

Kuchingites turned colorful for 2013 Chinese New Year...Seeing most of my clients going out looking fun and futuristic just like the residents of the Capitol in the movie Hunger Games; satisfied my work as a hair artist...Paint the hair!! Wowwwweeeeeee!! Purple, Pink, Red, Blue, Orange, Silver really enjoyed the interesting project this year!

Take a look at some of the work I did for my clients and I hope you guys like it...

Hope you enjoyed looking at the creation..