Sunday, October 20, 2019

RUSSIA 2019 (ST. PETERSBURG & MOSCOW) - PREPARATION

St. Petersberg and Moscow are the 2 cities on my bucket list. So on 24 June 2019, we registered ourselves with a travel agency for the trip (9 days/7 nights). This is my first long-distance travel using a travel agency.  And on 2 July 2019 paid the deposit. Full payment was made on 3 October 2019. The trip is scheduled from 27 November - 5 December 2019.

MEDAN 2019

KLIA - Kuala Namu

We went to Medan in September using my Enrich points which is due to expire. For this trip, I used 23,300 points and paid RM238. Departed KLIA on time@0830 and landed at Kuala Namu@0823. This was our third visit to Medan. It was a full flight and the journey was smooth.  So too was the landing. Passport control clearing was quick but took a while to collect luggage.
This time around we did not engage any ground arrangement. It's a DIY free and easy trip. Since we arrived early we decided to take the Railink Train to Medan City Railway Station. Bought tickets at the kiosk (IDR 100,000 per pax) and it took us 30 minutes to reach the city due to some delay. Then we took a taxi (IDR40k instead of IDR14k by grab) to our hotel - Garuda Plaza Hotel. We were unable to check-in as our room was not ready due to our early arrival. Instead of waiting at the hotel we went for lunch at a Nasi Padang restaurant opposite the hotel - Rumah Makan Famili. 

Garuda Plaza Hotel

Our room was spacious, comfortable bed, good and stable wifi speed. It has a split AC, fridge, tea-coffee making facility. Sadly it had no hot water.


After settling down and freshened up, we took the Grab to Pajak Ikan. Grab is widely used in Medan and recommended by a blogger I followed (cost of using grab in Medan City between IDR14k-20k).  The wife did some shopping and took Grab back.

We started our second day in Medan with a visit to Maimun Palace by Grab. The entrance fee is IDR10k per pax.

Then went to Pasar Petinsah by Grab, a place recommended by one of the Grab drivers yesterday. To our dismay, the market was not what we expected. Many shops were closed and the state of the complex was deplorable. Escalators were damaged and out of service. I would advise would-be visitors to exclude this premise when visiting Medan.

We had our lunch at Rumah Makan Nasi Kapau Hj Uni Emi near Pasar Petinsah. Read the review online which was very positive but we feel the Nasi Padang Famili was tastier. 

After lunch, we took the Grab back to our hotel.  Back again to Pajak Ikan for last-minute shopping. Later that evening we bought some Amanda Brownies at the outlet in front of our hotel.


Kuala Namu - KLIA

We flew back after a 3d/2n stay in Medan.


Thursday, September 12, 2019

EUROPE 2019 - LONDON

FRANKFURT HBF - BRUSSELS MIDI - LONDON ST PANCRAS

We checked out of the hotel to catch the train to London St Pancras via Brussels Midi. At Brussels Midi, we went through security and passport control to board the train. A word of advice, please make sure you subscribe to a data plan because we experienced a seat change informed to us through email on the day of the travel. Without this info, there would be chaos as your previous seats were assigned to others and you have no idea about your new seat number.

Our train departed as scheduled and arrived at London St Pancras at 1611. 






Central Park Hotel

From London St Pancras we took the taxi to our hotel which cost £20. We have been to London several times and during those times we stayed at hotels and apartments near Marble Arch and Oxford Street. This time around we chose to stay at Central Park Hotel, Queenborough Terrace which is very close to the Malaysian High Commission and of course Malaysia Hall. It is also very close to many Malaysian restaurants and accessible by London Underground Queensway station and Bayswater station. Our room was spacious but the bathroom was small equipped with only a shower. The pillows and bed were very comfortable. There was also a coffee/tea making facility. Wifi was ok.

After nearly 1 month of traveling, we craved for Malaysian food. So immediately after checking-in, we went to Malaysia Hall and had our meal. Besides Malaysia Hall, we also had our meals at Normah's Cafe situated inside the Queensway Market and Putera Puteri Cafe in Queensway.

For this trip, we visited Greenwich for the first time and revisited Oxford Street, Trafalgar Square, National Museum and of course Bicester Village 
For our flight home, we departed from Terminal 5. After checking in our luggage we proceeded to security control and made it to our designated gate. Our passports were only checked when we were boarding the plane. The flight home was smooth and we reached KLIA as scheduled.

RUSSIA 2019 (ST. PETERSBURG & MOSCOW) - PREPARATION

St. Petersberg and Moscow are the 2 cities on my bucket list. So on 24 June 2019, we registered ourselves with a travel agency for the trip...