Bangkok vs. Kuala Lumpur: Where to Travel for the Long Weekend?

In Singapore this year, we have some long weekends due to the holidays. Christmas is on Monday, which means we have Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off as weekends. New Year is also on a Monday, which gives us the long Friday, Saturday and Sunday weekend.

In 2018 we still have some long weekends due to holidays, such as the Chinese New Year (which falls on a Friday and Saturday), and Good Friday (on a Friday). These holidays provide the perfect opportunity for some exotic travel to either Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur, our exciting and fun-filled neighboring countries. But then, you know you can only pick one since it is a three-day holiday. There are arguments about which is better, and, since have traveled to both places for the holidays, I can be considered an expert of sorts.

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Bangkok vs. Kuala Lumpur: Food

While food is less expensive in Kuala Lumpur, if you are used to Malay cuisine, you won’t find anything new there. Food in Bangkok is much more exciting because of the many restaurants selling foreign cuisine. Also, the food is less spicy than Malayan food (unless you love spicy food, which I do).

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Bangkok vs. Kuala Lumpur: Shopping

Of course you would want to go shopping while you’re on holiday (I know I do). Kuala Lumpur has malls as big as those in Singapore, and so does Bangkok. Shopping is also cheaper in Kuala Lumpur. However, Bangkok has an edge over Kuala Lumpur because of the street markets. Bangkok is teeming with street markets that give you a variety of choices when shopping, and you can get great prices as well.

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Bangkok vs. Kuala Lumpur: Nightlife

Bangkok goes on long after most people’s bedtime. The city is also safe at night, so you don’t have to worry about staying out past midnight. Restaurants stay open late to cater to hungry people on any kind of budget. There are bars and night clubs for you to go and hangout and have fun, as well as a host of other entertainment choices for you and your family or friends.

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Bangkok vs. Kuala Lumpur: Culture

Bangkok is rich in Thai culture and history that is quite undiluted, because it is the only country in South-East Asia that never got colonized by foreigners. The capital has a lot to offer for you to experience and enjoy, from the dances to the temples to the heritage. Malayan culture is a blend of Malay, Indian, and Chinese, giving it a distinctive culture of its own. Kuala Lumpur displays Malaysian culture in all its splendor and beauty, but personally I prefer Thai culture in Bangkok.

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Bangkok vs. Kuala Lumpur: Nature

The beaches in Thailand are cluttered with civilization. You can go to the beach and see bus routes and food stands, with very little ‘nature’ next to the water. The national parks are no different. They are not secluded and quiet and free of man and his toys. You can enter a park hoping for peace and quiet, and you will see food stands, resorts, and hiking trails that are very easy and not far from civilization.

Malaysia is still untamed when it comes to nature. The beaches are still pristine and free of human intervention. The Borneo jungle is still alive, despite poaching and deforestation. The national parks are still nature-oriented, with very little presence of resorts and restaurants. Malaysia is still doing its best to establish oil palm plantations, displacing the wild life that exists in the country, but you can still enjoy nature better in Malaysia than in Thailand. However, if you aren’t so deep into nature, Thailand is the place for you.

Conclusion

Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur have their pluses and minuses. Each has something different and unique to offer to visitors on your exotic travel. While I may prefer visiting Kuala Lumpur for the holidays, you may prefer going to Bangkok. With this list of what both cities have to offer, you can choose which city best fits your style and plan and exotic travel for your 3-day holiday. Or just askus@ladyredot.com!


 

Kally Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food.

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

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Road Trips in Malaysia

 

I just love road trips! When I was in Singapore, there isn’t much chance to do a road trip to the tiny country is really small (think east to west in about an hour or so). But when I moved to Malaysia, opportunities for road trips are plenty! As I am located in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of the country, there are several options open up to me.

Nearby places such as Genting Highlands to Malacca or even for the adventurous and the daring, drive up to Thailand! Many have done it and commented that it is worth it to try.

So if you are arriving in Kuala Lumpur and thinking of spending of setting up 1, 2 or even 3 days for a road trip, here are my fabulous tried and completed recommendations:

Genting Highlands

Journey time: 1 hour+
How far: 55.4km

Why: Genting Highlands are like the winter amusement park for the families or aka Las Vegas for the Malaysians and Singaporeans alike. Jackpot for the grannies, roller coasters for the kids, shopping for the mummies and superstars concerts for the teens. You can spend a weekend there with your family and not be bored.

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Cameron Highlands

Journey time: 3 hours+
How far: 205km

Why: If you are looking for more educational and closer to nature trip for your family, Cameron Highlands is the place to be. Cooling, fresh air with peaceful nature all around you. That is how I felt whenever I am over there. Plus there are strawberries farms and BOH tea plantation not to be missed!

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Ipoh

Journey time: 3 hours
How far: 198km

Why: This sleepy old town has lots to offer from the fantastic food like famous Ipoh Horfun, Ipoh Chicken Rice, Dim Sum to water rafting to cave exploration. This town doesn’t seem to be that sleepy after all!

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Penang

Journey time: 4 hours
How far: 353km

Why: The mainly Chinese population town serves really good Penang Laksa, Penang Rojak and Char Koay Teow. Penang has nice beautiful beaches too! Great to drive up for a Sunday seaside picnic.

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Malacca

Journey time: 2 hours
How far: 150km

Why: It is a location full of history and old charm, this place just mesmerises your old socks off. Malacca has a super rich Peranakan culture so do remember to try all the Peranakan food like Asam Laksa, Ayam Pongteh and my favourite Mee Siam! Yummy!

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If you want to plan your next road trip, we can help you to navigate the best route with the best pitstops. Just drop us an email at askus@ladyredot.com!


Writer’s Profile

Kally

Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

Factory Outlet at the Touch of KLIA

We always been driving to and fro from the heart of Kuala Lumpur to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and the signboard directing towards Mitsui Outlet Park has always been beckoning my shopping spirit and intrigued me. As much as I love a good bargain, I had never had the time to drop by for a visit, it is almost an hour drive from Kuala Lumper Central Area for just a shopping trip.

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Nevertheless, last Saturday, we decided to take a long scenic drive down to Mitsui Outlet Park and see for ourselves if the drive is worth the bargain and shopping experience!

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Surprisingly, the carpark is pretty empty on a Saturday where I can swear that to find a parking spot anywhere in Kuala Lumpur on a Saturday afternoon is pure torturous. We have no such issue here, the option is more like “Shall we park under the shade of trees or near the shopping entrance?” Ahh.. such luxury is so rare!

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There are plenty of stores here to keep your afternoon occupied. If you are a sports fan, you will dive in for Fila, Puma, Rip Curl, Nike and many more. I just love the range they have in Onitsuka Tiger, I am a fan of their shoes for guys. The price is pretty much off 30% retail but it does depends on the promotion they are running. You might be lucky and get those shoes off even at 50% if you have unique sized feet.

Besides brands for the fashion fanatics like Polo Ralph, Levi’s, Lacoste, just to name a few… I am pleasantly surprised that they also introduced high fashion brands like Versace, Dian von Furstenberg and Ermenegildo Zegna. Trust me, Zegna on a man, simply divine! There seems to be something for everyone, even lin homeware and maternity needs. Something I find lacking in outlet factories in Asia.

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The diversity of stores made sure that I did not get bored. You really do after trying on way too many pair of jeans. So I am glad they have other speciality stores that cater to timepieces like Nixon, cosmetics and fragrances. There seems to be something for everyone, even in homeware and maternity needs. Something I find lacking in outlet factories in Asia.

Once I have my wallet emptied and my hands full of bags than I could carry, it is a sign for me to slow my pace and find a resting place for my tired feet and my rumbling stomach. This place has plenty of food choices available. I appreciate the Japanese restaurants on the top floor but since, I am on the verge of being broke, we decided to drop by the food court, in anticipation that it will be packed to the brim. One last surprise is that the food court is not full of people that I have to squeeze through but I can find a table with a beautiful natural view across the vast field opposite of the building. The food is nothing to shout here but my aching feet love that I do not have to wait half an hour for a table to be empty.

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In summary, my opinion is that this place is a great way to spend an afternoon here, if you want both shopping and away from the buzz and hassle of city area. However, if you just want to shop until your heart’s delight with eye-dropping bargains, I’ll have better options.

Information:

Mitsui Outlet Park KLIA SEPANG
Persiaran Komersial,
64000 KLIA,
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Tel: +603 8777 9300
Opening Hours: 10.00AM to 10.00PM
Email: info[a]mitsuioutletparkklia.com.my

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Writer’s Profile

Kally

Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

Breakfast At Heart

Talking about the most important meal of the day always leave me drooling because I don’t always treat myself to a good sit down breakfast even when I have time.

Nothing wrong with McDonald’s or KFC’s breakfast, I love them both but when comes to a treat, the craving usually points towards a full English Breakfast where I have a full plate of baked beans, hash browns, bacon, toast, scrambled eggs and sautéed potato or mushroom.

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So when I choose to go for breakfast, one of the rare times it is due to my stay in hotels that accompanied with breakfast but most of the time, it is because I end up in an all day breakfast place. And… I simply love having breakfast even for dinner! Here are my personal favourites, a must visit if you are in town!

Wild Honey Singapore
I just love the restaurant and I was actually there for their opening! Imagine getting scrambled eggs when I missed my McDonald’s strict timing of 11am. This place is where I will treat myself to a good Sunday brunch once a month. It is a tad pricey but the service is quick and good, sometimes you do need to queue for a table. The food is superb and mouth watering as they served a lot of different countries’ breakfast. The toast is soft, the scrambled egg is runny but the highlight of their breakfast plate is their sautéed potato.

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Website: http://wildhoney.com.sg/

Location: 333A Orchard Road #03-02 and 6 Scotts Square #03-01

Check Café Taipei
I stumbled this find with my family when we were on a holiday in Taipei a while ago. The atmosphere of the café is clean and bright with a lot of natural lights seeping in through their huge glass pane designs. Their English breakfast simple and light, the best part on their plate is the freshness and sweetness of the cherry tomatoes. I couldn’t get enough of it, given that I usually don’t eat cherry tomatoes. A definitely a must go if you want to start your day right in Taipei.

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Website: http://www.checkinn.com.tw/EN/cafe/

Location: 253 Songjiang Rd. Taipei, Taiwan, 104

Mr Pancake House, Shanghai
What breakfast is completed without pancakes, no doubt it might not be the original English Breakfast but they do serve a mean pancake. Mr Pancake House is the place to go to for a solid but classy American breakfast. Their pancakes are light and fluffy. The best part is that they are not stingy with their portion, I always never get to finish the full plate!

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Location: 877 Wuding Lu, near Jiaozhou Lu 武定路877号, 近胶州路

Acme South, Kuala Lumpur
This place is the only halal place out of the above restaurants and this means they don’t serve pork. However, you don’t really miss out anything at all since they will let you choose between having the beef bacon or the chicken sausages. Their service is impeccable and I always leave a tip. The best item on their plate is that their scrambled eggs just melt in your mouth and their toasts are still warm from the oven. Worth the calories, I tell you!

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Website: http://acmebarcoffee.com/acme-south/

Location: LG10 Bangsar Village One


Writer’s Profile

Kally

Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

2016 Hottest International Marathons

Running a marathon is self-empowering. While you can get an amazing high from tackling any race distance, conquering the mother of all races gives you a high, which is hard to duplicate. Today, I am going to list down some of the upcoming Hottest International Marathons for this year.

June 4 – Stockholm Marathon
Very well organised and well thought after is remarkably like the Swedish. Many runners have described this run as their most memorable due to the sights they encounter during the run. The course ran past many of the beautiful sights, along the waterfront and across many of the islands.

http://www.stockholmmarathon.se/Start/index.cfm?Lan_ID=3

June 5 – Phuket International Marathon
Describe as small. Great if you are a first-time marathon runner so you can pace yourself in the course.

http://www.phuketmarathon.com

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June 25 – Big Five Marathon
Not many have run this marathon, however, those who did complete it has only raving comments on the breath-taking scenery and adventures they had throughout the preparation of the marathon there.

http://www.big-five-marathon.com

July 30 – Australian Outback Marathon
Not an easy trail to run on but there is a chance of seeing dingos and wild camels. Organization is great and they make sure you are well taken care of during the course. Water stops are only 3 miles apart.

http://www.australianoutbackmarathon.com

August 7 – Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon
Well organised with sufficient drink stations, km markers and aid stations. The course is hard and hilly, with a lot of running up and down ramps on the freeway. Do take considerations of the temperature and humidity as well.

http://www.kl-marathon.com

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August 28 – Hokkaido Marathon
Mostly flat with a limited number of rolling hills. They were obviously not prepared for non-Japanese speaking foreigners so you need to make sure you have someone who speaks Japanese to register you.

http://www.hokkaido-marathon.com

September 20 – Beijing Int’l Marathon
Scenery sighting is pretty low on the trail and you will have to put up with the constant tight security screening. The most scenic part of the course is at the beginning – Tiananmen Square and along Chang An Avenue. Not many female runners.

http://www.beijing-marathon.com/en/index.html

September 25 – BMW Berlin Marathon
This is a great way to do a big city event and one of the World Marathon Majors. The course is very easy on the knees and legs as it is flat and fast. Finishing under the Brandenburg Gate was really cool! There were people from all over the world cheering along the entire course.

October 9 – Buenos Aires Marathon
It is a flat course passing by much main touristic sightseeing Obelisco, Casa Rosada, Recoleta, Palermo, la Cacha de Boca Juniors, Puerto Madero. Race kit picks up was a bit complicated because there was a lot of paperwork involved.

http://www.maratondebuenosaires.com

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October 16 – TCS Amsterdam Marathon
The Dutch seem to pride themselves on their organisation and this is one slick event. Entries in the marathon distance vary between 12,000 and 15,000 runners. The course tends to take place very much in the city suburbs and along the River Amstel, which feeds the city.

http://www.amsterdammarathon.nl

November 8 – Shanghai International Marathon
A nice city course, modest entry fee, complaint-less organisation (both pre- and post-race), quality race shirt, several invigorating drum/cheer groups along the course.

http://www.shmarathon.com/home.dhtml

November 21 – Antarctic Ice Marathon
The Ice Marathon is the only race where you get a true Antarctic marathon experience, running on the ice in one of the most isolated places on the globe.

http://www.icemarathon.com

December 3 – Standard Chartered Singapore International Marathon
Singapore all year long is very humid and hot (at the start at 5am 25 C and 95 % humidity) so you are soaked with sweat before even having started. Depending on how you deal with heat, you may be an hour slower than your normal marathon time.

http://www.marathonsingapore.com


Writer’s Profile

Kally

Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

National Bike to Work Day

If you live in the city like me, you’ll be used to taking public transportation to work unless you drive. I know many of you probably drive to work, a little secret of me: I don’t have a driver’s license yet. Shocking but true!

Living in Singapore where you can reach one end of the island from the other end in 2 and half hours just by taking the train, there is really not much of a need to add on to the already congested roads and pollution to the environment. Even when I was relocated to Shanghai, a lot of places are easily reachable with their underground trains as well. Plus my workplace was within 10 minutes of walking distance from where I lived. Something that I planned when I search for a place in mind.

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It was only when I moved to Kuala Lumpur, I realised that driving is no longer a luxury but a necessary evil to get from point A to point B. Their public buses are often late and driven at carelessly. Their public trains don’t get you anywhere except within the central city itself and it is unpunctual as well. That being said, I still survive taking Uber and Grabcar, private drivers that release me from the pain of public transportation.

Yet when I saw in Netherlands and Taiwan, office gentlemen and ladies who actually cycle to work every single day, it is truly admirable. Of course, a lot on the government’s side to make it safer on the road for cyclists, whether it is having a separate pavement for cyclists and pedestrian or linking roads and highway to get in and out from the central city or even a safe place for you to park and lock your bicycle without fear of it being stolen or vandalized.

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Other than the fact I pointed out on reducing carbon footprints and helping to save the planet, cycling to work gives you back precious time stolen from sitting in your car as you inch your way through the traffic jams. Cycling through parks and gardens on the way to work, calms you down as you pass by greenery and fresh morning air rather than breathing down the road dust and tar. It also doubles up as the workout you always wanted but never have time to hit the gym due to long hours tied to your desk.  It’s a great way to go to work!  

Today is the day we celebrate and encourage National Bike to Work day. If you can, try taking your bike to work today! As for me, I’ll rely on my two bare feet as I pitter-patter from my bedroom to my study, with two ginger furkids as my bodyguards.

If you want to seek career advice from an expert, head over to MiddleMe and join the like-minded folks. Have an awesome weekend, people!


Writer’s Profile

Kally

Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

Secret Tip: Traveling To and Fro Kuala Lumpur and Singapore

To get into Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia from Singapore, many thinks that you can only take flight. There are plenty of ways getting yourself transported to and fro from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. I should know since I reside in Kuala Lumpur but my family is in Singapore.

One of my favorite form of transport is actually by coach. And today, I’ll let you in on why I think traveling by coach from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore is the best!

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Cheap!

If you are a budget traveler, the coach is one of the cheapest ways to reach either side. Unless you hitchhike (which I don’t really recommend in Malaysia), traveling by coach save you about half the budget flight fare, considering you have to pay for insurance, luggage storage, airport tax. The price from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore is about RM40 to RM55, from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur is SGD30 to SGD40 depending on how luxurious you pick your coach to be and the timing you choose to board.

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Flexibility

You can’t really beat coaches flexibility because I can buy coach tickets online at a fixed price even on that day of travel itself. There are plenty of your buses that goes to and fro in every part of the day. Of course, I wouldn’t recommend it to purchase transportation at such last moment’s notice because you are taking a risk of spoiling your holiday plans. However, if you do want to enter either country on a whim, a coach is a great choice for its flexibility.

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Journey

Many would argue that taking flights are way faster than any transportation on the road. Technically, that is true. A flight from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore takes 45 minutes while the coach is subjected to the road and traffic conditions, takes up to 5 hours. However, a flight takes 2 hours before to check in and think about the journey to and fro from the airport (from Kuala Lumpur City to KLIA airport takes 45 minutes). So all in all from the moment, I step out of my hotel in Kuala Lumpur to take either flight or coach, I am pretty much spending the same time on the journey.

Comfort

Unless you are taking the first class or business class from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore or vice versa (either you are very rich or plain crazy), taking a coach is much comfortable. Yes, you might not have the convenience of stopping for a toilet break but there are buses that come with portable toilets. The seats are way better and there are plenty of leg room to spare. Some buses arrange their seats in a single row so you don’t even have to battle for elbow space with your neighbor.

Hence, taking a coach for me to go back home is still my top choice and it surprises my friends when I tell them this little secret of mine.

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Writer’s Profile

Kally

Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com