Nepal – Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Kathmandu and a Virus

Bangkok, Thailand, May 2017: Back to Nepal via Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur but any thoughts of sightseeing inbetween have been somewhat curtailed. A nasty, debilitating virus has hit with its ugly symptoms manifesting on my first night in Bangkok beginning with the odd sensation that I needed to occasionally stretch then tighten my leg muscles. By morning I was quite feeling of nausea with ebbing energy levels. Thereafter sickness kicked in until around 3 in the afternoon by which time I had zero energy. Yes, its hard to even get out of bed and head for the toilet pan! Any thoughts of getting out are completely out of the question for today and probably tomorrow.

Day two arrives with energy at zero having had a disturbed night, but at least the vomiting has ceased. Zero energy and zero appetite but I can just about drag myself towards the kettle and make some tea. So, one more day in this Bangkok hotel before my flight to Kuala Lumpur. Sleeping better now but with a very sore back – like sleeping with a sunburn.

Day three, still with energy well below par I ‘m able to drag myself onto 2 buses and make my way across town to the airport for my flight to Kuala Lumpur. A freezing cold bus and still with that sore skin sensation its not a great journey! An odd mix of hunger and nausea prevents me from eating any quantities of food. I have an appetite back but then when faced with food I can’t eat that much of it. Kuala Lumpur late afternoon with energy back down to almost zero. Still no real appetite.

Day four with no real energy. All I can do is drag myself around the guesthouse here in Kuala Lumpur. That hunger with nausea sensation is still here spoiling what should be the best food experience in all of Asia. That soreness of the skin hasn’t subsided any either.

Day five with a little more energy. Its a real effort but I did make it out to the street and across to the shopping mall ATM. Still unable to eat in any quantity. Stll sleeping with that sunburn sensation.

Day 6, the same as day five! With a flight to Kathmandu tomorrow I’m seriously considering seeking medical attention – thankfully I have insurance! There’s a pharmacy across the street in the NU Mall. A very nice Chinese gives me about half a dozen white pills and is confident they’ll fix everything! These Chinese pills are making me feel rather light headed and well, after that I don’t know what happened since presumably I was sound asleep.

Day 7 and a miracle -yes, those Chinese pills have fixed everything. No more soreness, energy levels back to almost normal. After almost a week of sufferance, I’m ready for the challenges of road travel in Nepal.

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Malaysia -Kuala Lumpur, Air Asia Flight D7 196

Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2, Sepang, Malaysia June 2016. Another Air Asia flight today, this time an extra long flight to Kathmandu. Air Asia X operates the wide body Airbus fleet from KLIA2 and today”s flight at 5.30 PM is on their Airbus A330 aircraft. I’ve taken this flight several times now, a flight usually full. Full of migrant workers mostly with a few tourists to make up the numbers!.

So, another hour long ride on the Skybus from KL Sentral to the KLIA2 transport hub for 11 ringit, about £1.83. A pleasant journey in the carpeted, air conditioned bus on a hot and sunny afternoon. A little time then to reflect on the facts and figures of a Brickfields stopover:

Sleep: Pods backpackers Brickfields, 65 ringitt, £10.83 per night Pod room, 20 Ringitt Key deposit.

Eat: Jaya canteen opposite PODs Backpackers, Brickfields. Indian cuisine with veggie meals around £1.10 with tea, meat meals around £1.70  -good size portions.

Free Sightseeing: Walk around Brickfields and savoir the culture and cuisine of Little India.

Cheap Sightseeing: Ride around on the elevated transport systems to get breathtaking views of the city. Only pay for the next station along but return to your origin. Average price 25p.

Total Brickfields Stopover cost comes in at around £25 for the 2 nights, no alcohol.

Now its time to board D7 196 at gate Q4. But wait, somethings amiss here, the usually crowded waiting lounge is deserted! Yes, a heart sinking eerie silence as I try to figure out where its all gone wrong! Oh the gate is actually Q8, much further along and yes, there are crowds of Nepali migrants, in loose formation trying to cram through the narrow door into the departure lounge. 4 hours to Kathmandu as the sun begins to set. Routing up towards Penang and Langkawi then over towards Bangladesh and then Tribhuvan Airport, Kathmandu, Nepal.

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Here’s a look at Penang and Langkawi from 30,000 feet.

Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur, Brickfields, Oh That Food!

Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, May 2016. When it comes to  casual dining in Southeast Asia, I’d say Malaysia tops the rankings by far! Better than Thailand because the variety is diverse and better than Singapore because Malay food is considerably cheaper – and of course food always tastes that much better when its cheaper, in Asia. Brickfields hits all the right culinary spots as far as I’m concerned – variety, quality and price. Oh and its all local food too, no Western gunk for miles around. Well, actually that’s a lie – head on into NU Mall and KL Sentral for MacDonald’s, KFC and the rest of it!

So, while on my Brickfields stopover here’s what I look forward to after a no frills, low cost Air Asia flight – a really good and cheap local nosh up. Veggie dishes around £1 while meat and fish will fetch a staggering £1.60 – £1.90. Yes its pretty good value and unlike the rationing in places like Chiang Mai and the Philippines, here you need to tell the server, “that’s enough rice thank you”.

 

Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur, From The Mono Rail

Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, May 2016. On a stopover between flights – sometimes that’s the way it happens with Air Asia. The next cheapest flight might be a day or 2 away, but its still worth the wait, even taking into account costs of spending that time in downtown Kuala Lumpur. More specifically in my case Brickfields.

So, with limited time and eager to make good use of it, I’m going to see the city by riding around on the mono rail, which quite conveniently is located in Brickfields, right opposite the very place I’m hanging out in, well, almost! The track runs around the city centre and towards Chow Kit. Buying a token to the next station from Brickfields is sufficient to return back to Brickfields, around 50 minutes later by my estimation. I did a similar routine earlier on the LRT with some pretty good scenes so I’m hoping this ride will be just as good.

Yes, the ride is good. Just look at these awesome Kuala Lumpur city skyline scenes. 50 minutes round trip back to Brickfields, just right to kill a little time on that KL layover.,

 

 

Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur,The Elevated View

Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, May 2016. I’m on another Brickfields stopover with more time to kill than usual. Since I’ve already stomped around Kuala Lumpur several times in the past this time I need to find something of a different perspective, something that will cost next to nothing and something that wont consume a great deal to time. Well, that’s really quite an easy solution – ride around on the elevated rail systems and see the city from above the traffic, the nose and the tourists.

Just a short 6-7 minute stomp from Brickfields to the transportation hub at KL Sentral. The easiest way to actually get there is to navigate through the NU Sentral Mall by following the signs – its all straight forward but may  seem daunting at first glance. When at Sentral one can take the Light Rail Transit system that reaches out to the nearer suburbs. Today, I’m taking the Kelana Jaya line towards the suburb of Petaling Jaya and back again. Yes, its a good line to see those city skyscrapers and get a brief glimpse of Suburban Kuala Lumpur. Here;s a few snaps from the 40 minute journey to Asia Jaya and return.

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So there you have it – a quick and easy alternative to grab those unique Kuala Lumpur city views. Next let’s take a ride on the Mono-rail towards the downtown….

Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur, Brickfields Again

Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, May 2016. Another Brickfields stopover between flights. Those who have been following my travels will know this is the third such stop over this year and sadly the last as I make my way back towards England via Nepal and Oman. So, with my next flight late afternoon on Thursday I have a little time to grab a few unique photos and of course savor those culinary delights that is a big part of Kuala Lumpurs character. Here’s the post related to the first Brickfields stopover earlier this year – its all pretty much the same except this time I have a few more hours to kill. Post for the  First Brickfields stop here.

So, how does one kill time on a short layover in Kuala Lumpur?  Brickfields, also known as Little India, isn’t big  and can be covered in an hour. Follow the famous stone arches and the red brick road to a street full of culture, colour and vibrancy anytime of the day – but especially at night when the pavements are occupied with casual diners. Yes, Brickfields is a great place for that delectable curry or tandoori chicken at around £1.70 a meal. Vegetarians get the best deal around here – amazingly tasty food for around £1.10. Google Map, KL Sentral and Brickfields.

Next, go and take a look at the preserved historic area of china town. Just one station along from Brickfields and KL Sentral – alight at Pasar Seni the gateway to another section of Kuala Lumpur’s melting pot of culture, the Malay Chinese. Another relatively compact area and a stroll around here shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours. Its quite a tourist hotspot with the main attraction here being an old market, a new market and Petaling street – full of shop-houses, eating and a mecca for souvenir hunters. Google map, Pasar Seni and China Town.

If energy levels are still high, grab a free city bus to the twin towers.A few stops along and should take around 20 minutes, although I’d avoid rush hour! Constructed for the Petronas company these giant skyscrapers are pretty awesome externally and internally! This place is  the epitome of opulence and makes an interesting hour of people watching. For about £10 visitors can ride up to the middle sections and take an elevated view of the city. Behind the towers is a park with free swimming pools and dancing fountains. Now your probably out of time so jump on the subway at KLCC, just in front of the towers for a 20 minute ride back to KL Sentral and Brickfields.

Another attraction is the KL tower, a little off the city centre track but worth a look if time permits. Another pretty awesome structure with more of an emphasis on it being a tourist attraction. There are of course several more things one can do and see in Kuala Lumpur but as we’ve run out of time they’ll have to wait for another time!.

Personally, I’ve stomped around Kuala Lumpur several times over and so on this stopover I’ve done something a little different – tune into the next blog and see what that was 🙂

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Malaysia – KLIA

Kuala Lumpur international Airport, Malaysia, May 2016. Killing time in Starbucks at 6.30am, still dark. Another flawless journey and check-in via the kiosks, it’s all so easy here in Kuala Lumpur. A quick snack at the curry house by the airport bus station and that me all set for a 3 1/2 hour flight to Manila in a couple of hours.

See you in the Philippines….

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Malaysia – Another Brickfields Stopover

Don Muang Airport, Bangkok, Thailand, April 2016. Bus 555 has a little aircraft logo so I’ll flag it down and jump on. 20 minutes and 30p to the airport which is just a few miles along the main highway out of Chatuchuck but traffic is heavy, yes, even at 10 am on a Sunday morning!

I’ve been here a few times now – the coffee is awful, the food expensive and the place is insanely busy with Chinese tourists. Only 1 out of the 4 Air Asia self-checking Kiosks is actually working but once into the departure lounges all seems to calm down. yes, the Chinese intently looking out across the airfield then proceed to take a selfie – well, if keeps them quiet!

Air Asia again, back to Kuala Lumpur for a night stop then its off to the Philippines for 3 1/2 weeks. So, lets just sit back and enjoy the last remnants of Thailand slipping away some 30,000 feet below. Oh, don’t hose Islands look inviting, maybe next year.

Landing at Kuala Lumpur then, on time for once and happily in one piece! Once through the formalitles I’ll make my way by bus to Brickfields, downtown Kuala Lumpur. Here’s an excerpt from the last stopover just over a week ago.

“Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, April 2016. I’m often in transit when in Kuala Lumpur so to decrease my workload I’ll simply re-blog the text from a transit stop earlier in the month.

“When I’m in transit I’ll stay at either Tune hotel downtown or bunk down in Brickfields, also known as Little India, but it’s nothing like Mumbai or Delhi. Another option is the Tune hotel at the airport but its going to blow that backpacker budget all the way back to England!

There’s a bus about every 20 minutes from the airport to downtown Kuala Lumpur leaving from the bus station on the bottom level – just follow the transport signs. At the bus station there is a row of ticketing booths – 11 Malaysian Ringgit to KL Sentral, the city’s prime public transport hub and shopping mall. The bus’s are comfortable, modern and fast taking just 1 hour to downtown”.

Brickfields is lively, exciting and colourful and makes an ideal stopover when jetting around Southeast Asia. Good hotels and excellent cheap food in abundance, all easy to find. Malaysia of course is renowned world over for its diverse foods and cultures. Personally, when I’m here in Brickfields I like to feast on some rather tasty Indian cuisine.

A quick rundown on the cost of a Brickfields stopover: Bus from Airport £1.93, large curry meal from Jaya 88p, Single room Pods Backpackers £11.45, bus back to airport £1.93. Oh, I forgot to add tea, 28p for Tessi Kassong from Jaya”

Malaysia – The Brickfields Stopover

Kaohsuing Airport, Taiwan, April 2016. Leaving Taiwan and hopefully ending up in Bangkok tomorrow, with a night stop in Kuala Lumpur. Kaohsuing has a smart, modern little airport and its especially pleasing to find a Family Mart tucked away on the ground floor. Yes, a budget travellers paradise is the Family Mart, especially if one is about to endure a 4 1/2 hour flight with Air Asia. Formalities are quick and painless, even the immigration officer gives a polite smile. So, after filling up on coffee and a garlic cheese bread roll time to board the plane for our 4 1/2 flight to Kuala Lumpur. Its the South China Sea pretty much the entire journey so sight seeing from 36,000 feet consists of spotting the odd ship and maybe a small tropical Island, otherwise its a good time to take a nap!

Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, April 2016. I’m often in transit when in Kuala Lumpur so to decrease my workload I’ll simply re-blog the text from a transit stop earlier in the month.

“When I’m in transit I’ll stay at either Tune hotel downtown or bunk down in Brickfields, also known as Little India, but it’s nothing like Mumbai or Delhi. Another option is the Tune hotel at the airport but its going to blow that backpacker budget all the way back to England!

There’s a bus about every 20 minutes from the airport to downtown Kuala Lumpur leaving from the bus station on the bottom level – just follow the transport signs. At the bus station there is a row of ticketing booths – 11 Malaysian Ringgit to KL Sentral, the city’s prime public transport hub and shopping mall. The bus’s are comfortable, modern and fast taking just 1 hour to downtown”.

Brickfields is lively, exciting and colourful and makes an ideal stopover when jetting around Southeast Asia. Good hotels and excellent cheap food in abundance, all easy to find. Malaysia of course is renowned world over for its diverse foods and cultures. Personally, when I’m here in Brickfields I like to feast on some rather tasty Indian cuisine.

A quick rundown on the cost of a Brickfields stopover: Bus from Airport £1.93, large curry meal from Jaya 88p, Single room Pods Backpackers £11.45, bus back to airport £1.93. Oh, I forgot to add tea, 28p for Tessi Kassong from Jaya.

here’s a few shots from my latest stopover in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur.

 

 

Air Asia – Flight D7 372

Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2, Sepang, Malaysia, April 2016. Destination Taipei, that’s where I’m off to next – on an Air Asia extra long flight.I don’t usually write about the actual flight experience because, well, flights don’t generally make for a good posting – until today!

Air Asia D7 372 leaving for Taipei at 10 am. Its a 4 1/2 hour flight plus 2 hours to downtown Taipei – Ye’s I’m going to need some food and today’s the day I’ll try out an Air Asia in-flight meal!

According to the Menu in the seat pocket, a special offer of macaroni and chicken to include water, tea or coffee for 20 MYR, about £3.60 or put it another way – the tea is free!

Just ever-so slightly misleading, definitely a mismatch between the menu photograph and the end product which amounts to only about 4 mouthfuls – very poor value for money in my opinion, but at least I wont die of starvation. A few points lost for Air Asia today!

 

Some phones have a GPS built in – before flying pre-load a google map of the origin and destination on the same screen. Whilst airborne use the GPS to track the flight. Handy because the pilots don’t always say how long the flight will take! Here you can see how I tracked my flight to Taipei. The blue dot with an arrow is of course representing the aircraft’s position and direction of travel.