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Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, on Turkish Airlines Business Class

Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, on Turkish Airlines Business Class

Old Jul 27, 13, 7:23 am
  #16  
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The AirAsia Experience to Kuching


As pointed out by many, five days in KL can be a bit of an overkill, so in order to pass time I decided to go on a little daytrip to the capital of Malaysian Borneo a.k.a Kuching on AirAsia.

After an early 6.00 wakeup and a hearty Indian breakfast at the Makan Kitchen, I left the hotel and headed for the nearby LRT station at 8.00 in the morning. After a quick transfer at KL Sentral, I found myself on the KLIA Transit bound for the notorious LCCT. The ride itself took a little over one hour, and I found the train to be a bit more comfortable than your average commuter train. There was free wifi onboard to pass the 30 minute ride. After a smooth transfer at Salak Tingit I finally arrived at LCCT just after 9.30. Traveling with just my small camera bag I was able to proceed directly to security.




A fairly packed departure lounge at the domestic part of LCCT.

The LCCT terminal is nothing more than a hangar with a few windows and doors. The place was crowded, loud and poorly ventilated. The place felt more like a bus terminal than an airport, and overall the experience was very underwhelming. I certainly hope that the new KLIA 2 Terminal will be a vast improvement.

At 10.00 boarding was called, and we were lead out through a covered walkway before reaching the aircraft.




All AirAsia flights board through airstairs.


In comparison to most LCC:s in Europe, I was quite pleased with the service on AirAsia. The aircraft was clean, seats comfortable, the crew were friendly and very attractive looking, and the onboard menu had a good selection of proper food available at prices that don’t require you to re-mortgage your house.




A rather light load on today’s flight.




I opted to try AirAsia’s signature Nasi Lemak. While it needed some re-heating, the dish was absolutely delicious!


With the load being at 30% I had the whole row to myself, but as misfortune would have it the gentleman in the seat in front of me decided to hit the recline button. And so did his wife… The flight passed quickly, and soon we were on approach to Kuching Airport.




Some nice cloud formations as we reach Borneo.




Coming in for our final approach.


Stepping off the plane in Kuching I couldn’t help but stop for a few seconds to inhale the fresh air. After spending nearly a week breathing nothing but heavily contaminated air in Singapore and KL it really felt nice to get some fresh air again.

The transport options from the airport to central Kuching were few. The airport can only be reached by taxi which is priced at a fixed fare of RM26.




The Kuching Bazaar. The place felt very similar to the Bazaars in Morocco, sans the hustling…




The Kuching Waterfront.




New Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building




Out of nowhere a tropical monsoon shower decided pull over and get me soaked.




Thankfully I was able to escape the rain at a nearby eatery, and enjoy some genuine Sarawak laksa. Very tasty and dirt cheap!


I spent a total of four hours wandering the streets of Kuching and as time progressed I came to regret not staying longer in there. The city certainly had its charm, especially with the rainforest right around the corner. At 17.00 I decided to call it a day and grab a taxi back to the airport, before boarding my AirAsia flight back to Kuala Lumpur. After a long and tiresome day, I arrived at my hotel just after 22.00 in the evening.
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Old Jul 27, 13, 7:51 am
  #17  
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The Sights of Kuala Lumpur


After a good night’s sleep and a steady indian breakfast at the Makan Kitchen, it was now time for my to go out and explore the city of Kuala Lumpur. Luckily most of the haze had now cleared, and I was able to spend time outdoors without worrying about any potential respiratory problems, which the haze has been said to cause.






First off was a visit to the iconic Petronas Towers, situated just five minutes away from my hotel by foot.








The Merdeka Square.






The Old Town of Kuala Lumpur.


Overall my initial impressions of Kuala Lumpur were quite underwhelming. I was able to cover the entire city centre by foot in one afternoon, and there was quite frankly not much to see other than the skyscrapers, shopping malls and the occasional monument. Unlike the other cities in Asia that I’ve visited, KL seem to lack that sense of charm and soul that you’d usually expect to find in a major city. Spending five nights in the city turned out to be a bit of an overkill since you could basically see it all in one day, so for any future visitors I would suggest you’d stay a maximum of two nights in KL.

I decided to spend the evening back at the hotel, enjoying a light dinner in the Executive Lounge and a steady flow of Gin&Tonics, courtesy of the lovely Ruby.

A visit to the much raved about Batu Caves was made the following day. After spending the whole morning at the hotel, I took the LRT to KL Sentral at around noon before connecting on the commuter train to Batu Caves. The ticket from KL Sentral to Batu Caves was silly cheap at just 1 RM and the ride took around twenty five minutes. Upon disembarking the train I simply followed the signs that lead to the caves.








The Batu Caves.




There were plenty of monkeys around, but luckily they didn’t steal anything from me.


Overall the Batu Caves was a pleasant experience, and my visit was rounded off with some authentic indian food from the nearby eateries. The prices were cheap at just 12 RM for a full sized lunch platter of various vegetarian dishes. My visit to the Batu Caves didn’t take more than three hours, and at 15.00 in the afternoon I was back at the hotel where I stayed for Happy Hour, before getting some shopping down at the KLCC Mall.



Flying home on Turkish Airlines


After a pleasant 9 day stay in South East Asia it was sadly time to go home. With my flight leaving at 23.15 I kindly asked Keith for a late check-out. My request was sadly declined due to the hotel being heavily booked for the weekend, but I was able to leave my luggage in the lounge, and use it as much as I pleased for the rest of the day. Bearing this in mind I decided to stay at my room until noon, before checking out in the lounge.

I spent the most of the day shopping at the KLCC Mall, and I returned back to the hotel at 18.00 to pick up my bag before leaving to the airport. After having bid the wonderful staff goodbye, I hopped on the LRT to KL Sentral before connecting to the KLIA Express. I arrived to the airport at roughly 19.00 which was one hour before the check-in counters would open. I spent the hour doing some plane spotting at the viewing terrace before heading back to the counters at 20.00 sharp.

It’s worth noting that Turkish Airlines doesn’t offer online check-in from Kuala Lumpur, but luckily I had already done my seat reservations in advance. After a swift check-in process I’m handed both my boarding passes along with an invitation to the Plaza Premium Lounge. While it would’ve been nice to have used the MH Golden Lounge (which is used by some 3rd party airlines such as EgyptAir and Iran Air) the Plaza Premium Lounge served its purpose.

After a nice hot shower, a change of clothes and a few G&T’s I boarded the plane at 22.30. The load in Business Class was nearly 100% but luckily the seat beside me remained unoccupied, which I assume was courtesy of being TK Elite.

The return flight was practically identical to the outbound, hence why I chose to keep my camera in the overhead. I did however have a very pleasant flight, enjoying the great food and wines. I was also lucky enough to have a lovely young lady serve my side of the cabin.




First of all sorry about the quality. The pics were taken using my old iPhone 3Gs. Starter consisting of seafood platter. Jumbo shrimp, smoked salmon and smoked halibut. It was quite tasty in fact!




The soup served today was a creamy tomato soup. It was absolutely delicious, and I regret not asking for seconds.




I chose the beef fillet as my main course. Not that I’m a big fan of steaks but I wanted to see how well they managed to execute serving a steak in the air. To my surprise the meat was mostly nice and tender, though since it was drying up pretty fast I had to eat it quickly. Some more sauce would’ve been nice, but apart from that it was an OK steak.




Dessert consisting of chocolate cheesecake which was sinister. The cheese was nice and tasty too, though it would’ve been nice with some crackers and fig paste to go along.


Contrary to most other people’s experiences on Turkish the service on my flight was near flawless, with the exception of being served a full-sized glass of Port Wine along with my cheese. I managed to get a good six hours of sleep on the flight, despite the angled seat.

Upon arriving in Istanbul, we once again parked at a remote stand. Luckily however Business Class passengers were allowed to disembark first which didn’t make much sense since I’d rather board the bus last. Nonetheless the airport was fairly deserted, and in no time I was in the CIP Lounge for my seven hour layover.

I decided to get a shower and a nap in one of the day rooms before spending the last two hours enjoying a nice Pannini breakfast and watching a few episodes of Conan. The lounge was petty empty this morning which made for an enjoyable experience.
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Old Jul 29, 13, 3:03 am
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Originally Posted by LH4116 View Post
I would however rank Singapore as as much more exciting and interesting than KL, since there is actually stuff to do there. Singapore has a culture life, and a soul whereas KL felt quite boring and dead. KL is also much smaller than Singapore, so there really isn't much to see or do there. I wouldn't see myself returning to KL anytime soon, but to Singapore I can't wait to get back.
Each to their own: certainly for old Asia hands like myself it's very much the other way around - KL is the exciting rough-around-the-edges city with the fun nightlife and vibe, whereas Singapore is the clinical Disneyfied version. To be fair Singapore has improved a bit over the last five years or so.

Also, I don't have the figures to hand, but I believe KL at around 7 million is quite a bit bigger than Singapore at around 4 million, but I may be wrong.
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Old Jul 29, 13, 4:49 am
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Overall my initial impressions of Kuala Lumpur were quite underwhelming. I was able to cover the entire city centre by foot in one afternoon, and there was quite frankly not much to see other than the skyscrapers, shopping malls and the occasional monument.
In my personal view, KL is a melting pot of different cultures namely Malay, Chinese and Indian. You can sample all these cultures very distinctly like Indian cultures around brickfields. Nearby Genting Highland would take one day if you visited there for much cooler weather than KL
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Old Jul 29, 13, 6:57 am
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great TR. Great photos
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Old Jul 29, 13, 4:41 pm
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Originally Posted by LH4116 View Post
The Sights of Kuala Lumpur

.... I was able to cover the entire city centre by foot in one afternoon, and there was quite frankly not much to see ..... ....you could basically see it all in one day....
Yikes! I think you were missing a KL-Daniel to show you round It's certainly not the most exciting city in the world, but neither is Singapore.
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Old Jul 29, 13, 5:49 pm
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KL is much cheaper than SIN (and you don't have ERPs on the road everywhere that are an eyesore.)
Buses in KL also seemed to be less crowded than SBS (both domestic and the one that crosses the border.)
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Old Jul 30, 13, 4:46 pm
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Hello guys, thanks for reading. I'm glad you enjoyed


Originally Posted by GuyCCU83 View Post
In my personal view, KL is a melting pot of different cultures namely Malay, Chinese and Indian. You can sample all these cultures very distinctly like Indian cultures around brickfields. Nearby Genting Highland would take one day if you visited there for much cooler weather than KL
It is indeed a melting pot, and I very much enjoyed experiencing the concoction of Chinese, Indian and Malay cultures. I should indeed have made a few more visits to the surrounding areas of KL, but it wasn't possible due to the haze situation.

Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
Yikes! I think you were missing a KL-Daniel to show you round It's certainly not the most exciting city in the world, but neither is Singapore.
Hehe yes, sadly Daniel couldn't join me in Singapore as he had work during the week.

Originally Posted by AA_EXP09 View Post
KL is much cheaper than SIN (and you don't have ERPs on the road everywhere that are an eyesore.)
Buses in KL also seemed to be less crowded than SBS (both domestic and the one that crosses the border.)
KL was indeed much cheaper than Singapore (though both cities are very cheap compared to Sweden), and a bit different in their way of not giving motorists a hard time. I guess the public transport was equally crowded in my case, though I enjoyed the MTR a lot more than the run down LRT.
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Old Jul 30, 13, 5:49 pm
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Fantastic trip report, love the photos! Turkish Airlines Business class might just have the best on-board food.
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Old Jul 31, 13, 8:23 am
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Originally Posted by drzoidberg View Post
Fantastic trip report, love the photos! Turkish Airlines Business class might just have the best on-board food.
Hey there, thanks for reading and I'm glad you enjoyed my report. Seeing that both Austrian and Turkish have Do&Co as their catering supplier I suppose it might be a close call. I did very much enjoy the food both onboard and on the ground, although the variation of dishes could've been better. I'm very curious to try out Austrian's product to find out who is the best.
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Old Aug 3, 13, 7:32 am
  #26  
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Flight TK1765 Istanbul – Warsaw


Departure: 12.25
Arrival: 13.45
Duration: 2h 20m
Seat & Class: 2A, Business Class
Aircraft & Reg: Airbus A321-200, TC-JRY


I left the lounge at roughly one hour before the scheduled departure time. At the entrance to the gate, a booth was set up with an agent inspecting passports before tearing our boarding passes and letting is inside the holding pen. Once all passengers had been checked, the boarding began. Once again no priority call was made for Business Class and Star Alliance Gold, but luckily I was able to board fairly early. To my great surprise I found out that a factory new A321 was operating this flight, which meant that the aircraft had proper recliner seats in Business Class and AVOD in all classes.

Once onboard the plane I was greeted welcome by the purser before settling down in seat 2A. Almost immediately I was approached with a tray of welcome drinks.




I opted for the lemonade this time which tasted nice.


Boarding progressed for quite some time and by the looks of it Economy Class was very full. In Business Class only six of the sixteen seats were occupied, but despite that some passengers from Economy decided to upgrade themselves. Luckily the crew managed to spot them and send them back to their assigned seats. Once the doors were closed, turkish delights and printed menus were distributed.






The seats were comfortable and offered plenty of space. The legroom was quite generous too, though the seat controls were quite stiff as the seats were operated pneumatically.


Once in the air, the chef came out to greet the passengers welcome and take meal and beverage orders. Three choices of main course was available, kebab, tortellini or chicken. I chose the chicken and ordered a glass of Champagne to drink. Due to the relatively short flight time no drinks and nuts were served before the meal.




The starter course consisted of a salmon tartar, along with hummus, red bell pepper, a cherry tomato and spinach salad.


The starter dish tasted phenomenal, and while the combination of hummus and salmon may sound strange, they managed to blend together pretty fine. The Champagne served on short haul flights was Charles Heidsieck Blue top, which I found a lot better tasting than the Gosset which is served on long haul. Next up was the main course.




Main course consisting of chicken fillet, roast potatoes, red bell pepper and aubergine.


While the catering on Turkish Airlines have been nothing but fantastic, I was somewhat disappointed to find that this dish did not meet the standard that had been set up on my previous flights. The chicken was a bit dry and so were the vegetables. Neither was there any sauce found, and the dish wasn’t seasoned properly. I am assuming that this may have been caused from heating the dish for too long. Nonetheless it wasn’t a bad dish, and I was able to finish most of it.

Soon the trays were cleared and digestifs were offered. I settled for a glass of Bailey’s along with a cup of black coffee.




The dessert which consisted of a berry compote with a vanilla foam, tasted great.


After the meal service was completed roughly one hour remained of the flight. I decided to explore the IFE offerings and have a look around the cabin before it was time to land.




The leather seats which were comfortable enough for this two hour flight.




View of the cabin.




The aircraft was fitted with the newer version of the Planet IFE, which included roughly 100 movies, a selection of audio, tv shows, as well as an information channel. Acceptable enough for my likings.


Very soon the the pilot began our descent into Warsaw Chopin International Airport, and soon enough we pulled up at the gate for an on-time arrival. The queues at the passport control were rather long this morning, but luckily the EU line was moving quick. Within the course of 30 minutes I had cleared passport control and was on the train bound for central Warsaw.



The Hilton Warsaw Hotel & Convention Centre


Due to the LOT flights to Stockholm being rather expensive on June 30th I decided fly on July 1st and spend the night in Warsaw instead. Hotels in Warsaw are cheap and plentiful, with most 4-5* chain hotels priced at €50-range. During previous visits I have stayed at the Radisson Blu, but this time I decided to give the Hilton a go. I booked an advance purchase rate for PLN299, and thanks to a BRG claim I managed to get the rate down to PLN99. Sadly however Hilton haven’t refunded me the difference yet…




The hotel lobby.


At the check-in I was greeted welcome by a lovely receptionist, before being handed the key to my room. As of January 1st 2013 this property no longer upgrade HHonors Gold members to the executive floor, but the receptionist was kind enough to make an exception and provide me with Executive Lounge access. I was given a standard guest room located on the 16th floor.




My standard guest room.




The bathroom.




Welcome amenity consisting of Polish toffee.


Overall the room was nice and clean. The bed was super comfortable, and the curtains did a great job in blocking out all the outside sunlight. The only downside of the room may have been the size, as I perceived it as somewhat cramped. But then again after spending 5 nights in an executive room at the DoubleTree in KL, maybe I’ve lost some reference there.

The bathroom was rather nice and clean as well, featuring both a shower and a bathtub which were arranged separately. The toiletries were of the brand Peter Thomas Roth, which I found to be of better quality than the CrabTree & Evelyn that are usually found on Hilton properties. The toiletries may however seem a bit masculine, but I hope it isn’t something that will bother female guests.

Overall the room was pleasant enough for my short one-night stay, and I wouldn’t mind spending more time at this hotel. Since I felt rather tired from all the flying, I decided to spend the rest of the day in my room watching a few movies on HBO.




The Executive Lounge.


At 18.00 I took the elevator up to the Executive Lounge for the daily happy hour. I skipped on the alcohol this time, and settled for a few bottles of diet coke to go along with the food. The food offered this evening was chicken skewers and mushroom soup, as well as various canapés, salads and breads. I found it sufficient enough to serve as a light dinner. By the time I had finished my food I was feeling very tired, so I headed back to my room at 19.00 and fell asleep right away.
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Old Aug 3, 13, 10:17 am
  #27  
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Originally Posted by LH4116 View Post
KL was indeed much cheaper than Singapore (though both cities are very cheap compared to Sweden), and a bit different in their way of not giving motorists a hard time. I guess the public transport was equally crowded in my case, though I enjoyed the MTR a lot more than the run down LRT.
Hard time?
You can get $10 in ERP tolls VERY easily just from a simple commute and a bit of extra driving.
(not to mention COE cost to own the car and $2+/L petrol!)
Parking is also very difficult to find at times.
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Old Aug 5, 13, 11:23 am
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Originally Posted by AA_EXP09 View Post
Hard time?
You can get $10 in ERP tolls VERY easily just from a simple commute and a bit of extra driving.
(not to mention COE cost to own the car and $2+/L petrol!)
Parking is also very difficult to find at times.
Well I was referring to Singapore, not KL But true, owning a car in Singapore seems like such a chore both in terms of cost and the traffic. If I lived there I'd happily make my commutes on the MRT which was cheap and worked fabulous.
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Old Aug 8, 13, 11:33 am
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Great pictures!

I miss the Doubletree at KL and the very generous lounge.
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Old Aug 13, 13, 6:29 pm
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excellent TR

thanks so much for a great evocative TR! i assume TK offers biz class pax a fork lift for those of us who have managed to eat the entire meal(s)?
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