We departed malakka the next day and returned to Kuala Lumpur. We did some last minute shopping. I had my nails done. We returned the rental car. And Burt discovered a great place to eat. They had the best fried rice I possibly ever ate. You couldn’t see any ginger but the fragrance and taste of it was exactly right. No to much. The BBQ pork and crunchy pork was great too and the price was even better. 2€!
For our last night in Kl we had chosen to stay in a hotel close to KL sentral. The main public transport station of KL. not only
Metro monorail train busses and coaches are hubbed there but also the express train that gets you to the airport. The first time we came to KL there was a huge market in front of KL sentral. Now there was an even bigger mall. Maybe the most beautiful I have ever seen. So we did some window shopping. There were mainly more expensive shops. And a lot of western shops. Like the American Bath and Body Works. But also Aunt Annie’s and her pretzels. She was represented in almost every mall we went! But there was also a secret recipe! We decided to stray and get a white chocolate macadamia instead of our usual carrot cake. And we weren’t disappointed. The cake was moist, not to sweet, a hint of macadamia in the background and covered with white chocolate which was completely creamy but looked hard. Interesting!
We underestimated the distance from the golden triangle, the heart of the city to china town and from there to KL sentral. It took us an hour walk at least. But it was late, so not to hot. But it was dark! Really dark, tropical dark! And there were quite a few building sights and no signs. At some point we actually walked alongside kind of a highway. Talk about adventure….at our age. We had to run to cross it. But all ended well. And by 10.30 pm we got back to our hotel.
The hotel was more than reasonable especially given the price. Bathroom was okay, it wasn’t too big especially compared to our chalet in cyberjaya. Reasonable wifi. Good location. So not too bad at all. That is until…….a few ladies knocked on the door because they were told there was a man the room that needed servicing!!
The next morning was goodbye time. So we went to get another bowl of heavenly beef broth. And then it was time to pack my stuff and head for the airport. My flight to Guangzhou was scheduled to leave at 4 pm. So I had to leave the city at 12.30. And had to leave my husband as well. I was so sad to do so given all the quality time we had spend. He brought me to the bus to the airport saved me goodbye and off I went. Everything went smoothly. I especially had concerns about the weight of my suitcase and cabin luggage but that was fine. Upon check in the lady kept going over my passport. Back and forth and told me I wasn’t allowed to board the flight. Major shocker. To enter China through Guangzhou airport you can get a visa for 5 days at the airport. That also goes for Shenzhen, Shanghai Beijing and some other big cities. I have done this previously and had no idea that air Asia required you to have a visa upon arrival. So that was a major shock. Especially since I had to get to HK since my flight back home would depart from hong kong.
I have never encountered anyone customer service representative as rude as the lady at air Asia. She didn’t want to listen. Smped at me. Said it was a lie that you could get visa at the airport. I let her rage and then asked her if she would be willing to help me to figure out how to solve this. She told me she didn’t want to since I was only willing to change the rules. Which I wasn’t. I just wanted to get to the destination and there were other possibilities.
I eventually went to the sales department to buy a new ticket. Now that was really complicated. I was told air Asia would fly me to Macau or Hong Kong. I would have to buy a new ticket for that though. But a fee would be added for buying a ticket at the airport. It would be better to buy it online. I wouldn’t be able to depart on that day. Wherever I wanted to go I couldn’t depart any sooner. This meant I also had to find a place to spend the night. Going back to the city wasn’t an option. Because a morning flight would require me to leave the city at 3am. Hotels close to the airport were cheap but compensated for that by asking crazy high fees to get guests to the airport. Almost as much as a stay in KL!
In any case I wanted to leave my big suitcase at the airport. So I looked for storage options. There was only one option in the huge airport and the fee was therefore ridiculous. Then I was told about the capsule. I had no idea what or who that was. It ended up being a place to sleep. A Container! Divided in 4 sections. Each section contained a bed, light, mattress, pillow and towel. There were toilets and shower and storage space for your suitcase and of course electricity. So it was great! I was already at the airport, could get rid of my huge suitcase and have a safe place to sleep.
So I spend the remainder of the afternoon and evening with Burt. Since his flight was leaving at 11 pm. I had a great rest in the capsule. I actually slept and got up at 4 am to catch my 7 am flight to hongkong.
I was lucky to have a row of 3 seats just for me. The downside were the little terrors behind me. A triplet about 1.5 year old with their parents and two nannies. The kids were screaming. One of them cried and screamed for almost the entire flight. Causing other passengers to give them angry looks. They were really screaming so loud that you think they might break a glass! The two sitting in the row right behind me with the two nannies were constantly either banging on the chars or on the flight tables. Like I said little terrors!
I was happy to have travelled from HK airport to Shenzhen recently. So I knew exactly how to walk what to do and walked straight over to the counter and got a ticket for the bus. Since it was a Saturday traffic was slow and we got to the metro station fairly quick so I could transfer to the metro for only one stop before arriving in Lo Wu. But I still had to pass through HK customs get a visa and then pass through Chinese customs. But off course I did all of that. And walked over to the hotel. Unfortunate due to all the drama I had forgotten to print my booking and my internet wasn’t working. The people were extremely rude. Didn’t want to help me unless I could show them my booking. That’s when I almost got desperate. They didn’t allow me to leave my luggage there for a few minutes so I could go and make a print or het online somewhere else. I was trying to ask other guests if I could use their phone and they were laughing at me. But at some point a lady passed that looked educated and I asked her if she spoke English. She did. And was very helpful. She tried accessing my booking on her phone but internet was too slow. So she guarded my luggage while I ran to the store to get balance so I could access internet. After all I didn’t have a reservation for that hotel but for another one. I called them to ask where they were located but they didn’t speak Chinese. So I went to another hotel yet again to ask for help and they were so friendly and helpful that I decided to cancel the hotel that I couldn’t find and spend the night over there.
By then it was already 3 pm and time to hit the stores. I went to Burt country first. That is the IT section in China. Things are super cheap over there. My money was vanishing rapidly and by the time I went to the store where I buy my headphones I didn’t have enough money to pay for all I want to buy. But the lady knows me and my husband and kids……so she accompanied me to the nearest ATM and all the time we were talking. It was really nice.
Then I proceeded to Dong Men the city center to visit Shannon’s favorite store Mini So. It’s a Japanese chain store. They have at least 10 stores in Shenzhen centre! Everything is very cheap. Most items are sold for 10 RMB. I bought everything on my list. And then proceeded to Lo Wu to do my magic over there. By 9.30 pm I was back in the hotel. Admiring my new bff’s. And tired! But I had to pack and make arrangements to travel to Macau the next morning.
So the thing about Macau is the following. I have met tourists in HK that were raving about Macau. So that got me interested. Secondly when I was in China in2011 I met a lady in a restaurant. Prior to ordering I frequently walk around in a restaurant to see what other guests ordered that I don’t know but looks good. And then I order it too to try new dishes. So as I was walking around on July 26th a lady noticed me and asked whether I needed any help. In English! So I explained to her what I was doing and we started talking. She was crazy about Zumba so we connected. We exchanged contact information. And we kept in touch ever since. When I told her I was coming to China again she invited me to come over and stay with her.
I have to admit I wasn’t as prepared as I usually am when going on a trip. That is probably because Belle, my Macau friend, gave me very detailed information. So I woke up early the next morning to check and see where the bus to Macau was lined up exactly so that I could walk right over when I was there with my suitcases. Everyone gave me different instructions so I got confused. And decided to take a taxi to the ferry boat instead.
Since it was a public holiday weekend it was unclear whether there were any tickets available. So I had to wait till 9 am to receive confirmation from the ferry company whether I could make the trip! Then once they checked I had to pay the ticket online and then I could check out from the hotel and get the taxi. By the time the taxi drove off it was 9.49 am and it was supposedly a 50 minute drive. My ticket was for the 11 o clock ferry! That was the only availability for that day. But I tried to relax and was successful at it until I checked my email for my ferry ticket and saw that I need to be at the marina at least 30 minutes prior to departure. And that if I showed up late I would not be refunded of course. It was 10.28 when I read that. We arrived at 10.36. The taxi driver and I ran with my suitcases into the building. There was a line of course. But I ran over to the supervisor s desk right away. I presented my phone with the email with confirmation, ticket and barcode. She looked at it. Got up, checked my reservation on the computer and ……nothing happened. I was already happy that het face didn’t turn ugly, angry, sour when she saw my ticket. Apparently it wasn’t impossible for me to make it on time to catch the ferry. And then I noticed the supervisor pulling and opening something and I realized she was trying to print my ticket and the printer wasn’t cooperating!!! ahhhhh but she managed and we ran over to the gate. I almost fell with one of the suitcases. But the passengers were still standing in line. So I was okay!
I off course had to pass through customs again! Have my bags checked etc. I had to go up and down several stairs with the suitcases. Luckily there was staff present at every staircase to lift your luggage! When they weren’t standing there I would hear someone scream and one of them would run towards me and lift my luggage. I got on board in time! Found a seat and it was time to relax! Or so I thought but I should have known better. Me and ferries…we don’t mix. Haha. Remember Burt?
I think we got to at least 2/3 off the trip when it turned into a bumpy ride! People run to the front desk to get bags to vomit in! And the stewardess started walking around passing them around! The ride took a little longer than expected. But it was worth it.
Macau is beautiful. Sunny. Well organized. And fascinating. When you exit the ferry terminal there are buses from hotels waiting to take you into town for free. So Belle told me to take one that was close to her house. I did and after a 15 minute ride I arrived. Belle came to pick me up and we walked over to her appartement. It’s a big complex in the center with a great view. Apart from that is has a gym, swimming pool, sauna, reading room, table tennis room, room for group classes….it has everything a hotel would offer you. I have a room with a great view overlooking the Bay Area. After a quick shower we hit the road. First we went for dim sum. Then we walked through town. We also went to have the best Portuguese egg tarts in Macau. There was a huge line and long wait. But they indeed were delicious!
Then we walked through the old city center. It was just like walking in europe with a big group of Asian people! The architecture is very European. We walked until 7.30 pm and then we went for diner. Belle and Marco insisted that I should have Portuguese food. So we went to a Portuguese restaurant. We had drinks at a hotel bar afterwards and by the time we returned to the apartment it was 1 am!