After 4 days in Kuala Lumpur it has reinforced in our minds that we do not want to retire in a large city. We did our stint of city living for 15 years from 1988 on in Brisbane CBD when we were younger and used all the facilities. KL is a good place to be within a couple of hours of, but not for us to live in. We lived for the last 11 years in the Byron Bay Hinterland and used Brisbane only a couple of hours away as a back-up for medical and other services not available nearby. Using KL like this would make living in Melaka a similar situation for us.
A word on our hotel Leapple Boutique in Jalan Ampang. Its saving graces are its position and price. One day the room was not serviced until we requested it at 3pm and they sorely need to visit Harvey Norman to purchase a vacuum cleaner as the carpeted landing on our floor had never seen one and the build-up was very obvious. The position and price won out in the end. (210RM a night or $75 Australian).
Booked Taxi picked us up at 5am for the one hour journey to KL Airport Terminal 1 for our 90 minute flight to Kuching in Sarawak on Borneo Island.
Transfer to airport was smooth at 5am with no traffic. The departure time suggested by the transfer people turns out to be far too early as we now have 2 hours until our Kuching flight departs. The transfer people charge about a third extra for early departures so it cost 150RM. Used a self-serve check in booth for the first time with no hassles. You then check your baggage in at the check in desks.
KLIA airport is an older style one with very long walks to gates and once at the two arms of the level one domestic gates, there is very little in the way of sustenance! We have ensconced ourselves at a Café and a single coffee cost us 10RM or Australian prices.
Arrived in Kuching. What a difference 20 years make! New wide road to the city, high rise everywhere, and in the waterfront area new hotels and one under construction. Riverfront has been rebuilt with open walkways in front of the Riverfront Lodge. On first glance however it has still retained its old world charm.
The room we had booked at The Waterfront Lodge was too small for us with our two suitcases so our host kindly moved us to another one without complaint. He had carried our heavy cases upstairs for us and the small room has now been deleted from our memory.
Last time we were here we stayed at The Hilton. It is still here but now we are sans money, holed up 100 metres away at retiree prices but still on the river. Kuching has changed and so has our lifestyle! Once again price and position rules!
Walked to Tourist office in Old Court House, one of the buildings that was still firmly implanted in our mind from all those years ago. It is an exceptional building and is now being used so you can see inside. Lots to do and see here and “rose coloured tourist glasses” are firmly affixed!