Chris Cheong from The Regal Group picked us up at 1.30 yesterday and took us out to Jalan Song where his company is developing several condominium blocks. The first one Tropic was completed 3 months ago and he took us first to one that had a kitchen installed. (In Malaysia condominiums come with the bathrooms but no kitchens). You then install one that suits you.
The condominium was 1616 sq feet and had a very liveable plan that would suit an expat retiree. Erica was concerned that a window in the living area was needed so Chris took us to an empty one that had the required windows and a large kitchen living area in which to fit a kitchen. This one had 3 bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms and a “wet kitchen” area (somewhere to do high heat, high fume frying etc.). These condos are selling for 828,000RM or around $300,000 Australian. A kitchen costs around 10,000RM or around $3500 Australian to install. They would be available to rent on 12 month leases at around 2,700RM per calendar month or $964 Australian.
This, the first of 3 complexes for this site has 160 condos. The facilities here are extensive. There was a table tennis room, a shuttle cock court, a child care room, a sauna, a mini cinema, a games room, a karaoke room, a gym and a large swimming pool all housed in a separate club building. A first for Kuching. The titles here are all 99 year leases. Nearby are lots of semi-detached bungalows built about 5 years ago and you could buy one for around 900,000Rm or about $320,000 Australian. The area is close to the upmarket Spring Shopping Mall, the Borneo Medical Centre (a good private hospital costing 180RM or about $65 Australian for a deluxe private room per day) www.borneomedicalcentre.com
Chris was very helpful and even showed us the best places to eat near our hotel before dropping us off. His phone number is 010-9609379 or he can be contacted via his company www.regalgroup.com.my. There is a lot of development occurring in Kuching and you would have no trouble finding a suitable place to live with plenty of modern facilities available.
Just got back from the laundromat and spent most of our time there wondering how we missed the giant signs the first time. It is a wonder that we can find our flights at the airports! A parking lady was checking the cars and we noticed that they use a booklet of paid parking coupons that look like lottery scratchies. You scratch off the day and time on the page you display. Saves all the cost of parking meter systems so widely used in Australia.
The cheap Malaysian Airlines seats are eating away at our brains and we almost booked Denpasar to go to Ubud on the 1st July until we realised it is Peak Season there.
Waiting for Cheah from Yit Seng Reality to call us with some accommodation in The Shore in Melaka from 8th May. In our minds Melaka (after visiting a lot of Malaysia) it is now at short odds as a base in South East Asia. Will visit Johor Bahru while in Melaka this time and then we will have covered most places that an Expat would want to live here.
Still having a problem buying any skin care products especially sunscreen without skin whiteners. We are using IVY White Sun Block Lotion SPF 30 and were told by the assistant at the store that it was not whitening. We put it on our noses every day and they do seem to be whitening a little! We need an independent assessment and when we catch up again with Canadian Expats Ellen and Jim in Penang next week an honest opinion will be sought.
Having a bit of a rest day as there has been showers. Had Roast Duck rice for lunch at a café / hawker in our street. Was delicious and included a clear broth. Cost 10RM for the two of us! Splashed out and had Sweet and Sour Lemon Juice (has salt in it) at 3.80RM for two. Total in Aussie dollars $4.95!
Mas our friendly housekeeper here was just telling us that to buy land and build here would cost around 200,000RM or $71,500 Australian. She was born here and lives in a Malay area behind the Grand Mosque. She is a lovely lady and very wise.