Saturday, January 22, 2011

Travel Trekk-Europe Odyssey 2010-"London"

"The tourists flock from all directions,
Getting their memorable moments captured,
Big Ben towers over the old tired buildings,
This is London"-Silent Dogwood

 Im listening to "Bayatilar" an Azerbaijani song while writing about London...a romantic ensemble of saxophone and trumpet and all other musical instruments combined which creates a harmony of tune that soothes your heart and ears...much like London-a melting pot of culture and civilization..though life may not be as harmonious as that of the tune of Baytilar it still holds the charm that attracts millions of visitors to keep coming back to experience the London's way of life...this travel story is the first installment of parts of retrospects of my trips to London-Paris & Rome in July 2010....

The wing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 4 greeting the sights of London after a 12.30 hours flight from Kuala Lumpur.

touched-down at London Heathrow Airport
Arrived at Heathrow late noon and took the tube (underground train) to central London.The whole train ride took us about 40 minutes at a cost of GBP 4.5.The tube is nothing like those modern underground rapid rail system found in other parts of the world. There's no escalator nor elevator at the stations and the train itself is small-wonder how these relatively taller and bigger Westerners can squeeze in this train.

the route map

We stayed in Bayswater, at a rather affordable hotel named Rose Court. The triple room cost less than GBP50 per night.The space is really tight but comfortable anyway if you really dont spend time much in your room. There's a small garden opposite the hotel's entrance for a jay-walking in the evening or morning.
the entrance

the front facade taken from the garden

our small and messy room...

For this London trip, we had booked in advanced a one day bus tour which will take us to most of the city's top attractions-Tower Bridge-Trafalgar Square-Big Ben..u named it..most of the places will be covered. In addition we can also choose to include a boat trip along River Thames in the itinerary (which we did) to explore the city via the river way. I think this is the most affordable way to tour the city as if we take the tube the cost would be higher to travel to one place to another and there's always the possibility of getting lost. This tour can be booked by its website :

On our way to the tour bus centre, we stopped by Marble Arch and snapped some pics...the area was full of litters. This arch was built as the new gateway to Buckingham Palace

yours truly in front of the arch

our tour pictures

Trafalgar Square


Tower Bridge from the boat

 Tower of London

Buckingham Palace

Madame Tussaud

Needless to say-it's advisable to book online the tickets for all the attractions in London as you will not only entitled for discount, you may even save your waiting time as most places have separate que for online booking. We found this very handy especially at Madame Tussaud..if you can see the picture above..the waiting line is so long...

Now..what about shopping in you can find ones that cater to budget-concious buyer and high-end buyers alike. The most popular shopping district is without doubt Oxford Street. Along this road you can find Primark..for that bargain shopping spree. It's  a real bargain here as i bought two jeans..each cost around RM 45 only...and they are of good quality.

Then there the most popular luxury retail store-Harrods. Just walking into this store will give you the goosebumps of luxuries..if there is such word. They ensure every part of the store is exclusive with the sales person looking so handsome in their designer uniforms and most even look like models...basically the prices of the goods here are at par with other stores..thus even "commoners" like us can shop problem.

We really like the food market. They even have a special section for chocolate and confectionery only.

There are many other stores such as House of Fraser, Selfridges in London to satisfy your shopping needs. During sales period, the price can be even lover than that offerred in KL, for branded items.No wonder some rich and famous people always go to London to shop....
It was a satisfying stay in London. We fully utilized the 2 days that we had and luckily the trip was done during summer season thus we had all shops/attractions opened to be visited and the daytime was longer.It was my second trip to London but the best as at now. one can never get enough of London,and surely i will return someday.

Next up..pack your bag as we are leaving on an airplane to the fashion capital of the world-Paris. Kay2011.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Food Review- Cili Padi Restaurant "Malaysian Cuisines in the heart of Bangkok"

Happy New Year 2011 to my dear was your new year celebration? Mine was a memorable one, not captured in camera but will always be remembered all my life. Im not really a person who celebrates new year as for me it's just another year passed by..but the feeling of welcoming the new year in loving embrace of your loved one is an experience which is indescribable, when you share your hopes for the new year with your other half.

I was in Bangkok for the new year celebration, with my closest friends. Surprisingly the city was less crowded than the usual as most Bangkokians took the opportunity of the extended holidays (until 4th January) to go back to their hometown-leaving the new year celebration in Bangkok filled up by true-pure-blooded Bangkokians or tourist like us.

On our last day in Bangkok we had the chance to visit Cili Padi-a restaurant located in Silom, Bangkok, which serves mostly Malaysian cuisines. They also serve local Thai cuisines with some Malaysian twist. The lady-owner is a Malaysian hailed from Kedah. From our short conversation with her, we were informed that she would commute between Bangkok and Alor Star on regular basis.

The restaurant itself can easily be located as it sits in a shop row near the junctions at the end of Silom Road where Holiday Inn and Sophitel are located. Adjacent to it is a small open spaced square with a miniature windmill and the picture of the king was displayed.

the menu consists of the usual Malaysians offerings-roti canai-teh tarik-nasi lemak.....

sorry to disappoint....eventhough in a Malaysian restaurant..what i ordered was a bowl of seafood tomyam and a padprik fried rice...well at least padprik fried rice can be considered a Malaysian dish..dont think there's a Thai version of it...Thai do have a dish called padprik but i dont think they combine it with fried rice....

as you can see above, the portions are big and can easily be shared with another person.Taste wise, they are okay. Being in the "Tomyam Capital", you can easily find better tomyam elsewhere. The Nasi Goreng tasted similar to those served around KL.
Apart from ala-carte menu, they also have set lunch of mixed rice-consists mainly Malay dishes eaten with white plain rice.

Nice and clean ambiance...

this restaurant were also visited by famous Malaysians..politicians mainly...

it was a nice lunch at this restaurant with its clean and cosy setting and the air-condition is a relief from the Bangkok heat. Whenever you have a craving for Malaysian foods in Bangkok, do stop by this restaurant and have the taste of Malaysia in its wide variety of dishes.Kay 2011