Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pasar Seni City Bus Hub

Pasar Seni bus hub has been transform to a more comfortable waiting place. The old bus stand has been demolished with a new hub been constructed in just a few months.

The new hub will integrate with the existing LRT station and the upcoming MRT station to ensure better connectivity for passengers. Its an open air concept and commuters will still be subjected to the harsh weather when it is sweltering hot or heavy rain.

The new hub definitely looks more organised with proper shelter and information at each platform. This way, the passengers will know where to wait for the bus for their intended journey. Somehow, I still feel there is lack of seats at each of the waiting platform.

Although most of the Rapid KL buses converge here, there are still many of the buses which scatter around the hub area such as Kota Raya, Mydin and Medan Pasar. Without any information board around, it could be a messy affair to find where the other buses will depart besides from this hub.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Ampang Park Shopping Centre

Ampang Park Shopping Centre holds the distinction as the first shopping centre in Malaysia. Opened in 1973, it paved ways for other future shopping centres and the shopping habits in Malaysia.

This shopping centre is now surrounded by a number of 4-5 stars hotels such as InterContinental KL, Hotel Nikko and Double Hill by Hilton, just to name a few. The Ampang Park LRT station is just right next to it.

Before there was even Bukit Bintang, I reckon this was where the local folks went for the latest fashion.

Surprisingly, the shopping complex survive the test of time, unlike any old shopping complexes around KL and Selangor. Now, it mainly specializes in Malay fashion as well as housing a few tailor shops.

This shopping complex might had lose its charm to more vibrant and modern shopping complexes nearby such as KLCC and Pavilion. However, I find this place less crowded and more pleasant to chill out.

This is a good place to get professional tailoring services as I personally got my suit made by Allen Khoo on the third floor at a competitive price.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sibu New Airport

Finally, the upgrading work on Sibu Airport had been completed and was officiated by the Prime Minister on Malaysia Day. I personally had long waited for its completion as I used this airport frequently and looking forward for a more comfortable experience.

It has a bigger driveway to drop and pick up passengers. I don't know whether this helps as the locals are well known to park their vehicles indiscriminately.

The whole interior is now air conditioned. It has a large space which could easily hold an assembly of some sort.

There are more check in counters now. Check in would be a breeze should all the counters are operational.

The sad thing is that the airport did not offer a good shopping experience except a few convenience shops.

The passengers tickets will be checked by the security officer at the ground floor before proceeding to the escalator which will bring them to the first floor where the departure hall is situated. This type of arrangement reminds me of the Bandar Tasik Selatan Bus Terminal.

The immigration check point at the departure hall is more compact now and this reminds me of the immigration counters at Batam Center.

I was a bit disappointed with the airport design as it only has 2 aerobridges. I would have expect 3-4 aerobridges to reflect on the new status of this new airport.

It basically has only 2 gates with each gate having 2 aerobridges. In other words, 2 aircrafts can be parked at each gate and this means that it can accommodate up to 4 aircrafts at a time which use the aerobridge facility.

The departure hall is also slightly bigger than the previous one but it still has a design flaw as it causes  great bottleneck during the boarding time in way of the boarding doors as the seats are located too close to those doors.

Let's recap on the development of Sibu Airports.........

Sibu was first connected by air through an airstrip that was built by the Japanese during the WWII as a military installation. Since then, it has undergone a number of expansion works in 1952 and 1962. This old airport was located at the very end of Brooke Drive, much closer to the town and Sungai Merah back then.

This is how the old airport looks like in 1998 after expansion work was carried out. The photos are pretty nostalgic as I recall my good old days here. Back then, the largest aircraft that can landed  at the airport is the Fokker-50.

Then a new airport was rebuilt altogether at a new site, turning it into a full fledge commercial airport in  1992 and opened for operation in 1994, located about  25km from Sibu. From there on, bigger aircrafts such as Boeing 737-400 and Airbus A320 can land at Sibu Airport.

In 2010, Sibu Airport underwent further redevelopment and infrastructure upgrading works to accommodate the increasing passenger growth and to elevate the airport's infrastructure standard to higher level. The upgrading also will eventually improve the connectivity of Sibu Airport. Currently it is operating flights to and from big cities of Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Miri and Bintulu.

The works include among others, the expansion of the terminal building to 15, 240 sq. metres and the extension of the parking apron that now provides a bigger parking space for helicopters and general aviation. With an enhanced design and larger capacity, the terminal is now able to serve up to 1.8 million people per annum.

Its 2,745m long runway can accommodate Airbus A330 aircraft operations. I would have expect the airport to support a much bigger Airbus A340. However, this airport will not see any Airbus A330 anywhere soon as airlines operating here are using ATR-72 (MAS Wings), Boeing 737 (MAS) and Airbus A320 (Air Asia).

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cafe Cafe @ Sibu Giant Mall

Cafe Cafe is a well known place to dine in Sibu. Apart from its first outlet in town centre, Cafe Cafe has another branch at the Giant Mall.

Compare to its main outlet, the interior decoration here is much more simple. However, it still offers a comfortable atmosphere to dine.

The menu here is a bit oversize compare to most menu I came across. The menu list here is not as extensive as its main outlet and I have very few options to choose from.

Banana Berry (RM 10) is actually a shake. Well blended with a mixture of banana, vanilla ice cream and strawberry concentration. This could even make a perfect desert after a meal.

I never had a lamb as part of salad before but this outlet serve lamb salad with orange salsa (RM 13). Basically, I did not notice how the salad is different with any other salad. The only difference is that a zest of orange added to the salad. The lamb is fantastic. Definitely worth it and I'm still craving for it.

The Nyonya Sambal Lady Finger (RM 18) is pretty good. In fact it will goes really well with rice. The texture is just right and it feels really good munching this vegetable.

Spaghetti Marinara (RM 18) with its tasty marinara sauce which is made up by tomatoes, garlic, herbs, onions and seafood.

In a nutshell, I believe every food served here is tasty and worth a try.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sentosa Regency Hotel Alor Setar

In my recent visit to Alor Setar, I stayed in Sentosa Regency Hotel. It is strategically located at Jalan Putra, just opposite the Shell petrol station.

The hotel building is only consists of 6 storey and it is not a very big hotel by any standard.  However, it is regarded as one of the biggest hotel in town.

The lobby is spacious and I notice most of the staffs here are very young. The coffee house is located just next to the check in counter. Everyone who is staying in the hotel is given a complimentary breakfast here. The breakfast is satisfactory although slightly below the standard of an average 3 star hotel.

Strange thing is that I have to pay the room rate in full when checking in. This is not normally practiced in any hotels I been to as full payment is usually expected only when checking out.

All the rooms here are surprisingly spacious, even for a standard room (RM 118). The bathroom is equally spacious and I can't recall any bathroom which has its size for the rate I'm paying here.

The split unit air conditioner is not functioning properly and I can still hear the noisy vehicles speeding along the road at night. The furniture and carpet is pretty old and seriously need an upgrading.

My room view which face the busy Jalan Putra. There are a few hawker stalls and mamak restaurant within the vicinity of the area. I reckon it will be a good base to explore the town itself from here.

Sentosa Regency Hotel
250, Jalan Putra,
05100 Alor Setar
Kedah Darul Aman
Tel: 04-730 3999
Fax: 04-730 8999

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Putrajaya Precint 2, 3 & 4

Putrajaya Precint 2, 3 & 4 (sometimes referred as Putrajaya Boulevard) probably offer the most scenic ride in the Federal Government Administrative Centre with its 100m wide and 4km length road which is surrounded by various government agencies offices.

One of the most prominent building would be the Ministry of Finance. It has a unique shape which really stands out among the other building in Presint 2.

The other buildings which occupied Precint 2 which house the Custom Department, National Registration Department, Immigration Department and Putrajaya Holdings.

Precint 3 offers a few awesome buildings which offers a nice backdrop for those who has a keen interest in photography and architecture.

The Perbadanan Putrajaya complex has an interesting stainless steel arch structure which also functions as a link between the two adjacent buildings.

The Palace of Justice which replaces The Sultan Abdul Samad Building in KL as the new home for the Court of Appeal and Federal Court. Its architecture designs definitely took a cue from the Classical Islamic culture like Taj Mahal, Moorish culture and Western Classical influence.

The Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque or Iron Mosque is the second principal mosque in Putrajaya after the more well known Putra Mosque.

Some of the other buildings at Precint 4 which are adjacent to Precint 3 which house the Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Youth and Sport, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment just to name a few.

On the father end of the Precint 4, there are a few sky rise buildings which is rather unusual here.

The Attorney General's Chamber is located here. The building appears to be small as compare to the others just right behind it.

These newly opened buildings are now the head office for The Ministry of Rural and Regional Development, Ministry of Information, Ministry of Housing and Local Government & Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development