January 22, 2012

KLIA Express in need of refurbishment

Owing the awful taxi system at KLIA being unable to cope with peak times I often take the KLIA express when returning to KL on a Friday evening.

Whilst this train is hardly a high speed express its pretty useful to get to KL Sentral when the traffic is bad or there is no taxi however the downside is the relatively high fare of RM25 1 way.

The service has been running for around 10 years and the interior of the carriages is starting to show its age. More and more often I’m finding that the seat covers are worn or dirty and the air conditioning isn't working correctly which results a stuffy and musty smelling train.
In addition many of the internal and external windows have a coating making it either hard to see out or looking gloomy and dirty.


In addition I cannot fathom out why the luggage racks are placed half way down the carriage which makes taking suitcases etc into the train rather difficult. This really is a stupid design decision for an airport rail link train and having seen other Siemens trains in Europe I can only speculate that its must have been requested by the customer!

Malaysia has a bad record of train maintenance with KTM ending up cannibalising other trains for parts, many delays and too many derailments.

Lets hope the KLIA express isn’t heading that way as well!

January 15, 2012

Tamarind Springs – Ampang

In November my family visited Malaysia so it was an opportunity to try some places that I’d been meaning to visit for years but had never got round to going to.

One such place was Tamarind Springs located in Ampang which is just a short drive from KL (traffic permitting!!). The restaurant is a classy venue set in a natural forest reserve and contains a mixture of rustic Asians treasures and furnishings.

The menu offers fine contemporary Indochinese food which is a level or two above that found in other places within the Klang Valley.  On of the great plus points is the absolutely delightful location, being set on the edge of a natural jungle and at night its extremely atmospheric.


As well as great outdoor setting the interior is tastefully finished to provide a nice ambiance.

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We enjoyed the food so much that we visited again the following week. Unfortunately I only have a few photo’s of the food however I can confirm that the dishes suggested by the waiter are thoroughly recommended.

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Food/Beverage 9
Ambiance 9.5
Value 8
Service 8.5

Jalan 1,
Taman Tun Abdul Razak (TAR),
68000, Ampang,
Tel.: +60 3 4256 9300

January 12, 2012

When a dog is like a dog but not actually a dog!

I recently saw this article on bbc.com regarding the emotional rollercoaster of living abroad which caught my eye when when it mentioned Malaysia.

Whilst I understand that people opinions are very subjective I do agree with several points raised about Malaysia especially about the dog!

At our condominium in KL the guards are less than competent and often get confused so I cant help thinking those described in the story are from the same company as the one we use.

January 3, 2012

Marks and Spencer – Stupid Policy

On the 27th December I called into the flagship Marks and Spencer store in Oxford Street (London). The store was busy but bearable and after a while I selected some jeans and trousers try on. I was somewhat annoyed when I approached the changing room and saw this:

Now I always find that I need to try things on because they never need to fit based on size alone. Despite the staff empathising that they knew it wasn't that busy and they understood the inconvenience I wouldn't be allowed to try the items on.

After remonstrating some more a sales assistant proceed to measure me and assured me that the items would fit.

Owing the local store in Banbury not selling the items I had little choice but to buy the items along with the next size up.

Upon reaching home I found that none of the items fitted and had to return them the next day. As you can imagine the returns queue was big and the staff at Banbury questioning the rational behind this policy.

In the week I spent in the UK all I kept hearing was how tough it was for retailers to kept custom etc. etc.

Well M&S have a truly stupid policy which inconveniences people in more ways than one and next time (if there is one) I will just try the stuff on in the middle of the shop

Priority Pass *Update*

Following my recent acquisition of a Priority Pass lounge card I have to say that I’m finding it very useful and value for money.

I recently made the following flights used the lounge at each each sector: Singapore-Kuala Lumpur-Dubai-London Heathrow. After calling home to collect my wife in KL I paid the joiners fee in each lounge and the free WiFi, food and comfy seats was appreciated. Perhaps now the complaints have finally be vindicated.

Upon arriving at Heathrow we had a few hours to kill before the National Express bus arrived so we used the Air Canada Arrivals Lounge. Whilst this doesn't come close to the Virgin Revivals lounge it does have clean bathrooms with hot showers and offers a great location to freshen up after a flight.