It was our final morning in Kuala Lumpur and we started the day with a relaxing breakfast. We then returned to our room to finish off our packing before checking out of the hotel.
The lifts were still out of order at the nearby monorail station so once again we had to manoeuvre our heavy cases up and down the steps to the platform. Although the monorail has only two carriages it was fairly quiet mid morning and there was plenty of room to sit down and find somewhere to put our luggage.
Back at KL Sentral we made our way to the bus terminal down in the basement where we bought two tickets for the Sky Bus to KLIA2. Tickets for the express bus cost only RM12 (£2.25) each compared to RM55 (£10.25) for the train, taking just 15 minutes longer.
It was our first time using KLIA2, Kuala Lumpur airport’s low cost terminal and we found it to be quite unusual as there was a large shopping mall prior to check-in. We were travelling on a Saturday and it was extremely busy with people and trolleys scattered everywhere. Our flight was with Air Asia and despite having already checked in on-line it was still necessary to join a lengthy bag drop queue.
Once we had progressed through to the airside area it was more pleasant with a good selection of shops and cafes and much quieter than in the outer area. After enjoying a small snack in one of the cafes we boarded our A320-200 airliner for the short flight over to Singapore. Travelling with Air Asia is inexpensive and we only needed to pay an additional £1.60 to sit together and a £16.50 supplement for each of our 25 kg suitcases.
The cabin was bright and airy with numerous empty seats. After having boarded promptly, our 40 minute flight was delayed 39 minutes whilst waiting for the food trolley to arrive as apparently the truck delivering it had broken down. It seemed ridiculous having to wait almost the length of the flight for the food to arrive but as Air Asia passengers can pre-order and pay for food in advance they would presumably have otherwise needed reimbursing.
We didn’t feel the need for refreshments on such a short flight and just enjoyed a rest until we landed into Singapore’s Changi airport only 23 minutes later than scheduled. Air Asia flights use the new Terminal 4 and after disembarking it was just a short walk to immigration.
Luckily for us, there were few passengers requiring the manual immigration desks and with most passengers using the automated priority lanes we sped through to the baggage reclaim hall. We have always found Changi to be an extremely efficient airport and true to form, our luggage was already waiting for us on the carousel as we approached.
It then only took a few minutes to obtain some Singapore Dollars from an ATM (no charge) followed by a quick ride aboard the free shuttle bus over to Terminal 2 to enable us to access the MTR. From a ticket kiosk in the station we equipped ourselves with EZ Link cards (similar to the U.K. Oyster card), which cost SG$12 each (£6.80) comprising SG$5 for the card and SG$7 stored value. As this was unlikely to last very long we topped up the cards with some additional credit and boarded the train to Somerset MRT, changing twice. All stations on the MRT network have step free access and even though it was a Saturday afternoon, the underground trains weren’t all that busy. On tapping out at Somerset we were pleasantly surprised to note that the journey from the airport had only cost SG$1.80 (£1.02).
Leaving the MRT station it was only an 8 minute walk to our accommodation for the next week at the Orchard Grand Court serviced apartments on Killiney Road. The hotel lobby was being renovated and a temporary reception desk had been set up in a meeting room on the floor above. This didn’t pose any problems for us and a friendly receptionist soon had us checked in to a one bedroom apartment on the 9th floor.
Apartments at the Orchard Court have recently been fully refurbished and our one bedroom apartment was stylish with a separate lounge and fully equipped kitchen. We didn’t intend to do any cooking during our stay but had chosen the apartment as it provided us with all the benefits of a hotel room with extra space.
After unpacking, we headed back to the Somerset MRT station and took a train over to Raffles Place. Across the road from there is the Lau Pa Sat hawker centre located in the beautiful old market hall where we decided to eat.
The building is light and airy and contains dozens of food stalls serving both Singaporean cuisine and other Asian delicacies at very reasonable prices. We settled on the local favourite of steamed chicken served with a bowl of chicken broth, rice and pak choi which tasted delicious. Finishing off our meal, we enjoyed refreshing glasses of freshly blended watermelon juice before setting off for our evening stroll.
It was just a short stroll over to Boat Quay where we paused to admire the night time views along the Singapore River. Bars and restaurants line the quayside and being a Saturday evening it was busy with people relaxing on the open terraces. Hearing cheering we noticed that UK Premier League television was being broadcast and diners were watching a live match at 10.00 p.m. local time.
We continued along to Clarke Quay where there were even more bars and restaurants. This entire stretch of river was very lively but not at all rowdy and we loved sauntering along soaking up the relaxed atmosphere. We returned to our hotel from the Clarke Quay MRT station changing once at the busy Dhoby Ghaut interchange.
On returning to our room at 11.30 p.m, we found it to be very noisy as there was a large, connecting door through to the next room which lacked soundproofing. We put up with the noise for awhile but as it persisted we contacted reception and informed them of the problem. The receptionist we spoke to was very understanding and suggested relocating us to an alternate room without a connecting door on the 4th floor. As we had already unpacked the concierge helped us to move all our belongings to the new room which was lovely and quiet. By the time we had finished putting things away and made cups of tea it was approaching 1.00 a.m. and we were asleep in seconds.
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