Tune Hotel, Danga Bay, Johor Bahru

The Tune Hotel at Johor Bahru is situated at Danga Bay, km from the city centre. I had stayed here a couple of time because of its location near my working site. My trip to JB this time was a little rush and I didn’t make my booking prior through the tunehotels.com. Thus, I decided to walk in and was shocked to find out that they will be charging me RM80 per night. Although the Tune Hotels room rate fluctuate like a mutual fund’s NAV, but I had never encounter anything above RM73 inclusive tax. Not satisfied with the current rate, I make use of their free internet station to check their current online rate. Guess what I found out. Now that I make my booking online, the rate was only RM65 inclusive tax, RM15 cheaper than walk-in rate. So they actually charge additional RM15 for helping you to fill up the details and collecting your cash. Saving tips for staying in Tune Hotels: Must book online, preferably earlier to get cheaper rate.

The internal design for every Tune Hotels in Malaysia looks similar to me. I had stayed before in the one at Kota Bharu and Penang as well. From the bedding, TV, shower head to the wallpaper, they look identical. The rate I mentioned above is the basic room without any other additional amenities. For the cheapest rate, I got myself a queen sized bed to sleep on, hot water shower and one electrical outlet for mobile charging, all-sufficient for me to survive a night. The bonus is a security box, which I hardly use. You have to pay extra for towel with shampoo and soap, air-cond, hair dryer, TV and wifi. Sometimes they do have promotion whereby you can have everything add-in for a special rate. This you can either do it online or after you check-in. You just need to do some simply math and decide, which package is more value for money.

Tune Hotel, Danga Bay

If you don’t have a data plan and desperately needs to check your email or maybe update your Facebook status to enable stalker to know exactly where you are, you can make use of the free internet station at the lobby. Obviously to avoid PC hogger, they don’t provide you with any chair.

In Tune Hotel, Danga Bay, they also provide ironing equipment at the 1st floor free-of-charge, although I have yet to try it out myself. I just saw the notice at the lobby stating it. Outside the lobby, there is also a 7-11 in case you need to buy some water or snacks or maybe a toothbrush. There is ample parking space here available inside and outside the compound.

Double room in Tune Hotel

With all the additional charges Tune Hotel impose on their guests, you might think that is better to stay in other hotel that charge you RM80 with all the facilities they provide. Yes, you are right. But if you wish to spend as little as possible for your overnight accommodation, Tune Hotel is the one for you. The cheapest rate I paid before was RM55.

Learn to make do with the minimum and avoid paying extra by

1.  Bringing your own towel and toiletries

2.  Using the ceiling fan provided

3. Bringing your own downloaded movies and play it in your laptop for entertainment

Nadeje’s Mille Crepe, Mahkota Parade, Malacca

If you had been in the food blogosphere in this recent year, you definitely had heard of Nadeje’s Mille Crepe being reviewed over and over again by every other blogger. I was being introduced by Mr. B who visited the café 3 years ago with his ex-colleagues. He told me the cake was the best he had ever! Yes, he said that statement with an exclamation mark.

When we had the chance to visit Malacca together last year, he brought me to the Nadeje that was situated at the rooftop of Dataran Pahlawan. The queue and the crowd were intimidating. Even though you might not heard of the café, you will be tempted to check it out purely based on the view of the people lining outside their door. We separated the tasks with Mr. B queue to make an order and me trying to secure a table for two. Here you have to queue for both having here and take away. I feel that their premise is too small and lack of staffs to take order. Or maybe is a gimmick, everyone have to queue thus generating an impression of great business.

In the end, I didn’t manage to secure a table because other patrons were more aggressive and ruthless than me. Mr. B take away two slice of crepe, original and chocolate. The chocolate doesn’t taste nice to me; it just doesn’t blend well with the prerequisite cream. The original one was fine, but still doesn’t warrant that long queue. Besides of mille crepe, they do have other western dishes and fancy drinks.

Nadeje at Mahkota Parade

Over the last weekend, we had an overnight stop at Malacca in conjunction with its 4th UNESCO World Heritage City Day, we decided to patronize Nadeje again and give other flavours a try. When we reached the Dataran Pahlawan’s rooftop, we were surprised to find the premise vacant. After Mr. B consulted the staff in Dataran Pahlawan, we found out that Nadeje had relocated to the opposite Mahkota Parade. Inside Mahkota Parade, we beeline straight towards the directory board, but Nadeje was not listed on it yet. After another consultation with another staff, we found out it was located at Ground floor, next to KFC, facing the main road.

Nadeje’s Mille Crepe

Their new premise is not that big either and the seating outside was facing west with the awful heat. The queue was also quite long, I must say. But this time, is easier for me to get us a table. Mr. B ordered three slices of cake, two different cheese varieties and one milk tea crepe. The milk tea tasted okay, but after all tea was not my favourite, thus I pushed the whole piece to Mr. B. Both the crepe and whole cheese cake tasted yummy. Or maybe it was my biased towards cheese, my favourite. Each piece of crepe in Nadeje cost RM9 or even more for those that has elaborate decoration. Is quite pricey compare to Secret Recipe and their crepe are filled mostly with cream. Consuming one piece will make you quite bloated up due to the amount of cream present, but quality wise, is not worth the RM9. If I were to choose, I rather have a piece of Secret Recipe with substance instead of Nadeje that was half filled with cream. However, is recommended to try it at least once, so that you had something to say when someone brought up the topic of Nadeje’s Mille Crepe. If you had tried certain flavour that tasted great, please do recommend it to us.

Hallmark View Hotel, Malacca

We reached Malacca City Centre at 7pm and after a hard time looking for a spot to park; we were told by the Hallmark Hotel Leisure staff that we were at the wrong Hallmark Hotel. Apparently, there are three Hallmark Hotels that were situated within Malacca itself and another upcoming. I must say this is really confusing to tourist like us, even though all the hotels have a slightly different name, from Hallmark Inn Hotel to Hallmark View Hotel.

Deluxe room at Hallmark View Hotel

After resetting our gps, we finally found the Hallmark View Hotel that we actually booked through Agoda.com for RM140 per night. The front desk staffs were very friendly and helpful. They asked us for a name card and issued each of us a membership card to entitle for corporate rate in the future. Once we entered our room, we were caught by surprised from all the amenities that were available for the rate that we are paying. There is this touch screen for digital displayed of ‘Do not disturb’ and ‘Make up my room’, an oversized shower head and handheld shower with LED lights, even though I’m not sure what is the function of having disco lights while you were showering. There is also this fancy weighing scale, for those who wish to check how much calories they had put on from a trip to Jonker Street.

Deluxe room at Hallmark View Hotel

I suspect the owner of this hotel is a Chinese man due their subscription of Wah Lai Toi and there isn’t Star Movie or HBO. We ended up watching NTV7 American Got Talent. Apart from the hot shower that takes some time to heat up, everything in the room was great. We didn’t make use of the large wardrobe available and didn’t manage to test their wifi speed either.

Breakfast at Hallmark View Hotel

The next morning breakfast starts at 7am until 10am and we went down to fill our empty stomach at 8am. There isn’t a large selection of food available and no chef to cook you an instant sunny shine up or omelette. However, this is consider a decent breakfast that is value for money. They have coffee, tea and cordial, fried rice and noodles, sausages, beans, chicken porridge that is surprisingly quite yummy, watermelons, toasted bread with butter, jam and kaya, and some nyonya kuih.

We headed back up to our room and decided to slack off the remaining morning until the 12pm check out time. I dozed off as usual and rely on Mr. B to wake me up. But surprisingly, he fall asleep as well and by the time we woke up it was 12.05pm and we still haven’t pack and bath. We make a courtesy called to the receptionist to inform them we were running late and whether it is possible to postpone the checkout time. We were grateful that they allowed us an hour of grace period and in the end we manage to hit the lobby at the record time of 30 minutes.

Overall, we were satisfied with our stay at Hallmark View Hotel, although it was situated 4km away from Jonker Street. The premise was still new and everything looks polished. Just make sure you book and check in to the right Hallmark. If you wish to have easier access to Jonker Street, you should choose either Hallmark Hotel Leisure or Hallmark Inn Hotel instead.

Malacca, 4th UNESCO World Heritage City Day

Venue: Jonker Street, Malacca
Date : 7 July 2012

On the way back from Johor Bahru from attending Mr. B’s friend’s wedding luncheon at Pulai Spring Resort, we decided to make an overnight stop at Malacca. Prior the week, I found out from tourism.gov.my that Malacca will be celebrating its 4th UNESCO World Heritage City Day on that night. After checked-in at Hallmark View Hotel at 7.30pm, we head to Jonker Street.

Jonker Street at Malacca

The street bazaar at Jonker Street only operates on weekend and public holiday nights that cater mostly to local and foreign tourist. Beside typical night market products, there are also local handicrafts, unique T-shirts, local delicacies and etc. The difference of Jonker Street compare to KL night market are, there are more tourists, more modern accessories instead of household product, beside the street stalls, the shoplots are also operating. I can’t help myself but squeal in delight whenever I spot those fancy accessories or cute decor, such as the heart-shaped ear-ring hangers and pencil-looked chopsticks or the glow in the dark tortoise or the cow lollipop. Nowadays entrepreneur are so creative in producing such irresistible products to separate us from our hard earned cash. I also came across many boutiques, but tried my best not to glance at the mannequins lining by the street. Fortunately, Mr. B was around to help keep my sanity in check and prevent me from making impulse purchase. Saving tip rule no 1: Do not shop alone and bring along someone trustworthy.

From a distance, I overheard someone playing the violin, and saw this chinese uncle busking by the corner. Due to my failure with violin lesson, I had always admire people who can play it decently, thus I gave him a ringgit. This was also the night Mr. B experience his first smell of ‘Stinky Tofu’ also known as ‘Chou Dofu’ in Chinese. I called it the garbage truck smell, while Mr. B called it decomposed faeces smell.

Jonker Street at Malacca

This was indeed a happening night with heavy crowd, I’m not sure did every weekend at Malacca looked like this. We experience human jam along the street bazaar and have to elbow our way through the crowd. There was also chinese singing and dancing performances at the Jonker Walk main stage sponsored by Toto. After completing our walk with a cup of coconut Smoothie at RM3, I can’t help but compare it with the coconut smoothie I had at Langkawi that cost RM2.50 and tasted much better.

Next, we head to Christ Church and Malacca River for a breezy walk. While we sit by the Malacca River absorbing the nice weather and relaxing atmosphere, every 30 seconds a cruise full of passengers passed us by. One of the cruise full of local students happily cheered at us and I gave them my big smile and a hand wave.

Christ Church and Malacca River

The night ended with fireworks display at 11pm. It lasted about 5 minutes and we can see flocks of birds flying amok everywhere. After the noise and air pollution demonstration ended, the birds started their protest by making a hell of a noise. Poor bird.

Fireworks at Malacca City Centre

1Malaysia International Tourism Night Floral Parade 2012

Venue : Waterfront, Precinct 2, Putrajaya
Date : 30 June to 8 July 2012

We had actually visited the Putrajaya Floria 2012 last weekend, but later on I found out from mynicegarden.com that there is this 1Malaysia International Tourism Night Floral Parade 2012 themed ‘Magic of the Night’ that features boat parade by the waterfront. Therefore we decided to pay another visit to Putrajaya during a weekday night to witness the boat parade.

Putrajaya Bridge

It was a Wednesday night that the crowds were overwhelming. We can’t imagine visiting it during a weekend night. The boat parade starts at 8.30pm until 10.30pm for eight consecutive nights. There were a total 14 participants that took part in this competition. We reached at 9.15pm and brisk walk directly towards the waterfront. The crowd had already gathered around all the best spots and we can hardly place our tripod. In the end, Mr. B made do without the tripod itself. Our timing was just right, the theme song had just finished performed by the local artist and they had just started with the boat parade. Thus, we manage to capture all photos of the 14 boats.

Putrajaya Floral Parade

The first boat that was being featured was from Suzhou, China and followed by Kenya. These were the only two international participants that we saw. Later on, all the state boats took their turns, which include Johor, Melaka, Sarawak, Perlis, Terengganu and etc. Honourable mentioned were the ones by Putrajaya and Malaysia Tourism.

Putrajaya Floral Parade

By 10.30pm, the boat parade ended with all 14 boats gathered at the waterfront for the spectator to view and followed by the fireworks. We make our departure during the fireworks to avoid the horrible jam that is going to ensure. Imagine hundreds of cars trying to escape from the car park at the same moment. If you miss out ‘Magic of the Night’ floral parade during your visit to Putrajaya Floria 2012, you still have three more nights to get yourself there to enjoy the spectacular boat parade. Don’t miss it!