Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Singapore & Malaysia 2014

To Borneo!

Bruce woke up just before his alarm call at 6am, and I came around shortly thereafter. It hardly seemed possible that the next parting of the ways was already upon us, but it was true. Bruce was gone in little more than an hour, planning to grab some breakfast at the airport before his flight to London via Colombo, Sri Lanka. There was no reason for me to become despondent, however: I had most of the trip still ahead of me and a brand new destination to look forward to this very day.

I ate breakfast in the Executive Lounge in a similar manner to the previous day, and was reminded by the Google doodle that it was St Andrew's Day. I checked out shortly before ten and rode the MRT back to Changi Airport. For someone from the UK, it seemed very odd indeed that on a Sunday morning I had to stand most of the way. Departure was from Terminal 2 on this occasion. The Malaysia Airlines 'Golden Lounge' was fairly plain, but clean and functional.

Singapore Changi Airport, Terminal 2 Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge

(Link to flight log in side panel)

Room with a view, lounge with a brew!

Kuching Airport was a shiny, modern affair - super-efficient too, because I was out of it within a few minutes of arrival and, with a pre-booked fixed-price coupon in my hand, into a taxi for the twenty-minute transfer to the Hilton. I quickly settled into my wonderfully spacious 11th-floor room with stunning river views. The Executive Lounge was one floor above and was directly accessible by staircase from the 11th floor. I went up to have a look - I hadn't even realised prior to check-in that there was one! - and had a cup of tea simply because it was offered by the polite and friendly lounge agent.

I could see rain in the distance through those panoramic windows, however, and decided to head out as soon as possible for an introductory walk along the riverfront. My two main impressions were (1) that this was a pleasant and attractive small city with plenty to see and do; and (2) that the local people were exceptionally friendly - all smiles and hellos, with just a hint of natural reticence. I managed to get some reasonable photos, enhanced (I thought) by the angry-looking clouds.

ABOVE: An introductory walk along the Kuching waterfront, in conditions where a downpour looks imminent

Sure enough, it started to rain before too long, but it was an easy matter to get back to the Hilton before I got soaked. The lobby travel bureau was closed, so I wasn't able to make arrangements at this point for a planned excursion to Semenggoh. I went back to the lounge at 6pm for cocktails; on this occasion, to my complete approval, many of the snacks had a Japanese theme. Making use of the amazing amount of space that I had been allocated, I had a room service dinner later in the evening.