Andy's Multi Centre Trip to KL & Dubai

23/04/2014

I recently had the opportunity to take a multi centre trip through work to Kuala Lumpur and Dubai. I was very excited but also very nervous as I am not a brilliant flier, especially seeing as I was travelling on the new airbus A380. It makes you wonder how something so big gets into the sky!

The day arrived to depart and I headed off to the airport to meet the group I was travelling with. As always with things like this you are a little nervous about how you will get on with the people you are travelling with.  After we had all met at the airport we cleared security and headed for the bar where a few drinks were needed to settle the nerves of flying.

The time came to board the plane and my first impressions of the Airbus A380 were really good. The plane’s technology and on board services were fantastic and the leg room was really good too. I was really impressed. I was even more impressed when we landed in Dubai and we got to take a look around the business and first class cabins on the upper deck, they even have a shower room for the first class cabin.

After arriving in Dubai we had a connecting flight to Kuala Lumpur and again we were on the A380, it had worked out that all flights we were due to fly on were these planes. This flight was very quiet so we were all lucky enough to get a row of 4 to ourselves.

On arrival in Kuala Lumpur we were met by our tourist guide Karmen and the driver who would be with us for the next few days. We arrived in Kuala Lumpur at around 4pm and had a 45 minute transfer to our hotel and then we had dinner booked at another hotel for 6pm, the girls were not happy about this as didn’t give them much time to get ready!!!

We got to our hotel which was really nice, we were staying at the Shangri La, the number 1 rated hotel on Tripadvisor for Kuala Lumpur. As we pulled up there was a group of men waiting with nice bunches of roses for the ladies which was very nice, except there were no women waiting with gifts for the men! The hotel is very central and very easy to access the city of Kuala Lumpur from.

When we left the hotel, we headed to the Traders Hotel for a hotel inspection and dinner. This hotel has one of the best views from a hotel you could ever wish for especially from the sky bar. The sky bar is a roof top pool and bar area and  has a great view of the Petronas towers, the highest twin towered building in the world and upon its completion is 1999 was then the world’s tallest building.

I have already made bookings for this hotel since my return, as I just feel for the view alone it is worth staying there, even though dinner and the rooms were excellent also. After dinner it was off to Hard Rock Café for few nightcaps before retreating for the night.

The following day we met in the hotel reception at 9am and to go on a city orientation tour. Our first stop was the National Monument. The National Monument is a sculpture that commemorates those who died in Malaysia’s struggle for freedom. Mainly against the Japanese occupation during the World War II and the Malaysian Emergency which lasted 1948 until 1960. Every day at dawn a soldier raises the National flag and lowers it at dusk.

From here we then visited Merdeka Square. This is the square were the union flag was lowered and the Malaysian flag hoisted for the first time at midnight on 31st August 1957. Since then Merdeka Square has been the venue for the National Day parade. The Malaysian flag also flies from a giant flag pole 95 metres high. Surrounding the square are many buildings of interest including the Sultan Abdul Samad building (which was once the Supreme Court), the famous Royal Selangor Club, and St Mary’s Anglican Cathedral. From here our journey took us to the Kings Palace. The Istana Negara (Malay for Palace), is the official residence of the Yang di Pertuan Agong. It is located along Jalan Duta in northern Kuala Lumpur. The palace opened in 2011 and replaced the old Istana Negara which has since become a royal museum.

After the tour we made our way to the Parkroyal hotel for a hotel inspection and lunch. I was particularly looking forward to this, as this is a hotel I book frequently for clients so I was glad to be seeing the hotel. The hotel is in a great location and is a very good option for Kuala Lumpur.

After lunch we went back to the hotel were we had a few hours spare free time. I took the option of lounging round the pool.

In the evening we had dinner hosted by the Renaissance hotel. The evening was very good, however this hotel is not as good as the others we have visited. We then finished the night by sampling some of the local bars.

The following morning we started with a trip to the Batu Caves and one that I was dreading after feeling a little delicate from the night before. The Batu Caves is a limestone hill said to be more than 400 million years old. They take their name from the Batu River which flows past the hill. The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India and is dedicated to Lord Murugan, Hindu god of war and victory. At the bottom of the caves a large gold statue of Lord Murugan can be seen. To reach the caves though you have to climb 276 steps in searing humidity. This was not a very pleasant experience. At the top many of the group were struggling from the heat and the perspiration that went with it. The caves were nice but I’d only recommend it if you’re fit and able to climb this journey to the caves!

It was a relief when we finally made it back on our air conditioned coach to carry out the rest of the day’s activities which was a visit to a Batik Silk factory, to see Batik Silk being made, a Malaysian Chocolate factory, the Handicraft centre (a one stop centre which offers visitors a unique variety of craft related activities and programmes) and the Royal Selangor Pewter factory, which is the largest manufacturer of pewter in the world. Here you can see how pewter is made and the history of Pewter in Malaysia throughout the years.

We then had an afternoon at leisure, so the whole group chilled out round the pool. This evening we visited the Saloma Theatre Restaurant for dinner and a cultural show. The show was quite interesting, and about the food… let’s just say a trip to McDonald's was required!!

The following day was a day at Leisure until about 4.30pm when were due to be collected from the hotel and taken to the airport for our flight to Dubai. We spent the day as a group relaxing around the pool having a few drinks and chilling out.

On arrival in Dubai we were taken to the Atlantis were we were to stay exclusively here. We arrived just after midnight so we had a welcome drink and then retreated to bed.

The day after we had a day arranged by the Atlantis. This involved a team building exercise across the whole of the complex. We had to work out the clues, get to the place and complete tasks. One of the tasks involved 6 of the group tackling one of the water slides in Aquaventure, the hotels water park. This afternoon was a free afternoon in the waterpark with private cabanas before we went back to the hotel to get ready for this evenings barbeque, which was quite simply the best barbeque ever.

We then decided to get some sleep as we were being collected at 3am for our flight back to Manchester. I really enjoyed my trip away and met some great people and would definitely recommend a multi centre holiday to these two destinations.

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