Emirates Business Class – DXB to YYZ

How to make your child go for a nap quickly? Have him chase pigeons.

Checked out and the chauffeur was already waiting for us. With all luggage and body parts inside, we reached DXB in less than 15 minutes.


Some day …

With the check-in hall being a complete ghost town, we checked in pretty quickly. Immigration and security was a breeze as well and we were off to concourse A.

After some ‘mild’ duty free shopping, we headed up to the lounge and camped out near our gate.

Last shot at unhealthy vacation eating.

Suspected that the onboard menu would not be appealing, so I stuffed my plate. #satisfying

Hit the shower room for a quick fresher upper.

Boarding started at T-45 and we made our way through.

Our birdie.

Business class would be 1/3 full tonight.

Being in the end gate meant a quick taxi to the runway.

What’s on the menu? As suspected, was not impressed with the selection.

Taxi was quick.

Until next time, Dubai.

Soon after take-off, Junior conked out.

Breakfast was quickly served and done in an hour. The crew took my order before take-off – didn’t want to eat but I ordered one for picture’s sake. Went to bed shortly after breakfast.

Cheese omelette.

Junior woke us up 4 hours into the flight but I went back to bed while my wife looked after him.

With 2.5 hours to go, I woke up and took over daddy duties while my beloved went to sleep. She ended up skipping her meal.

Juniors’ meal.

While I started with the tomato soup.

Chicken as my main which ended up being moist and tasty.

Ending with the Raspberry royale which was P-H-E-N-O-M-E-N-A-L.

Safely back on Canadian soil. My wife was impressed with the way the pilots yanked the nose to line up with the middle of the runway upon landing.

Back in -19C weather. Yay.

It took us 1 hour from the point we got off the plane to the point where we walked into our house.

If you have kept up with me until the end, thank you very much for reading and see you on the next trip!

Out and about in Dubai

After a nap, we headed out in the evening to the Karama Souk to have dinner with family. It’s funny how you know your ‘hood by its old name when you were growing up and don’t know the new name after not having lived in the country for so long.

Me (telling destination to the taxi driver): Karama Shopping Complex
Driver: Where?
Me: Karama Shopping Complex
Driver: you mean the Karama Souk?
Me: Uh, sure …

The ‘ole stomping grounds. Only back then, there were no murals on the walls and the place used to be alive and thriving with people shopping. Only now, it’s a zombie area with stores selling bootleg stuff.

Childhood memories.

Yup, nothing has changed in the past 20 years.

Biryani in a bucket.

For breakfast the next day, we came back to the Souk area to this old haunt that was frequented during my childhood days.

Recipe has not changed in 30+ years and still tastes good.

Shot of a building in need of a paint job but will be torn down and rebuilt in time for the 2020 Expo.

After shopping during the morning and meeting some more family, we headed out for lunch to another familiar joint.

Mutton biryani.

Chicken 65.

Butter masala prawns with gravy for the biryani.

Chicken lollipops.

Fried kingfish.

A trio of lassi, mango lassi and mango milkshake.

After a few hours of hanging around with family, we took Junior to the Dubai Mall for the first fountain show of the evening.

We turned in early as we had to get up early for the long drive to the Jebel Jais mountain in Ras Al Khaimah.

A quick pit stop into a side road to check out some dunes.

Ten minutes down from the pit stop was a truck stop where we had breakfast.

Amazing keema paratha.



Back on the road towards RAK.

The mountains coming into view a few hours later.

Looks like we are headed in the right direction.

Making our way up the mountain through the winding roads.

Found a shed where we camped for the day. These types of sheds were located at certain points along the road and there were even toilet facilities nearby. The city of RAK really planned out promoting the area as a tourist spot and did an amazing job. We happened to come on a Saturday and there were no crowds to deal with for the entire duration we spent in the mountains.

The end of a zip line adventure. The touristas would be picked up by the cars waiting and taken back to the starting point.

For the ‘gram.

Forbidden … juice?

As with all family outings, lunch was pre-cooked and warmed up on camping stoves.

We left around 3pm for the two-ish hour drive back to Dubai. Some shots along the way with a setting sun.

Thirty minutes out from Dubai, we quickly stopped at a gas station for tea.

Passing by DXB to get to Karama.

Behold … the Dubai Frame. A contentious topic of discussion amongst the locals where if you look one way, you see new Dubai where the wealthy and upper-middle class live and if you look the other way, you see old Dubai where the not-so-middle class live.

Evening traffic.

Here ends the story of our shenanigans in Dubai. With family get togethers dominating our time in Dubai, it leaves us little to do in terms of exploration and it brought up a good point that we need to visit other emirates in the UAE to get the full experience.

With our flight back to YYZ leaving at an ungodly time of 4am, I booked a room at Golden Sands 3 for the 3 of us to camp out at until our 1am pick up.

Next up – Emirates business class DXB to YYZ

Emirates Business Class – BOM to DXB

With 3 days spent eating, drinking and shopping, it was time to pack up and head to Dubai. The Blacklane limos arrived on time where our luggage was loaded into the van and us into the BMW.

Construction of the Mumbai Metro.

20 minutes in mild traffic and we arrived at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.

Our driver dropped us at door 6 but said its best to go through door 8 as it was the closest to the Emirates check in counters. Bonus points for no line up at door 8 and we were past the first checkpoint quickly.

Emirates F and J check-in shared with Jet Airways J check-in.

The economy line on the other side.

Really amazing architecture design.


The side entrance to security and immigration for F/J passengers.

We headed to the lounge for breakfast after we were done the formalities. Here is Junior pretending to be a rick driver.

We were ushered to the right side instead of taking the elevator downstairs.

Our birdie pulling into the gate.

The Spa area.

Tarmac view.

Buffet area.

Left the lounge at T-45 to get to gate 78.

Where boarding was already in progress and most of the passengers were inside.

Our birdie for this flight.

Took the middle three seats.

What’s for lunch?

SQ just arriving into the gate.

There was a delay with pushback but we were eventually under way.

Peace out India!

Lunch was served quickly after the seat belt sign went off. The appeteaser and main were served on one tray.

Chicken main with Mezze appeteaser.

Even though my mother ordered the lamb main, she fell asleep and I didn’t want it to go to waste, soooooo … down the hatch and oh man, it was delicious. 🙂

Carrot halwa which was good.

Junior somehow got this dessert which was not on the menu. He got all the feels from the cabin crew.

A few winks later and we were back in Dubai.

Our chariot to the hotel.

Parents booked all of us into a 3 bedroom suite at the Golden Sands 10 hotel apartments located behind the Bur Juman mall in Karama. Decent room but the bathrooms were severely in need of a renovation.

Next up – 3 days of shenanigans in Dubai.

Malaysian Airlines Business class KUL – BOM

Checked out and hopped into a cab back to the airport.

This concerned me on the way there …

Thankfully made it in one piece and make our way to the check-in counters. Oddly enough, the agent wanted to see our tickets, so I had to produce it on my phone.

With the formalities done, we passed through security, immigration and made our way on the train to the international concourse.

The MH Golden Lounge is located above the train and you have to take the elevator up one level.

Turning left after being scanned through.

Bar area on the left.

Entering the main area. Loved the overall design.

Fruit station.

Having filled our stomachs with little bites, we left after an hour to head towards our gate.

Managed to side step the crowd and head down the left door for business class.

The middle seats.

Cabin shot.

Guava PDB

Turkish and Mahan next to us.

Peace out Malaysia.

Whats for dinner?

Dinner heading the other way.

Here comes the satay!

Can I have everything?


That view though.


Rented a cool cab.

Back at the Westin where we were upgraded to a club room this time.

Malaysian Airlines Business Class LGK-KUL plus 24 hours in Kuala Lumpur

Left the resort the next morning to catch our 10.45am flight to KL. The airport was completely renovated since our last visit and looked much better.

With nothing much to do in the airport, we passed through security and waited until our flight was ready for boarding.

Walking to our birdie.

Back of J class again.


Bye LGK!

Forgot what the other choice was but went with the chicken curry.

Back on the ground in KL.

In the taxi to the hotel.

Arriving at the Renaissance KL – east wing tower.

Check-in took some time as the agent seemed a bit frazzled but nevertheless, we were processed and headed up to our room. We booked a room in the east tower which was older but got an upgrade to a club room in the west tower.

After a quick fresher upper, we walked over to the Petronas towers that was a 10 minute walk away.

Getting close.

Then I saw this sign and smelled wonderful aromas and had to stop.

You know it’s good when there’s a queue …

When it’s your turn, the guy will have a plate of white rice ready and you choose whatever you want and you can pile as high as you want. After that, you take your plate to a guy waiting at the end of the queue who will eyeball your plate, punch in the amount in the computer and give you a card. You take the card to the cashier who will tap the card on the pad and you pay the amount indicated on the screen.

The spice level was off the chain.

Once everything was devoured, we made it to the towers.

After a quick nap, we took the monorail to Jalan Alor.


After feeding Junior, my parents took him back to the hotel while the Mrs and I headed back to the Petronas towers for a quick night shot.


For da ‘gram.

The next morning, we headed to the Batu Caves and it was an absolutely packed. We didn’t know that it was a statutory holiday in KL to celebrate Thaipusam. A quick google search revealed that it was a festival celebrated by Tamil/Mayali communities during the month of January/February.

The cab driver dropped us on the other side of the highway and we had to walk under the overpass to get to the entrance.

The sea of humanity.

This was the farthest we could make it.

Some stalls.

We headed to the train to head to KL Sentral. After an eternity of waiting for the train to leave plus another 30 minutes of travel time, we finally made it.

Where we took a taxi to Merdeka Square to take in the sights like …

Art Gallery that was free to the public.

With the heat beating down, we decided to call it and headed back to the room and rest up before heading to the airport for the flight back to BOM.

Back at the Andaman

This was our 2nd stay at the Andaman in under 12 months. We loved it so much that we decided to come back with our son who, like us, is a beach fanatic. I won’t put up pictures of the resort again as you can find it here and here. Instead, I will post pictures of our shenanigans around the island.

We were welcomed back by the staff and were informed that we have been upgraded to a suite but since we arrived early (11-ish am), our room wouldn’t be ready till 1pm. We changed and headed down to the beach where Junior went cray cray and ran to the water without a care in the world. Kids …

Around 1:30-ish, a staff member found us and informed us that our room was ready. With key cards delivered, we headed to our room which was located on the 3rd floor of the south wing of the resort.

Welcome to the Swordtail Suite – located at the farthest end of the floor and it comes with a guardbat. What’s a guardbat you ask?


The tour.

We never got to visit the onsite coral nursery the last time we visited. Since it was right below our room, we took Junior over where the local team grow coral as part of a conservation effort. One of the team members will provide a guided tour of the nursery where they show the different species of coral growing in the nursery plus fish species.

Junior and I attracting some small fish in the water.

Once we were done, we headed back to the beach for some R&R. I rented a canoe to take Junior out for some fun.

We booked a van to take us out for the evening on a short tour.

Our first stop was the black sand beach … that had no black sand.

Second stop was the outer public beach of the Tanjang Rhu town.

Then we drove through a forest area to arrive at a secluded beach.

A row of stalls before entering the beach area.

No aiskrim to be found …


We then made our way back into town for the night market where we stuffed our faces with delicious eats.


Various meats on a stick.

Anyone for crepes?

Assorted sweet and savoury cakes.

Beef or chicken over egg on rice.

Fried chicken.


Shawarma to go.

The Mrs demanded a mango drink.

Moar meat.

This hit the spot.

Peanut pancakes.

The next morning, we headed out to the cable car for a ride up the mountain. Where the entrance had a wooden bridge obstacle that shook with people walking over it.

Top of the mountain.

Made it to the kiosk only to find a sign that indicated the skycab was closed due to high winds at the top and no time as to when it would reopen. Rather than waiting around, we took a cab over to the Seven Wells waterfalls.

The trek to the bottom of the waterfall started with a gradual incline.

Followed by stairs.

Looks like we are headed in the right direction.

Hello friend.

A straight path.

Leading to the bottom of the falls.

With some locals already taking a dip to cool off from the morning heat.

What we came to see.

Tried taking one for the ‘gram but the zen master on the rock didn’t want to move.

After spending time at the waterfalls, we made our way back to the resort where we spent the day on the beach again.

Next up – 24-ish hours in KL.

Malaysian Airlines Business Class – BOM to LGK

Our 3rd day in Mumbai was just spent lazying around in the hotel because that’s what people do on vacation I guess. Our MH flight was at 11.30pm and I managed to get a 6pm late checkout. This would give us an extra two hours to kill at our family’s place before heading to the airport. We ordered a cool cab (blue taxi) to pick us up for 8pm and we reached the airport in 20 minutes.

The ramp leading to the airport was filled with blockades but we eventually made it to the drop off area.

Looks like this is the right place. As with all Indian airports, it’s a complete scrum outside with people sending off family members and only leaving after they went through the doors. Security is pretty tight as anyone taking a flight would need to show proof of such to military personnel guarding all entrances to the check-in hall.

Impressive design.

MH check-in at aisle J.

Check-in was pretty quick after a short 5 minute wait. We headed to immigration and security after that.

I guess BOM was still in a festive mood in January.

The long security queue awaits. With 4 stamps on our boarding passes from the paramilitary dude, we were permitted to pass through.

Post security, we went all the way to the last immigration counter on the right side as this was for First/Business class passengers. What I did not know was that security for F/J passengers was also located on the far right of the check-in hall. Thanks Mom and Dad for conveniently not remembering this from your last trip.

Post immigration, we were spit out into duty free.

With nothing of interest, we headed to the GVK West lounge to kill time and also feed the little man. BOM does not have separate airline lounges like most airports and instead airlines send all its F/J passengers to GVK lounges.

Once scanned in, we were requested to take the elevator downstairs. The lounges have both an upstairs and downstairs section and in this case, MH passengers were sent down. When leaving Mumbai on EK, we were sent right instead of downstairs. What’s the difference? … none as far as I could tell, although the main level did have a first class section which was roped off. The lounge was packed when we came in but cleared out after an hour.

Buffet + dining area.

I requested a shower room to freshen up.

View from the lounge.

We left T-45 before departure for our gate which as usual was at the farthest end of the concourse.

Chaos at gate 75.

With the business class line on the other side.

Our birdie to KL.

My lovely throne seat with my wife and son sitting together in front of me.

The sucky part of a throne part was the cramped footwell. Pro tip – get 1K if you are flying solo as it has the footwell and is the largest in the entire cabin.

The cabin crew came by offering PDB’s and I went with the orange juice.

Air India and Swiss parked next to us.

Whats on the menu tonight?

Pushback + taxi and we were roaring off into the night sky.

GoAir taking off ahead of us.

Oh hi AC.

After take off, I put my seat into bed mode and knocked out as did other passengers. The only exception being my dad who stayed up during the meal service and went to town on the satay and whiskey. He even had the cheek to taunt us that we missed out on some good satay which MH is apparently known for.

Woke up an hour before landing to some good views.

Descent into KUL.

Back on terra firma.

MASKargo terminal with an Antonov in the background.

Again, parked at the furthest gate and made the long trek to the train to take us to the domestic terminal. Once there, we made our way to immigration and security that took around 30 minutes. The domestic MH Golden Lounge was right after security and we had 15 minutes to quickly freshen up and have a bite.


View from the lounge.

At our gate.

Our birdie to LGK.

Decent for a quick 55 minute hop.

Service began right after the seat belt sign went off. Junior’s meal below.

Followed by my wife’s choice of dim sum.

And my chicken sammich.

Junior didn’t like Ribena so I gladly finished it. Ribena = nectar from the gods.

Before we knew it, we descended into LGK.

Great weather to start the beach holiday.

We’re back!

Next up – 4 days in Langkawi.

Oot and Aboot in Mumbai

Yes, I said oot and aboot because you know … that’s how we crazy Canadians pronoonce it. 🙂

After a quick breakfast at the Westin, we headed out to meet my parents at a restaurant for … second breakfast.

Found a bunch of waiting rickshaws that were queued up outside the Westin main entrance on the main road. For those of you not in the know, Mumbai rickshaw drivers are a fickle bunch – while most of them agree to take you to your destination, some may not if the destination is not far enough or if its rush hour. How does one transact with a rick driver?

Successful scenario:
Me: “Goregaon West, Mahatma Gandhi road?”
Driver: *barely imperceptible nod of the head indicating to get in*

Unsuccessful scenario:
Me: “Goregaon West, Mahatma Gandhi road?”
Driver: *sucking teeth noise followed by looking away from you*

Meters are now digital and are somewhat less tamper proof compared to the older models. The 2nd picture indicates the old meter.

Borrowed off the interweb.

We eventually arrived at the intersection of MG and SV road with the fare being 45 rupees or less than $1 CAD.

Forgive the poor pano shot.

Into a local favourit for breakfast.

Where’s a ridiculously long masala dosa was ordered to feed an entire family.

Junior being utterly fascinated with the length of the dosa.

Other favourites ordered.

Plus chickoo milkshakes. Who says you can’t have milkshakes for breakfast?

After breakfast, we walked down MG road to burn off the over filling brekkie. This is around 9am before traffic built up.

Into the neighbourhood street where 3 generations of my family currently live under the same roof.

Some abandoned ricks that may eventually be sent to the scrapyard.

The morning was pretty much spent catching up with family members. We hit up other family members living nearby in an apartment.

With an interesting sign in the elevator on common etiquette.

A view of the skyline from the rooftop terrace.

I hung around the apartment while my mother and wife went to the salon. After they were done, we headed to the Goregaon station area where we did some shopping which also includes midday snacks before lunch. Fun tidbit – the train tracks are the dividing line between some suburbs in Mumbai. Therefore, suburbs like Goregaon, Borivali, Andheri are split into East and West.

First stop here for some lassi and ice cream. Remember, there are no rules to what you can eat while on vacation.

And then in search of some …

Remember everyone, no ice in your drinks and yes, this is the jumbo version.

Fast forward past lunch and shopping and we ended up back at the station area for dinner.

We got out of the rick as there was a jam closer to the station. It was a 10 minute walk to the restaurant. Here are some pics along the way.

Another local favourite.

How dare they don’t serve coke?

Ended up getting 3 dishes consisting of Tandoori chicken biryani, chilli chicken and stir fry cauliflower. What they lack in presentation, they damn well make up in flavour and taste.

The next day, we hired a car to do a bit of sightseeing. Despite leaving early, we still hit traffic and took us roughly 1.5 hours to get into the downtown area.

Traffic coming out the Westin gate entrance.

Passing by Victoria Terminus which is now known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus. Construction first started in 1878 and took 10 years to complete and was originally named Bori Bunder before being renamed as Victoria Terminus in honour of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. It was renamed again to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in 1996 before being renamed again to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus.

After another 10 minutes, we arrived at the Gateway of India. Our driver dropped us a few steps away from the main entrance and we made our way inside.

Even though it was built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911, it was never finished until 1924.

GoPro shot with the Gateway of India and Taj Mahal Palace hotel.

After 30 minutes, we made our way to Marine Drive.

After driving down, we passed by Haji Ali Dargah which is a mosque and tomb. Built on an islet, accessibility to the structure is dependent on the tides. Low tides reveal a causeway that people can use to traverse and walk to the structure. At the time of this picture, the causeway was full of people.

On the move again to take the Bandra Worli Sea Link bridge back to the hotel.

Passing by some colorful slums.

And driving by the Jama Masjid.

Junior and I were dropped off at the hotel while the others went shopping. The next day, we would pack up to head to Malaysia. More to come.

Westin Mumbai Garden City


For our 6 nights in Mumbai, I book our stays at the Westin located in Goregaon East. It was next to the Oberoi Mall and was close enough to my grandmother’s house in Goregaon West. As we pulled up the front, staff members were on hand to help us with the bags. Security is pretty tight at hotels and malls where luggage and hand bags are screened ala airport style and we had to pass through detectors. Once inside, I proceeded to check-in and went through the formalities. I originally booked a standard deluxe room but was upgraded to a suite on the 23rd floor. We headed up to the room and our bags would be brought up by the staff.

Check-in desks.

Lounge bar.

As we entered the room; with the powder room off to the left.

Holy moly – the suite life.

View from the bedroom with the Oberoi Mall down below. Since we arrived in the evening, we had dinner delivered to the room and called it a night.

The next day, we all woke up super early due to jet lag and headed to the 18th floor for breakfast.

Shots from the room in the morning.

From the living room.

Stepping off the elevator for breakfast where the staff would greet us and walk us over to an open table. The staff here were simply fantastic where they tended to every need. Some examples of great servers:

1. When we were seated, we were asked for our drinks choices and Mrs.I didn’t skip a beat when ordering her masala chai. Every morning after that, they remembered what we liked and prompted if we wanted the chai again.
2. When I poured fruit juices in 3 glasses from the bar, a staff member immediately came by and took the glasses out of hand and walked back to the table to deliver it.
3. They would always come by to check on us and even asked us to fill out a survey to rate their service. Needless to say that it was 10’s across the board.

Anyhoo, back to the tour. As we entered, the egg station plus western choices were on the left. Eggs were made fresh to order in any style you liked and would be delivered to your table.

The area of the right of where we entered was the pastry and fruit juice bar. There was also a tea stand made to look like a road side stall.

There were 4 different types of honey!

Everyone aboard the sugar train.

Juice bar plus cold cuts.

Fun fact – dipping this bread in tea is exceptionally tasty and brought back childhood memories.

Finally, hot dishes containing a plethora of Indian and Chinese dishes. You could also order fresh made dosas of all types.

View when eating breakfast.

Next up – sights and sounds of Mumbai.

Emirates Business Class – DXB to BOM

We had 1 hour in transit before heading to board the next flight. We took the long walk down to security with me holding all the carryon bags while the Mrs was holding Junior who conveniently passed out during landing. Security took 10 minutes and we took the elevator right up the lounge.

As we landed around noon local time, the concourse and lounge was deserted. We snagged empty loungers and took turns to shower while Junior continued to snooze.

While I showered, Junior woke up and Mrs.I changed him out to summer gear. We then made our way to the gate for boarding.

The ride to BOM which was supposed to be the 200LR variant with the new business class. Was bummed to get the old 300ER business class. EK just TG-ed me.

Pink bubbles this time.

Lunch menu. The cabin crew member taking orders on my side of the plane totally forgot me as I was in the washroom at time. Mid way through service, I had to flag her down to place a choice.

Pushback and taxi onto runway 30R.

Be back in a few weeks, DXB.

I wanted to go with the Mixed grill for lunch but since it was out, I went with the Lamb ragout and it turned out to be a tasty meal.

Wrapping up with the Kala Jamun for dessert which was phenomenal. Never seen a mango cream filling inside and it really hit the spot. Convinced that DXB catering is better than outstation catering.

The flight was uneventful and we arrived at BOM with nothing exciting to report.

Taxi-ed to the gate in 5 minutes and off the plane to take the loooooong walk to immigration. Took us a total of 30 minutes from debarking to jumping into the limo which is amazing for BOM.

Our chauffeurs were waiting outside door B and funny enough, they had a sign with Junior’s name on it. EK has done away with the Merc C-class limos they used and has outsourced to Blacklane. We rode in the BMW while our luggage was sent in the van.

Next up – 3 days in Mumbai.