Emirates Business Class – YYZ to DXB

Another year, another trip … only this time, my wife and I would be bringing our son along for the ride. My parents were heading down to India for personal and business reasons and we decided to hop along for the ride. The Mrs could only get 2 weeks off work and we had to spend those days wisely. After many discussions, the itinerary was as follows:

3 days in Mumbai
4 days in Langkawi
1 day in Kuala Lumpur
3 days in Mumbai
3 days in Dubai

The third party airport limo hired by EK arrived on time to pick us up and we were on our way to the airport in no time. Traffic was super light on this cold January morning.

Blog readers: But wait, what do you classify as cold?
Me: -6 degrees Celsius
Montreal: howling with laughter.
Vancouver: Oh my, that’s cold.
Calgary: SMH

Oh look, Pearson upgraded to digital displays.

Emirates is located at aisle 13 and we had a 10-ish minute wait for check in.

Mile deep economy line.

With our bags checked all the way to BOM, we headed to security located near the E gates.

Junior getting a head start on us.

And running through the Tilter Spheres structure with the Mrs chasing after him.

Quick pic of the plane parked at E73.

Emirates uses the Plaza Premium lounge at Terminal 1 and it was an absolute cluster-f—- due to the full load of EK J passengers. There was a decent selection of hot food, snacks and drinks. We ended up snagging two seats in a corner of the bigger section of the lounge and managed to feed Junior to his satisfaction. People cleared out after an hour which gave us thirty minutes of calm before heading back to the gate.

Back at the gate and boarding was in full swing. No line up for boarding in J and we scanned in quickly and headed into the tube.

Junior charmed the cabin crew waiting at the door and we made our way to our seats.

The (in?)famous A380 J seat that everyone here knows.

Bubbles to start as a PDB.

Lets look at the menu.

All your vino connoisseurs please critique the list. 

The plane pushed back 10 minutes behind schedule and had another 20-ish minutes of taxi+queuing time.

BA 777 landing right before our turn to jet off.

Peace out YYZ.

Junior is zoned into Nella the Knight and doesn’t care about us.

After the seat belt signs were turned off, the crew came around to slap the bedding onto the seat.

I took the time to head down to the bar which was being set up.

A shot out the window near the bar.

Snack menu.

The crew came around before take-off taking orders for lunch and drinks. Drinks were provided shortly after I was back at my seat.

Glenfidditch and deez nuts.

The seafood duo appetizer of cold prawn and scallop came out first. Decent.

Followed by the Vegetable korma main. Was not impressed at all with any of the mains so went with the safe choice.

Ended off with the chocolate gateau which was meh.

With the tray cleared away, the Mrs and I had the next 10 hours or so to keep Junior occupied. With his internal batteries charged full of sugar, we were pretty much up the entire ride to DXB.

Two hours prior to landing, breakfast was served and I went with the mushroom omelette.

Smooth landing at DXB and taxi-ed to the farthest end of concourse A.

The 777 is this shot would be our ride to BOM. We would have the fun task of walking all the way down to security after deboarding and the walk back to the same point.

Cathay Pacific First Class – HKG-ORD – #journeysend

Look at all those beautiful heavy ladies.

We left the Qantas lounge to trek all the way to gate 3 where our flight would be leaving from. When we got there, people were already lined up and ready to begin boarding. As usual, some noobs decided to line up with us in First Class but the GA’s patrolling the area quickly shooed them away to the economy line. Once the first green light was given, First Class passengers plus other super elites were brought up one by one to the waiting squad of security goons who looked at our boarding passes + passports and checked us off their paper list. Then we moved to the actual boarding line where we waited for the passengers who needed extra time to board first. Second green light was given and we headed into the tube where we came upon another set of security goons who searched our bags but this was more of a cursory glance rather than a full removal (or robbery) of items ala TSA style. We watched a mother with an infant having her bags searched and water bottles confiscated which were bought at the concourse past security. How do we know this? Overheard the conversation as we waited for our turn to be searched. I know the security staff are following the rules but seriously, use logic when it comes to parents and kids. #mindboggling

Our ride to ORD today.

We were greeted at the door by Yun who was the Chief Purser and she escorted us to our seats. The other two cabin crew members working F were Billy and Alex.

Our usual seats of 1A and 2A. The load would be 3 of 6 for this flight compared to our ORD-HKG which was 6 of 6 (one of the passengers was a cabin crew member deadheading back to HKG).

Mrs.I taking 2A this time.

Billy came by to introduce himself to us and asked if we would like champagne for our PDB. Ofcourse, my good man.

Oh look, there are flowers on this flight. 😉

Billy also came by and offered reading material and I happily accepted this since it was about home sweet home.

Quickly delving into the menu. The selection of this flight was better than the ORD-HKG leg.

Boarding was done quickly but two people were missing apparently and eventually showed up with minutes to spare. While waiting for the missing pax, we quickly changed into our PJs. As I walked up the washroom, I noticed that the cockpit door was still open and I asked if it was possible to visit upfront. Yun and Billy nicely shook their heads and hands in a motion indicating no. In typical Canadian fashion, I apologized and went about my business. 🙂

After the missing passengers finally boarded, doors were closed with pushback and taxi done in record time.

Pushback video

Takeoff plus #epicfailmoment

Again, we chose to start lunch right after the seat belt signs went off. Billy set us up to dine together in 2A.

A Glenmorangie and a Cloud Nine to start us off.

Yummy golden liquid.

Our table being set up for the main attraction. I told Billy to set me up with garlic bread only so he divided the basket in half – hers and mine. Mrs.I’s side was the other crap. 😀

The usual notes from the crew.

We both started with the mushroom soup which was absolutely fantastic. Dipping bread in it made it even better.

Next, Mrs.I made the dreadful choice of this crap. She barely touched it.

While I chose the Chinese cold plate which was tangy and spicy.

For the mains, Mrs.I went with the Black Cod. The fish was absolutely soft and delicious.

My choice was the Braised Chicken.

With tiny room left in our stomachs, we skipped the cheese course and went for the sugary goods. We both went with the warm hazelnut cake.

With a washroom break, we asked Billy to have our beds in the mean time. Since I took a timelapse of the bed being made on the ORD-HKG leg, I will include it here.

After sleeping for 5 hours, I forced myself to wake up so that I could quickly adjust to local time at YYZ and remain awake for the rest of the journey home. Mrs.I also woke up as well and ordered the Afternoon Tea Set to share with me. I asked for more scones but Billy informed me that they only had one of the sets loaded. The scone with clotted cream and strawberry jam was phenomenal.

Sun rising over god knows where.

Breakfast was served 2 hours before arrival. Mrs.I went with the main set of the scrambled eggs with fixings while I went with the fish ball noodle soup and prawn/scallop congee.

Mrs.I barely touched her breakfast and proclaimed it was not fit for human consumption. I, on the other hand, devoured the bacon because who doesn’t love bacon. 🙂

Billy brought out the roast duck noodle soup in error and I mentioned this to him. He didn’t miss a beat, took the dish away and came back with the correct item.

The correct noodle soup.

After vigorous mixing and addition of condiments.

The party came to an end as the captain came on the horn 30 minutes to announce that we would be arriving 30 minutes ahead of schedule – but whyyyyy???

Timelapse video of landing at ORD.

Like the ORD-HKG flight, the onboard service was absolutely flawless. Billy and Alex were totally accommodating of our requests and gave the level of attention typical of First Class service. The only difference in my opinion was how quickly the plates were cleared away during the lunch service. Since the first leg had a full cabin, it took a while for the cabin crew to clear dishes between each course versus the return leg.

All goods things have to come to an end including this wonderful flight. We were off the plane through 2L and raced towards immigration before the hoard descended upon us. Immigration was done quickly and we picked up and dropped off our bags at the transfer baggage point. The AC flight back to YYZ was standard with nothing significant to write about. 🙂

Thanks for hanging with me this far and hope you enjoyed the TR. Cheers.

Hong Kong Airport – Loungin’

With the flight to ORD scheduled for 12pm, we checked out of the hotel by 7am and hopped onto the shuttle after a 5 minute wait. In-town was not available at Kowloon station since our flight was to the US.

When we approached the First Class check-in, we were directed to the special check-in area for US flights. We were questioned by a security official and asked to see the return ticket back to YYZ. With that in order, our passport were stickered and we proceeded to the check-in booth. The rep checked our bags all the way to YYZ after 10 minutes of furious typing (and conferring with her colleague if CX interlined with AC) and even provided boarding passes for the onward leg. We passed through the automated immigration gate (YASS!) and security was a breeze as well.

Wonderful day for flying. We had a 3 wholesome hours of lounging ahead of us, so we started off with The Pier First class.

Here we are.

Mrs.I handed the invitations to the lounge dragon and we were waved in with a smile.

We’ve all seen pictures of this couch but I’ve never seen anyone sit on it. Come to think of it, I should have sat down here for a photo op.

We headed to the dining room for breakfast.

Mrs.I’s obligatory Hong Kong milk tea.

Both of us went for the Eggs benny with butter instead of hollandaise … wtf?

After that, we checked out the day rooms.

We were offered separate rooms but we just took one. The lady gave us a quizzical look and then walked away … No lady, there will be no sex in the champagne room, calm down. 🙂

After 30 minutes, we got bored and moved to the open lounge area.

Bored with the lounge overall, we walked the long walk to gate 15 and check out the Qantas lounge.

With tails other than CX on the way to the lounge.

I have to admit that the Qantas lounge looks way better than any of the CX lounges … well, The Wing is still good.

The food + drink station with made to order Beef Noodle soup. Didn’t have a chance to try this as we didn’t want to be late for boarding.

Cathay Pacific Business Class – SIN-HKG + Changi T4

Our flight out of Changi to Hong Kong was at 8pm. We had a 4pm late checkout so we decided to get one last good meal in and pick up souvenirs to take home.

On the bus to the Golden Mile Food Centre.

Mrs.I went ape s**t over the prawn mee and wished I had taken her to this place before. LOL

Fast forward to 3:30pm where we were all packed and ready to go. The staff hailed a taxi for us and we were off to T4.

T4 check-in is mostly automated for all airlines where you self-check-in, bag tag and drop off. For Cathay business class passengers, there is an agent who will do everything for you. I asked the agent if it was possible to get on the 6pm flight to HKG. She talked to her supervisor and approved to allocate us seats – woohoo!


We originally planned to head to the staff canteen at T2 but since we had 1.5 hours till boarding time, we made our way to security to get to the lounge and spend more time there. We went through the automated immigration gates and then through security. I guess security can be really tight depending on who checks the screen as we were asked to remove all the coins in one of our backpacks. Once they saw it, they let us go – odd.

Some shots walking the concourse of T4.

Up the stairs to the Cathay lounge. The lounge is as good as it gets for an outport station – comfy enough for an hour but you get bored if you stay longer.

So many choices …

The PP lounge across the way.

We left after an hour to explore the rest of the concourse and make our way down to the gate.

The long walk down to gate G19 where our flight would be leaving from.

A pic of an empty gate to show the new automated boarding process. You can scan your own boarding pass at the gate, smile for the camera and walk on through.

Our A350 back to HKG. If we were on our original flight, it would have been an A333 but who wants to fly that? 😉

Self scanned at the gate and off we went. 🙂

Mrs.I had 18K and I had 20K.

The empty (for now) rear J cabin.

32C in HKG??! 😐

Apple Juice and deez nuts to start the dinner service.

Barely touched this crap.

Stir fry beef was passable.

3-ish hours later, back at HKG.

Parked somewhere the higher 60’s gates which meant a long walk to the train and then onto immigration.

Our bags came out quickly and hit up the Airport Express to Kowloon.

The K4 bus was waiting for us and left as soon as we boarded for the Sheraton Kowloon which happened to be the first stop.

Nice city view room on the 12th floor.

Next up – two days of randomness in Hong Kong.

The final touristy charge in Singapore – #somanystairs #claypotrice #geylangseraimarket #hipsterfood

Another day of doing touristy things. We decided to hit up Fort Canning Park and then make our way to the Chinese Gardens after lunch. In the evening, we planned to hit up the annual Geylang Serai Ramadan Market. As usual, first things first – we hit up the Newton Food Centre for breakfast and there were a couple stalls open at 9am. Ended up a two bowls of noodles

After that, it was a quick ride to the Fort Canning station via the MRT.

See, even the kids were tired walking up so many stairs. 😉

Why … are … there … so … many … stairs?

A quick history lesson on pre-colonial Singapore.

Don’t know how Bambi made it up on the historial depiction of Singapore. 😉

A quick lesson on how Fort Canning came to be.

One of the many colourful instagrammable buildings in Singapore.

After an hour and a half-ish of walking, the sky turned doomy and gloomy yet again. We didn’t want to risk being caught in the rain and caught a bus over to the Holland Drive Food Centre for an early bite of lunch.

Settled on this place and ordered the set for 2 and came to $15.

How the claypot rice is made. The rice is cooked over charcoal and when its nearly done, a whole bunch of various meats (chicken + preserved sausage) are added on the top.

The finished product.

After mixing in the oil and soy sauce.

With that out of the way, we headed over to the Chinese Gardens for another stroll. This would be cut short as the rain came down heavy and would not stop till 6pm.

Locals playing cricket.

Inside the tower. The rain came down around this point and we were stuck in here for an hour. When it slowed down, we made the decision to head back to the hotel.

Fast forward to the evening where we headed out to the Geylang Serai Ramadan Market.

Where the night ended up being like this after seeing all the various hipster food stalls.

The finished version of meatballs on top of curly fries and mash potatoes topped with liquid cheesy goodness.

Meat in a pita? Yes, please!

No, it was not all for me. 🙂

Anyone for flame torched beef cubes? We didn’t bother as the line-up was ridiculously long.

What it looked like though and taken from another site.

The market spanned several city blocks.

Found the gauntlet.


Fresh made stone slab ice cream.


O … M … G.

Raclette Factory.

Cheese overload.

The crush of people was insane and we decided we had enough. We took the bus over to the Helix bridge next to MBS.

In time for the light show again.

A shot of the downtown skyline to end the night.

Next up – one last meal + flight to Hong Kong.

Doing touristy things in Singapore – #chickenricewars #gloomanddoomatsentosa #catchingthelightshow

It was a late start our day and we kicked it off with brunch at the Maxwell food centre. It was going to be a show down between two chicken rice stalls plus a Hainanese curry rice thrown into the mix just for fun. We arrived at 11:15am and started with Tian Tian chicken rice. There were 5 people ahead of us but it moved quickly. By 12:30pm, the lineup was at least 25 people deep. The chicken was slightly mushy, the rice was firm yet flavourful and the chilli sauce had a really good kick. We ordered the small portions for $3.50 each.

One for me, one for her.

The lunch hour chaos.

Next up, Ah Tai chicken rice. Ordered a small plate for $3 and it included soup. Chicken breast meat was flavourful and not mushy, rice was lacking in flavour and the chilli sauce was weak.

Headed over to the Hainanese Curry Rice stall where you get to select as many items as you want. Kept it simple with a chicken cutlet and a pork meatball.

While the cutlet and meatball were good, the gravy was a hands down winner.

To wash everything down, a nice hot cup of tea tahrik.

The Tian Tian line up as we left Maxwell.

Today was a lazy day, so we ended up watching Deadpool 2 at the Orchard Road IMAX – not as good as the first one but still a good romp. After the movie, Mrs.I was feeling peckish – Google told us to try Beach Road Scissor Cut Rice and that’s what we did.

Choose one or more or all items on display where the man behind food display would take your selection and hand cut it with a scissor with lightening speed. I can’t imagine how one’s fingers would be after cutting all day. From there, he would hand it off to the guy behind him who would pour 3 different gravies on top.

An unholy delicious mess of chicken cutlet, fish and cabbage.

As Mrs.I wanted it to be a lazy day, we headed back to the hotel to veg out. The next morning, we would head off to Sentosa Island to spend the majority of the day. Before that, important things had to be accomplished. We headed off to the Old Airport Road Food Centre for some noodles – specifically Lor Mee and Char Kway Teow.

On the bus again on a sunny morning for the 30 minute ride to the food centre.

To find this line up at 10:45am … 😐

30 minutes later, we made it to the front of the line and ordered the Lor Mee $5 bowl for us to share.

The noodles are hiding underneath. Broth was wonderfully thick and tangy and the highlight was actual shredded fish versus a fish fritter.

Next, we went to get some Char Kway Teow and ordered the $4 plate that comes with shrimp. Sinfully good as it’s cooked with lard.

We were going to go for the trifecta and order a bowl of prawn mee but logic got the better of us and we ended up getting a couple of sugar cane juices instead.

Waiting for the bus to take us to the Harbourfront Cable Car station.

We bought two adult passes for a total of $70 that would allow us to use the entire cable car network between the mainland and the island plus the cable car network on Sentosa itself. You can get cheaper tickets if you prebook in advance.

Taken from the company website.

Made our way to the top of the station to head towards Sentosa. As we made our way to Sentosa, the heavens let loose their fury and it rained hard for 45 minutes. When we go to Sentosa Station, we hopped over to the Imbiah Lookout station and headed to Merlion station.

Hello there. Not sure if you can tell but it was raining in this shot.

Once the rain stopped, we quickly set up the GoPro for this shot before the rest of the unwashed masses wanted their picture.

We then made our way behind the Merlion to explore other areas the island had to offer. Insert random pictures as we walk along the guided path.

Um … what?

Mrs.I acting silly on Siloso beach.

From here, we jumped on the Siloso Point station back to Imbiah Lookout station.

Back on the main cable car line to Mount Faber station.

Heading into Harbourfront Station.

The line up at Mount Faber to get onto a cable car was ridiculously long, so we were thankful we unwittingly started our journey from the Habourfront station. From there, we explored the Southern Ridges area and first made our way to Mount Faber Point which had an amazing view of the city skyline.

Hello again.

Once we had our fill of the skyline, we made our way down the winding road to the Henderson Waves bridge.

Thank goodness we were going downhill. 🙂

After 15 minutes, we finally made it.

See the wave? 🙂

Mrs.I had enough walking for the day but did have enough energy for food. We headed back to the Tekka centre for some biryani.

*insert Homer Simpson drooling pic here*

Random drink stall guy comes up and asks if we want anything. We ended up with an ice chendol and ice mango chunk drink. The ice chendol is sugar overload and soooo good.

Got back to our room just in time for Mrs.I to catch the royal wedding and this delayed our plans to catch the 7:45pm supergrove tree light show.

We made it to the 8:45pm show with 5 seconds to spare. Absolutely spectacular.

Ended the night with this final shot of MBS.

It was definitely a loooong day but we accomplished a lot of sightseeing. More to come.

Back in Singapore – #gluttony #partdeux #outandaboot

Took a taxi over to the Sheraton Towers and completed all the check-in formalities.

There was a small gift of cake when we entered our room. 🙂

We decided to hit up Arab Street and have murtabak for dinner at Singapore Zam Zam.

Looks like the right place.

The Sultan Mosque in all its glory.

Ordered a small chicken and mutton murtabak plus a small order of chicken 65 and drinks. The chicken murtabak was the hands down winner.

After dinner, we walked off the meat+carb sweats to Little India. Figured it might be buzzing with activity as Arab Street was dead and it was only 8pm!

Wanderlust – a boutiquey SPG hotel.

Got to Serangoon road and it was dead as well.

We decided to hit up Little India during the day the next day.

Hello beauties.

Headed into the Tekka Centre for breakfast.

Randomly selected stall for brekkie.

Puri baaji + Vadas

Mrs.I’s all time brekkie favourite – Masala Dosa.

Explored the inner depths of the wet market.

The clothes stores on the 2nd floor.

Back out of the main road for fresh air.

Resident of Tan Teng Niah – the last surviving Chinese villa in Little India.

With Mrs.I making an attempt at a worthy Instagram shot. #torontobluejays

Barely an hour had passed since breakfast and my stomach decided that it was time for 2nd breakfast.

Rather than heading back to the Tekka Centre, we decided to head over to Chinatown to check out the hoopla behind Hawker Chan and his famous 1 Michelin star soy sauce chicken rice.

You know this spot.

Where we found a line up to the place we were looking for.

With a 30 minute line up …

We ordered the soy sauce chicken rice, soy sauce chicken noodles and char siew rice. The only decent item was the chicken rice. The char siew was sweet and was a little better after dousing it in hot sauce. Honest feedback – I dont understand the hype but it is what it is.

MRT-ed it back to Little India where we continued our journey along Serangoon road.


We eventually walked up to the famous Mustafa Centre where products of my childhood were on sale.

OMG memories.

Mrs.I wanted to buy so many things but I managed to dissuade her and came out of that place with my wallet still in one piece. Made our way back to the hotel where we would rest up before going out for dinner to celebrate our anniversary.

That night, we dined at Level33. I made a reservation before leaving on our trip and managed to get a spot on the patio.

We waited for the elevator that took us directly up to the restaurant.

Beer vats as you entered. This restaurant was also a brewery specializing in craft beers.

The server walked us to our table on the patio with a wonderful view of MBS.

Our friendly waiter started us with a few drinks and a food menu.

A blond for me and a white for her.

While we were waiting for our drinks, the 8pm MBS light show kicked off. We could also see the Supertree grove light show.

Started off with some apps of sizzling shrimp and sizzling beef cubes.

For our mains, we shared the gnocchi, sea bass and sweet potato fries. Our server did warn us that the gnocchi was very rich and true enough, it became a little difficult to eat it all towards the end. The sea bass was soft and you really can’t go wrong with the fries.

For dessert, we went with the beer ice cream and almond mousse. We had a different server take our order and was not helpful in making recommendations. While the beer ice cream was made with stout, it had berries in it which gave an odd taste and the mousse was on point. When our server came back with the bill, he asked how everything was and after telling him about the ice cream, he agreed that it was not the greatest and proactively took it off the bill. Awesome service.

Here are some shots of the restaurant to end this portion of the TR.

The Andaman Langkawi – #partdeux

Every day after breakfast, we would hit the beach for a few hours. Since the sun rose from the east and the beach was facing west, the mornings and early afternoons were the best time to be by the water and not get terribly sunburnt. Also, the water would be a high tide by 10am and get into low tide by 5pm and you will see pics on this in a minute. The beach is also shared by the Datai resort but it was under construction at the time we were there and was scheduled to be open for business by the beginning of June.

There were various paths along the stretch of the ground floor providing access to the beach.

The entire beach was covered by a canopy of trees. The ground staff would come every morning to cleanup leaves from the beach and give it that picture perfect look.

The house reef was near the tiny island you see here. Not easy to swim there but there was a variety of equipment available to use to get there (snorkel, canoes, paddle boats etc) from the equipment shop and everything was free to use with the exception of the hobbycat.

Staff members were positioned throughout points on the beach. Whenever a guest used the beach chairs, they would come up with towels, lay it out over the chair and provide glasses of water.

Around noon, a staff member would come around with a menu and check if we wanted anything to drink or eat.

Some shots around 5pm.

Low tide reveals everything underneath.

One of the restaurants on the property. We would have dinner here one night and it was a Malaysian/Indian theme. More on this to come in a bit.

The beach bar over to the left and Jala restaurant off to the right. Again, we had dinner one night at Jala and it was seafood night.

Note to self (and future guests) – don’t walk on the beach at 5pm with the sun beating down on you like Thor’s hammer. Also, the seaweed and moss smells in the heat. 🙂

This is where the Datai property started and I could make out the beach villas.

Beat a hasty retreat back the loving embrace of our room with the cold AC to get ready for dinner at 7:30pm.

Can’t beat that sunset view.

As mentioned above, we headed to Jala for our first dinner night and it was located next to the beach bar. We were the 2nd couple to walk in and were seated closest to the beach.

The waiter presented us with a menu but also informed us that we could select from the fresh catch bar where price was charged by the gram.

We started off with a shared app – Signature Jalaksa. The deep fried items plus noodles and garnishes were placed in the bowl when it was delivered. The soup was then poured at our table into the bowl. Tasty but quantity would be slightly more.

From another angle.

We both ordered the slow cooked sea bass. The fish itself was tasty but the presentation was just too much fluff and no substance. The risotto was flavourful but was not a fan of it being al dente.

We were totally unimpressed with the food and level of service. We were the 2nd pair to be seated at the restaurant and yet our mains were delivered after 4 other guests (who came later on) started their mains. Given that it’s a restaurant on the beach, I expected the food to be more rustic rather than trying to pass off as an upscale restaurant.

The next night, we went to Tepian Laut.

There was an ice cream cart outside the entrance and Mrs.I wanted to skip right to this course! LOL.

We were seated almost upfront. 😉

We also had a good view of the outdoor kitchen where wonderful BBQ smells (and smoke) emanated from.

After looking through the big book of wonderful Indian/Malaysian dishes, we settled on a tasting hodge podge of the following:

Gulai Ayam (Malaysian Chicken Curry)

Tandoori chicken. Luckily, this was dark meat and was so good. It brought back memories of Sind Punjab tandoori chicken in Dubai. All you Dubai folk know what I’m talking about. 😉

Tandoori Veggies (mix of cauliflower, broccoli and peppers)

Roti Canai

This night was definitely better than the seafood night. Everything was tasty and downright simple.

On our last day, we just explored the resort.


The Japanese restaurant that was closed during our stay.

Down by the pool area.

The area used to host the Happy Hour for SPG Gold/Platinum members. This was hosted by Vijay and other members of the wait staff. They were highly engaging to talk to and listen to their passion for working for the Andaman. Some of them have been working there for 20+ years.

Yummy mojitos.

Our 3 nights at the Andaman was absolutely fantastic. Despite the small issue with one of the dinner nights and the reservation screwup, everything exceeded our expectations from the location to the staff to the food. It also helped that we came during the “low” season and you never saw a lot of people in one particular area. While we decided to just lounge on the beach for our stay, keep in mind that there are activities to do on the resort and on the island.

Our flight was at 11am on the 4th day and we checked out at 9am. The resort provided us with their own van to take us back to the airport and charged us the same as a regular taxi whereas the regular rate would have been 150 MYR. With no traffic, we reached the airport in 30 minutes. Check-in and security was a breeze and we were extruded into the mass waiting area.

Our flight and the connecting flight were delayed 20 minutes but didn’t have an effect on us.

Two hour transit in KL.

MH’s shiny new A350.

Back in the SG.

Next up – 5 days in Singapore exploring and binge eating.

The Andaman Langkawi – #beachmode

As the driver pulled up to the front security post, the guard came out and requested my name to be written on a sheet and let us through. From there, it was a quick ride down a winding path similar to Amankila.

The driver pulled up to the covered front entrance where the staff welcomed us and ushered us to the inner sanctum. There is a gong near the entrance that they bang on to signal a new guest coming in.

We were met by a check-in rep who escorted us to the lounge bar where the check-in formalities would be carried out.

With a view of the pool below.

The rep collected our passports and requested us to relax while she retrieved the paperwork. We were provided with a refreshing cold drink of apple juice mixed with ginger and cinnamon and a cold towel. The rep came back with the paperwork, requested that we check that everything was in order and provide a signature. The assistant GM, Vijay, came by and welcomed us to the Andaman. He told us to contact him in case we needed anything. Coincidentally, we did need something and this is where his expertise and service came through. We booked our stay at the Andaman through Virtuoso which guaranteed us benefits such as a guaranteed room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out plus a $100 credit. For some weird reason, the booking reservation got screwed up and we were booked with a regular room rate. Since I had SPG Gold status, Vijay automatically upgraded us to a higher room category and included breakfast. He could not do anything about the credit but he was willing to work with the Virtuoso team to fix it. The rep then explained to us everything that was on the resort and handed a map showing the locations of keys places. After that, she escorted us to our room.

Our room was located on the farthest end of the north wing and it took us approx. 5-7 minutes to walk there on a normal pace. Our bags were already in the room when we got there.

Off to the right as you entered, was the bathroom.

As you entered, the soaking tub was to the left with the standing shower + toilet to the right.

The bed and writing desk were off to the right in the main area with the TV and couch hugging the left wall.

Like the sign says …

Stepping out into our tiny balcony.

With an amazing view of the beach …

The rep explained to us about the room and where everything was located. After that, she handed us two coupons for 2 free drinks respectively at the lounge bar which was definitely a surprise for us. After that, she left us to our own devices. An hour later, there was a knock on the door and it was one of the staff delivering cake and champagne to celebrate our anniversary.

With SPG Gold status, we were also given free access to the Happy Hour for Gold/Platinum members at 4pm every day but we misheard and thought it was 6pm. When we got to the location, it was empty so we made our way up to the main lobby to explore. We ran into Vijay and he asked us why we didn’t come for the happy hour and we told him we totally screwed up the time. He took us down to the beach bar and had drinks delivered on the house. #servicewithasmile

Amaretto sour for her and a Tiger for me.

We took our drinks onto the beach and settled into a hammock to watch the sunset which usually set around 7:30-ish pm every day.

After enjoying the sunset, we adjourned to our room for the night and ordered room service.

Fast forward to the morning where we headed down to The Restaurant where breakfast was served. We were never asked for our room number but instead were warmly greeted and escorted to a table of our choice with plenty to choose from inside or outside. We were asked what we would like to drink – Mrs wanted Tea Tahrik and it was made fresh every day. The staff remembered what we liked to drink, on the 2nd and 3rd days and proactively brought it to our table after confirming that was what we still wanted.

Inside the main buffet area were the hot items (western + local) plus salad bar, juice bar, fruit bar and cereal/yoghurt bar.

Cereal + yoghurt bar.

Fruit bar.

The hot stuff.

To the left of the hot items was the Bakery and Noodle Bar.

Noodle bar with some dim sum.

To the right of the main area was the Egg bar where you could get eggs as you like it.

Just a taste of some items from the buffet.

The head chef came by and introduced himself as Vijay had told him about us. He was from Malaysia of Indian descent and was a friendly gentleman. This was prevalent of all staff at the Andaman where the service was genuine and well intentional.

To be continued in another post.

One night in Kuala Lumpur – #hiddenfoodcentre #nightmarket

Our MH flight to KL would be leaving at 1:40pm out of Changi T2. This gave us enough time to drop our bags, head to T1 for lunch and back in time for boarding our flight.

This looks like the right spot to drop our bags.

After that, we hopped on the train to T1.

Passing by The Jewel scheduled to finish in 2019.

Once in T1, we headed down to the arrivals level and followed the signs for the Staff Canteen.

After checking out what was available, we played it safe and went with biryani again. For those in the know, there are two prices posted for every item on the menu – Staff price and Public price with the latter being a few dollars more.

Back at T2.

The earlier MH flight being pushed back.

Walking through the Hall of Scotch. I want my future man cave to be like this someday but Mrs.I made a comment to the effect of “Over her dead body.”

Up, up and away!

One hour later …

Taxi-ing by these lovely old ladies.

After deplaning, we followed the signs to immigration where we lined up for 20 minutes due to Emirates arriving at the same time – le sigh. Once we were through, we picked up our bags and followed the signs to the Airport Express.

Once we got to KL Sentral, we grabbed a prepaid taxi to the Westin that was a quick 10 minutes away. The check-in formalities were straight forward and we

headed up to the room.

It started to pour when we were on the train ride to the city and did not stop for a few hours. This killed our plan to visit the Petronas towers and left us with visiting the Jalan Alor night market that was a 10 minute walk away.

We made it to the end of the street and started off with some satay. Went with the set of 15 i.e. 5 chicken, 5 beef, 5 mutton.

Followed by some delicious lamb cubes and Thai ice milk tea.

As you walk through the gauntlet, you are approached by all the vendors with menus. We finally settled on one after a eeny-meeny-minee-mo contest and ended up selectiing the items below.

Seafood fried rice, bbq chicken wings, and spicy prawns.

Stumbled back to the hotel with our stomachs super engorged and called it a night. We checked out of the hotel at 9am to catch our 12pm flight to Langkawi. The bellhop who took our bags suggested to take a taxi to the airport and it would cost us 100 MYR versus taking a taxi + train which would cost a little

more. So we ended up taking the taxi.

There was a bit of a line checking in but it moved quickly and we were done in 15 minutes.

Domestic security was empty and we were through that and the duty free in minutes.

Quick brekkie of Mary Browns.

Our bird taking us to LGK.

Sign of good things to come.

Always loves a good walk off the plane.

Picked up our bags, paid 60 MYR for a taxi and we were off for the 30 minute drive to the resort.

Half way there.