September 13, 2006

Sepang Recap, part 1

Flying to Malaysia from Europe was a bit complicated because of the tighter flight restrictions in England. Originally, passengers weren't allowed to carry anything onboard flights leaving England, but they've since changed the rules to allow for a small carry-on, and no one said anything about the things in my pockets. Security seemed normal, but the lines were long and everyone was tense. Because you couldn't bring liquids onboard, the waiting/staging area in Heathrow was littered with bottles all over the floor, and other goods as well. It was strange watching women emptying their purses and leaving all kinds of expensive creams, lotions, and perfume. Myself? I had to give up my contact solution and eye-drops.

Heathrow. I was speaking with a Brit yesterday who told me all the security precautions in place in England's airports are useless, because the people who work there are all muslims. It was a strange twist and I hadn't considered it before. He also told me that there were thousands of lost luggage items because during the flight freeze the airport needed to store everyone's checked in baggage in warehouses around the terminals, and many of the bags got "lost". Particularly because you couldn't bring onboard with you - meaning, you had to check in your computer bags . . . . terrible.

Thanks for taking my tiny bottle of eye drops! It got so bad on the flight I took one of my contacts out and stuck it in a glass full of water for a couple hours. It was difficult to sleep and overall the flight was pretty rough.

The first thing I noticed when I finally got off the plane and into Kuala Lumpur International Airport was the smell of great food. It's very distinctive in that part of the world, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on some.

The architecture of K.L.I.A. is magnificent. In fact, there are quite a few cool places in K.L. - like the giant twin towers.

Here's a view from just outside the airport. Everything is lush and green.

Literally! Driving from the airport you can either head towards the big city of Kuala Lumpur, or head in the opposite direction, which we did. The circuit is very close to the airport, but we ended up at a great hotel about 45 minutes away. Rows and rows of palm trees.

Nice sight to see when we arrived at our the Equatorial Hotel, in Bandar Baru Bangi. There is a surprising amount of English spoken in Malaysia. However, I still managed to get lost a few times coming to and from the hotel because there are two Equatorials, one in K.L., and the other where I was staying outside the city.

We checked in, and I noticed the hotel was still using a previous version of the team name.

I was blown away by the hotel. By far this is probably one of the nicest places I've ever stayed at, and it was completely stocked with good food and drinks.

A room with a view. I thought it was extremely hazy all the time, and wasn't sure whether or not it was from the constant humidity or the methanol that the cars burn.

You could tell it was a new hotel because all the fish (koi) in the pond were young and small. In the evenings after dinner a couple of us would sit around outside and talk over a few drinks. It was very relaxing.

But best of all, the hotel had Satay!!

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)