Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Short break in Kuala Lumpur (Part 3): Shopping around Bukit Bintang

(Above)Map of Bukit Bintang

From our hotel at Capitol, we can reach Jalan Bukit Bintang by foot within 3 minutes. Jalan Bukit Bintang is famous as a major shopping area within the Golden Triangle vicinity bordered by Jalan Bukit Bintang,Jalan Imbi and Jalan Sultan Ismail.The major shopping malls that are located here are Starhill Gallery, Sungei Wang Plaza Lot 10,Low Yat Plaza Imbi Plaza and Berjaya Times Square.
These giant shopping malls are within walking distance of each other and offer a variety of shopping and leisure choices to choose from to fit one's budget and taste. This shopping district is strategically located within the vicinity of different categories of hotels from 2 star to 5 star. If you want to look at lower to medium range retail shops in Bukit Bintang, then you head to Sungei Wang Plaza, Berjaya Times Square, Low Yat Plaza etc. Higher end will be at Starhill and Pavillion Shopping Malls in the Bukit Bintang area.

We find in our opinion that for shopping in general, nothing quite comes close to Singapore if you want to consider pricing, quality and variety together. There must be a reason why the Japanese, Chinese, Indians and Koreans come to Singapore to shop besides getting brand labels. Shopping overseas is more of looking for opportune buys or unique items that could not be found in Singapore or is reasonably much cheaper overseas. So it was KL that we went window shopping for most part and did come away with cheaper buys on occasions.

(Above)Jalan Bukit Bintang

(Above)Eugin posing outside Lot 10, a medium end shopping complex

(Above)Shops inside Lot 10.

(Above) Eye catching advert e-screens inside Lot 10. Yes to more shopping!

(Above) Low Yat Shopping Mall.

(Above) Sephora futuristic facade

(Above) High end shopping street with shops like LV in vicinity of sephora and pavillion shopping malls along Bukit Bintang

(Above) Another famous brand shop - Coach

(Above) Familiar home decor shop - I wanna go home at KLCC.

(Above) Starhill

(Above)Shopper's paradise - Pavillion shopping mall. We were really admiring the aprtments on top of shoping mall. A 2 bedroom about 1500 sq feet costs only about just under $1 million SGD which is a steal since you cant get such prices at Orchard Rd in Singapore.

(Above) Gayle admiring all the shops in pavillion

(Above) Gayle feasting her eyes on all the shops ahead

(Avove) We chance upon her ballet school and Gayle just cant help doing a ballet pose since she is a teacher in charge of ballet.

(Above) Gayle outside Berjaya Times Square, a medium range shopping mall featuring small shops like Far East Plaza variety to usual brands like Esprit.

(Above)Shops in Berjaya Times Square

(Above)On occasions you can find cheaper quality buys like the sporty Addidas dry fit T-shirt($35SGD) and Calvin Klein cotton T-shirt($40SGD)which Eugin bought. 2nd Week of June is the start of their Great Sale, something like our Great SIngapore Sale so that is a good time to look for buys there.

(Above) Another good buy - Chanel make up powder retailing at 30% cheaper at Pavillion.

(Above)2 interesting wall clocks that we bought for a steal and would not look out of place in Molecule. The clocks are now displayed in our master bedroom and kitchen. The dropped numbers face clock for $13SGD and the Red and Black numeral cut out clock for $20SGD.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Short break in Kuala Lumpur (Part 2): Checking into Capitol Hotel

(Above) Capitol Hotel building from Jalan Bukit Bintang, outside of the Bukit Bintang monorail station exit.

Alighting at Bukit Bintang Monorail Station, we went down to the ground level. there is only one exit down the stairs or escalator from the elevated platform. You will find yourself on the pedestrian pavement opposite Lot 10 Shopping centre with ut;s green facade.

From the station exit point, turn left and walk down Jalan Bukit Bintang moving directly away from Lot 10 past the shophouses on both sides of the road for about 200m until you come to the first side road which is Jalan Bulan 1.(Directly opposite Jalan Bulan 1 across the road is Changkat Bukit Bintang which leads you to the famous Jalan Alor food street) Turn into Jalan Bulan 1.There is a Arab eatery along Jalan Bulan and a departmental store at the end which is part of Bukit Bintang Plaza. A good landmark is the Old Chang Kee store beside the departmental store which will tell you that you are on the right side road.

As you walk down Jalan Bulan towards the entrance of the departmental store, the road will have a bend to the right. Follow the road and you will walk past a Muslim coffee shop selling prata and mee goreng and if you look ahead you will see the entrance to Capitol Hotel about 50m ahead. The exterior surroundings of Capitol Hotel is a bit old and dingy since the hotel entrance faces the peeling and blackened back of old shophouses. You will see also a number of taxis waiting there touting for customers from the hotel but just tell them nicely you are not interested if they approach you.

The reception staff told us that our room was not ready yet even though check in time was 2pm and they said that it would be ready at 3pm. We decided to head to Plaza Low Yat on the right side of the hotel entrance to have tea time while waiting for the room to be ready. Low Yat Plaza reminded us of Sim Lim Shopping centre with it's many electronic gadgets, mobile phones and IT shops. There is a food floor on the ground level and we headed for a familiar sight - Old Town White Coffee for some nasi lemak and ice soya chendol.

(Above) Nasi Lemak and Soya Chendol for tea.

Note that if you want to go there for breakfast, it is opened at 11am. For toasted bread and tea for breakfast, you can walk down to nearby Berjaya Times Square, a 10 minute walk from the hotel to another Old Town White Coffee branch located there which opens at 10.30am. Shops in general there open at 11am.

(Above)Gayle waiting at the lobby while I check us in at the reception

After our light tea, we returned back to our hotel to check into our room. We had booked a Deluxe Room for two under the early bird booking promotion for four nights with a rate of SGD$84.50 per day inclusive of all taxes which is pretty reasonable for a modern and clean comfortable room. We asked for higher floor and got a room on the nine floor with a hard to forget room number - 911.

(Above)Gayle posing by our room entrance

Entry to the floors and the room is by electronic card access. The corridors were clean and quiet. Room service was on a daily basis unless you requested privacy. The only negative thing was there was a slight lingering smell of cigarette smoke which Gayle's sharp nose detected but I didn't even though we were on a non-smoking floor and room so it could be the air con duct that was bringing in that smell but it is not enough to cause any irritation and I was oblivious to it if Gayle had not told me.

(Above)Our deluxe Hotel Room

My only 'disappointment' was that there was not much satellite channels to watch during rest time with most of the programs being Malay channels and a BBC and ESPN channel but then that's me. Others may not mind.

(Above) Gayle checking out the washroom

(Above)Hotel room washroom

(Above) Gayle taking a closer look to see if there is massage spray function on the Grohe Shower head.

Importantly to us, the washroom was considered luxurious and spacious with Grohe sanitary and bath fittings and marble top wash basin. All in, the rooms are clean and modern, reasonably priced and quiet even though the street downstairs is slightly chaotic with traffic during peak hours.

We decided to take an hour rest before heading out to explore Bukit Bintang. Our focus on this trip was more to explore the KLCC and Bukit Bintang area in detail and to move out to outer areas in future trips to KL. More of Bukit Bintang in the next posting.