Monthly Archives: August 2011

Hotels and Accommodations in Malaysia

I have added a page on the site with links to good hotels and accommodations in Malaysia. At this time it covers 4 areas: Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, Penang and Johor Bahru. Different people have different desires for a hotel room. And at different times even the same person does. In general I prefer to save my money by using discount lodging, but I splurge occasionally – especially if I can get a great deal. I did that, when I stayed at the Prince Hotel & Residence Kuala Lumpur and it was wonderful.

I also have found nice discount places and some in-between. I really nice place in Johor Bahru is Bliss Boutique Hotel that has very distinctive room designs. They also have great staff. If you don’t mind small rooms it is a great choice for Johor Bahru.

photo of the beach at the Sunset Resort

Beach, Sunset Resort in Langkawi, Malaysia by John Hunter

Langkawi is a wonderful place to vacation and relax at the beach. I stayed at the Sunset Beach Resort which had very simple and well maintained bungalows. One of the best “features” was a great Indian restaurant on the beach – right next store to the hotel.

A great hotel in Penang is the G Hotel on Gurney Drive.

Related: Good, Cheap, Johor Bahru HotelsTourist Stuff in Kuala LumpurNice Ocean View from Langkawi, Malaysia

The Treasure Store: Lots of English Language Used Books in Johor Bahru

map of downtown johor bahru showing the danga city mall

January 2012 Update: The store is now closed at this location. I have a new post about the new location in Permas Jaya.

The Treasure Book Store, Danga City Mall, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

The Treasure store offers thousands of popular and rare used English language books at the Danga City Mall in downtown Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Malaysia (as well as Singapore) have very high book prices. 50-100% above those in the USA for the same books. While I was exploring I found this nice bookstore with a source of interesting reading: which was a very nice surprise. I was actually contemplating starting a used bookstore, if I couldn’t find one. The Danga City Mall seemed to have lots of available space (so I was thinking it might not be expensive) and for a good English language bookstore, I was thinking you might be able to draw customers (rather than relying on foot traffic – which seemed like it would be problematic).

Even prices for used books are high in Malaysia and Singapore, as much as new books in the USA. Treasure Books has thousands of used books for sale and rent in English. Authors include: John Grisham, Michael Crichton, David Baldacci, Mary Higgins Clark, James Patterson, Ken Follet, Dan Brown, Danielle Steel… You pay the purchase price but when you return the book you will get a refund minus a 5 Ringgit (or so) rental fee.

The owner is quite friendly and the inventory doesn’t fit in the shop so let her know if you have special requests. Also, I don’t think the store has regular hours, so you would be wise to call ahead and make sure it is open before making a trip.

I was excited to find so many interesting books and hope we can make the store popular and keep in in business. The Danga City Mall in general is nice but if you visit it is obvious the traffic needs to increase to sustain the existing stores and bring in more merchants (there are tens of empty store spots). The mall has a very good IT section with many stores and also has a bowling alley, paintball field and grocery store.

Related: Good, Cheap, Johor Bahru HotelsOnline Resources for Living in Johor BahruMalaysian Residence Pass for Skilled Professionals

View an interactive version of the map.

photo of the front of the Treasure Book Store in Johor Bahru

There are Lots of Blogs Connected to Kuching and Borneo

As I posted a few weeks ago I took a look at Kuching and was as I learned more I have been looking into moving in Kuching. Kuching offers some really nice benefits. It is less expensive that places like Kuala Lumpur and Penang. It also is said to be a very livable city. I plan to look at it in soon.

One thing that drew my interest is the active bloggers from there. Borneo Colours and Sarawak bloggers provide a forum for bloggers for all over Borneo and Serawak and are great places to find related blogs. And also just searching for blogs I found several. Some of my favorites are (including some from the rest of Borneo and even the rest of Malaysia, too):

By far my favorite though is Miao & WafuPafu. The cat is from Kuching, though he lives in Melaka now. This comic is awesome!

I also have found the start of a network using Google+ (John Hunter on Google+).

When looking at the others areas in Malaysia, other than Kuala Lumpor, I don’t find many blogs (and many that I do find, are by expats). That might partially be that I am just missing what is there for blogs in other locations. The blogs are a great way to get a peak at Kuching before I make it there (I should make it next week, or the week after that).

Related: Tourist Stuff in Kuala Lumpurphotos of Penang

Photos from Penang

I took this photo while walking from Batu Feringgi to Tanjung Bungah on Penang. There were some nice views, like this one, but it probably isn’t very smart to walk that path as considerable distances have no sidewalk at all and you have to walk within a foot of where cars and trucks zoom by. And even when there is a sidewalk you have to be watchful for huge holes, feet across and several feet deep, you could easily fall through.

The lack of consideration given to pedestrians in the design and operation of Penang is a big reason I don’t think I will live there. The buses were very convenient, and cheap, for the Georgetown to Batu Feringgi corridor, that part of the urban planning has been done very well.

See more photos from Penang.
Continue reading

Floating Houses in the Straight Between Johor Bahru and Singapore

I updated the theme for this blog and replaced the header image with one of floating houses in the straight between Johor Bahru and Singapore. Here is another photo from my visit in which you can see Singapore on the left and downtown Johor Bahru on the right of the background. It is hard to see in the image, but if you look closely you can also see the causeway connecting the two cities. The photo is taken at the shore a few blocks from the Straights View Condos.

Photo of straight between Johor Bahru and Singapore (with floating houses)

View of the straight between Johor Bahru and Singapore by John Hunter.

Related: Online Resources for Living in Johor Bahruphotos of Johor, Malaysia in the 1970s