On Airline Seat Sales

11 November 2009

A little less than two weeks ago, Cebu Pacific had this crazy seal sale which enabled me to buy tickets for my Mom and three siblings from Manila to Singapore at less than 100 SGD. Take note that the price I mentioned was for all of them and it comes with free baggage allowance. How fun can that get right?

Now comes another crazy sale; Air Asia is giving away free seats. All you have to do is pay for the airport tax and a booking fee per sector and you are all set to fly to their numerous destinations. Full details below:

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FREE SEATS ARE BACK!!

This seat sale is applicable for all flights of Air Asia – I confirmed this when I spoke just a while ago with my fraternity brethren who apparently booked a ticket for two persons going to London from Kuala Lumpur at only 2,600 MYR. 

Just a warning though, server might hang once in a while because of the number of people also wanting to get a piece of this promotion.

Oh yeah, when my family visits me here next year courtesy of the cheap tickets of Cebu Pacific, they will not be staying here in Singapore since they have been to this place previously. Instead I have booked us a ticket to Bali, this time courtesy of this promo from Air Asia.

I love these seat sales, I wonder who is next? Calling Jetstar and Tiger Airways, can you do something really BIG? 🙂

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Number Twenty Hostel

6 November 2009

Located somewhere in the middle of the orderly chaos that is Jonker Walk is Number Twenty, a mid-range guesthouse that puts much emphasis on the words comfort and style.

This place is a renovated 17th century Dutch mansion that was modified in such a way in order to accommodate as much as 20 guests in either of their double or twin room. All of which comes fully air-conditioned and decorated in a neat minimalist style.

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Double Room

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Twin Room

Number Twenty is situated within a short walking distance from the old historic Chinese quarters. The historical sights painted in red is just a mere stone throw away, all you have to do is to just cross the bridge. Food is not a problem as there are numerous bars and restaurants within a few minutes away from the hostel doorstep.

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the unassuming doorway of the guesthouse

Despite being located in a very busy location, this guesthouse still managed to make itself a relaxing place by means of the spacious lounge that is located in the 2nd floor of the building. A large floor to ceiling balcony windows opens out to Jonker Walk. I particularly like the very inviting sofa in which you are free to lie down and choose from the following choices: (a) watch TV in their plasma screen, (b) read a book from their travel library, or (c) surf the net by utilizing the in-house WiFi.

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the huge lounge in the second floor

I have stayed here previously for a night in 2008; it was still brand new then and very clean. A few weeks ago, I was able to visit this place again and I was very surprise that the place is as beautiful and as clean as it was a year ago. Unfortunately though we were not able to get a room then, as they were fully booked during the Deepavali holiday weekend.

The only thing lacking here is a private toilet for the rooms. Yep, all guests will have to share a common toilet. They make up for it though by cleaning it every now and then just to ensure that it is very clean.

The rate per night for this hostel is pegged at 95 MYR per night (105 MYR for Fridays and Saturdays); I would say that it is not too bad at all considering all the facilities you enjoy. Apart from this, they thrown in a complimentary continental breakfast for two.

After having said everything, I do strongly recommend Number Twenty Hostel. Stay here if you want to have a comfortable home away from home in Malacca. Do not forget to book in advance as room supply is quite limited which makes a successful walk-in on a weekend technically impossible.

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find your way to Number Twenty

Number Twenty Guesthouse
20 Jalan Hang Jebat (Jonker Walk) 
Malacca, Malaysia 75200
Tele: +60 62 819761
Fax: +60 62 819761
Mobile : Mr.Zul +60 172137972

It was almost seven when we got back to the main part of town. We headed once more to Jonker Walk to witness the night market.

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Jonker Walk at night

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening between 6PM until midnight, the street is closed and is transformed into this lively bazaar. Traders would line up along the street and set-up stalls to sell and display products of all sorts, ranging from antique copper coins to wooden clogs. Oh yeah, there are all sorts of food being peddled there as well. We did manage to taste some of the food being sold in the sidewalk.

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all sorts of souvenir items

Apart from the business activities, there are some of Chinese clans that organize activities in their respective buildings for visitors. As in the time we were there, there was a dance class being conducted in one of the clan houses. There was also a stage set-up for local talents to showcase their respective ability in front of tourist and locals alike.

Street food (14)

a bunch of siomai of every flavor

The human traffic was getting more and more congested in Jonker Walk so we decided to make our exit. There were some firecrackers being lighted up on the streets courtesy of the Indians who were celebrating Deepavali, a rare sight, as small firecrackers are illegal in Singapore.

On our way to our hostel, we managed to pass by again this establishment called Capitol Satay. Earlier in the afternoon, this establishment had caught my eye, as there was a really long queue just outside the open-air restaurant. Living for the past one year in Singapore made me remember the saying that “if the queue is long, then it must be really good”.  I later learned that this establishment is a very famous in the region for the satay celup (the Melaka adaptation of satay steamboat) they serve. As we were still a bit hungry during that time, we didn’t hesitate to try out the place.

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look at the queue - taken earlier during the afternoon

The wait was long, definitely much longer than what I endured when I tried eating Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice and IKEA Meatballs. I was getting a bit impatient but I could not bear leaving the line when we were already waiting for a good 20 minutes.

Finally, after around half an hour of waiting, we were finally ushered into a table. I was at first disappointed with what I saw because it was very dirty inside the restaurant. The floor was somehow wet and dirty with lots of used tissue papers scattered around. People who were done eating were smoking, added to the fact that it was hot and noisy inside. Needless to say, I try not to let it bother me.

In all fairness to Capitol Satay though, I have really noticed in my travels that in Malaysia (as well as Indonesia and Vietnam), food hygiene is not so much a big deal as compared to Singapore or probably even the Philippines. 

Inside, there were several steel circular tables packed in the open fronted restaurant. Each of these tables has a hole in the middle where a pot of gravy base is heated above a flaming gas ring. A waiter came along and started mixing some spices to add flavor to the gravy.

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interiors of Capitol Satay

There was an open-fronted chill cabinet in one side of the restaurant. This was packed with practically everything that can be placed in a skewer – prawns, squid, fish balls, and some other edible stuff. Apart from these, there are vegetables as well for the vegetarians.

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lots of food, just take your pick...

After picking out the items that fancied our stomach, we went back to our table to start cooking the skewers in the bucket – it was usually a minute for the pre-cooked stuff (sausages and fish balls) while it was at least 3 minutes for the larger uncooked stuff. Every 10 minutes or so, the waitress would pop in our table to stir the gravy. This was probably done in order to prevent the gravy from burning.

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peanut flavored gravy

At the end of our meal, we asked the waitress for our bill. Another girl came into our table with a worn out calculator to see how much we owe for the food. What she did was basically multiplying the number of empty skewer by the price per piece (which was around 70 cents).

Upon paying, we slowly heading back to our hotel very full and satisfied. Despite the long wait and the not so clean condition of the place, we were happy with our decision to try this one out. Apart from the historical sights in Malacca and Jonker Walk, I would say that experiencing Capital Satay should be included in any itinerary if ever you would suddenly find yourself in Malacca.

Address:
Capitol Satay Celup Restaurant
41 Lorong Bukit Cina, 
75100 Melaka, 
Malaysia
Tel: +60-6-2835508, +60-12-2295505
Operating hours: Daily from 5:00 pm (Closed on Monday)