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Asia Ironcon v. 2

JurixeJurixe Where you least expect itMember Posts: 1,649 @@ - Legendary Achaean
So I wandered into the Wander Inn section (haha joke) of the forums, and thought that it's been a while since our last Asiacon (2012). I know @Chiam's been wanting to meet up with some people for a while too. I had a lot of fun at the last one, so just curious if anyone would be interested in coming down/up for it.

@Chiam, @Ruth, @Arlanda, @Skye and myself are all in this part of the woods, and tentatively @Ruth and I have talked about either a summer thing for you NA people (so early August, like the last meet was) or maaaaaybe a late December/early Jan thing, which is kind of our off periods - and maybe you can come here and escape the winter or something. Personally, a summer meet would probably suit me better.

We went to Singapore last time so I'd be interested in doing it in Malaysia this time (also because I can drive...), but I personally am pretty flexible. If not, most likely we'll just do a small one with us Asians, but thought I'd throw it out there and see if anyone's interested.

Suggestions and stuff are welcome!
If you like my stories, you can find them here:
Stories by Jurixe and Stories by Jurixe 2 

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Comments

  • ErhonErhon Member Posts: 116 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    I should throw a moon cake at the Dinky Barrel for not being around. :neutral_face: 
    JurixeShara
  • JurixeJurixe Where you least expect itMember Posts: 1,649 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Tagging @Vrah as well for whenever she wanders back to the forums!
    If you like my stories, you can find them here:
    Stories by Jurixe and Stories by Jurixe 2 

  • ChiamChiam Member Posts: 144 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    I can drive and be at both places as well!
    Jurixe
  • MishgulMishgul ROTHERHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMember Posts: 5,314 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    If i have a job

    -

    One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important

    As drawn by Shayde
    hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae
    Jurixe
  • ErnamErnam Member Posts: 2,416 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean

    Would rather do Seoul, Hong Kong, or Tokyo.  Been to Malaysia, it's cool, but not on the same scale as the bigger (less poor) countries/cities.

    "Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future."


          Manda  |  Godzilla  |  SLC
      1. JurixeJurixe Where you least expect itMember Posts: 1,649 @@ - Legendary Achaean
        Malaysia and Singapore are because most of us who are in SE Asia are here, that's all!
        If you like my stories, you can find them here:
        Stories by Jurixe and Stories by Jurixe 2 

      2. RuthRuth SingaporeMember Posts: 2,700 @@ - Legendary Achaean
        What @Jurixe said! Either of us Singaporeans or Malaysians can bring you around our countries for free!

        I'm situated in Singapore, if most people would find it easier to come around to visit the lion city. I know Jonesey's been here too, and he loved it (and the food, which has always been a topic of contention between Singapore and Malaysia over who has the best food.) I bet you haven't been to the Universal Studios theme park in Singapore, nor our awesome zoo, river safari or night safari. Bet you didn't know we allow our elephants, antelopes, buffalos and giraffes to graze about at night! Do you like museums? We have loads of museums. We even have an arts center. We have gardens by the bay.

        We have bridges that are suspended in the air (sort of) and links to a cliff overlook that shows you half of the city. If you want more, we also have a ferris wheel called the Singapore Flyer that gives you a good overview of our country. You get to see how many ships are just anchored next to our shores. We're blessed with naturally deep waters all around us.

        We could do Seoul, Hong Kong or Tokyo if there's interest but you're going to be hard-pressed to find a person who'll do tour guiding for free and hang out with nerds talking over nerdy text games.. unless we have an Achaean who's from these parts!

        "Mummy, I'm hungry, but there's no one to eat! :C"

         

      3. AepasAepas Member Posts: 1,619 @@ - Legendary Achaean
        I didn't get an invite? jeesh!
        Replies the scorpion: "It's my nature..."
      4. RuthRuth SingaporeMember Posts: 2,700 @@ - Legendary Achaean
        Well, if you want to come down, sure! Come down!
        "Mummy, I'm hungry, but there's no one to eat! :C"

         

      5. SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
        If you guys do it in late April/early May, there's a chance I'll swing by. I'll be in Singapore from the evening of the 27th April to morning of 29th April. Will be in Kuala Lumpur from 8th May to 10th May, and Singapore again from 10th May to 12th May. 

        Can't promise and will be with my wife (who doesn't MUD) so would just meet up for a meal or something rather than an all-day thing. 

        Going to go to the zoo and possibly the night safari on 28th April and for the sake of doing something completely different from the rest of the trip, going to go to Universal Studios on 11th May, the last day of the trip. I realize those days are in the middle of the week, which may make this a no-go for you guys as I assume most of you would need to have a meet on a weekend.
      6. WydWyd Member Posts: 57 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
        Hrm, I think I might have to pop in and say hi too!

        Any time early next year will work for me, otherwise I might have to try and woo some new bosses into letting me take some time off.  But that shouldn't be too hard.

      7. ErnamErnam Member Posts: 2,416 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
        edited January 2015
        I did the night safari. It's pretty damn awesome.  

         One of the nicest hotels I've ever stayed at (which includes marina bay sands) was in KL, and is called Maya. It's not expensive and is also right across the street from one of the nicest clubs in the country (Zouk). Check it out if you're in KL.

         For people traveling to Singapore, I recommend a night or two in marina bay sands or the Raffles (if you can afford it), but you should -definitely- consider staying in a cheaper hostel/hotel in little India or the other districts, which I've done about 5 times now, and it's -way- more fun and full of culture (vs malls and starbucks).

        "Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future."


              Manda  |  Godzilla  |  SLC
          1. SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
            @Ernam Hotels in KL are so cheap when we're there that we just booked the top tripadvisor hotel, in this case the Shangri-La, for like $150. Such bargain. Much wow. Singapore isn't too bad either. Dunno if it's the time of year or what. Staying at the Intercontinenal in Singapore as it was also pretty reasonably-priced while still being quite good, and is in the Bugis district.

            I don't suppose any of you localish (more local than me at least) people have spent time in eastern Sabah? Sandakan, the islands off Semporna (Mabul, the Sipadan dive area, etc)?
          2. JurixeJurixe Where you least expect itMember Posts: 1,649 @@ - Legendary Achaean
            edited January 2015
            :O @Sarapis‌ is going to be in SE Asia! I somehow doubt the meet will happen that early but for the KL leg of your trip, if you'd maybe like to have dinner or something with @Chiam‌ and I I dare say that can be arranged :smile: Wow I posted right after you. Have always heard Sipadan is great and beautiful but would strongly advise you to be careful of pirates. There have been a recent spate of kidnappings where they storm land structures like markets and resorts, so frankly I would stay away just in case.
            If you like my stories, you can find them here:
            Stories by Jurixe and Stories by Jurixe 2 

          3. ChiamChiam Member Posts: 144 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
            @Sarapis I was in Sipadan a few years back for a family vacation. Easily one of the best beaches and diving site (if not the best) in the world and I've visited a lot of beaches, including the famous ones in SE Asia, Maldives, etc.

            And also, of course it can be arranged :) the dinner I mean
          4. SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
            edited January 2015
            Jurixe said:
            :O @Sarapis‌ is going to be in SE Asia! I somehow doubt the meet will happen that early but for the KL leg of your trip, if you'd maybe like to have dinner or something with @Chiam‌ and I I dare say that can be arranged :smile: Wow I posted right after you. Have always heard Sipadan is great and beautiful but would strongly advise you to be careful of pirates. There have been a recent spate of kidnappings where they storm land structures like markets and resorts, so frankly I would stay away just in case.
            I love SE Asia, though only been to Thailand (twice) and Indonesia thus far (though saying you've been to Indonesia, with its 700+ languages, from being in only five or six places in it is like going to a few cities in Europe and saying you've seen Europe. China, Korea, Japan etc are cool but I like the tropical exotic (to me) of SE Asia more. 

            Do you guys live in KL?

            I literally discovered the news about the kidnappings and murders this morning. In fact, turns out that the exact dive hotel we're staying at in Mabul was the one attacked last July, where one policeman was killed and another kidnapped. Greeaaaat. We're not going to let a bunch of loser asshole griefers scare us off though. They're the ones that suck.

            Fingers crossed!





            Ernam
          5. SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff

            Chiam said:
            @Sarapis I was in Sipadan a few years back for a family vacation. Easily one of the best beaches and diving site (if not the best) in the world and I've visited a lot of beaches, including the famous ones in SE Asia, Maldives, etc.

            And also, of course it can be arranged :) the dinner I mean

            Yeah, I've visited a lot too and am hoping to be blown away by Sipadan. The problem with diving at places like this though is that you're ruined for everything else.
          6. JurixeJurixe Where you least expect itMember Posts: 1,649 @@ - Legendary Achaean
            Sarapis said:
            Jurixe said:
            :O @Sarapis‌ is going to be in SE Asia! I somehow doubt the meet will happen that early but for the KL leg of your trip, if you'd maybe like to have dinner or something with @Chiam‌ and I I dare say that can be arranged :smile:

            Wow I posted right after you. Have always heard Sipadan is great and beautiful but would strongly advise you to be careful of pirates. There have been a recent spate of kidnappings where they storm land structures like markets and resorts, so frankly I would stay away just in case.
            I love SE Asia, though only been to Thailand (twice) and Indonesia thus far (though saying you've been to Indonesia, with its 700+ languages, from being in only five or six places in it is like going to a few cities in Europe and saying you've seen Europe. China, Korea, Japan etc are cool but I like the tropical exotic (to me) of SE Asia more. 

            Do you guys live in KL?

            I literally discovered the news about the kidnappings and murders this morning. In fact, turns out that the exact dive hotel we're staying at in Mabul was the one attacked last July, where one policeman was killed and another kidnapped. Greeaaaat. We're not going to let a bunch of loser asshole griefers scare us off though. They're the ones that suck.

            Fingers crossed!

            That is actually super unlucky...and a bit scary D: please please be careful! Not trying to be fearmongering or anything but the kidnappings have happened 2-3 times in the space of a few months, so just be safe I guess. Otherwise, eat the seafood and enjoy the dives! You should just escape monsoon season so I think it should be good.

            @Chiam and I aren't in KL proper, but just outside of it - it takes me maybe half an hour's drive to get to the city centre, and even less from my workplace. I actually work for a tourism magazine that focuses on tourists coming to KL :) so if we do meet up I can give you a copy if you want!
            If you like my stories, you can find them here:
            Stories by Jurixe and Stories by Jurixe 2 

          7. SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
            Definitely unlucky, but I'm sure we'll be fine. I've never died yet, indicating I'm probably immortal. Logic! ;)

            If you guys want to meet up, dinner is on me. 

            Btw, what should we do in KL? We're only there for 2 nights and 1 day. I want to go to the bird park (which I believe is considered one of if not the best in the wold?) but beyond that, not quite sure. The Petronas towers seem kind of 'meh' to me (just a couple of big buildings I've seen pictures of a hundred times before). 
          8. AchillesAchilles Los AngelesMember Posts: 2,495 @@ - Legendary Achaean
            I'd be able to make the summer too with a month or so notice. I'll already be in Taipei, HK, Manila and Jakarta for some business projects around then.
            image
          9. CynderCynder Where the Red Pandas roam.Member Posts: 132 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
            I'm actually tempted just to cancel trip to Europe and make plans to fly down for this. T.T 
            You guys don't even know.
            Zeon
          10. JurixeJurixe Where you least expect itMember Posts: 1,649 @@ - Legendary Achaean
            edited January 2015
            Sarapis said:
            Definitely unlucky, but I'm sure we'll be fine. I've never died yet, indicating I'm probably immortal. Logic! ;)

            If you guys want to meet up, dinner is on me. 

            Btw, what should we do in KL? We're only there for 2 nights and 1 day. I want to go to the bird park (which I believe is considered one of if not the best in the wold?) but beyond that, not quite sure. The Petronas towers seem kind of 'meh' to me (just a couple of big buildings I've seen pictures of a hundred times before). 
            Wooooo dinner :D 

            Haha...that is actually a really difficult question to answer. I love my country and all but I won't pretend that its facilities and reliability is anywhere near good, so I'm a bit hesitant to recommend stuff (and as locals, we don't really go to the touristy areas I guess). However...

            Let me preface this by giving you the TripAdvisor recommendations, though I'm sure you've looked through them all already, and then my own personal ones.

            Shopping
            Central Market I think is pretty good for handcrafted souvenir-type stuff. It's probably not the absolute CHEAPEST you're going to get, but there's a fair amount of variety. Any wood created things by Arch that you might see (I think they have some resellers there) are Malaysian-made - they're expensive (to us) but if that's your thing, that's a genuinely Malaysian product.

            Central Market is also very close by to Chinatown, which is worth a stop in the evening if you're anywhere close. Lots of street food and stuff, and supposedly imitation stuff for good prices. However don't take bags with you if possible and be careful of pickpockets - also if you're into haggling, people have reported the sellers being rude if you're unlucky, but it is encouraged to haggle as they will rip you off otherwise. Frankly I just wouldn't buy anything and go for the food (see below). 

            Another place I recently discovered in the course of my work is the Craft Centre, which I actually liked more than I thought I would. It has a huge array of handmade local souvenirs by its own shop and other retailers, but it also has a pretty cool handicraft museum (an extra RM3 charge, but the place is free otherwise) that talks about all the Asian craft techniques. There's also an artist colony that lets you try your hand at making handmade batik paintings, wood carvings, and even buying paintings if you want. I do seriously recommend it, it's good fun - however don't bother with the cafeteria.

            Not sure if you've ever heard of Royal Selangor, which is our premier retailer for pewter goods (pewter is a pretty important metal to Malaysia). It's arguably (besides Jimmy Choo shoes) our most well-known export, so if you think you'd like to learn more about it or learn how to craft (and take home) your own pewter dish, try their visitor centre and/or register at the School of Hard Knocks. It's a 30 minute tutorial, so that itself won't take long, but costs RM60 (like...15 bucks I guess) and that encapsulates all the costs.

            Sights
            If you're not one of those people who go ''omg I'm in Rome I have to see the Coliseum'', then I strongly encourage to give the Petronas Twin Towers a miss - at least in terms of going up to the bridge. It's a fairly steep price for non-Malaysians (something like RM80) and you only get about 15 minutes on the bridge. Not worth it in my opinion. Its grounds and the mall beneath are pretty nice, but the park gets hot in the middle of the day and the mall is overpriced for rich tourists (though you may consider it cheap, I dunno). If you're looking to buy branded goods, maybe you'd like to go there.

            However, there have been great reviews for going up to the KL Tower and its revolving platform - there's even a restaurant there you can dine at if you want, though admittedly the food isn't amazing. I'd recommend doing that if you're a fan of bird's eye views - go during the sunset maybe, or at night for the night view.

            If you want to check out the local pub scene, Changkat Bukit Bintang is a street that is literally nothing but pubs and bars. Even locals love it. But as with anywhere in KL at night, be careful. Of the establishments, No Black Tie appears to be an oft-suggested favourite and always has programmes going on. I'm not sure if you're staying at Shangri-La proper or the Traders Hotel run by Shangri-La, but if it's the latter, SkyBar is a pretty popular place that I've always wanted to go to and supposedly has amazing night views. 

            I assume you'll be in KL the whole time so I won't recommend further trips like Melaka, but if you like limestone caves, try out Batu Caves. It has a gigantic Hindu statue, really pretty caves and stalactite/stalagmite formations, and lots of monkeys who WILL try to accost you if they see you with water bottles and anything in a plastic bag, so keep that in mind. You can take cave tours as well for some money and 40 minutes, but admittedly I've never done this. It's some 200+ steps to the top, but it's not a hard climb.

            For greener stuff, the Botanical/Lake Gardens are recommended as being very nice and apparently you can even take guided walks. I haven't been here in a long, long while so can't really speak much from personal experience, but if any green lung in the city were to be well maintained it would probably be this one.

            I honestly can't tell you about the bird park - some say it used to be good but has drastically gone down in recent years, which I believe. However, it is the world's biggest free-flight, walk-in aviary and ranked 7 last year in TripAdvisor so maybe it's gotten better? I may go there sometime this year and check it out - will let you know if I do. 

            I'd recommend doing maybe a half day KL tour if you can - just google the best one on the Internet, that's probably ok to do. Otherwise, you can probably visit Merdeka Square, which is around the same area as Central Market/Chinatown, but a bit of a walk still. It translates as ''Independence Square'' and there are lots of historical sites/galleries around it.

            One thing I would highly recommend to do is catch a performance of MUD KL in the nearby Panggung Bandaraya (City Theatre?), which is a locally produced musical about the founding of Kuala Lumpur. It's short (45 minutes I think?) but is pretty interactive and entertaining, and I enjoyed it.  

            Way too much more else to recommend, but would be easier to do if I know what you're looking to do/what you've already got planned!

            Food

            If you're not here in Malaysia to try the food, you're missing out on the core essence of Malaysia. 'Live to eat' should be our unofficial motto. 

            The street food in Chinatown is pretty good - stop by this one stall near the central crossroads that sells nothing but a drink roughly translated as 'cat's eye tears':



            Don't worry, as far as I know, it's not ACTUALLY made out of cat's tears. I think. Anyway, it's just a really sweet, cooling drink that locals love. Also in Chinatown, not far from this stall - almost opposite in fact - is a large red restaurant that supposedly does the best Hokkien noodles in town. I wrote about Chinatown here, if you want to have a slightly more in depth article. Unfortunately not as long as I would have liked.

            As I'm sure you know, nasi lemak is pretty much like the official dish of Malaysia, and teh tarik (pulled tea) the official drink. I've heard that Jalan Alor is amazing in terms of street food as well - really when it comes to Malaysia and KL in particular, street food is king. Although sometimes it can be kinda hit and miss I guess.

            If you're in a more ''upscale'' area like shopping malls, try and see if there's a Madam Kwan's there. That's a local chain that does pretty good local food (if more 'refined' than 'genuine'). Do bypass chains like OldTown (used to be good but dropped drastically after they became too big) but try Rotiboy, which began in Malaysia and is amazing basically.

            I could write a whole novel on Malaysian food and I've spent an hour writing already <_< but we're more than happy to recommend good places around you once we know where you'll be/your plans. I'm sure @Chiam has some suggestions as well, probably better than my own as I'm admittedly a PJ girl who only knows her way around malls most of the time.

            tl;dr - Words in blue are links to good places in Malaysia, click! Let us know more about what you want and we can provide more recommendations!

            Edit: I got tooooootally carried away and missed the part where you mentioned you were only here for two days. -_- So um...forget Batu Caves. My personal favourites out of that list and that would fit in your schedule would be the Craft Centre (less choice in souvenirs but I think an overall more interesting experience), Botanical Gardens (if I'm not mistaken the bird park should be very near there), Merdeka Square (also nearby) and maybe if you have time, Jalan Alor (day) and Changkat Bukit Bintang (night). I guess that would mean we'd need to do dinner somewhere in KL if we did meet up...think I might have to get Chiam's opinion on that one!
            If you like my stories, you can find them here:
            Stories by Jurixe and Stories by Jurixe 2 

            Cynder
          11. JurixeJurixe Where you least expect itMember Posts: 1,649 @@ - Legendary Achaean
            I hate this 15 minute post edit limit thing.

            Anyway, you (@Sarapis and everyone) should visit because we're making SE Asia a Mhaldorian outpost. 

            Proof (mostly old pictures but still):

            Batu Caves



            Scouting the site under orders of the Tyrannus @Ruth.



            Gates to the Baelgrim and all that.

            @Vrah and @Xer were here too but the pictures are missing somewhere.

            Chinatown


            However they were busy taking over Chinatown, that might be why.

            Bonus picture from Singaporecon in a restaurant somewhere:

            @Aepas, @Xer, @Skye, @Arlanda, me and @Vrah (from top left to top right)


            If you like my stories, you can find them here:
            Stories by Jurixe and Stories by Jurixe 2 

            Melodie
          12. CidusiiCidusii Member Posts: 345 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
            I vote KL so I can stay with friends if I come.
            Ruth
          13. RuthRuth SingaporeMember Posts: 2,700 @@ - Legendary Achaean
            This gets the Tyrannus's stamp of approval (which I got from Genting in Malaysia):



            I can see about grabbing a few of my homies (Skye, Arlanda et al.) for a meal on one of those days you're down in Singapore, @Sarapis. Dinner's probably a good bet for most of us, if you can spare a dinner on a day. Let me know!

            "Mummy, I'm hungry, but there's no one to eat! :C"

             

            Saeva
          14. ErnamErnam Member Posts: 2,416 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean

            A few photos from KL:








            "Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future."


                  Manda  |  Godzilla  |  SLC
                AustereShirszae
              1. SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
                Thanks @Jurixe‌!

                I absolutely don't care about high-end shopping or, for that matter, souvenir shopping either, except insofar as I like taking pictures in markets. Was definitely planning to skip the Petronas towers. I'm the kind of traveler who goes to Paris and skips the Eiffel tower.

                Will reach out closer to May to arrange dinner.
                Jurixe
              2. SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
                @Ruth I'll reach out closer to the dates!
              3. XithXith Member Posts: 2,602 @@ - Legendary Achaean
                Uh was the 2015 bi-annual IronCon gonna be announced at some point? :P 
                I like my steak like I like my Magic cards: mythic rare.
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