LOKL Coffee Co., Jalan Tun H.S. Lee Kuala Lumpur

"Grace, you are not spending another dime on ridiculously priced coffee just because they make your Instagram looks more... fetching," I told myself every single time after I place my order at a cafe.

And every single time, I thwarted myself.

I guess there is just no quitting a good cup of latte (with cute little hearts/leaves/ducks/dogs/fishes floating all over it. And not forgetting the prettifying effect it has on your Instagram too)

Where better to continue my caffeine-turous odyssey but at LOKL, a well-known (but rather hidden) cafe situated along Jalan Tun H.S. Lee.

LOKL has been listed as one of KL's best coffee place by many reviewers and food lovers alike, hence it isn't surprising at all why the cafe is almost never half empty although there isn't any parking bay anywhere near the cafe (the nearest parking lot being about 200 meters away)

Retrieved from loklcoffee.com
(click to enlarge)

I love the atmosphere here - quaint and traditional with a touch of fresh novelty. The space is rather confined, hence cluttered with closely-placed tables and chairs. If you are unlucky enough to be seated right beside a bunch of rowdy teens, consider moving to another table because not everyone understands the concept of a "quiet cafe to chill and to get work done."

Assorted cakes, mille crêpes, and quiche.

Exterior/smoking area

I think the cakes that I've tried were average, but the ambiance of the cafe definitely made up for it. What's more, the service is great and the waiters are helpful.

BackHome is a backpackers' hostel which is situated right beside the cafe, and according to reviews, many backpackers enjoyed their stay there. It's definitely the kind of hostel that I'd love to stay at during my travel. Hopefully they will consider expanding their business to other parts of Asia :)


How to Use Uber / Uber in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Let's admit it - travelling around Kuala Lumpur is a pain the ass and an agony to our wallets for having to bear for all the expenses needed for fuel and tolls just to get us to our destinations. The appalling traffic condition that hammers the city during on-peak hours (AND off-peak now, thanks to the on-going MRT constructions) only rubs salt into the wounds.

Since there is no escaping the traffic congestion and the constantly increasing travelling costs, why not then let someone else do the worrying and fussing while you lounge on the back seat of a luxury vehicle and do something more pleasing like taking a #selfie or just wait around #likeaboss while you are en route to your destination?

For both locals and foreigners alike, Uber is here to ease that pain and will help you accomplish just that!

Uber had its official launch in Kuala Lumpur just less than three months ago and it has now become the topic of conversations among socialites and bloggers from all across the city.

Being invited to the official launch/media event of Uber not only made it possible for me to meet the vibrant Uber team, but I also got to ride in Uber first-hand for free!

The Uber app, available on iPhone, Android, and at m.uber.com.

Using the app is as easy as it can be!

After downloading the app and keying in essential details (i.e. credit card number, phone number, email address etc), users can instantly call for a ride at the push of a button.

Requesting for a car is literally as simple as dropping the pin at the desired pickup location. Once that is done, you will receive a message within a few minutes (or even seconds) to ratify your request, as well as to inform you about the driver's information like his name, vehicle license plate and car make and the ETA:

The app comes with a map which allows you to track the car real-time as it navigates towards your location. When the request is confirmed, a notification will show up in the app:

uber malaysia

Although it was stated that the ETA was 65 minutes, Mr. Bong, my driver that afternoon, called to inform me that he will arrive in approximately 20 minutes. About 5 minutes before I got picked up, he gave me another call to ascertain my precise whereabouts so he could come right up to me, rather than having me walking towards him.

Needless to say, just like every other Uber-riders, I was blown away by the quality of the service being provided.

I supposed all the fancy cars were taken that day because I got picked up in a Toyota Camry (although it wasn't any less gratifying)

Mr. Bong is a very friendly man and I absolutely enjoyed my conversation with him.

A few magazines neatly tucked behind the passenger's seat and a complimentary bottle of water 

A receipt will be sent to your email once you have arrived at your destination.

The journey from the Mines, Seri Kembangan to Bangsar took less than half an hour with a total fare of RM55.27. I have taken cabs for a few years in the past and I personally feel that the pricing is very reasonable, in view of the type of car you are travelling in as well as the safety features, convenience, and luxury that come along with it.

The transaction is totally cashless, meaning money will only be deducted from your credit/debit card, making the rides safe, seamless, and exceptionally convenient.

At the end of the ride, both the user and the driver is required to rate each other through the app in their respective devices/phones, which is great as it allows them to see how staunch and accountable the other party is in the forthcoming rides.

Not only did I arrive at the event early, I also got to take plenty of #selfie with pretty Miss Joey

With all the other bloggers

Quick facts:
  • Uber has a base fare of RM7.00, with an additional RM0.30 per minute and RM2.00 per kilometer
  • Uber is a premium and safe on-demand private chauffeur service
  • Uber is not an taxi app. They partner with professional limousine companies that provide chauffeur services
  • Range of cars includes Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Nissan Teana, Mercedes E-class, BMW 7-Series etc
  • Uber is foreigner-friendly and is available in 15 different languages
  • Seats up to four (or more, depending on the cars you are getting - I got an Alphard on the way back)
Fare Rates:
  • KLCC to Bangsar Baru - RM29-RM37
  • Subang Jaya to Publika - RM64-RM71
  • KL to Genting Highlands - RM150 (Flat rate)
  • KL to KLIA/LCCT - RM300 (Flat rate)

All in all, I was uber-impressed with my Uber ride!

What does Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus has in common?

They are both Uber riders!

Get free credit to give Uber a first-hand try for free (only for new users) in an exclusively luxury vehicle around the city by keying in the promotion code 'dhlot':

uber free credits

Key in 'dhlot' as the promotion code to get free credit (amount changes from time to time)!

Backpacking in Singapore - Is It Really Possible?

An ideal destination to backpack to will probably be a country embodied with cultural significance. Its lands are overlaid with unfettered lush greenery, and its people donned with smiles and cordiality.

Unfortunately, these criteria are scarce in the City of Lion.

Singapore is a country where elites travel to for business and ritzy leisure. People are so busy chasing money that only a handful are able to find the time (and a purpose) in flashing a smile at you.

My family and I routinely travel to Singapore by car when we were residing in Johor (considering the proximity and convenience), but we have not stepped foot in the country ever since we moved up north eight years ago.

So about two months ago, I tried something different: I traveled to Singapore by myself and spent my nights in backpacker's dorms at Little India and Boat Quay.

I guess the thought of being able to face difficulties alone and being able to meet new people from all walks of life excites me. (I am weird like that)

My dream? To visit every country in Southeast Asia first before going anywhere further.

I got myself an ez-link card (as advised by my brother) because apparently the fares will be cheaper and you can save a lot of time by avoiding ticket queues. The whole of Singapore is pretty much accessible by MRT which operates till 1 a.m., hence making it perfectly reliable.

A trip to the Universal Studios is a must when you are here, which is one of its kind in the whole of Southeast Asia (... until the opening of the Twentieth Century Fox World in 2016 in Genting Highlands).

Tickets for adults are priced at $74. I would recommend that you purchase the express ticket (additional $30/$50) because the queues are crazy long and you would have already wasted half of your time there just waiting for your turn.

If you are tight on budget, avoid queues by standing in the single rider's lines.

The must-see attractions in USS, in my opinion, are:
  • Lights, Camera, Action! hosted by Steven Spielberg
  • Shrek 4-D Adventure
  • Revenge of the Mummy
  • Transformers The Ride: The Ultimate 3D Battle

And of course, how can one forget about the Merlion? This is a giant replica in Sentosa.

Relaxing after a heavy Persian dinner at Boat Quay overlooking the Singapore river.

Boat Quay has to be my favorite place there. It resembles our famous Changkat, concentrated with bars with live music, restaurants, and dorms. Shopping centers and night clubs are all located just a few streets away.

When I came down to have my breakfast the next morning, I was literally stunned to see the color of the river. Needless to say, I like the night view a lot better.

Had my breakfast, packed up, grabbed my favorite frappucino, and headed to Sentosa island. It wasn't for USS this time, but it was for the beaches!

I made my way there using the Sentosa Express from Vivocity. The $4 ticket allows entry to four different stations: Sentosa, Waterfront, Imbiah and Beach - all which are closely linked and are accessible by foot once you're on the island.

Laid my mat down once I was at Siloso, but to my dismay, the weather was gloomy the entire day.

Have you tried kayaking in the middle of the sea during high tides in the rain?
You have to, because it was amazing! ($25/single kayak per hour)

There really isn't much to do in Siloso/Palawan because the beaches are overcrowded and you'll probably get stepped on if you attempt to lie down. Besides that, the whole atmosphere and the beach felt pretty artificial to me. It was as though I was getting into a swimming pool rather than a sea.

Singapore is a very sophisticated city. I got to meet friendly travelers from different countries and communication is a breeze. However, when travelling to Singapore, leave that backpack at home. One is better off staying at a comfortable, deluxe hotel to fully appreciate the Singaporean ambient.