Today we found in our inbox a message from Tripadvisor complimenting us on our good review score with a “Bravo” badge. Here is why we are a little proud: over the last 3.5 years Orange Pekoe got some 600 Tripadvisor reviews. This means on average one review every other day. Given the small size of our business this is a lot. Furthermore, almost 85% of our guests rated us either “excellent” or “very good”. We feel honoured and say thank you to all our guests who took the time to write a review. Every feedback is motivation to further improve and to always give our best in providing feel-good budget accommodation in downtown KL.
We love to take pictures. Pictures that capture moments of everyday life. It is these moments of colour and light, of the extraordinary as well as the common which remind us of the immense beauty we live in. Some pictures were taken at our guesthouse. Others in our neighbourhood or somewhere around Kuala Lumpur. We hope you like them and feel inspired to discover Malaysia on your own. If you feel like having more picturesque moments in life, just follow us on Instagram (orangepekoeguesthouse). See you there! Cheers!
During the last 12 months the world has seen considerable fluctuations of major currencies. Everybody knows about the newly gained strength of the US Dollar and the Euro weakness. What many people don’t know is that the Malaysian Ringgit has also depreciated in value which means that your Malaysia holiday has just become more affordable. Even travellers from Europe may rejoice because the Ringgit has fallen almost in tandem with the common currency. This means that Europeans won’t feel the pinch when they discover beautiful Malaysia. Enjoy local breakfast at a downtown restaurant for as little as 1 Euro 20 Cents, catch a movie for 3 Euro, use KL’s Monorail for 30-60 Euro Cents or take an air-conditioned coach (incl. infotainment) from KL to Singapore for very affordable 17 Euro. At our guesthouse you get an air-conditioned double room with ensuite bathroom, Wifi, breakfast etc for as little as 22 Euro. On top of that you may enjoy e.g. the super attractive airfares offered by AirAsia in case you want to explore the region. What these examples can’t tell you of course is that to discover Malaysia always means to discover an entire world. This is how diverse and colourful we are 🙂
One of the things we love about Kuala Lumpur is its multi-ethnic character. Each group has its own traditions, events and celebrations. This of course also includes the Indian community which celebrates the annual Holi Festival this coming Saturday, 21 March.
For those who are not familiar: Holi is an ancient Hindu spring festival, also known as the festival of colours and the festival of love. Today it is not only celebrated in India and Nepal but also in other parts of the world wherever you find Indian communities. Celebrations start with a traditional fire called “Holika Dahan” which symbolises the burning of devil. On the following day the actual carnival of colours takes place. Participants chase and colour each other with dry powder and coloured water. Singing and dancing underlines the cheerful character of this event.
Here in KL the Holi Festival is organised by SDS Youth, a local youth organisation. Its members have been working hard to make the 2015 Holi celebrations the best ever and we have no doubt that they will achieve their goal. If you want to participate in the festival, make sure you go there early as the number of participants is limited to 3,000 people. For more info and FAQ go to SDS Youth’s event page on facebook:
We wish everybody a cheerful Holi Festival 2015!
Hot Air Balloons are one of those things that have fascinated us since childhood. In our imagination they are the thing that comes closest to a ride on the magic carpet. And we dream that one day we will cross the Alps and the Pyrenees, fly over the Lake District and Cappadocia. Even though the annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Putrajaya does not offer this possibility, nothing could stop us from getting up early, very early, to watch 19 hot air balloons take to the skies.
Coming from Kuala Lumpur it took us no more than 40 minutes to reach Putrajaya around 7am. With seven years of experience, things here are well organised and convenient. We instantly found parking just across the launch area and were able to identify a spot with great view. While the support crews were busy preparing the balloons for their morning flights (or rides, to be correct), we had our first coffee. Others brought a full breakfast and enjoyed an early picnic in the park. Above us a mini Zeppelin (we termed it “the support ship”) circled in the air. Why don’t we have wings? Finally, around 7.30am it was all “action” and the first hot air balloon took off. Perfect timing, beautiful light and striking colours. Soon all hot air balloons were up in the sky moving gently across Putrajaya lake in north-eastern direction.
We decided it was time for a proper breakfast. So we got into our car and drove over to Cyberjaya for Nasi Lemak and Nescafe Ice. Perfect morning. Mission accomplished. Of course we will be back next year. We still haven’t watched the “Night Glow” of the hot air balloons which is always accompanied by beautiful fireworks. This is an event not to be missed. Just google the Night Glow pictures and you will understand. We can’t wait to take you there 🙂
Has it ever happened to you that you miss out on a destination somewhere close by simply because you are telling yourself that you can go there any time anyway? Well, we had this experience before and it looked like eventually we would have to add Genting to our list of blank spots. The fact that things turned out differently is thanks to dear friends who helped us make “Project Genting” come true.
So on a recent Sunday afternoon we finally left Kuala Lumpur in north-eastern direction. Traffic was light and hence the city gave way to the rainforest in no time. A moment of bliss! After passing the “Genting Skyway” station (see TIP) we stopped at the Chin Swee Caves Temple.
The construction of this Taoist temple was initiated by Genting founder Lim Goh Tong who picked the most scenic spot of the Genting Highlands for this place of worship. It took 20 years to complete this project because of the steep and rocky terrain in this area. If you are not in a hurry, a stop is highly recommended. Don’t miss the beautiful view on clear days!
From Chin Swee Caves Temple it is another 10-minute drive before you reach Resorts World Genting. The name, we thought, may easily trigger too high expectations, especially with those who know Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore (both are operated by the Genting Group). Unfortunately, Genting’s age (the first hotel opened in 1971) shows and you wish that somebody came up with the idea to give the entire resort a facelift. We know, people do not come here for architectural beauty but for entertainment. But with big new entertainment resorts being currently developed all over Southeast Asia, an optical upgrade – especially of the facade of most buildings – seems mandatory.
To be fair, we understand that renovation works are on-going. It is also important to mention that Genting is in the process of building the world’s first 20th Century Fox World theme park which is scheduled to open in 2016. Undoubtedly, this new attraction will have a rejuvenating effect on the resort.
Optical aspects apart, Resorts World Genting offers entertainment both for adults and children. It houses Malaysia’s only land-based casino which attracts both a local as well as an international crowd. And for kids and families there are attractions like SnowWorld, a Video Games Park, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and more.
As we are neither into gambling nor able to call ourselves kids any more, we are not in a position to report back to you on these things. But guess what, we still had a great time! There are many restaurants to choose from, it’s fun to just stroll around and watch things happen around you and then there is one thing you won’t find on Sentosa – the fresh, crisp air. When you are used to KL temperatures, 19C just feels sensational! All in all we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, not least because a visit to Genting Highlands means to do something of the extraordinary and to take a break from everyday life. We promise to be back in 2016 once the 20th Century Fox World theme park is open. And just in case, if you have wondered: the Bentley below is not ours. Well, not yet 🙂
Tip: If you go to Genting Highlands by car, you should calculate roughly one hour for the 55km journey. Alternatively, there is a convenient bus service between downtown KL and the resort. Coaches depart from Puduraya bus terminal. The cheap tickets include a ride on the Genting Skyway cable car. If you decide to go for a ride on the 3.5km long cable car (which is fun), the tradeoff is that you won’t get to visit the Chin Swee temple.
When we conceived Orange Pekoe it was our intention to create a guesthouse that welcomes all travellers, including families with children. We knew of course that some B&Bs, hotels etc opt for a less inclusive approach for fear that youngsters might disturb other guests, make a lot of noise or damage things. After a few years of operation we stand by our open door policy and believe that it has been one of the best decisions we could ever make.
At our guesthouse families find their own space in our specially configured Family Rooms. And kids who stay with us show us all the time that they can behave provided they are comfortable with their environment. The fact that children identify Orange Pekoe as their ‘comfort zone’ is a big compliment coming from our youngest guests.
Orange Pekoe is a place where backpackers, flashpackers, singles, couples, adventurous retirees and kids come together. They may speak different languages and have different cultures, traditions and faiths. But what really matters is that once our guests are united in their diversity, they create the good vibe that defines our guesthouse. To see this happen is the most rewarding experience for all members of our team. That is why we will never let go of our belief that everybody is welcome at our place!
Photo: little Julie from Prague instantly adopted our guesthouse as her second home.